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Home » The Last 6 Decades of AI — And What Comes Next: Ray Kurzweil (Transcript)

The Last 6 Decades of AI — And What Comes Next: Ray Kurzweil (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of futurist Ray Kurzweil’s talk titled “The Last 6 Decades of AI — And What Comes Next” at TED 2024 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Evolution of Artificial Intelligence

So we’ve heard a lot about artificial intelligence. I’ve actually been involved with AI for 61 years, which is a record. And we’ve heard a lot about what people think about AI today. So I tried to figure out, what did we think about artificial intelligence 61 years ago?

First of all, people asked, “What are you into?” I’d say artificial intelligence. And they’d say, “What’s that?” So no one was really aware of it.

I joined, in 1962, 1956 was the conference where artificial intelligence got its name. So the views were quite different. People who were in computer science had heard of artificial intelligence. Most people were quite skeptical. They thought it would never happen, or if they thought it would happen, maybe it would happen in a century or several centuries. But the people that actually came to that Dartmouth conference in 1956, they were quite optimistic.

Some of them, including Minsky, thought it would take like, one semester to reach the level of intelligence that humans had. And in fact, that led to our first argument. He was my mentor for 50 years. But we argued about that because I thought it would take decades, but we would see it within our lifetime.

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