Human-Level AI by 2029? Futurist Ray Kurzweil Doubles Down on Bold Claim

The debate over when artificial intelligence might become truly intelligent—capable of matching and surpassing human-level cognition—has raged for decades. And according to Ray Kurzweil, one of the world’s foremost futurists, we’re just years away from that pivotal milestone.

Appearing on Joe Rogan’s wildly popular podcast, Kurzweil doubled down on his infamous 1999 projection that AI would attain human-level intelligence, or artificial general intelligence (AGI), by the year 2029. For the record, that’s less than five years from now.

“We’re not quite there, but we will be there, and by 2029 it will match any person,” Kurzweil confidently told Rogan. “I’m actually considered conservative. People think that will happen next year or the year after.”

It’s a bold claim, to be sure—so bold, in fact, that back in 1999 it was considered downright “crazy” by much of the scientific community. As Kurzweil recounted, Stanford University even convened a conference attended by “several hundred people from around the world” to discuss and debate his controversial 2029 prediction for AGI.

While some futurists saw it as plausible given enough time, Kurzweil says many thought achieving that level of artificial intelligence would take 100 years or more from 1999. Clearly, time has only vindicated the outspoken Kurzweil and his ambitious timeline thus far.

Of course, not everyone shares Kurzweil’s optimism—or certainty—about imminent AGI. Elon Musk, for one, expects AI to surpass any single human’s intelligence as soon as next year. In a retweet, the Twitter owner and serial entrepreneur claimed that “by 2029, AI is probably smarter than all humans combined.”

Whether you think Kurzweil’s 2029 target is too conservative or too ambitious, the singularity ushered in by superhuman AI is starting to feel downright inevitable at this point. We’ll find out soon enough if the outspoken futurist’s foresight was truly prophetic or just wishful thinking. The clock is ticking.

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ScottCharles
ScottCharles
Scott Charles is a professional writer and contributor for Gizmoweek. An avid collector of all things Apple watch, cool gadgets, phones.

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