a + e | music • Bright Eyes

feat. Ray Kurzweil
November 1, 2020

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Conor Oberst, of the band Bright Eyes, discusses inspirations behind their album, The People’s Key, on AOL’s Spinner music magazine:

song: a Machine Spiritual
album: the People’s Key



Bright Eyes album the People’s Key inspired by Ray Kurzweil and Singularity themes

from: 2011

Spinner | Are there any books or authors in particular that influenced the album?

Conor Oberst: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the theory of Singularity. This guy, Ray Kurzweil, who was the inventor of early synthesizers, he has this theory — a few other people write about it, too — but essentially there’s a point where artificial intelligence reaches beyond human intelligence and we fuse in with the internet and become what he calls ‘spiritual machines.’ Essentially, you stop having to die and stop having to eat.

“Our physical form is no longer important because you’re able to maintain your consciousness by uploading it to the next frame, which sounds spooky and weird but I think it’s 100% achievable, especially when you think about how fast new machines invent newer machines, which invent the newer machines. It’s exponential growth.

“A person doesn’t have to sit down and invent every one of these steps. His vision is really utopian, like this is the way forward. Humans, we’re obviously going to destroy our planet and destroy our physical form, but we’ll continue in this way.”


Listen to the track “A Machine Spiritual” here