Saturday, September 22, 2007

Singularity Summit 2007 podcasts

Well they updated the page on the latest Singularity Summit by the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI). The previous summit was held in 2006. A lot of the notable thinkers on the singularity give a speech and answer questions.

Podcasts can be streamed or downloaded here.

The SIAI was set up as a think tank to contribute to a positive singularity. Their main webpage can be found here.

I haven't had the time to go through them all yet but it looks to be very interesting and a lot of info to tide us over while we continue through the long wait until the big event. ;)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Techno Utopia - principles

I was just reading this on wikipedia and found it very interesting:


Bernard Gendron, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, defines the four principles of modern technological utopians as follows:[8]

We are presently undergoing a (postindustrial) revolution in technology;
In the postindustrial age, technological growth will be sustained (at least);
In the postindustrial age, technological growth will lead to the end of economic scarcity;
The elimination of economic scarcity will lead to the elimination of every major social evil.

Particularly the last point, that the elimination of economic scarcity will end social evils, I found to be very interesting. Not only does that reflect my views but a lot of others as well.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ending Aging

New book from Aubrey De Grey. It sounds pretty good. A brief description:

MUST WE AGE? A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity’s greatest dreams. Recent progress in genetic manipulations and calorie-restricted diets in laboratory animals hold forth the promise that someday science will enable us to exert total control over our own biological aging.

Nearly all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely—technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future—is now within reach.

In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine’s fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that damage.

By demystifying aging and its postponement for the nonspecialist reader, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.