Singularity is a major focus of Foresight SIGs

April 25, 2002 | Source: KurzweilAI

Three of the special interest group meetings at Foresight’s Exploring the Edges: Spring 2002 Senior Associates Gathering, which begins Friday evening, April 26 in Palo Alto, will focus on the Singularity — a coming dramatic phase transition as technology accelerates over the next few decades and machines achieve superintelligence.
These include Brainstorms in Accelerating Change: Open Singularity Discussion, moderated by Ray Kurzweil; Exploring the Technological Singularity: Universal Trends in Accelerating Change, moderated by John Smart; and Reaching for a Swifter and Safer Singularity, moderated by Eliezer Yudkowsky.

Other SIGs will explore why the public is hostile to discussing or preparing for the potential impacts of nanotechnology, aggressive approaches to nanomedicine, strategies for creating a real-money Idea Futures market, computer security, possible winners in the nanotech race, and making next-generation wireless broadband and wearable computing happen (“Brave New Unwired World: Getting From Here To Kurzweil’s Future”).

Four other sessions in the main program will also touch on the Singularity. Stewart Brand will discuss Long Bets, including Ray Kurzweil’s bet with Mitch Kapor that a computer will pass the Turing Test by 2029. And J. Storrs Hall will preview his forthcoming book, Ethics for Machines, to “show how close we are to human-level AI by showing which parts exist in some form and which still need work, and point in particular at the parts that would produce a conscience (moral sense, call it what you will) such that you’d consider trusting its motives.”

In addition, Ray Kurzweil will make two presentations: one on the case for an exponential technology future and a debate with Gregory Stock: “BioFuture or MachineFuture?.”