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June 18, 2012

Singularity Summit 2012

Filed under: Singularity Summit,Transhumanism — Razib Khan @ 5:52 pm

Many of you know that I am on good terms with many people involved with the Singularity Institute and the Less Wrong community. This year I am going to be at the Singularity Summit, October 13th & 14th in San Francisco, after skipping the past few. I’m excited to meet up Carl and Robin again, and I really hope that I’ll finally run into Tyler Cowen (I had lunch with some of his GMU colleages back in 2007, but he was out of town). I’ve also confirmed with Steven Pinker that he’s most likely going to be there (no offense, but the bigger the name, the more likely that conferences are going to trumpet the presence of a speaker when their services are highly provisional).

I understand that many readers are skeptical of Transhumanism, Singulitarianism, etc. What I would like to offer is that people who are open to exploring these far out topics are often extremely intellectually engaging more generally. My goal in life is to “avoid boring people”, and I find that events like the Singularity Summit are aids to that (also, see the BIL conferences).

September 22, 2011

Singularity Summit 2011

Filed under: Futurism,Singularity Summit,Transhumanism — Razib Khan @ 8:20 pm

That time of the year for a certain type of nerd, the Singularity Summit. Here’s a a preview:

This Singularity Summit line-up this year features a mix of 25 speakers from numerous fields, with a central focus on robotics and artificial intelligence, in particular the victory of the IBM computer Watson in Jeopardy! this February. Inventor and award-winning author Ray Kurzweil will give the opening keynote on “From Eliza to Watson to Passing the Turing Test”. Registration for the Summit, which runs on October 15-16 at the 92Y in New York, is open to the public now.

The theme of the Summit this year is the Watson victory and future Watson applications, such as in medicine. Dan Cerutti, IBM’s VP of Commercialization for Watson, will give a talk on medical applications for Watson, and the closing keynote will be by Ken Jennings, who won 74 consecutiveJeopardy! matches only to lose to Watson in February. Watson won $1,000,000 in the contest and Jennings won $300,000, coming in second place. Jennings’ talk will be “The Human Brain in Jeopardy: Computers That “Think”.

I won’t be able to make it because I’m very busy right now, but that’s too bad. Ken Jennings is a great headliner, but do look at all the speakers. Tyler Cowen and Sonia Arrison will be there. I had lunch with some of the practitioners of Masonomics a few years back, but Tyler and Bryan Caplan were both out of town. No doubt the day will come. Just not this day. I haven’t had time to review 100 Plus (alas, the neglect of the Razib Khan on Books website), but it’s an excellent take on the possible implications of greater longevity (no, I don’t think longevity research is crazy as such, though I’m probably not as optimistic as many in the community).

July 11, 2010

Singularity Summit 2010

Filed under: Singularity Summit,Transhumanism — Razib Khan @ 11:03 pm

The Singularity Summit is going to happen in about a month in San Francisco (August 14th-15th). Registration here. Yes, Ray Kurzweil will be there, but also Irene Pepperberg, James Randi and John Tooby. If you want to meet the ladies, probably not your scene (perhaps more accurately the lady, or two). But if you want to high five Robin Hanson at an after hours meet-up, get ready to party!

Here are my reflections from last year.

July 5, 2010

Authenticity and the Fermi paradox

Filed under: Fermi's Paradox,Transhumanism — Razib Khan @ 6:39 pm

I know that the simplest explanation for the Fermi paradox is that we’re the first intelligent technological life form in the universe. But thinking about Paul Bloom’s thesis that a sense of “authenticity” is necessary for pleasure made me wonder a bit more about the possibility that once intelligent life forms get to the point where they can “re-wire” themselves they see no need to interface with the real universe. Instead they would retreat into their own virtual reality domains where they could create their own cosmos, and also successively re-program themselves in terms of their goals to such an extent that their probability of ever wanting to extract themselves from the imagined world is zero. In other words, any sufficiently advanced life form will lack curiosity about the authentic world as we understand it.

February 28, 2010

Singularity Institute Research Challenge

Filed under: Transhumanism — Razib @ 1:43 am

Ends today. Last Chance to Contribute to 2010 Singularity Research Challenge!:

Thanks to generous contributions by our donors, we are only $11,840 away from fulfilling our $100,000 goal for the 2010 Singularity Research Challenge. For every dollar you contribute to SIAI, another dollar is contributed by our matching donors, who have pledged to match all contributions made before February 28th up to $100,000. That means that this Sunday is your final chance to donate for maximum impact.

Since ~1/3 of readers of GNXP are sympathetic to transhumanism I thought it might be worthwhile to post this….

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Singularity Institute Research Challenge

Filed under: Transhumanism — Gene Expression @ 1:40 am

Ends today. Last Chance to Contribute to 2010 Singularity Research Challenge!:

Thanks to generous contributions by our donors, we are only $11,840 away from fulfilling our $100,000 goal for the 2010 Singularity Research Challenge. For every dollar you contribute to SIAI, another dollar is contributed by our matching donors, who have pledged to match all contributions made before February 28th up to $100,000. That means that this Sunday is your final chance to donate for maximum impact.

Since ~1/3 of readers of GNXP are sympathetic to transhumanism I thought it might be worthwhile to post this....

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