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PODCAST: Exclusive interview with Ray Kurzweil [MP3]

Ray Kurzweil -- the guy who developed the world's first computer speech recognition programs, among about a billion other things -- has some pretty extraordinary predictions for what technology might soon be able to do for the human body.

"Like telling your cells they can let a few calories slide here and there."
We don't need to hold onto every damn calorie," he told us. "I'd like to be able to ... tell my fat cells, don't worry, I'll have food tomorrow, you don't have to hold onto every calorie." Kurzweil, who once said he'd like to be able to build a copy of his late father using his DNA from the grave site, is the centerpiece of our cover story this week.

We've got his hour-long interview available for download as a web-exclusive complement to the written piece. If you've already read Chris Faraone's Kurzweil story (and you bloody well should, if you want to find out more about how we're all going to have nanobots swimming through our innards 30 years from now), some of this will sound familiar, as a number of the quotes from the chat have been woven in. But there's plenty to take away from the full interview, regardless of whether or not you've read the story.

If anything, listening to Kurzweil -- whose predictions are usually pretty spot-on (he was talking about e-books in 1992) -- will help you realize just how quickly the world can and does transform. "Think back three or four years ago. People weren't using social networks. Facebook started in 2004, 2005, as a little dorm project to help Harvard undergraduates meet freshman girls to date, and that's how they explained it," he said. "10 years ago most people didnt use search engines ... the world changes very quickly."

DOWNLOAD: Ray Kurzweil interview with the Phoenix [MP3]

 

Interview recorded live by the Boston Phoenix; for more, read Chris Faraone's profile of Ray Kurzweil "Is Genius Immortal?". To subscribe to this podcast, paste this RSS feed into your podcatcher or feed-reader of choice, or bookmark http://thephoenix.com/podcast

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