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Archive for the ‘singularity’ category

Apr 18, 2018

A Robot Does the Impossible: Assembling an Ikea Chair Without Having a Meltdown

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, singularity

And just like that, humanity draws one step closer to the singularity, the moment when the machines grow so advanced that humans become obsolete: A robot has learned to autonomously assemble an Ikea chair without throwing anything or cursing the family dog.

Researchers report today in Science Robotics that they’ve used entirely off-the-shelf parts—two industrial robot arms with force sensors and a 3D camera—to piece together one of those Stefan Ikea chairs we all had in college before it collapsed after two months of use. From planning to execution, it only took 20 minutes, compared to the human average of a lifetime of misery. It may all seem trivial, but this is in fact a big deal for robots, which struggle mightily to manipulate objects in a world built for human hands.

To start, the researchers give the pair of robot arms some basic instructions—like those cartoony illustrations, but in code. This piece goes first into this other piece, then this other, etc. Then they place the pieces in a random pattern front of the robots, which eyeball the wood with the 3D camera. So the researchers give the robots a list of tasks, then the robots take it from there.

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Apr 16, 2018

STE: Steve Hoffman on the Singularity

Posted by in category: singularity

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Apr 8, 2018

Of Hives, Ethics, Morals, and the Singularity

Posted by in categories: employment, ethics, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

AUSTIN — At SXSW 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) was everywhere, even in the sessions that were not specifically about the subject. AI has captured the attention of people well outside the technology space, and the implications of the technology are far-reaching, changing industries, eliminating many human jobs, and changing the nature of work for most of us going forward. I expect that an AI bot could write this article within 10 years — and likely much sooner — simply by ingesting all the information from the sessions I attended, coupled with an ability to research related information on the internet much better than I could.

Interestingly enough, as Ray Kurzweil pointed out in his talk here, the term “artificial intelligence” was coined at a summer workshop at Dartmouth in 1956 attended by computing pioneers such as Marvin Minsky and Claude Shannon, at a time when computers still ran on vacuum tubes and computers in the world numbered in the hundreds.

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Apr 3, 2018

Elon Musk and Peter Diamandis

Posted by in categories: business, Elon Musk, life extension, Peter Diamandis, singularity, sustainability, transportation

Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, engineer, inventor and investor. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity as well as co-chairman of OpenAI.

He is the founder of SpaceX and a co-founder of Zip2, PayPal, and Tesla Motors. He has also envisioned a conceptual high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop and has proposed a VTOL supersonic jet aircraft with electric fan propulsion. He is the wealthiest person in Los Angeles.

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Mar 18, 2018

We’ll Never Know For Sure How Everything Began

Posted by in categories: cosmology, singularity

Roughly 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe as we know it expanded from an infinitely hot and dense singularity in space and time, first in a furious torrent of rapid cosmic inflation for a fraction of a second, and then in the more calm manner we see today – gradual, yet accelerating expansion fueled by dark energy.

This fleetingly describes the Big Bang model of cosmology, the most successful theoretical explanation for our grand Universe. Backed by boatloads of observational evidence, we can be very sure of its veracity. Caltech astrophysicist Sean Caroll even described the Big Bang as “100 percent true.”

But that percentage of surety dwindles to nothing when discussing the singularity that supposedly started it all. Where did it come from? What came before it? What caused it to “bang” in such a big way? As Carroll admitted, this singularity and its accompanying “bang” are essentially stand-ins for what we don’t – and currently can’t – actually know.

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Mar 16, 2018

The Transhumanist Test of Faith

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, ethics, human trajectories, moore's law, singularity, transhumanism

This piece originally appeared at the Institute for Emerging and Evolutionary Technologies website. It is dedicated to Leon Festinger.

Transhumanism is more often regarded as a faith by its detractors than its supporters. For my own part, I have long argued that the signature themes of transhumanism – especially the preoccupation with intellectual immortality and physical resurrection – bear the marks of Abrahamic theology. Indeed, without that theological backdrop, transhumanism’s zeal for mind uploading and cryonics looks simply bizarre. However, in this context, transhumanists can reasonably argue that they are scientifically delivering on those original theological promissory notes. Nevertheless, there remains the potentially pejorative sense of ‘faith’ lurking in what might be called transhumanism’s sense of eschatology – that is, its account of when, how and to whom those promissory notes will be delivered.

History shows that any humanly conceived idea is eventually realized in some form. Most of these ideas are realized fairly shortly after conception and in more or less the manner intended by their conceiver. However, many of the most important ideas – the ones that profoundly alter humanity’s self-understanding — are only realized much later and typically in a context quite alien to those who originally conceived them. Norbert Wiener famously observed that the possibility of an artificial intelligence was first raised in Talmudic discussions of the Biblical Golem. One of the goals of medieval alchemy was the creation of life from non-living materials. As for space travel and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, they became staples of speculative thought starting with the European Renaissance’s unprecedented confidence in the power of human ingenuity. But in all these cases, the ideas have taken 500‑2000 years to be realized – and many have yet to fully satisfy the ambitions of their conceivers.

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Mar 11, 2018

We need to improve the accuracy of AI accuracy discussions

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, singularity

Reading the tech press, you would be forgiven for believing that AI is going to eat pretty much every industry and job. Not a day goes by without another reporter breathlessly reporting some new machine learning product that is going to trounce human intelligence. That surfeit of enthusiasm doesn’t originate just with journalists though — they are merely channeling the wild optimism of researchers and startup founders alike.

There has been an explosion of interest in artificial intelligence and machine learning over the past few years, as the hype around deep learning and other techniques has increased. Tens of thousands of research papers in AI are published yearly, and AngelList’s startup directory for AI companies includes more than four thousands startups.

After being battered by story after story of AI’s coming domination — the singularity, if you will — it shouldn’t be surprising that 58% of Americans today are worried about losing their jobs to “new technology” like automation and artificial intelligence according to a newly released Northeastern University / Gallup poll. That fear outranks immigration and outsourcing by a large factor.

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Feb 8, 2018

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Posted by in categories: policy, singularity

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Jan 25, 2018

What is the next stage in human evolution?

Posted by in categories: biological, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity, transhumanism

Will the transhumanist path forward lead us to singularity of posthuman superintelligence a-la Ray Kurzweil?


“I think that the definition of being human is about to change a lot in the next century,” says Michelle Thaller, astronomer and Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA — National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Human beings next evolutionary leap is going to take us beyond our biological existence. How do you feel about merging with an artificial intelligence?

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Jan 25, 2018

Bioquark Inc. — In Touch Rugby Magazine — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, biotech/medical, disruptive technology, DNA, food, health, life extension, neuroscience, science, singularity

Feature. Diet & Nutrition. Changing your look and your bio-chemical standing to a energy rich state and improving immunity and age resistence using natural plants, herbs and poultries. Feature. Part 1.

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