Tag Archives: posthumanism

The Growth of the Google-Plex

From Kurzweil AI:

In a post on Google Plus, Google X employees unveilved a prototype of the company’s “Project Glass” wrap-around augmented-reality glasses.

The glasses can superimpose information on the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages via voice commands, similar to Siri.

A built-in camera can record video and take pictures.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the Google employees wrote. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”

Also see:

Nick Bilton’s NY Times Bits blog (especially the comments)

The Singularity is here. These glasses could be a great memory extender and a great item to have for college.

The downside is that one could build a dependence on this item and natural memory would suffer.

Charles Stross predicted this item in his 2005 novel ‘Accelerando.’

Google unveils ‘Project Glass’ augmented-reality glasses prototype

Project Glass

As always, many thanks to the Daily Grail

Post-humanist “techion”

More Kurzweillian “techion”:

When I first heard of Ray Kuzweil’s ideas, I assumed he was a science fiction writer. After all, the sort of transhuman future he envisioned is stock sci-fi fare. I was mildly surprised when it turns out that he is quite serious about (and well paid for expressing) his views. I was somewhat more surprised to learn that he has quite a following. Of course, I wasn’t too surprised-I’ve been around a while.

Oversimplifying things, Kuzweil envisions a future in which humans will be immortal and the dead will return to live. While these are common claims in religion, Kuzweil’s view is that technology will make this possible. While some describe his view as a religion, I’d prefer to use a made up word, “techion” to refer to this sort of phenomena. As I see it, a religion involves claims about supernatural entities. Kuzweil’s view is purely non-supernatural, but does have most of the stock elements of religion (the promise of a utopian future, immortality, and the raising of the dead). So, it is sort of a technological religion-hence “techion.” Yes, I like making up words. Try it yourself-it is free, fun and makes you look cool (your actual results might differ).

While the religion-like aspects of his views are interesting, I’ll be looking at the ideas of technological immortality and technological resurrection.

Not too many discussions of the philosophical implications of a Technological Singularity occurring and could and should post-human entities resurrect their ancestors, if physically and morally possible.

Resurrection & Immortality In The Flesh

Hat Tip

Insurance policies against grey-goo and ignored clues

When it comes to a technological Singularity, folks like Vernor Vinge, Ray Kurzweil, Ben Goertzel, Eric Drexler and others feel this is how the future will inevitablely pan out. They note the rapid advancement of computer software technology mainly, but nanotech is right up there too as a cause celebre for the event to happen.

But what if nanotechnology isn’t a gift that is worth having?

What if it’s part of “The Great Filter?”

And what if mankind needs to throw a “Hail Mary” pass to in order to survive a “grey-goo” event?

EGR, standing for Embryo/Gestation/Rearing, is the name of a mission presented by John Hunt on Tibor Pacher’s PI Club site, where Tibor encourages the development of what he calls ‘crazy ideas.’ Crazy, that is, in terms of brainstorming, getting concepts out there for comment and growth. Hunt’s is likely to be controversial on several levels, although its goal — an insurance policy for the species — is one this site can endorse.

Why an insurance policy? As we’ve discussed recently, the number of existential threats facing our species makes the Fermi question pointed. Self-destruction would be an ignominious end for any culture, but one not inconsistent with factors as diverse as incoming asteroids, nuclear war or biological weaponry run amok. Hunt prefers to focus on a specific threat…

[…]

That singularity, of course, could produce runaway scenarios in which self-replication destroys life-forms or environments in ways that cannot be foreseen. Thus an interstellar probe, in Hunt’s view, should not be about science, but survival. Getting humans to another star, given the short-term framework forced upon us by this oncoming singularity, would involve sending frozen embryos that would be raised by android ‘parents’ aided by virtual reality once the destination has been reached. Hunt believes that many of the technologies for doing this are being developed today.

Hunt also feels that the android parents needed to raise the first generation of colonists need not be of the self-aware AI type,  super-Asimo style nannies would be sufficient.

Of course, they would be very, very, very strange children.

All of this doesn’t take the UFO hypothesis into account. The current tact taken by MUFON is the ET spacecraft theory and so far there is no real hard evidence of this claim, but there has been over the decades copious amounts of trace evidence, to which debunkers claim as false.

Others such as Jacques Vallee believes UFOs as ‘etherial’ in nature and that they inhabit multiple dimensions at once. Not only that, but he theorizes that the intelligence behind them are meme-manipulating mankind (psychotronic technology) And there I think, lies the missing clues.

Mainstream science is making a huge mistake by totally blowing off the phenomenon as mass hysteria/delusions. They are missing a big component of the Fermi Paradox and The Great Filter in my view.

And John Hunt has a good point about a grey-goo incident and that we need to take out an insurance policy. The scenario could very well happen.

But my instincts tell me that all of these events;  UFOs, the Singularity, government/mainstream scientific dissembling and wars are all tied together and that is the answer to both Fermi Paradox and The Great Filter.

EGR: A ‘Hail Mary’ Pass to the Stars

John Hunt’s essay on peregrinus interstellar

Transhumanist ezine now available

Whether it was intentional or not, my theme this past week has been transhumanist subjects.

Now, thanks to Posthuman Blues, a new online ‘zine named H+ ( Humanity Plus ) was brought to my limited, left-brain medicated attention. And it’s got some good stuff in it.

