Pandora’s Brain is one of the most philosophical science fiction novels I have read recently. And since Calum Chace has been a valuable contributor to Singularity Weblog, as well as a great blogger with an interesting and diverse experience in his own right, I thought that he would make a great guest for my Singularity 1on1 podcast. And so I invited him for an interview which turned out to be a very enjoyable conversation indeed.

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Calum Chace on Pandora’s Brain: AI is Coming and It Could Be the Best or the Worst Thing
Nikola Danaylov   Mar 28, 2015   Singularity 1 on 1  

Pandora’s Brain is one of the most philosophical science fiction novels I have read recently. And since Calum Chace has been a valuable contributor to Singularity Weblog, as well as a great blogger with an interesting and diverse experience in his own right, I thought that he would make a great guest for my Singularity 1on1 podcast. And so I invited him for an interview which turned out to be a very enjoyable conversation indeed.

Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed

During our 70 min discussion with Calum Chace we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his intellectual background, business experience and foray into writing science fiction; why science fiction is philosophy in fancy dress; how his mind exploded after reading Ray Kurzweil’s The Age of Spiritual Machines; the importance of planning for the singularity and investing resources in friendly AI; the story behind Pandora’s Brain and the associated Greek mythology; AI, the singularity and our chances of surviving; soft vs hard take-off scenarios; technological unemployment.

My favorite quote that I will take away from this interview is:

“AI is coming and it could be the best or the worst thing that has ever happened to us. It can’t be stopped. So we have to try to influence it to be the best thing…”

(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more high-quality episodes like this one please make a donation!)

​Who is Calum Chace?

Calum Chace retired in 2012 to focus on writing after a 30-year career in business, in which he was a marketer, a strategy consultant and a CEO. He maintains his interest in business by serving as chairman and coach for growing companies.

Calum is co-author of The Internet Start-Up Bible, a business best-seller published by Random House in 2000. He is a regular speaker on artificial intelligence and related technologies, and runs a blog on the subject at www.pandoras-brain.com

Calum Chace lives in London and Sussex (England) with his partner, a director of a design school, and their daughter. He studied philosophy at Oxford University, where he discovered that the science fiction he had been reading since early boyhood is actually philosophy in fancy dress.


Here is what Singularity Weblog is all about:

Singularity Weblog started as a personal journal of thoughts on trends, news, issues, films and people related the technological singularity. However, due to the active involvement of readers like you, it is evolving into a growing community of people interested in exploring and shaping our future.

The blog is not meant to provide definitive answers, but rather, to ask the tough questions in an attempt to generate discussion, provoke thought and stir the imagination. It aims to spark a conversation about the impact of technology, exponential growth and artificial intelligence where everyone’s opinions and participation are greatly encouraged.

Here Socrates will not shy to provide his opinion but will place no claim on its superiority. His goal is to get you actively involved in the ever-evolving conversation about the future of humanity.

Thus, this blog’s value may be not so much in the answers it provides, but in the questions it raises — the kind that everybody could or should be asking.

In addition, Singularity Weblog will also:

  • Publish relevant articles by Socrates and his friends.
  • Post interviews with the best scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, film-makers, journalists, philosophers and artists.
  • Bring attention to relevant news stories, films, media and scientific developments.
  • Provide an online discussion forum where you can start a conversation on issues important to you.
  • Give you a platform to write and share your own great content.

Welcome friend!

Together we can create a better future, better you!

Who is Socrates [aka Nikola Danaylov]?

Like Socrates of Athens, Nikola Danaylov is deeply in love with learning but keenly aware that his personal knowledge is always going to be dwarfed by his ignorance: a man who knows that he doesn’t know; a man with many questions and few answers of his own… Thus Singularity Weblog is, and will always remain to be, an open and collaborative work in progress. And Nikola is, and will remain to be, a student and a host, rather than a teacher or an owner.

Yet, Nikola is of the strong belief that we can attain profound insights by asking challenging questions in the company of good people, gathered within an open, informal and interactive symposium. Danaylov hopes to be the midwife, and Singularity Weblog – the setting, where you come to examine the questions, search for your answers, challenge, be challenged and, ultimately, give birth to your own ideas.

It is for this reason that, having spent the past 5 years producing over 800 articles and interviewing more than 160 of the world’s best known experts, Nikola has gifted all his content for free – in the hope of helping you create a better future, better you.

Public speaker, philosopher, infopreneur, blogger and popular podcast host, Nikola Danaylov was born in Bulgaria.

In 1998 Nikola moved to Canada where he completed an HBA in Political Science, Philosophy & Economics at the University of Toronto followed by an MA in Political Science at York University.

It was at YorkU that Nikola became deeply interested in the Technological Singularity and wrote “Hacking Destiny: Critical Security at the Intersection of Human and Machine Intelligence.”

In 2011 Nikola went to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and completed the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University.

Nikola has spoken at public events on topics ranging from technology, transhumanism and the technological singularity to new media, blogging and podcasting. He has been profiled in Next Stage Rising Stars Magazine and has been interviewed himself for numerous documentary films, blogs, podcasts, magazines and newspapers. Nikola’s own Singularity 1 on 1 interviews have had over 2 million views on iTunes and YouTube and have been featured on international TV networks as well as some of the biggest blogs in the world, such as BBC, TV Japan, io9, ZDNet, BoingBoing and others.

Today Singularity Weblog is the biggest independent blog on related topics. The Singularity 1 on 1 podcast is the most popular and widely recognized interview series in the niche and, according to Prof. Roman Yampolskiy, Nikola has established himself as the “Larry King of the Singularity.”

Nikola’s home is in Toronto, Canada where he lives with his beloved wife Julie. [To find more about Nikola Danaylov check out his page of personal interviews – coming soon.]

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Public speaker, philosopher, blogger and popular podcast host, Nikola’s Singularity.FM interviews are seen my millions on iTunes and YouTube .



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