Ray Kurzweil, famed inventor and computer scientist, is serious about his health because if it fails him he might not live long enough to see humanity achieve immortality, a seismic development he predicts in his new book is no more than 20 years away.

It’s a blink of an eye in history, but long enough for the 56-year-old Kurzweil to pay close heed to his fitness. He urges others to do the same in “Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever.”



The book is partly a health guide so people can live to benefit from a coming explosion in technology he predicts will make infinite life spans possible.



Kurzweil writes of millions of blood cell-sized robots, which he calls “nanobots,” that will keep us forever young by swarming through the body, repairing bones, muscles, arteries and brain cells. Improvements to our genetic coding will be downloaded via the Internet. We won’t even need a heart.



The claims are fantastic, but Kurzweil is no crank. He’s a recipient of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT prize, which is billed as a sort of Academy Award for inventors, and he won the 1999 National Medal of Technology Award. He has written on the emergence of intelligent machines in publications ranging from Wired to Time magazine. The Christian Science Monitor has called him a “modern Edison.” He was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002. Perhaps the MIT graduate’s most famous inventions is the first reading machine for the blind that could read any typeface.



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