Archive for the ‘AI’ tag

Apr 11, 2016

Why Pessimistic Predictions For Future of AI May be More Hype than High Tech

Posted by in categories: complex systems, cryonics, existential risks, futurism, life extension, robotics/AI, singularity

The growth of human and computer intelligence has triggered a barrage of dire predictions about the rise of super intelligence and the singularity. But some retain their skepticism, including Dr. Michael Shermer, a science historian and founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine.


The reason so many rational people put forward hypotheses that are more hype than high tech, Shermer says, is that being smart and educated doesn’t protect anyone from believing in “weird things.” In fact, sometimes smart and educated people are better at rationalizing beliefs that they hold for not-so-rational reasons. The smarter and more educated you are, the better able you are to find evidence to support what you want to be true, suggests Shermer.

“This explains why Nobel Prize winners speak about areas they know nothing about with great confidence and are sure that they’re right. Just because they have this great confidence of being able to do that (is) a reminder that they’re more like lawyers than scientists in trying to marshal a case for their client,” Shermer said. “(Lawyers) just put together the evidence, as much as you can, in support of your client and get rid of the negative evidence. In science you’re not allowed to do that, you’re supposed to look at all the evidence, including the counter evidence to your theory.”

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Oct 30, 2014

Amit Singhal (at Google): Will your computer plan change your life?

Posted by in categories: lifeboat, posthumanism, robotics/AI, science

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, 2013. In the discussion, Amit Singhal, a key figure in the evolution of Google’s search engine, broadly outlined the significant hurdles that stood in the way of achieving one of his long-held dreams — creating a true ‘conversational’ search engine. He also sketched out a vision of how the initial versions of such a system would, and also importantly, would not attempt to assist the individuals that it interacted with.

Though the vision was by design more limited and focused than a system capable of passing the famous Turing test, it nonetheless raised stimulating questions about the future relationships of humans and their ‘artificial’ assistants.

More about Amit Singhal:

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Oct 23, 2014

Who is Amit Singhal (at Google)?

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat, science, transhumanism

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, 2013.

As late as the 1980s and the 1990s, the common person seeking stored knowledge would likely be faced with using an 18th century technology — the library index card catalogue — in order to find something on the topic he or she was looking for. Fifteen years later, most people would be able to search, at any time and any place, a collection of information that dwarfed that of any library. And unlike the experience with a library card catalogue, this new technology rarely left the user empty-handed.

Information retrieval had been a core technology of humanity since written language — but as an actual area of research it was so niche that before the 1950s, nobody had bothered to give the field a name. From a superficial perspective, the pioneering work in the area during the 1940s and 50s seemed to suggest it would be monumentally important to the future — but only behind the scenes. Information retrieval was to be the secret tool of the nation at war, or of the elite scientist compiling massive amounts of data. Increasingly however, a visionary group of thinkers dreamed of combining information retrieval and the ‘thinking machine’ to create something which would be far more revolutionary for society.

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Apr 25, 2014

R U Ready to be Uploaded?

Posted by in categories: big data, biological, bionic, biotech/medical, entertainment, evolution, health, human trajectories, neuroscience, policy, posthumanism, singularity, sustainability, transhumanism

How has your work, your life, your humanity, been improved by the promise of Big Data?

What apps and online media do you use to upload personal and other info?

Singularity has flopped – that is to say, this week Johnny Depp’s new film Transcendence did not bring in as much as Pirates of the Caribbean. Though there may not have been big box office heat, there is heat behind the film’s subject: Big Data! Sure we miss seeing our affable pirate chasing treasure, but hats off to Mr. Depp who removed his Keith Richards make-up to risk chasing what might be the mightiest challenge of our century.

Singularity, coined by mathematician John von Neumann, is a heady mathematical concept tested by biotech predictions. Made popular by math and music wunderkindt turned gray hair guru of an AI movement Ray Kurzweil, Singularity is said to signify the increasing rate at which artificial intelligence will supersede human intelligence like a jealous sibling. Followers of the Singularity movement (yes, with guru comes followers) envision the time of override in the not to distant future with projections set early as 2017 and 2030. At these times, the dynamics of technology are said to set about a change in our biology, our civilization and “perhaps” nature itself. Within our current reach, we see signs of empowered tech acting out in the current human brain mapping quest and brain-computer interface systems. More to the point, there is an ever increasing onslaught of Google Alerts annoucing biotech enhancements with wearable tech. Yes indeed, here comes the age of smart prosthetics and our own AI upload of medical and personal data to the internet. Suddenly all those Selfies seem more than mere narcissistic postings against the imposing backdrop of Big Data.

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Jun 25, 2013

Sexbots, Ethics, and Transhumans

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, futurism, media & arts, robotics/AI


“I zoomed in as she approached the steps of the bridge, taking voyeuristic pleasure in seeing her pixelated cleavage fill the screen.

