That’s the year he predicts our technology will be able to think without us — aka the date that computers pass the Turing test. Our computers are growing more powerful at an exponential rate, and even Kurzweil is impressed by what we can do with artificial intelligence AI today. He’s been making the prediction that 2029 is the date for some time, and he repeated the date onstage yesterday at the DEMO Fall 2012 conference multiple times. Still, even to someone who has seen it coming all along, progress in technology can be impressive.“We’re making very discernible progress in AI. It’s quite visceral,” he told the DEMO audience.Kurzweil is widely known for creating the musical synthesizer, the Kurzweil Reading Machine, and other speech recognition technologies. He’s also made a name for himself through his interest in robots, his study of the brain, and for promoting the concept of the “Singularity,” which is the point at which artificial intelligence exceeds human intelligence; he’s a cofounder with Peter Diamandis of Singularity University. He has 19 honorary doctorates and degrees, and says he wants to live forever. Most recently he wrote the book How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, which looks at how reverse engineering the brain helps us understand how artificial intelligence fits into the broader world and will be coming out in November, 2012.