The notion of robot love has a long history, and by far the dominant emphasis has been on its erotic manifestation. After all, the reasoning goes, a sufficiently advanced robot would offer all of the physical pleasure of a real partner with no emotional entanglements, personal judgments, or dissipating affections, in an un-aging body that can be sculpted to look exactly as one desires. Famous movie actors and actresses might even set up a lucrative side-business licensing their own bodily images to robot manufacturers, even long after time and nature had taken a toll.
Current copyright law does not merely distort some markets — rather it destroys entire markets.” So reads the final line of a report released by the Republican Study Committee of the House of Representatives that is highly critical of current copyright law
These days, you would not be alone in thinking that perhaps future generations would master the PC before the pencil. Actually, more realistically speaking, infants born in the iPhone era may not see an entire personal computer for a long time. Instead their interaction is more likely to be with more portable tech: tablets and smartphones.
As science communicators, we need to do more than just entertain — we need to inform; to persuade; to inspire action. One of the biggest challenges in selling ideas about radical science and technology is engaging and exciting an audience in a way that is non-threatening, believable, and structured in a way that they can relate to personally.
I want to make some claims about the future of brain cognition that will lead to rational, logical, empathetic thought. The notion of “friendly SAI” and “unfriendly SAI” is a fallacy and should be abandoned, that is, the notion that we can program AI in the SAI setting to be friendly is an attempt to undermine intelligence and the domain of empathy and altruism.
According to the Wikipedia entry on “major religious groups”, 85% of the world’s population subscribes to some kind of religion. While in reality the world is obviously not divided neatly into “religious” and “non-religious”, and while religion and theism are not quite the same thing, this statistic nevertheless shows that the various concepts of the divine continue to hold considerable sway over human thought.
Pre-modern, modern and postmodern societies existing concurrently in dynamic interaction have created a global situation of cultural tension and conflict. This has resulted in clashes between modernists and anti-modernists and has become a major global change agent. All the major religions are pre-modern in origin but not all have adapted to modernity to the same extent and none have done so completely. This is concurrent with the rise of the non-Western World (Asia, Africa, Latin America) as a dominant global religious force. The unevenness of accommodating to modern life constitutes part of the religious/cultural tension within and between faith traditions. This requires constructing future visions that can unite a pluralistic civilization around common goals.
Our Earth feels like a warm and welcoming place for us life forms, but beyond our little planet, the majority of the solar system is too cold for us to live comfortably. But a new study suggests that planets in other solar systems might be more habitable than our own because, on the whole, they would be warmer — up to 25 % warmer.
In the Broadway musical Fame, Carmen sings about wanting to live forever. Of course, this is not possible today, but many positive thinkers believe that in the near future, biotech breakthroughs, along with nanomedicine advances, could provide an indefinite lifespan; eliminating most causes of death.
The Technological Singularity, referred to as “the singularity” by transhumanists, signifies a point in time where self-aware self-improving artificial intelligence that could surpass the intelligence of the human brain manifests.
Even though there are no statistics on the economics of religion, we might reasonably assume that if we calculated the aggregate turnover and cash flow of all the religions and religious activities globally – their aggregate buying power and the goods and services they produce and consume – that we are talking about one of the biggest business sectors in the world, if not the biggest. The global economics of organized religion, New Age religiosity and various other ‘spiritual’ practices might run into the trillions of dollars.
Today, large streams of data, coupled with statistical analysis and sophisticated algorithms, are rapidly gaining importance in almost every field of science, politics, journalism, and much more. What does this mean for the future of work?
The more things change, the more they stay the same, with Ray Kurzweil’s talks. At the TEDx Conference in Manhattan on Monday, December 3, he and the biotech pioneer Juan Enriquez were the keynote speakers.
On December 1, 2012, the American Psychiatric Association officially approved the final diagnostic criteria for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The new ‘psychiatric bible’ features a number of important changes to the existing canon, including the elimination and alteration of many familiar disorders. Here’s what you need to know about the new guidebook.