What was it about those electronic dots that had the power to turn people on? There was nothing real in them, but that never stopped millions of people every day, male and female, from deriving sexual gratification by interacting with those points of light.

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Jun 16, 2013

Vaccinate against B.S.O.D — Insure your Memories.

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, futurism, robotics/AI, singularity


“…and on the third day he rose again…”

If we approach the subject from a non theist point of view, what we have is a re-boot. A restore of a previously working “system image”. Can we restore a person to the last known working state prior to system failure?

As our Biological (analog) life get’s more entwined with the Digital world we have created, chances are, there might be options worth exploring. It all comes down to “Sampling” — taking snapshots of our analog lives and storing them digitally. Today, with reasonable precision we can sample, store and re-create most of our primary senses, digitally. Sight via cameras, sound via microphones, touch via haptics and even scents can be sampled and/or synthesized with remarkable accuracy.


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Jun 12, 2013

Transhumanism, Eugenics and the Dirrogate Immigration Challenge

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, robotics/AI, transparency


Transhumanism, Eugenics and IQ:

The aim of this short essay is not to delve into philosophy, yet on some level it is un-avoidable when talking about Transhumanism. An important goal of this movement is the use of technology for the enhancement, uplifting and perhaps…the transcendence of the shortcomings of the human condition. Technology in general seems to be keeping pace and is in sync with both Moore’s law and Kurzweil’s law and his predictions.

Yet, there is an emerging strain of Transhumanists — propelled by radical ideology, and if left un-questioned might raise the specter of Eugenics, wreaking havoc and potentially inviting retaliation from the masses. The outcome being, the stymieing human transcendence. One can only hope that along with physical augmentation technology and advances in bio-tech, Eugenics will be a thing of the past.

Soon enough, at least IQ Augmentation technology will be within reach (cost-wise) of the common man — in the form of an on-demand, non-invasive, memory and intelligence augmentation device. So… will Google Glass or similar Intelligence Augmentation device, forever banish the argument for “intellectual” Eugenics? Read an article on 4 ways that Google glass makes us Transhuman.

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May 31, 2013

How Could WBE+AGI be Easier than AGI Alone?

Posted by in categories: complex systems, engineering, ethics, existential risks, futurism, military, neuroscience, singularity, supercomputing

This essay was also published by the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies and by Transhumanity under the title “Is Price Performance the Wrong Measure for a Coming Intelligence Explosion?”.


Most thinkers speculating on the coming of an intelligence explosion (whether via Artificial-General-Intelligence or Whole-Brain-Emulation/uploading), such as Ray Kurzweil [1] and Hans Moravec [2], typically use computational price performance as the best measure for an impending intelligence explosion (e.g. Kurzweil’s measure is when enough processing power to satisfy his estimates for basic processing power required to simulate the human brain costs $1,000). However, I think a lurking assumption lies here: that it won’t be much of an explosion unless available to the average person. I present a scenario below that may indicate that the imminence of a coming intelligence-explosion is more impacted by basic processing speed – or instructions per second (ISP), regardless of cost or resource requirements per unit of computation, than it is by computational price performance. This scenario also yields some additional, counter-intuitive conclusions, such as that it may be easier (for a given amount of “effort” or funding) to implement WBE+AGI than it would be to implement AGI alone – or rather that using WBE as a mediator of an increase in the rate of progress in AGI may yield an AGI faster or more efficiently per unit of effort or funding than it would be to implement AGI directly.

Loaded Uploads:

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May 28, 2013

4 ways Google Glass makes us Transhuman

Posted by in categories: evolution, futurism, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity


Transhumanism is all about the creative and ethical use of technology to better the human condition. Futurists, when discussing topics related to transhumanism, tend to look at nano-tech, bio-mechanical augmentation and related technology that, for the most part, is beyond the comprehension of lay-people.

If Transhumanism as a movement is to succeed, we have to explain it’s goals and benefits to humanity by addressing the common-man. After all, transhumanism is not the exclusive domain, nor restricted to the literati, academia or the rich. The more the common man realizes that (s)he is indeed already transhuman in a way — the lesser the taboo associated with the movement and the faster the law of accelerating returns will kick in, leading to eventual Tech Singularity.

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May 24, 2013

Dirrogate Singularity — A Transhumanism Journey

Posted by in categories: ethics, evolution, futurism, homo sapiens, media & arts, philosophy, robotics/AI, singularity


A widely accepted definition of Transhumanism is: The ethical use of all kinds of technology for the betterment of the human condition.

This all encompassing summation is a good start as an elevator pitch to laypersons, were they to ask for an explanation. Practitioners and contributors to the movement, of course, know how to branch this out into specific streams: science, philosophy, politics and more.

- This article was originally published on

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