The presents a good synthesis of the work

The Age of Spiritual Machines presents a history of computers, looking
at how past trends in computing have led to today’s personal machines.
Author Ray Kurzweil then goes beyond history to look towards the future.
Most audiences are familiar with the notion that computers will one day
think faster and better than humans.However, Kurzweil goes beyond such
familiar ground, making specific predictions regarding how “spiritual
machines” will blur the line between thinking humans and technological
In thefirst part of the book, “Probing the Past,” Kurweil presents an
excellent survey of how computational knowledge evolved throughout history.
A gifted technological historian, Kurzweil sets the stage in this chapter
by showing how these past developments have both changed the way people
live and how this knowledge laid the foundations for his future
Towards this, Kurzweil draws heavily from the work of heavyweights in
the field — such as Carl Sagan, Sherry Turkle, Marvin Minsky, Alan Turing
and Eric Drexler.While Kurzweil does not actually present anything new in
this part, he presents a good synthesis of the work of these important
technological writers and philosophers.In this sense, The Age of
Spiritual Machines is already a good read for a person looking for a good
introduction into the work of the aforementioned authors.
However, Kurzweil then moves on to make predictions of his own, and
the fact that Kurzweil is specific with his predictions is one of the
strengths of this interesting book.The author writes, for example, that
by providing more intense and pleasurable sensations, virtual sex will soon
be better than conventional sex.Digital prostitutes will service humans
in a virtual environment, eliminating the risk of disease.Humans will
soon have the ability to download their brains and minds into robots.This
means that humans would be akin …