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An Open Letter to Richard Smalley

April 16, 2003 by K. Eric Drexler

Dr. Richard Smalley has voiced criticisms of Dr. Eric Drexler’s concept of molecular assemblers, which could be used to implement self-replicating nanobots. Smalley, who discovered “fullerenes” (aka “buckyballs”), is Chairman of the Board of Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. and former director of Rice University’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. Drexler, who coined the term “nanotechnology” and is Chairman of the Board of Foresight Institute, responds to these criticisms.… read more

Cyborg Liberation Front: Inside the Movement for Posthuman Rights

January 15, 2004 by Erik Baard

Should Humans Welcome or Resist Becoming Posthuman? This was a key question debated at the 2003 World Transhumanist Association conference at Yale University by attendees, who met to lay the groundwork for a society that would admit as citizens and companions intelligent robots, cyborgs made from a free mixing of human and machine parts, and fully organic, genetically engineered people who aren’t necessarily human at all.… read more

The Need For Limits

March 24, 2006 by Chris Phoenix

Molecular manufacturing will give its wielders extreme power and has the potential to remove or bypass many of today’s limits, including laws. That could lead to a planet-wide dictatorship, or to any of several forms of irreversible destruction. Perhaps the biggest problem of all will be how to develop a system of near-absolute power that will not become corrupt.… read more

THE AGE of INTELLIGENT MACHINES | Can Machines Think?

February 21, 2001

The “inner light, that private way that it is with you that nobody else can share … is forever outside the bounds of computer science,” argues philosopher Dennett. From Ray Kurzweil’s revolutionary book The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990.… read more

What is Friendly AI?

May 3, 2001 by Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

How will near-human and smarter-than-human AIs act toward humans? Why? Are their motivations dependent on our design? If so, which cognitive architectures, design features, and cognitive content should be implemented? At which stage of development? These are questions that must be addressed as we approach the Singularity.… 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

The Paradigms and Paradoxes of Intelligence, Part 1: Russell’s Paradox

August 6, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

An exploration of Russell’s Paradox, written for “The Futurecast,” a monthly column in the Library Journal.… read more

The Computational Perspective

November 19, 2001 by Daniel Dennett

What does computation mean? Daniel Dennett discusses information architecture beyond the mechanized causation in computers and frames the question in terms of the organization of matter itself. What do models of computation tell us about the material world?… read more

Top KurzweilAI.net News of 2001

January 21, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil, Amara D. Angelica

In its first year of operation, KurzweilAI.net has chronicled the notable news stories on accelerating intelligence. We’ve selected here the most important of those stories to document the key breakthroughs for 2001 in continued exponential growth of computation, communication, and other information-based technologies; comparable acceleration in efforts to reverse-engineer the human brain and other sources of the templates of intelligence; similar growth in our understanding of the information basis of biological processes; and the contributions of nanotechnology.… read more

Intelligence as an Emergent Behavior or, The Songs of Eden

May 2, 2002 by W. Daniel Hillis

Could we build a thinking machine by simply hooking together a large network of artificial neurons and waiting for intelligence to spontaneously emerge? Not likely, but by studying the properties of biological and emergent systems, a carefully constructed network of artificial neurons could be inoculated with thought, similar to yeast’s role in making beer. The clue may be in the “songs” of apes.… read more

The Computational Universe

October 25, 2002 by Seth Lloyd

The amount of information you could process if you were to use all the energy and matter of the universe is 10^90 bits and the number of elementary operations that it can have performed since the Big Bang is about 10^120 ops. Perhaps the universe is itself a computer and what it’s doing is performing a computation. If so, that’s why the universe is so complex and these numbers say how big that computation is. Also, that means Douglas Adams was right (the answer is “42″).… read more

I am the very model of a Singularitarian

January 17, 2006 by Amara D. Angelica

Charlie Kam has written and recorded a humorous Singularitarian version of Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General,” from the Gilbert & Sullivan opera, “The Pirates of Penzance.”… read more

Strategic Sustainable Brain

March 31, 2006 by Natasha Vita-More

The human brain faces a challenging future. To cope with accelerating nanotech- and biotech-based developments in an increasingly complex world, compete with emerging superintelligence, and maintain its performance and sustainability as people live longer, the fragile human brain will need major enhancements: a backup system, eliminating degenerative processes, direct mind-linkup to ubiquitous computing networks, error-correction for memory, and a global Net connection with remote neural access.… read more

Dear PC: R.I.P.

February 21, 2001 by Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil’s vision of the post-PC future includes nanobots and fully immersive virtual reality.… read more

Surfing The Singularity: Damien Broderick

May 18, 2001 by Amara D. Angelica

In The Spike (Forge, 2001), Damien Broderick takes us on a wild, hyperkinetic ride through some of the planet’s most imaginative ideas on the accelerating times ahead.… read more

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