The inaugural editorial is written by editor RU Sirius.

That’s right, that’s his name!

Serious.

The guest interviews, dubbed ‘InterMINIviews’ are pretty cool and feature luminaries like David Pearce, Aubrey de Grey and Charlies Stross.

Stross’ miniview was my personal fave, but de Greys’ was interesting to say the least.

Even if my usual readers don’t care for transhumanist fare, there’s important info to be had, so give it a shot before you shoot it down. The science isn’t overpowering at all and it’s layman oriented.

So that’s how things worked out this week. I intended to do more financial hijinks shit, but it got too depressing, even for me.

So I copped out and had some wholesome distraction.

Good stuff.

http://www.hplusmagazine.com/hplusmag_fall_2008.pdf

Been fun hangin’ with ya past coupla days Mac, hat tip to ya!

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Some Singularity Signs

Technological Singularity: The technological singularity is a hypothesized point in the future variously characterized by the technological creation of self-improving intelligence, unprecedentedly rapid technological progress, or some combination of the two.[1]

I haven’t posted or written about Vernor Vinge’s Technological Singularity lately for various reasons, one of which is the nature of the ‘techno-rapture’ aspect of it. If it isn’t Mohammet, Jesus Christ, aliens, Bigfoot coming to save us worthless human beings from being totally annihalated, it’s our coming AI over-lords.

That said, here are some clippings that are sure to give us pause, and perhaps think about the possibility of the Singularity occurring, despite (or in spite of?) the machinations of the NWO, or other reasons.

Virtual Child Passes Mental Milestone

A virtual child controlled by artificially intelligent software has passed a cognitive test regarded as a major milestone in human development. It could lead to smarter computer games able to predict human players’ state of mind.

Children typically master the “false belief test” at age 4 or 5. It tests their ability to realise that the beliefs of others can differ from their own, and from reality.

The creators of the new character – which they called Eddie – say passing the test shows it can reason about the beliefs of others, using a rudimentary “theory of mind“.

“Today’s characters have no genuine autonomy or mental picture of who you are,” researcher Selmer Bringsjord of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, told New Scientist.

Of course people will debate whether the creature has a ‘soul’ or not.

Ghost in the machine?

‘Robot Arms Race’ Under Way?

Governments around the world are rushing to develop military robots capable of killing autonomously without considering the legal and moral implications, warns a leading roboticist. But another robotics expert argues that robotic soldiers could perhaps be made more ethical than human ones.

Noel Sharkey of Sheffield University, UK, says he became “really scared” after researching plans outlined by the US and other nations to roboticise their military forces. He will outline his concerns at a one-day conference in London, UK, on Wednesday.

Over 4000 semi-autonomous robots are already deployed by the US in Iraq, says Sharkey, and other countries – including several European nations, Canada, South Korea, South Africa, Singapore and Israel – are developing similar technologies.

This is very real and frightening. It sounds like ‘Terminator’, but ‘war-bots’ that become self aware and have no inhibition of killing humans indiscriminately should have the NWO inbreds take notice. I wonder if the elitists consider Asimov’s Three Laws quaint like the Geneva Conventions?

They wouldn’t be exempt, no matter what they think.

Here’s a lighter side to robotic intelligence, actually being help-mates that Asimov envisioned.

Robots Cater To Japan’s Elderly

If you grow old in Japan, expect to be served food by a robot, ride a voice-recognition wheelchair or even possibly hire a nurse in a robotic suit — all examples of cutting-edge technology to care for the country’s rapidly graying population.With nearly 22 percent of Japan’s population already aged 65 or older, businesses here have been rolling out everything from easy-entry cars to remote-controlled beds, fueling a care technology market worth some $1.08 billion in 2006, according to industry figures.At a home care and rehabilitation convention in Tokyo this week, buyers crowded round a demonstration of Secom Co.’s My Spoon feeding robot, which helps elderly or disabled people eat with a spoon- and fork-fitted swiveling arm.Operating a joystick with his chin, developer Shigehisa Kobayashi maneuvered the arm toward a block of silken tofu, deftly getting the fork to break off a bite-sized piece. The arm then returned to a preprogrammed position in front of the mouth, allowing Kobayashi to bite and swallow.“It’s all about empowering people to help themselves,” Kobayashi said. The Tokyo-based company has already sold 300 of the robots, which come with a price tag of $3,500

Not only will robots help the elderly, they’ll also ‘help’ in another age-old need:

Humans could marry robots within the century. And consummate those vows.

“My forecast is that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriages with robots,” artificial intelligence researcher David Levy at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands told LiveScience. Levy recently completed his Ph.D. work on the subject of human-robot relationships, covering many of the privileges and practices that generally come with marriage as well as outside of it.

At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, “but once you have a story like ‘I had sex with a robot, and it was great!’ appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I’d expect many people to jump on the bandwagon,” Levy said.

Yeah, I know there’s a few of you out there that say, ‘evil’, ‘sick’, ‘insane’, ‘demented’ and any other epitet one enunciates.

But consider this, if there’s even a remote chance that robots, computers, the Google-plex cloud or any other artificial intelligence becomes self-aware, which would you rather it happen to?

I thought so! 😛