This coming Saturday (May 13, 2006), there will be a Summit on the Singularity at Stanford University. If you're in the neighborhood, you want to be there. Everybody who's anybody on the subject will be there, including Ray Kurzweil, Eric Drexler, Douglas R. Hofstadter, Steve Jurvetson, and others.
Ray Kurzweil writes
The coming merger of human and machine intelligence will mark the next stage in the evolution of life. Based on models of technology development that I've used to forecast technological change successfully for more than 25 years, I believe computers will pass the Turing Test by 2029, and by the 2040s our civilization will be billions of times more intelligent. The implications for all aspects of human existence of this "singularity" are profound; but until now, few have begun to consider what may be the most important event in their lifetimes. I'm pleased to invite you to an exploration of the future awaiting us.