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Ray Kurzweil responds to “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain”

August 20, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

While most of PZ Myers’ comments (in his blog post entitled “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain” posted on Pharyngula on August 17, 2010) do not deserve a response, I do want to set the record straight, as he completely mischaracterizes my thesis.

For starters, I said that we would be able to reverse-engineer the brain sufficiently to understand its basic principles of operation within tworead more

book review | The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates

August 14, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The God Problem

Howard Bloom‘s forthcoming book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates, is arguably his best book so far, a page-turner with deep thoughts and entertaining bits on every page.

Is The God Problem a book on the history of science? No, more like a philosophical novel. Wait, perhaps an autobiography? Pop culture?

All of the above, and none. The God Problem defies categorization; it’s a cascade… read more

1987 time-capsule predictions for 2012

August 1, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

maglev-vacuum-train-11

Writers of the Future has released the 1987 time capsule predictions from science fiction writers for the year 2012.

They ranged from wildly utopian to prescient.

The utopian predictions included people living in space and on the Moon, an expedition to Mars, much industry located off-planet, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease effectively cured, a network of levitated superconducting trains under construction in Western Europe and in Japan,… read more

What price freedom?

June 17, 2013 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Minute_Man_National_Historical_Park (1)

Given recent revelations of intrusive government surveillance, this 2006 essay raises fundamental questions worth considering.

Criminals vs. Terrorists

In an attempt to make David Brin’s [1] privacy-free “transparent society” more palatable to civil libertarians, Robert Sawyer [2] has proposed an “Alibi Archive” in which everyone’s activities are meticulously recorded in a centralized, judicially controlled archive, with the archives legally accessible only under court order and only upon… read more

In the beginning was the code

A transcript of Jürgen Schmidhuber’s TEDx talk in Belgium
March 15, 2013 by Jürgen Schmidhuber

universe_cube

There is a fastest, optimal, most efficient way of computing all logically possible universes, including ours — if ours is computable (no evidence against this). Any God-like “Great Programmer” with any self-respect should use this optimal method to create and master all logically possible universes.

At any given time, most of the universes computed so far that contain yourself will be due to one of the shortest and fastest programs computing you. This insight allows for making non-trivial predictions about the future. We also obtain formal, mathematical answers to age-old questions of philosophy and theology.… read more

Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity’s long range future

July 23, 2014 by Richard (Dick) Pelletier

A Type III civilization can harness all the energy of a galaxy (credit: ESA)

Imagine if you could take an exotic vacation billions of light years from Earth, peek in on the dinosaurs’ first-hand, or jump into a parallel universe where another you is living a more exciting life than yours — and you could swap places if you like.

For years, scientists have bandied about radical ideas that future humans will one day harness wormholes to zip across the universe at faster-than-light… read more

The best tribute to Aaron Swartz

January 15, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

AaronSwartzPIPA

If you are a scientist, you can pay the best and most effective tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz by sharing PDFs of your published work on pdftribute.net via the hashtag #pdftribute on Twitter.

Researchers are now offering open-access versions of their work using this hashtag.

I also suggest to boycott the pay-walled journals of the science mafia and publish on… read more

Humanity in jeopardy

"We should spend 1% of GDP studying singularity issues and deciding what to do," says Max Tegmark
January 13, 2014 by Max Tegmark

Watson vs. humans, January 13, 2011 (credit: IBM)

Exactly three years ago, on January 13, 2011, humans were dethroned by a computer on the quiz show Jeopardy! A year later, a computer was licensed to drive cars in Nevada, after being judged safer than a human. (link to article)

What’s next? Will computers eventually beat us at all tasks, developing superhuman intelligence?

I have little doubt that this can happen: our brains are a bunch of particles obeying the laws of… read more

Ask Ray | Experiment to find out if we’re being simulated

June 1, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: Bing Maps Platform)

Dear Ray,

Hi, I’m contacting you now and asking you to please consider the following scenario. AD 2060 or later:

Humans can simulate multiple universes. We do so, and eventually intelligent life evolves in one and achieves a civilization with roughly the same science and computation as Earth 2010. This life will be a completely alien species, on a (simulated) alien planet.

That species figures out that… read more

Has Facebook made you psychotic?

Looking for something besides politics to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner?
November 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Are you lonely or vulnerable due to the loss of or separation from a loved one? Are you inexperienced with technology?

If so, you might want to read this before logging onto Facebook or Twitter after (or during) your Thanksgiving dinner.

Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University‘s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center presented three in-depth case studies from his own practice linking psychotic… read more

book review | Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization

August 24, 2013

Radical Abundance

This post is being revised. Please visit Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization meanwhile.

Take back the Internet

September 17, 2013 by Bruce Schneier

bruce-blog2

Government and industry have betrayed the Internet, and us.

By subverting the Internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our Internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be… read more

The Last Generation to Die — a short film

A Kickstarter project
September 12, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

The Last Generation To Die

Set in the future when science first begins to stop aging, a daughter tries to save her father from natural death.

The story takes place roughly 30 years in the future at the moment when science has first figured out how to stop aging through genetics. It is framed around the gulf between generations that would occur with the first release of this technology.

A daughter who works… read more

Wait six years to buy your next car

July 23, 2014 by Randal O'Toole

A demonstrator car with two Lidar laser sensors hanging on the front bumper, five radar sensors hiding behind the fenders, and two optical sensors with 360-degree fields of view on the roof. Click image for a larger view. (Credit: Harbrick)

You’ll be able to buy a car that can drive itself under most conditions, with an option for override by a human driver, in 2020, according to the median estimate in a survey of 217 attendees of the 2014 Automated Vehicles Symposium. By 2030, the group estimated, you’ll be able to buy a car that is so fully automated it won’t even have the option for a human driver.… read more

A review of Her by Ray Kurzweil

February 10, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: Warner Brothers)

Her, written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, presents a nuanced love story between a man and his operating system.

Although there are caveats I could (and will) mention about the details of the OS and how the lovers interact, the movie compellingly presents the core idea that a software program (an AI) can — will — be believably human and lovable.

This is a breakthrough concept in cinematic futurism in… read more

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