“Google’s self-driving car gathers 750 megabytes of sensor data per SECOND! That is just mind-boggling to me. Here is a picture of what the car ‘sees’ while it is driving and about to make a left turn. It is capturing every single thing that it sees moving — cars, trucks, birds, rolling balls, dropped cigarette butts, and fusing all that together to make its decisions while driving. If it sees… read more
June 10, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil
On June 8, 2014, The University of Reading announced that a computer program “has passed the Turing test for the first time.”
University of Reading professor Kevin Warwick, PhD, described it this way:
“Some will claim that the test has already been passed. The words ‘Turing test’ have been applied to similar competitions around the world. However, this event involved more simultaneous comparison tests than ever before, was independently… read more
A recent article in EE Times discusses the future of Moore’s law: “Broadcom: Time to prepare for the end of Moore’s Law.” This comes up innumerable times. People assume that Moore’s law is synonymous with my law of accelerating returns, which it is not.
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 two… read more
August 14, 2012 by Giulio Prisco
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
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
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  privacy-free “transparent society” more palatable to civil libertarians, Robert Sawyer  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
March 15, 2013 by Jürgen Schmidhuber
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
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
January 13, 2014 by Max Tegmark
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
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
August 5, 2015
The open letter from the Future of Life Institute (FLI) calling for a “ban on offensive autonomous weapons” is as unrealistic as the broad relinquishment of nuclear weapons would have been at the height of the cold war.
A treaty or international agreement banning the development of artificially intelligent robotic drones for military use would not be effective. It would be impossible to completely stop nations from… read more
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