„Merely Human? That’s So Yesterday (New York Times, 06/11/2010, By ASHLEE VANCE)
Some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to solve the world’s ills, while also allowing people to seize control of the evolutionary process. For those who haven’t noticed, the Valley’s most-celebrated company — Google — works daily on building a giant brain that harnesses the thinking power of humans in order to surpass the thinking power of humans.
Larry Page, Google’s other co-founder, helped set up Singularity University in 2008, and the company has supported it with more than $250,000 in donations. Some of Google’s earliest employees are, thanks to personal donations of $100,000 each, among the university’s “founding circle.” (Mr. Page did not respond to interview requests.)“ [read original article]
Israel’s Value to Transhumanism (h+ magazin)
„Imagine this sci-fi scenario: A small tribe with unique literature, customs and myths believes they’ve been “chosen” for a glorious destiny. But they’re driven out of their native land, forced to wander the globe for aeons, persecuted and annihilated, until they’re impelled by a utopian novel to return to their homeland. They name their new city after the inspirational book and their country becomes a technological powerhouse… but still, they’re surrounded by enemies. They wage eternal war, they hover between hope and apocalypse… their contributions to humanity are astounding but they continue to fear total extinction.“ [read original article]
Werden wir ewig leben? (Jörg Auf dem Hövel, telepolis, 15.04.2010)
„Ein Interview-Sammelband prüft die Thesen von Ray Kurzweil und gibt den Stand der Dinge zu Enhancement und Lebensverlängerung zum besten.
Roman Brinzanik und Tobias Hülswitt haben nun unter dem Titel „Werden wir ewig leben?“ die Ideen von Kurzweil zum Anlass genommen, den heutigen Stand der Naturwissenschaften zu optimierenden und lebensverlängernden Maßnahmen mit ihren Interviewpartner abzuklären, Wissenschaft von Heilsversprechen zu treffen und die ethischen Herausforderungen auszuloten. Zu Wort kommen unter anderem der Chemie-Nobelpreisträger Jean-Marie Lehn, der Stammzellforscher Hans Schöler, der Hirnforscher Wolf Singer, der Demographen James W. Vaupel und der Technik-Ethiker Bert Gordijn.“ [zum Originalartikel]
Singularity FAQ (The Rationalist Futurist, Thomas McCabe / Kaj Sotala)
„It is not intended to be an introduction to the Singularity; rather, it is intended to answer the questions of those who have already heard about the Singularity, but still have questions about some of the issues. Due to its length, this document has been broken up into many different sub-sections. Sections of the Singularity FAQ:
Alternatives to Friendly AI
AI and Consciousness
The desirability of a Singularity
The Intelligence Explosion
Implementing the Singularity
Implementing Friendly AI
The Power of Intelligence
The Progress of Technology“ [read original article]
Bedrohen die Roboter Mensch und Gesellschaft?
Florian Rötzer 27.07.2009, telepolis
„Eine Gruppe von US-Wissenschaftlern will die Entwicklung der Künstlichen Intelligenz sichern, indem sie vor Gefahren warnen und Regeln für die Forschung fordern
Roboter werden nicht nur autonomer, klüger und geschickter, sie dringen auch in immer weitere Bereiche der Lebenswelt ein. Offenbar ist eine Gruppe von Computerexperten, KI-Forschern und Robotwissenschaftlern, die im Februar an einem Treffen der Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence – natürlich in Kalifornien – teilgenommen haben, um über die künftige Folgen fortgeschrittener Künstlicher Intelligenz auf die Gesellschaft zu sprechen und einen Bericht zu verfassen, durchaus beunruhigt.“ [zum Originalartikel]
Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man (By JOHN MARKOFF, published: July 25, 2009, New York Times)
„A robot that can open doors and find electrical outlets to recharge itself. Computer viruses that no one can stop. Predator drones, which, though still controlled remotely by humans, come close to a machine that can kill autonomously.
Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone.“ [read original article]
Singing the Singularity
Mike Treder (posted on IEET, Jul 16, 2009)
„Like many a useful concept, the Technological Singularity has become over-invested with emotion, ideological leanings, and tangential agendas. Can its value be recovered?
On October 3, 2009, the fourth annual Singularity Summit will convene, this time in New York City. Among the speakers featured in the two-day event are IEET fellows Ben Goertzel and Aubrey de Grey, along with Ray Kurzweil, Anders Sandberg, Robin Hanson, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Greg Benford, and many others.
