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Singularity and Rationality: Eliezer Yudkowsky speaks out

August 5, 2010 by Thomas McCabe

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Eliezer Yudkowsky is a Research Fellow at the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and founder of the community blog Less Wrong. We discussed his coming talk at the Singularity Summit on August 15, his forthcoming book on human rationality, his theory of “friendly AI,” and the likelihood of the Singularity and how to achieve it.

What are you working on currently?

I’m working on… read more

Carboncopies–Realistic Routes to Substrate-Independent Minds

August 9, 2010 by Randal Koene, Suzanne Gildert

carboncopies

What might brains and minds look like in the future? It can be difficult to manage and organize ideas from many highly specialized fields of expertise that must necessarily converge to answer this intriguing question. Not only must one consider the areas of brain imaging, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, but also artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational hardware architectures, and philosophy.

In the past, the transferal of minds into computer-based… read more

Why SIRT1 in your brain may keep you smart

August 10, 2010 by David Despain

Can a protein called SIRT1 in your head boost brain power, learning and memory?

Picture a scene in the ancient wild: a time when drought and famine have taken the land, food is scant and predators are near, and staying alive depends on being active, alert, and quick-witted — and asking, “Where did I find those nuts last year, and where was that water hole?

A protein called SIRT1 in our brains may explain how our ancestors lived through such nutritionally scarce situations… read more

The Mind and How to Build One

August 12, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

At the Singularity Summit in San Francisco at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 14, Ray Kurzweil will present an overview of “arguably the most important project in the history of the human-machine civilization”: to model and reverse-engineer the brain, with the goal of creating intelligent machines to address the grand challenges of humanity. He prepared the following statement on his talk at the conference.

What does it… read more

‘Artificial Biology’ at Singularity Summit 2010

August 12, 2010 by David Despain

computer_cell

Humans will one day defeat aging with AI, make death and disease relics of the past, regrow lost tissues and body parts as needed, control robot arms on another continent, unravel the complexities of cells, and in their spare time, save the world. At least that’s the hope of six speakers at Singularity Summit 2010 in San Francisco on Aug. 14 to 15: Ben Goertzel, Mandayam Srinivasan, Lanceread more

A new blueprint for artificial general intelligence

August 12, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Demis Hassabis, a research fellow at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience UnitUniversity College London, is out to create a radical new kind of artficial brain.

A former well-known UK videogame designer and programmer, he has produced a number of amazing games, including the legendary Evil Genius — which he denies selling to Microsoft, thus ruining a perfectly good joke. He also won the World Games Championships a record five times.

But… read more

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

Providing Low-cost Clean Water for a Billion People

September 6, 2010 by William Bing

A possible implementation of our Naishio solution.  The pressure from the water volume is sufficient to propel fresh water across the membrane (A), and photovoltaics (D) generate all the energy needed to pump water from the repository (C) to the water tank and circulator (E).  Sensors (B) communicate between the solar pump and membrane to regulate the water level and ensure it doesn’t become contaminated. (Image credit: Sarah Jane Pell)

This summer I attended Singularity University’s graduate studies program. Alongside 79 extraordinary entrepreneurs and scientists from around the globe, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the world about a variety of rapidly advancing areas of technology. The context of these discussions was how we might use these technologies to implement solutions capable of affecting the lives of more than a… read more

humor | Forbidden Gates: GRIN Technology & Spiritual Warfare — no kidding, actual book

September 7, 2010

screenshot

Source: Tom and Nita Horn — August 26, 2010

Future food for cities

September 10, 2010 by Derek Jacoby

8 25

Within the next decade you will be able to grow all of your vegetables in a box barely larger than your refrigerator. This surprising statement is the result of a class project at Singularity University this summer. Here’s how we came to believe that this is true.

In the first week at Singularity University, we were introduced to a team project called “Food for Cities.” The project… read more

Galileo was wrong. The church was right!

September 13, 2010

galileo

Source: Galileo Was Wrong conference website — September 23, 2010

An actual conference — not a spoof.  — Ed.

New supercomputer on a chip ‘sees’ well enough to drive a car someday

September 16, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Convolutional neural networks or ConvNets are a multi-stage neural network that can model the way brain visual processing area V1, V2, V4, IT create invariance to size and position to identify objects. Each stage is composed of three layers: a filter bank layer, a non-linearity layer, and a feature pooling layer. A typical ConvNet is composed of one, two or three such 3-layer stages, followed by a classification module. (Yale University)

Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed a supercomputer based on the ventral pathway of the mammalian visual system. Dubbed NeuFlow, the system mimicks the visual system’s neural network to quickly interpret the world around it.

The system uses complex vision algorithms developed by Yann LeCun at New York University to run large neural networks for synthetic vision applications. One idea — the… read more

Review of The Singularity Is Near: The Movie; tickets to Woodstock Film Festival still available

September 22, 2010 by Phil Bowermaster

SiN_91_highres

Per my earlier post, I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of The Singularity Is Near at the Breckenridge Film Festival. Based on Ray Kurzweil’s bestselling book of the same title, The Singularity Is Near is really two movies. First, it’s a documentary, in which Kurzweil lays out his argument that accelerating technological development is rapidly leading us to a… read more

The Singularity goes primetime

October 1, 2010 by Phil Bowermaster

singularitytimeline

This week’s episode of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory brings the idea of the technological Singularity to one of the widest audiences it has ever reached.

In the opening teaser, ubergeek Sheldon (Jim Parsons) explains to his long-suffering roommate and best friend Leonard (Johnny Galecki) that he is trying to determine how much longer he has to live. Referring to the… read more

First Pass: What’s Wrong with the Grand Challenges for Engineering

October 11, 2010 by Daniel W. Rasmus

At the risk of committing more over-thinking of the Grand Challenges for Engineering, I want to take a first pass at discussing what I think is wrong with them in a very specific way, and honing the list into something more grand.

Here is the current list:

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