(Featuring Dr. J. and Jamais Cascio.) This is the one conversation we’re going to have today that will be held in 2010. The concept for today’s show came out of one of the dangerous meetings we have where we try to think of ideas we can’t easily do. We decided to assemble a show that takes place in the year 2030. At first, this seemed like a funny idea, mainly, but this being WNPR, we started talking to actual futurists, the people who try to figure out, decade by decade, what the real drivers for change are and what they’re most likely to do our collective reality. Global warming. The rise of China. The fall of China. The Rise of India, Brazil, Indonesia. The effects of total, ubiquitous connectivity, gene tweaking, crop changes, human migrations, transhumanism ...the people you hear on the show today are the real futurists of 2010.
But we invited them to go time traveling with us. See you in 20 years.
The Flobots are from Denver, Colorado, formed in 2000 by lead MC Jonny 5, aka Jamie Laurie. Their 2008 hit “Handlebars” is off their 2007 album Fight with Tools. Also check out their political activism site flobots.org, and their webcomic series Rise of the Flobots: Architects of Change featuring SF-ish stories inspired by fans and the music of the Flobots.
You can make an argument that the quality of health care in the United States is as good as anywhere in the world (if you can afford it)—but the system we use to allocate and pay for that care is obviously broken and needs to be fixed.
A lot of things keep me up at night – everything from the trivial (“did I remember to brush my teeth?”) to the to the profound (“does it matter?”). But recently, I’ve been plagued more than usual in the wee small hours by the challenge of developing sustainable and resilient technologies.
A piece in the latest issue of Science shows that there’s a considerable amount of methane (CH4) coming from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, where it had been trapped under the permafrost. There’s as much coming out from one small section of the Arctic ocean as from all the rest of the oceans combined. This is officially Not Good.
I have proposed that a scenario of slower-than-disruptive tech development over the next 15-20 years combined with weak or reduced opposition to human enhancement could result in “increasing irrelevance” for transhumanists. But what exactly does that mean?
A simple probabilistic grounding of the “fuzzy set membership degree” is presented, and used to provide denitions of the absolute and conditional probabilities of fuzzy sets. Among other possible applications, this allows fuzzy membership values to be coherently incorporated into probabilistic reasoning processes.
Virtual worlds are persistent online computer-generated environments where people can interact, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. The most popular current example is World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online game with eleven million subscribers. However, other virtual worlds, notably Second Life, are not games at all but Internet-based collaboration contexts in which people can create virtual objects, simulated architecture, and working groups.
Dr. J. chats with Mitch Horowitz, author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation. They talk about the Freemasons, theosophy, Gandhi, Edgar Cayce, the Third Reich and the New Deal, and the eventual occultification of contemporary Christianity. MP3
Spatiotemporal reasoning is an important skill that an AGI is expected to have, innately or not. Much work has already been done in defining reasoning systems for space, time and spacetime, such as the Region Connection Calculus for space, Allen’s Interval Algebra for time, or the Qualitative Trajectory Calculus for motion. However, these reasoning systems rarely take adequate account of uncertainty, which poses an obstacle to using them in an AGI system confronted with an uncertain reality. In this paper we show how to use PLN (Probabilistic Logic Networks) to represent spatiotemporal knowledge and reasoning, via incorporating existing spatiotemporal calculi, and considering a novel extension of standard PLN truth values inspired by P(Z)-logic. This “PLN-ization” of existing spatiotemporal calculi, we suggest, constitutes an approach to spatiotemporal inference suitable for use in AGI systems that incorporate logic-based components.
When I was in undergrad, a professor asked our whole class a strange question. The question was strange because it seemed totally out of context, but I think he had a point, so I present it here as a worthy thought experiment.
Two new formal definitions of intelligence are presented, the “pragmatic general intelligence” and “efficient pragmatic general intelligence.” Largely inspired by Legg and Hutter’s formal de nition of “universal intelligence”, the goal of these de nitions is to capture a notion of general intelligence that more closely models that possessed by humans and practical AI systems, which combine an element of universality with a certain degree of specialization to particular environments and goals. Pragmatic general intelligence measures the capability of an agent to achieve goals in environments, relative to prior distributions over goal and environment space. E cient pragmatic general intelligences measures this same capability, but normalized by the amount of computational resources utilized in the course of the goal-achievement. A methodology is described for estimating these theoretical quantities based on observations of a real biological or artificial system operating in a real environment. Finally, a measure of the “degree of generality” of an intelligent system is presented, allowing a rigorous distinction between “general AI” and “narrow AI”.
A software architecture is described which enables a virtual agent in an online virtual world to carry out simple English language interactions grounded in its perceptions and actions. The use of perceptions to guide anaphor resolution is discussed, along with the use of natural language generation to answer simple questions about the observed world. This architecture has been implemented within the larger PetBrain system, which is built on the OpenCog open-source AI software framework and architected based on the OpenCogPrime design for integrative AGI, and has previously been used for nonlinguistic intelligent behaviors such as imitation and reinforcement learning.