essays collection

Excerpts from “One Half of a Manifesto”

July 30, 2001 by Jaron Lanier

Does the optimism of technologists blur the question of quantitative improvements in hardware versus a lack of qualititative improvements in software? Do they point the way towards an eschatological cataclysm in which doom is imminent?… read more

Evolution and the Internet: Toward A Networked Humanity?

February 26, 2001 by Danny Belkin

Integration of human and machine will lead to an interconnected “organism”–the next major evolutionary step forward for humanity, says immunology PhD candidate Danny Belkin.… read more

Every Curriculum Tells a Story

January 22, 2002 by Roger Schank

The traditional classroom lecture and course will be replaced by Internet-based curricula that tell stories, if Dr. Roger C. Schank, one of the world’s leading AI researchers, has his way. The “story-centered curriculum” (SCC) tells a story in which the student “plays one or more roles that he or she might actually do in real life or need to know about, based on the student’s career goals,” he says.… read more

Ethics for Machines

July 5, 2001 by J. Storrs Hall

What are the ethical responsibilities of an intelligent being toward another one of a lower order? And who will be lower–us or machines? Nanotechnologist J. Storrs Hall considers our moral duties to machines, and theirs to us.… read more

Essentials of general intelligence: the direct path to AGI

August 22, 2002 by Peter Voss

Adaptive AI's General Framework

General intelligence comprises the essential, domain-independent skills necessary for acquiring a wide range of domain-specific knowledge — the ability to learn anything. Achieving this with “artificial general intelligence” (AGI) requires a highly adaptive, general-purpose system that can autonomously acquire an extremely wide range of specific knowledge and skills and can improve its own cognitive ability through self-directed learning. This chapter in the forthcoming book, Real AI: New Approaches to Artificial General Intelligence, describes the requirements and conceptual design of a prototype AGI system.… read more

essay | Spotlight on military + defense

December 14, 2016

K-2SO ft

By , Professor in Robotics, Queensland University of Technology

The latest Star Wars movie, Rogue One [opens Friday Dec. 16], introduces us to a new droid, K-2SO, the robotic lead of the story.

Without giving away too many spoilers, K-2SO is part of the Rebellion freedom fighter group that are tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star, the… read more

essay | So you want to build a Death Star? Here’s how to get started

December 16, 2016

Death-Star-ft

By , Space Plasma Physicist, Queen Mary University of London

I’m very excited about seeing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which tells the tale summarised in the original Star Wars’ opening crawl. This is the story of how the rebels stole the plans to the original “Death Star” – a space station the size of a small moon with a weapon powerful enough to destroy… read more

essay | My notes on Eugene Goostman chatbot claiming to pass the Turing test

June 1, 2014

Eugene Goostman chatbot screenshot (credit:

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

essay | It may not feel like anything to be an alien

December 23, 2016

arrival-ft

By Susan Schneider

Humans are probably not the greatest intelligences in the universe. Earth is a relatively young planet and the oldest civilizations could be billions of years older than us. But even on Earth, Homo sapiens may not be the most intelligent species for that much longer.

The world Go, chess, and Jeopardy champions are now all AIs. AI is projected to outmode many human professions within the next few decades.… read more

essay | How to make space great again

December 15, 2016

(Credit: NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts)

By Brent Ziarnick, Peter Garretson, Everett Dolman, and Coyote Smith

President-elect Donald Trump often says that Americans no longer dream and must do so again. Nowhere can dreams be more inspiring and profitable than in space. But today, expanding space enterprise is not foremost on the minds of Americans or military strategists. As a recent CNN special showed, defense thinkers feel embattled in space, focused on protecting our… read more

essay | bio-cyber-ethics: should we stop a company from unplugging an intelligent computer?

September 28, 2003

Attorney Dr. Martine Rothblatt filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a corporation from disconnecting an intelligent computer in a mock trial at the International Bar Association conference in San Francisco, Sept. 16, 2003. The issue could arise in a real court within the next few decades, as computers achieve or exceed the information processing capability of the human mind and the boundary between human and machine becomesread more

essay | A way to find out if an artificial intelligence has become self-aware

It’s not easy, but a newly proposed test might be able to detect consciousness in a machine.
August 1, 2017

(credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay)

image: by artist Gerd Altmann

author:  by Susan Schneider PhD
author: by Edwin Turner PhD
date: August 1, 2017

Every moment of your waking life and whenever you dream, you have the distinct inner feeling of being “you.” When you see the warm hues of a sunrise, smell the aroma of morning coffee or mull over a new… read more

Essay for E-School News

October 2, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Speaking at the 18th Annual Conference on “Technology and Persons with Disabilities” at California State University Northridge in March 2003, Ray Kurzweil described how key developments in science and technology will affect society, alter education and other fields, and benefit everyone, especially those with disabilities. This article is based on that address.… read more

Essay collection | The Ray Kurzweil Reader

July 10, 2003

The Ray Kurzweil Reader is a collection of essays by Ray Kurzweil on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, radical life extension, conscious machines, the promise and peril of technology, and other aspects of our future world. These essays, published  from 2001 to 2003, are now available as a PDF document for convenient downloading and offline reading. The 30 essays, organized in seven topic areas (such as “How to Build a Brain”), cover subjects… read more

essay by Ray | A new era: medicine is an information technology

The impact on health care is bigger than genetics.
January 1, 2011

DNA multicolor

Is it time to rethink the promise of genomics?

There has been recent disappointment expressed in the progress in the field of genomics. In my view, this results from an overly narrow view of the science of genes and biological information processing in general. It reminds me of the time when the field of “artificial intelligence” (AI) was equated with the methodology of “expert systems.” If someone referred to… read more

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