Could everyone but Africans be the result of miscegenation with Neanderthals? Will we be able to develop global rules for geoengineering in time? And good news for brains but bad news for global, gender and racial health equity.
Last week, Kyle Vandercamp, an atmospheric scientist, blew the whistle on a rogue geoengineering project funded by billionaire Harrison Wyld. Vandercamp was a senior scientist at the Bluebird Lab, and managed to get hold of some pretty damning documents laying out the extent of what the Bluebird project intends to do.
In the big debate over whether and how we should make ourselves known to possible ETIs, the decision itself may not have much consequence at all. But in deciding who should choose, we may be setting a crucial precedent.
Nobody knows a damned thing about aliens—but that doesn’t keep almost everyone from behaving like children, weighing in with their “of course” explanations for how advanced sapient races would “naturally” behave, or why ETs haven’t been seen, or what they would do if we encountered them.
We describe an integrative cognitive architecture for human-like, human-level, embodied general intelligence, founded on integrating the OpenCogPrime framework for cognition, language and high-level learning with a hierarchical temporal memory for lower-level perception and action. The core conceptual principle of the architecture is “cognitive synergy”, wherein dierent components are specically integrated in such a way as to compensate for each others scalability weaknesses. The current, preliminary implementation of the architecture to control a Nao robot is described, and contrasted with prior work using OpenCogPrime to control virtual agents in virtual worlds; and future plans for achieving greater intelligence via instructing the Nao in a “robot preschool” context are reviewed.
More than 60% of those who voted in a recently concluded IEET reader poll say that human cloning should be allowed. However, two-thirds of those in the affirmative (42% overall) say it should take place only after being proven safe.
In response to Stephen Hawking’s new Discovery Channel program, IEET Fellow David Brin was a guest recently on Larry King Live, where he debated the “alien threat” with Michio Kaku, Seth Shostak, and actor Dan Aykroyd. This is Part One. See Part Two here, and Part Three here.
In mathematics, in the area of dynamical systems, a double pendulum (also known as a chaos machine) is a pendulum with another pendulum attached to its end, and is a simple physical system that exhibits rich dynamic behavior.
In the video below, inventor and author William Gurstelle offers instructions on building a simple chaos machine for classroom study or just for personal enjoyment.
More information is available here, and a computerized animation of a double pendulum is here.
Stephen Hawking is arguing that humanity may be putting itself in mortal peril by actively trying to contact aliens (an approach that is referred to as Active SETI). I’ve got five reasons why he is wrong.
The purpose of this episode of Cybernetik Free Radio is to address the difficult questions of Open Individualism, and explore its interesting and complex notions. The program begins with an interpretation of what transhumanism means and what it has to do with our future, then moves into an interview with IEET intern Edward Miller on Open Individualism, and concludes with some reflections on the Singularity.
In a 21st century world of uneven growth, disruptive technology, climate danger, and chaotic politics, we must build a society that’s transparent, diverse and able to look ahead—and embracing a philosophy of resilience will help get us there.
In response to a flurry of interest that’s been stirred by Stephen Hawking’s new Discovery Channel show—specifically, his lead-in episode about extraterrestrials, wherein he recommended against our calling attention to ourselves—I’ll offer a hurried little riff here, about Hawking and aliens, with added contributions by and about Paul Davies, Robin Hanson, and others.
“The Unbroken Thread” is the fourth video in the Symphony of Science series, and it features David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, and Carl Sagan. The clips used in this installment come from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, David Attenborough’s Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life, The Life of Mammals, The Living Planet, BBC Life, XVIVO Scientific Animations, IMAX Cosmic Voyage, Jane Goodall’s TED Talk, and a clever Guinness commercial. The themes present in “The Unbroken Thread” attempt to explore the wild diversity of life on our planet, the intricacy and origin of its mechanisms, and its close relation to all other life forms.
In some other places, the topic of legendary science fiction author Robert Anson Heinlein has repeatedly come up, along with shouting matches — “He was a libertarian!” “No, a socialist!” “No, a fascist!” — I’ve finally had enough and will weigh in.
Of the nearly 2,000 people who have signed up via Facebook to follow the activities of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, New York is the city most represented, followed by Seattle, Atlanta, London, and Los Angeles.