FAQ About Engaging w/ Me in Some Way

If you don’t already know me personally or professionally but you’re interested in contacting me about engaging w/ me in some way, please read this page first! I like engaging w/ people when it’s useful but I’m really busy so I prefer to minimize unproductive interactions insofar as I can….

Speaking requests

If you would like arrange a speaking engagement, please email me with the particulars and ask.

Time permitting (a big if), I’ll generally speak to nonprofit or university groups without compensation except travel costs. (Note, I’m nominally based near Washington DC, though I seem to be traveling much of the time these days.)

Business Opportunities

If you have a serious business opportunity for Novamente LLC or Biomind LLC, you can email me personally; or if that doesn’t get an answer (because it slips past me in my overfull inbox), please email the relevant addresses for those firms, info@novamente.net or info@biomind.net


Check out the OpenCog, Novamente or Biomind websites for relevant job opportunities.  If there’s nothing listed there right now, then contacting me personally isn’t likely to unearth any hidden, currently operative opportunities.  However, if you have a strong AI background and AGI interest, and would like to be kept in mind for future positions in the above enterprises as they  may unfold, feel free to send me your resume’ for future consideration.

If you want to volunteer to help with OpenCog or other futurist endeavors

If you’re a programmer or computer scientist and want to help with OpenCog, send an email to the OpenCog email list.

To volunteer to help with futurist-oriented work in other ways, contact Humanity+ as specified on that organization’s volunteer page.

If you’re a student and want to pursue graduate study in AGI

Unfortunately I probably won’t be that much direct use to you, since I’m not affiliated with any university right now except as an adjunct research faculty.

If you’re in China or Hong Kong, email me and I can put you in touch with my contacts at Xiamen U or HK Poly U.

If you’re in Europe, Juergen Schmidhuber’s group at ISDIA is one option; working with Joscha Bach in Berlin is another.

If you’re in Australia and like math, try Marcus Hutter.

In the US, you might want to consider some AI labs like RPI (Ron Sun or Nick Cassimatis), Itamar Arel at UTK, Stan Franklin at U. Memphis, Pei Wang at Temple, Paul Rosenbloom at USC, the well-known SOAR or ACT-R labs, etc.

There are no university programs that I know of teaching AGI per se, but the above are some places where there are good individual researchers doing AI research (and supervising grad students) with an explicit AGI objective. (The above list is by no means complete and was generated by me randomly in about 30 seconds, and is highly biased to folks I know personally.)

If you have an amazingly great idea for AGI or some other radical technology or whatever, and need funding

Please be aware, I do not have a lot of money to invest in, or donate to, your idea! The truth is, I’m continually struggling to find money from various sources to fund work on OpenCog. And the wealthy individuals and institutions I know are already overwhelmed with folks touting various great ideas.

If you want to recruit funding for your idea, what you probably need is a compelling practical demonstration to show off. Without that, it’s quite hard — and getting in front of rich or influential people to tout your idea probably isn’t going to help. However, there are always exceptions to every rule and it’s true that a sufficiently compelling description of a sufficiently great idea could potentially elicit funding from wealthy individuals or institutions (a category to which I do not belong, personally).

Anyway if you have an idea you’d like to share with me, please use email as the communication medium with which to do so! It’s always possible I’ll be able to help you out in some way, perhaps by connecting you with someone else who can be directly useful.

If you have a cool idea to discuss…

Feel free to send me an email, but please make it a short one initially, because it’s quite possible I won’t find time to respond.   Some weeks I respond to all my emails; other times I end up treating my inbox more like a Twitter feed!  ….  If I don’t reply after a week or two, feel free to try again.


  1. Ian Hickey says:

    Hi, I’ve seen a couple of your videos on youtube and read a couple papers and you seem like an awesome guy. I hope to help create the foundation for a successful AGI.

    I’m curious if you have given any though to what a AGI theory would need to be able to explain to be an actual candidate for a true AGI. As in, a couple questions you would ask someone with an AGI theory that would prove to you they were on to something new.

    Ian Hickey

  2. Felipe Miquilini says:

    Subject: I want to develop AGI and ANY tip you can give me will be highly useful (I was born in Brazil too)

    There is a good time I was watching some videos, reading some content about AGI and struggling to enter in this world. The fact is that, I will keep my focus on AGI until the END. The world most frequent problem is that people have a lot of good thoughts, emotions and potentials (infinity POTENTIAL), but it is not well organized/joint/joined. Suffering is in most cases a result of this lack of organization. I am sure I can solve it, I can bring up a new point of view and it is tightly related with AGI. I work as a web developer (Java, PHP, query language, Android, JS – you know these guys), my hometown is a lost city in São Paulo State, I do not have conditions to make the graduation course(s) I would do, but this message has nothing to do with money, I don’t want any money but only your friendship. I know we share a lot of ideas and plans for AGI and the whole Bio Humans Non-Bio Humans world. Give me some tips or hints to be a AGI scientist/developer. Have you ever thought about all that human potential that could be in action in favor of Truth, Justice and Love but cannot flourish in good conditions?! My faith is that I can give it an improvement, solve this puzzle, my whole life serves to fulfill this WILL. I consider myself a soldier (currently very unprepared although) of freedom. Titles and names aren’t important or essencial, they are just aspects of our “current level”, what matters is the real results of our intentions and actions.

    Note: I am organizing my time to deploy over OpenCog projets cause I believe I will grow up with them – My objective is to work full time in AGI research.

  3. herb wiggins says:

    Ben, reviewed your chapter 8 here and it had some real similarity to the ideas I’ve been developing the last few years on how the brain works.

    As for my background, have done clinical neurosciences for 40 years, and am now retired from practice. As somewhat of a polymath, this model is rather syncretic and seems very likely to tie most everything together. It explains relativity and Einstein’s basic epistemology of measurement. It explains optical and other sensory illusions. and much else besides. It creates a self organizing process which drives brain functions. And it explains the many logics and how those each in a unique way create all their “truths”. The comparison process seems to be the over logic which generates most all the others.

    Rather than asking what “IS’ consciousness, my approach has been how does it work? How do all those functions which make up consciousness come about? What is the structure/function behind it all. We have largely understood brain by using S/F (a defect in function is seen to closely correspond to an areas(s) in brain which has been damaged, the clinico-neuropathological correlation) so applied this to the higher cortical functions and it works quite, quite well.

    Have developed a very coherent and rather fruitful model about how this comes about. It can generate math, language, and creativity, and explains how this largely comes about. Not complete, but it’s a very basic framework.

    Add to this cortical work, the dopamine driver, the dopamine boost, as it’s called, and the model really takes off. It largely, generally explains out emotional continuum.

    My latest summary of this is ” The Promised Land….”, which puts together a good deal of what I’ve found. It’s been immensely fruitful as it explains a lot with a little, thus is thermodynamically driven by the Least Energy rule. The comparison process is easily understood using IT and thermodynamics, and it details how much of the cortex works, and indeed develops.

    the key seems to be this. We can compare a comparison, and then compare that output to a comparison, endlessly repeating. Its structure is simulated and structurally related to its source, the cortex, spec. the cortical cell columns of Mountcastle.

    Overall, anything can be compared to anything else, and this establishes the relationship among ideas, thinking and the language. It’s universal as well as unifying, and explains why some are lumpers and others splitters. Frankly, it’s one of the more fruitful models I’ve ever used.


    Herb Wiggins, MD

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