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Official Singularity Summit Announcement

creation.jpgI've mentioned before that I'll be speaking at this year's Singularity Summit, taking place in San Francisco next month. Today's the official announcement, however, so you'll undoubtedly see word of it showing up across the futurist blogosphere. Key excerpts from the press release (you can read the whole thing here):

...What are the major challenges to achieving advanced AI? What are the benefits and dangers? How far are we from self-improving AI? How should we prepare for this potentially powerful innovation?

These are among the questions that 17 outstanding thinkers will explore and debate at the Singularity Summit, to be held Saturday and Sunday, September 8-9, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California. The summit is organized by the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institute in Silicon Valley for the study of safe advanced AI.


Tickets can be purchased online for $50 at http://www.singinst.org/summit2007/tickets/.

Confirmed speakers include:

* Dr. Rodney Brooks, famous MIT roboticist and founder of iRobot
* Dr. Peter Norvig, director of research at Google
* Paul Saffo, Stanford, leading technology forecaster
* Sam Adams, distinguished engineer within IBM's Research Division
* Jamais Cascio, cofounder of World Changing and creator of Open the Future
* Dr. Ben Goertzel, director of research at SIAI and founder of Novamente
* Dr. J. Storrs Hall, author of Beyond AI: Creating the Conscience of the Machine
* Dr. Charles L. Harper, Jr., senior VP at John Templeton Foundation
* Dr. James Hughes, executive director of Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
* Neil Jacobstein, prominent AI expert and CEO of Teknowledge
* Dr. Stephen Omohundro, founder of Self-Aware Systems
* Dr. Barney Pell, founder and CEO of Powerset
* Christine Peterson, cofounder of Foresight Nanotech Institute
* Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and founder of Clarium Capital
* Wendell Wallach, author of Machine Morality: From Aristotle to Asimov and Beyond
* Eliezer Yudkowsky, Friendly AI pioneer and cofounder of SIAI
* Peter Voss, founder and CEO of Adaptive Artificial Intelligence

So what am I going to be talking about? You can see my abstract here, among the rest, but in brief, I'll build off the Metaverse Roadmap Overview to look at how different kinds of metaversal environments lead to different kinds of Singularities.


Sweet! Unfortunately I won't be attending this years Singularity Summit, but I'm look forward to all the content that comes out of it.

I've actually thought a little about what the Metaverse Roadmap Overview tells us about the quality of our lives/being come the Singularity, but my thoughts inevitably keep coming back to George Siemens ideas on the changing nature of knowledge in his Connectivism framework.

One of my past ideas about what the Singularity might look like was a hive mind enabled through technologies such as bci. Fast forward to now, and I see the hivemind appearing first. The Facebook newsfeed is a textbook example of how Lifelogging is an enabler, and Connectivism really makes me wonder if we're thinking about the Singularity from a 20th century anthropormorphic view of knowledge and being. Especially where the discussion on AI as an entity is concerned.

I suppose the point I'm trying to get at is it's become almost nonsensical for me to consider what the Singularity might be like without first understanding humanity as an already networked organism rather then an aggregate of individual sentients. (Almost an East vs West point of point of view come to think of it..)

I am also wondering how social networks and/or a global reputation system might play into this. In particular, a post-scarcity economy (maybe something as envisioned by Cory Doctorow).


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