First some nostalgia for the future! Need that gift for your nerdy sci fi friend? Underbrain offers T-shirts, mugs and caps with all sorts of logos from David Brin’s Uplift Universe - symbols of the Five Galaxies, dolphins & chimps posing for the Uplift Center, and the Terragens Marines patch! And the Eye-Q symbol for the Quantum Eye oracle computer in Existence. Got civilization? This will ensure that you do!
One of the most challenging tasks for the modern day creationist to is reconcile the belief in a 6,000 year old Earth with the ever-growing mountain of scientific evidence pointing to a vastly different conclusion — namely a universe that’s 13.5 billion years old and an Earth that formed 4.5 billion years ago. So, given these astoundingly dramatic discrepancies, biblical literalists and ‘young Earth creationists’ have had no choice but to get pretty darned imaginative when brushing science aside. Here are 10 arguments creationists have made to counter scientific theories.
The impact of technological progress on jobs has been the topic of countless books: most of them are forgotten because they were so wrong about it. Predicting the future has always been a lucrative business (Delphi’s Oracle, Nostradamus, George Orwell), but rarely a science. If all of them had been right, today we would all be unemployed and, in fact, extinct. Instead, guess what: humans are wealthier than ever in history, the world has never been so peaceful and we all buy machines by the millions. Pistono’s book is the refreshing exception: no, we are not doomed. That, per se, is a good reason to read it.
Last weekend, at the humanity+ conference in San Francisco, Ben Goertzel, live from Hong Kong, via Skype, graced us with his predictions on the future of communication. According to Ben, in the future we will be able to transmit semantic graphs, or chunks of mind, completely bypassing linguistic utterance, that is your tongue, your jaw, vocal cords, throat, breathing apparatus and everything that goes with articulating speech. The first thought that occurred to me was “OMG. I won’t have to do the Theophilus Thistle drill ever again”. Great. But then I thought, “Wait a second. Is content really separate from form?”
This is a continuation of my previous post on quantum consciousness (or not), also inspired by Ben Goertzel’s “AGI, Consciousness, Life, the Universe and Everything” on H+ Magazine. In a comment, I wrote: “I am often thinking of a meta-[Theory of Everything]ToE (actually an anti-ToE) that we may call “The [BIG] Infinite Fractal Onion Universe” or something like that.” Here are some thoughts on something like that.
When Steve Jobs passed away in October last year, many worldwide mourned the loss of an extraordinary innovator. In Ningbo, a port city on the eastern Chinese coast, the reaction was similar: there was media attention dedicated to the former CEO’s accomplishments and life history, along with admiration for his talents and vision for Apple. Then there was the heralding of a local initiative by the press: a program to cultivate “an army of Steve Jobs-style leaders.
Presently, important concerns on the future of product’s design, building architecture, and city planning have become part of the daily basis discussion. Ecology, energy efficiency, pollution and sustainability have leaded important forum’s topics for the last years. However, the current approach to those issues is insufficient in order to generate the desired environmental outcomes for the future.
Touch screens, voice recognition, and systems that track eye and muscle movements all offer efficient ways of communicating, but transmitting thoughts directly to machines, without any implant in the brain could affect our lives more than any other technology under development today.
Our brains are slopping over full at this point at the end of the Humanity+ San Francisco 2012. Congratulations to Natasha and her team for putting on a great conference. Hopefully next time we’ll have control of the weather.
Its apoco-raining this weekend in San Francisco, proving that the transhumanists neither see the future clear enough to choose a nice weekend nor have magical evil powers over the natural world. But they do put on incredibly fascinating parties at wild warehouse-cum-commune spaces full of smart technophiles. We had to drag ourselves back in to the conference this morning so we wouldn’t miss Andrea Kuscewski, David Pearce, Ben Goertzel, Jamais Cascio, Ramez Naam and the others folks speaking today.