So what’s it all about?“ [read original article]
Transhumanist Salvation or Judgment Day? (By Lou Cabron, June 30th, 2009, 10 Zen Monkeys)
„We’re starting to brush up against real robots, real nanotech, and maybe even the first real artificial intelligence. But will emerging technologies destroy humankind — or will humankind be saved by an emerging transhumanism?“ [read original article]
The AI Report
The Past, Present and Future of artificial Intelligence
„Can machines think? In 1950, Alan Turing, considered by some to be the father of modern computing, published a paper in which he proposed that, “If, during text-based conversation, a machine is indistinguishable from a human, then it could be said to be ‘thinking’ and, therefore, could be attributed with intelligence.” He predicted that a computer would pass this “Turing Test” by the end of the century. That hasn’t happened–yet. But the question continues to provoke and inspire. AI might be just around the corner, or it might be centuries away. Edited By Courtney Boyd Myers“ [read original article]
Ray Kurzweil: A singular view of the future
New Scientist, 06 May 2009 by Liz Else
„For inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil, being human with limited intelligence and doomed biology was never good enough. So he came up with an idea called the Singularity – a time when humans merge with machines, become smart and live forever. From MIT to the White House, people either hate the idea or can’t wait for it to happen. So, asks Liz Else, will any of us live long enough to see it?“ [read original article]
Glaube, Technik, Zukunft, von Richard Jones (Technology Review)
„In der TR-Essay-Reihe zur Technik untersucht der britische Physiker Richard Jones, der auch das Blog Soft Machines betreibt, den heutigen Glauben an die Technik, die wirkliche Fragilität der modernen Zivilisation und den Fehler des Determinismus in hochtechnisierten Erlösungsphantasien.“ [zum Originalartikel]
Singularity 101 with Vernor Vinge (h+, 22.04.2009)
„The Singularity. Ray Kurzweil has popularized it and, by now, some of our readers no doubt drop it frequently into casual conversation and await it like salvation. (The second “helping?”) but many more are still unfamiliar with the concept.
The contemporary notion of the Singularity got started with legendary SF writer Vernor Vinge, whose 1981 novella True Names pictured a society on the verge of this “event.” In a 1993 essay, “The Coming Technological Singularity,” Vinge made his vision clear, writing that “within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.”
We caught up with Vinge at the 2008 Singularity Summit in San Jose, California, where he opened the proceedings in conversation with Bob Pisani of CNBC.
Vinge’s most recent novel is Rainbow’s End. [read original article]
The Robot Scientist
„The Robot Scientist is perhaps the first physical implementation of the task of Scientific Discovery in a microbiology laboratory. It represents the merging of increasingly automated and remotely controllable laboratory equipment and knowledge discovery techniques from Artificial Intelligence.
Automation of laboratory equipment (the “Robot” of Robot Scientist) has revolutionised laboratory practice by removing the “drudgery” of constructing many wet lab experiments by hand, allowing an increase in both the scope and scale of potential experiments. Most lab robots only require a simple description of the various chemical/ biological entities to be used in the experiments, along with their required volumes and where these entities are stored. Automation has also given rise to significantly increased productivity and a concomitant increase in the production of results and data requiring interpretation, giving rise to an “interpretation bottleneck” where the process of understanding the results is lagging behind the production of results.“ [read original article]
Singularly silly singularity (PZ Myers, Pharyngula, Feb. 09. 2009)
„Since I had the effrontery to critize futurism and especially Ray Kurzweil, here’s a repost of something I wrote on the subject a while back…and I’ll expand on it at the end.“ [read original article]
Singularity University to Study Accelerating Technologies, Launches at NASA Ames
KurzweilAI.net, Feb. 3, 2009
„With the support of NASA, Google and a broad range of technology thought leaders and entrepreneurs, a new university will launch in Silicon Valley this summer with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges.”
Singularity University (SU) (www.singularityu.org) will open its doors in June 2009 on the NASA Research Park campus with a nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating.“ [read original article]
Man kann eine Maschine nicht bestrafen – Interview mit Noel Sharkey
Matthias Gräbner 21.12.2008 (Telepolis)
Warum wir eine Roboter-Ethik brauchen
“Die Roboterentwicklung trägt nach langen Jahren endlich Früchte, in denen wir nur über die Zukunft gesprochen haben“: Dies behauptet Noel Sharkey, Professor für künstliche Intelligenz und Robotik an der Universität Sheffield. Die rasante Entwicklung, so Sharkey, verlangt neue Gesetze und eine gesellschaftliche Diskussion über die Ethik des Einsatzes von Robotern. Telepolis sprach mit ihm. […]
h+ transhumanist magazine launched
Humanity Plus (formerly the World Transhumanist Association) has launched h+, a stylish, web-based quarterly magazine that focuses on transhumanism, covering the scientific, technological, and cultural developments that are challenging and overcoming human limitations.
