Singularity or Bust! — film now online for free

Raj Dye’s award-winning documentary film on my approach to AI and the future, and my 2009 AI/robotics work with Hugo de Garis, is now online for free; see

Meta-Enlightenment (?) ;)

Is there a concept of “meta-enlightenment”  — when you’re so enlightened that you no longer care about being enlightened?

After all, what difference does it make if one particular human being is enlightened or not?  Isn’t this an insignificant fact in the light of the huge size and massive complexity and diversity of the cosmos?

Do the nine-dimensional machine-elves care whether Jack is enlightened and Jill isn’t, or Jill is enlightened and Jack isn’t?

Isn’t striving to make one particular human mind/body enlightened, a form of ego-attachment, an overestimate of the importance of that one mind-body?

How does this relate to Bob Dobbs’ philosophy of Slack?? ;D

Is Crunchkin enlightened or meta-enlightened?

So many mysteries to understand !!

English and Mandarin Speaking AI Nannies !

Hmmm… Google’s automated ad-selection algorithm is clever but not quite clever enough!

Are Hongkong-based readers of my article on hypothetical future “AGI Nannies” truly especially interested in hiring English and Mandarin speaking nannies to care for their tykes? ;-D …

Preprints of my Artificial General Intelligence 2013 papers

I’ll be giving 6 talks at the upcoming AGI-13 conference in Beijing; preprints of the corresponding papers for 5 of them are here (the 6th talk on cognitive robotics has no corresponding paper):

Statement on the Recent TED/Psi/Consciousness Controversy

There has been a minor kerfuffle recently regarding the TED franchise’s decision to remove from their main video site, TEDx conference talks given by scientists promoting psi research and the exploration of non-reductionistic approaches to consciousness.

Due to my role in the recently-formed Society for Consciousness Studies, I was asked to contribute a statement to a Huffington Post article on the topic, and I did so; but for some reason (perhaps a simple oversight or clerical mishap) my statement was not included in the article….   So, I am posting the statement I wrote for that article here, in case anyone is interested.

I have spoken on my AI and bioinformatics work at multiple TEDx events, and up till now I’ve had nothing but praise for the wonderful work of the TED organization.

For this reason, I was rather disappointed to observe the recent actions on the part of the TED administration, removing TEDx conference talk videos by Rupert Sheldrake, Russell Targ and others, due to criticisms by certain self-appointed “skeptics” and accusations of “pseudoscience.” Apparently the issue is that their work touches on psi phenomena, commonly known as the “paranormal.”

In my own view, as a scientist with 25 years professional experience in multiple scientific disciplines, the work of these individuals is absolutely not pseudoscience, and would be better characterized as “frontier science.”   Yes, their work  is controversial and in some respects speculative.  But it is based on carefully gathered experimental data, analyzed thoroughly by thoughtful and educated people.  It might prove wrong in the end, but it’s not pseudoscience.

It is noteworthy that the “skeptics” who have prevailed upon the TED administration to call these scientists’ work pseudoscience, consistently refuse to engage in any detail with the actual data gathered by these scientists, or others working on psi and other frontier aspects of mind-matter interaction.

I wonder if the TED administration is aware that  there is a substantial community of serious scientists — including many, like myself, who have contributed to TED events — who

1) disagree with the evaluation of the work of Sheldrake, Targ etc. as pseudoscience, and believe the removal of their videos was a suboptimal decision

2) believe it would be to the benefit of TED and the world at large, if wide-ranging scientific explorations into the nature of consciousness and its relation to the world, were among the permitted topics at TED conferences

My respectful request to the TED administration is that they rescind their decision, and open their minds and their conferences to scientists exploring the relationship between mind and matter.  The scientific data regarding psi is complex and, confusing — I know, because I have looked at it thoroughly myself.  But I believe there is very likely something valuable there, amidst all the confusion.  And I submit that providing an arena for the discussion and debate of controversial, tricky issues with potentially dramatic impact, is very much in the spirit of TED.

H+ Connect (?)

As part of my role as Vice Chairman of futurist advocacy organization Humanity+, I’ve been devoting a few spare thought-cycles recently to the issue of building community among the futurist/transhumanist/Singularitarian/whatever community….

I thought of the idea of creating some kind of social-networky thing for transhumanists specifically.  Humanity+ Board member Amy Li suggested that “Connect” was a better name than “Network”, and I decided I liked the ring of “H+ Connect.”

So for now at least, H+ Connect it is…

I’ll now briefly describe the “H+ Connect” vision in my  mind….   These thoughts are currently QUITE PRELIMINARY and definitely fall into the estimable category of “brainstorming” 😉 …

H+ Connect would be a dynamic network of information about transhumanist people and groups thereof.   Initially it would be represented by a website, but the same network of information could take some different practical form in future…

Some concrete ideas are:

  • let people join as H+ Connect as members for free
  • to join, an individual must input some basic information about themselves
  • members can form and join groups….  These groups may represent general interest groups, or specific projects
  • a project group should have some shared workspace, like a wiki page (with subpages) or similar.  For instance, the organization of a Humanity+ conference would correspond to a project group.  Or, there could just be a group of people interested in sharing information about some specific book or technology.  Etc.
  • a general interest group focused on business networking, would be in essence an “H+ Business Network”, an idea I have put forth before.  Folks in the H+ Business network, when on business travel, could look up others in the network and get together to discuss possible collaboration
  • a general interest group comprised of practicing scientists, would be an “H+ Science Network”, another idea I floated once before
  • members should be able to submit articles to H+ Magazine via the H+ Connect site, and have other members vote on the article’s relevance and quality….  POSSIBLY: Any article with votes above a certain threshold gets into the magazine….  In this way the members themselves take on a lot of the editorial role….

There is likely some existing software that could be customized to serve the above functions.  Or maybe some scripting must be done to combine existing software together into an overall site….

I don’t currently think this should be done within some existing social network site like Facebook or LinkedIn.   Those sites are valuable (though I admit I don’t really like them or use them often), but they would nudge the community in a different direction than would be the case if we had our own site and owned our own experience and information.  On the other hand, we definitely don’t want to reinvent the wheel software-wise.

There is a lot more to be thought through here in terms of branding, user experience design, implementation and everything else….  I’m just tossing out the idea now to get some feedback…


New page on using human preschool IQ tests for young AGIs

AI History Timeline

As part of a book chapter I’m writing, I put together a visual timeline of the history of AI

New video interview posted, on post-Singularity Uberminds

Beyond AGI: Imagining the Unimaginable

“Designing Minds & Worlds” — video of talk from H+@Parsons, May 2011, posted

Designing Minds and Worlds
Humanity+ @ Parsons (New York)
May 14-14, 2011

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