Lifeboat News #151


Lifeboat News

This issue published on 02/01/15. Copyright 2015 Lifeboat Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Alliance for Space Development (ASD)

The Lifeboat Foundation is working with ten other organizations including the National Space Society and the Space Frontier Foundation to launch a new strategic alliance for space development and commerce named the Alliance for Space Development (ASD).
"We are pushing very specific pieces of legislation," Charles Miller, executive coordinator of ASD, said at a press conference at the 2325 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC announcing the formation of the group.
Perhaps the most ambitious part of the ASD agenda is a proposed "Cheap Access to Space Act" that would offer $3.5 billion in government prizes for the development of reusable launch vehicles. Those prizes include, in a draft version of the bill provided by ASD, $1 billion to the first fully reusable vehicle that can place at least one metric ton into orbit and fly again a week later.
Charles said the proposed bill is based on the belief that economics, and not technology, has inhibited the development of reusable launchers. "We have, in most respects, the fundamental technology," he said. "We think the number one issue is closing the business case." A large prize, he said, would incentivize development of reusable launch vehicles.
ASD has already lined up a sponsor for another element of its agenda. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) has agreed to introduce a bill that would amend the National Aeronautics and Space Act to make space settlement and development an official national purpose. "That will be introduced soon," Charles said. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) is also supporting ASD.
Learn about the Alliance for Space Development at

AGI-15 @ Berlin Update

Our Itamar Arel, Joscha Bach, Eric Baum, Antonio Chella, Stan Franklin, Deon Garrett, Ben Goertzel, Marcus Hutter, Matthew Iklé, Randal Koene, Kai-Uwe Kühnberger, Moshe Looks, Alexey Potapov, Rafal Rzepka, Jürgen Schmidhuber, Claes Strannegård, Kristinn Thórisson, Julian Togelius, Viktoras Veitas, Pei Wang, David Weinbaum (Weaver), and Roman Yampolskiy are participating in The Eighth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-15) which will be held July 22–25, 2015 at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Germany.
This conference gathers an international group of leading academic and industry researchers involved in scientific and engineering work aimed directly toward the goal of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Blog Contest Winner

The winner of our blog contest is Ian Pearson who won for his post "Benign AI" at
He wins a signed copy of "The Utopia Experiment" which tells the true story of a real-life attempt to simulate life after the collapse of global civilization. Learn about "The Utopia Experiment" at

New Blog Contest

Anyone who posts to our blog gets a chance to win a signed copy of "Edge of Dark".
What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system, destined to sip only dregs of light and struggle for the barest living. And yet, that life thrived? It grew and learned and became far more than you ever expected, and it wanted to return to the sun. What if it didn't share your moral compass in any way? Learn about "Edge of Dark" at
The deadline for the contest is April 30. If you need access to our blog, send an email with the subject of "Lifeboat Foundation blog" to [email protected].


Ian D. Pearson joins our blog team with the post "Benign AI" at
Other recent interesting blog posts include:
"Best tribute to Leonard Nimoy--from a real spaceship!" by Eric Klien at
"Bitcoin's Unique Features Lighten Up its Ambiguous Future" by Chris Evans at
"Blockchains as a Granular Universal Transaction System" by Rob Chamberlain at
"The Coming Boom In Brain Medicines" by Seb at
"Lifeboat Foundation — Futurism Update" by Andres Agostini at
"The Rise of Supranational Governance" by Travis Patron at
"What happens when computers, not teachers, pick what students learn?" by Seb at
"World's Data Could Fit on a Teaspoon-Sized DNA Hard Drive and Survive Thousands of Years" by Seb at

Growing Membership

Recent donations/pledges we have received since our last newsletter:
Humberto Castaneda: $200, Michael Dickey: $85, Sergio M.L. Tarrero: $85, Philippe Van Nedervelde: $85, Kenneth P. Weiss: $85, Matthew L. McGuirl: $25, Lawrence Uhlin: $25, Rebecca R. Cooper: $10, Thomas Dolphin: $10, Alexander Macrae: $10, Aaron Mayzes: $10, Anonymous: $10, Philip Morehead: $10, Roland Schiefer: $10, and Kelley White-Ricks: $10.
Our Join Us page at now allows you to pay for your membership anywhere from monthly to every ten years.