Edited by the legendary RU Sirius, co-founder and editor of the seminal Mondo 2000 magazine, and beautifully designed by virtual worlds artist D.C. Spensley, the magazine’s first issue features cutting-edge ideas and interviews with leaders in longevity, neuroengineering, nanofabrication, open-source robotics, science fiction, and other breakthrough areas. [...]
The Rise of the Machines
By RICHARD DOOLING
“BEWARE of geeks bearing formulas.” So saith Warren Buffett, the Wizard of Omaha. Words to bear in mind as we bail out banks and buy up mortgages and tweak interest rates and nothing, nothing seems to make any difference on Wall Street or Main Street. Years ago, Mr. Buffett called derivatives “weapons of financial mass destruction” — an apt metaphor considering that the Manhattan Project’s math and physics geeks bearing formulas brought us the original weapon of mass destruction, at Trinity in New Mexico on July 16, 1945. [...]
The Future Is Now? Pretty Soon, at Least (New York Times)
Before we get to Ray Kurzweil’s plan for upgrading the “suboptimal software” in your brain, let me pass on some of the cheery news he brought to the World Science Festival last week in New York.
Do you have trouble sticking to a diet? Have patience. Within 10 years, Dr. Kurzweil explained, there will be a drug that lets you eat whatever you want without gaining weight. [...]
(»I think the following e-mail exchange will interest those of you who are following my latest engagements with partisans of various Superlative discourses (I omit names to protect innocence here).
In the discussions that have recently taken place at your blog, you’ve demonstrated a strong belief that entitative human-surpassing AI will not be possible within a meaningful timeframe
It’s true I am incomparably more skeptical of such an eventuality than Singularitarians seem to be, but, rather true to form, you are not quite grasping the reasons that fuel my skepticism, nor the intended force of my critique. [...]«)
Wisdom [Meta-Knowledge] through AGI / Neural Macrosensing
Natasha Vita-More, 2006
(»‛I believe that the creation of greater than human intelligence will occur during the next thirty years,‛ claims Vernor Vinge (1993: 1), mathematician, computer scientist and Hugo award-winning novelist. But what is the point of having more neural transmitters firing off connections if those connections do not promote wisdom?
Profound understanding, good judgment and deep insight, the elements of wisdom, are thought to be humanity’s noblest goals. Western film icon and humorist Will Rogers wisely claimed that ‚Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.‛ This insight gives credence to Buddha‛s rumination that ‚We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.‛ (Brossman: 31)
Throughout my adult years, I have thought that the promising goal in life is to achieve wisdom, and that no matter how long or trying the pursuit, wisdom would be the accumulative reward. This may be true, but it is highly likely that there is a more direct route. [...]«)
Superhuman Imagination – Vernor Vinge on science fiction, the Singularity, and the state
Mike Godwin | Reason Magazin
(»A few decades ago, the most popular science fiction epics were works like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy or Frank Herbert’s Dune series—stories that were set thousands or even tens of thousands of years in the future but involved human beings more or less like us and societies more or less like our own, but with more advanced technology. Today, by contrast, many of the genre’s top writers are unwilling to speculate more than 20 years ahead. The acceleration of technological advance, they argue, has begun to make traditional visions of far-future humanity look increasingly myopic and parochial.
One increasingly popular vision of that rapidly accelerating progress is called the Technological Singularity (or, sometimes, just the Singularity)—a concept evoked not just in science fiction novels by the likes of Charles Stross and Bruce Sterling but in works of speculative nonfiction, such as the futurist Ray Kurzweil’s popular 2005 book The Singularity Is Near. No name is linked more tightly to the idea of the Singularity than that of Vernor Vinge, 63, who for four decades has written stories about the ways humanity and its technologies are building a future that may be impossible for us even to imagine. “It seems plausible,” Vinge says, “that with technology we can, in the fairly near future, create or become creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such a singular event are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.” [...]«)
Chris Chatham: 10 Important Differences Between Brains and Computers
(»”A good metaphor is something even the police should keep an eye on.” – G.C. Lichtenberg
Although the brain-computer metaphor has served cognitive psychology well, research in cognitive neuroscience has revealed many important differences between brains and computers. Appreciating these differences may be crucial to understanding the mechanisms of neural information processing, and ultimately for the creation of artificial intelligence. Below, I review the most important of these differences (and the consequences to cognitive psychology of failing to recognize them): similar ground is covered in this excellent (though lengthy) lecture. [...]«)
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