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Resistance is not futile? /Hugh

I come from the future, and I’m here to tell you: transcending the limits of the flesh can be downright dull. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 1, 2014 - 16 comments

Everything is meaningless.

#PostModem [SLVimeo,nsfw:nudity] is "a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, as told through as series of cinematic tweets." [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee on Apr 20, 2014 - 12 comments

he's the sort of genius who's not very good at boiling a kettle

Are the robots about to rise? Ray thinks so...
Google has bought almost every machine-learning and robotics company it can find... And it has embarked upon what one DeepMind investor told the technology publication Re/code two weeks ago was "a Manhattan project of AI"... Peter Norvig, Google's research director, said recently that the company employs "less than 50% but certainly more than 5%" of the world's leading experts on machine learning. And that was before it bought DeepMind which, it should be noted, agreed to the deal with the proviso that Google set up an ethics board to look at the question of what machine learning will actually mean when it's in the hands of what has become the most powerful company on the planet.
In late 2012, Ray became Google's new Director of Engineering, empowering him with extraordinary resources and latitude. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Mar 13, 2014 - 125 comments

Oh SNAPULARITY, Slavoj!

Not too into the Singularity? Here's a Powerpoint-style presentation featuring several Alternatives to the Singularity, such as The Discombobularity and the dreaded Zizekularity!
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 20, 2013 - 17 comments

Final Moments of Karl Brant

The Final Moments of Karl Brant. "In the near future, a neurologist and two homicide detectives use experimental brain taping technology to question a murder victim about his final moments." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 31, 2013 - 33 comments

"We perceive the world through metaphors"

Why I Am No Longer A Skeptic
That's right: the nerds won, decades ago, and they're now as thoroughly established as any other part of the establishment. And while nerds a relatively new elite, they're overwhelmingly the same as the old: rich, white, male, and desperate to hang onto what they've got. And I have come to realise that skepticism, in their hands, is just another tool to secure and advance their privileged position, and beat down their inferiors. As a skeptic, I was not shoring up the revolutionary barricades: instead, I was cheering on the Tsar's cavalry.
Referenced in The Cult Of Bayes' Theorem [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 16, 2013 - 205 comments

The computer /is/ your friend

Friendship is Optimal is not a "My Little Pony" fanfic, but a SF story that starts with a procedurally-generated MLP MMO, and crescendos to what could very well be the Best Possible Outcome if self-optimizing algorithms are given /almost/ the right goals. Some readers are horrified by the implications; some want to move into "Equestria Online" anyway. Whichever camp you fall in, you'll never forget the phrase "satisfy human values through friendship and ponies".
posted by DataPacRat on Nov 28, 2012 - 41 comments

Singularity: The Movie!

The Technological Apocalypse is Coming (Straight to DVD) Over the last 15 years a brilliant and charismatic self-made man has been campaigning across the United States, describing a near-future event that will deliver human salvation, immortality, and unlimited creative potential. After this event, he claims, the trappings of earthly life will no longer plague us: we will no longer age or get sick; we will be able to create our own worlds to our exact preferences; and we will no longer be restricted to our current physical forms. This man’s vision has become the center of a growing movement that already has tens of thousands of adherents, dozens of shared texts, and its own non-profit school that aims to “assemble, educate, and inspire a cadre of leaders” to one day “address humanity’s grand challenges.”. Coming soon, the movie! [more inside]
posted by jhandey on Jun 27, 2012 - 56 comments

The Singularity, ruined by lawyers

Welcome To Life is a (very) short film by Tom Scott.
posted by motty on May 14, 2012 - 12 comments

Philosophical Expresso

A Timothy Leary for the Viral Video Age: Like Leary, Silva is an unabashed optimist; he sees humankind as a species on the brink of technology-enabled transcendence. Silva is an avid evangelist for the technological singularity---the idea that technology will soon bring about a greater-than-human intelligence. It's an idea that Ray Kurzweil has worked hard to popularize in tech circles, but Silva wants to push it out into the mainstream, and he wants to do it with the slickest, most efficient idea vehicle of our time: the viral video. He has spent the last three years making (really) short films that play like movie trailers for ideas; he compares them to shots of "philosophical espresso."
posted by troll on Apr 13, 2012 - 54 comments

Singularity, I don’t know

The American Repertory Theater presents a musical by The Lisps about the Civil War, Ada Lovelace, and the Singularity, including such songs as Singularity, which is breathtakingly terrible but ever so catchy. [more inside]
posted by dmd on Mar 24, 2012 - 23 comments

Zone of Thought

Vernor Vinge is optimistic about the collapse of civilization
posted by Artw on Mar 22, 2012 - 47 comments

Electron cloud computing...

"Researchers at I.B.M. have stored and retrieved digital 1s and 0s from an array of just 12 atoms, pushing the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information to the edge of what is possible." [NYT]
posted by BobbyVan on Jan 12, 2012 - 27 comments

2061

On November 22, 2011, TEDxBrussels held an all day event whose theme was: "A Day in the Deep Future." Speakers were asked to try and contemplate what life will be like for mankind in 50 years. Overview. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 28, 2011 - 29 comments

Deus Est Machina

In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 27, 2011 - 39 comments

Two, not one, singularities

With everything rolling towards the abyss, our only hope for a bright future seems to be the Singularity, a technological transformation of what it means to be human. But in a talk for TEDx Brussels, science fiction and horror writer John Shirley argues that there are really two Singularities — and yes, everything will be terrible in the short term. So why is he optimistic about the future of the human race? Read on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 1, 2011 - 52 comments

Lego beats Man

CubeStormer II solves the Rubik's Cube puzzle faster than the human world record. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Nov 30, 2011 - 30 comments

The Singularity and the economy

When the machines take over, how will people make a living? Paul Allen: Futurists like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have argued that the world is rapidly approaching a tipping point, where the accelerating pace of smarter and smarter machines will soon outrun all human capabilities. They call this tipping point the singularity, because they believe it is impossible to predict how the human future might unfold after this point. Once these machines exist, Kurzweil and Vinge claim, they'll possess a superhuman intelligence that is so incomprehensible to us that we cannot even rationally guess how our life experiences would be altered. Vinge asks us to ponder the role of humans in a world where machines are as much smarter than us as we are smarter than our pet dogs and cats. Kurzweil, who is a bit more optimistic, envisions a future in which developments in medical nanotechnology will allow us to download a copy of our individual brains into these superhuman machines, leave our bodies behind, and, in a sense, live forever. It's heady stuff. [more inside]
posted by kgasmart on Oct 26, 2011 - 100 comments

We are the Code's Lunch

Marc Andreessen thinks Software is Eating the World
posted by vanar sena on Sep 15, 2011 - 86 comments

Computational Theology

Author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross presents Three Arguments Against The Singularity
posted by The Whelk on Jun 24, 2011 - 188 comments

Baez/Yudkowsky

John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality," promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Apr 2, 2011 - 47 comments

Kurzweil vs. Myers

Ray Kurzweil: Reverse-Engineering of Human Brain Likely by 2030. PZ Myers: Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain.
posted by homunculus on Aug 18, 2010 - 195 comments

Post mortem social networking

Is there facebook after death? Also, here's how to send emails from beyond the grave.
posted by DZack on Jun 15, 2010 - 21 comments

Kamp Kurzweil

The Singularity University is here. Founded by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, Singularity University aims to pave the way to our posthuman future. Can't afford the $15,000-$25,000 "tuition"? Buy a singularitee, instead!
posted by adamdschneider on Jun 14, 2010 - 88 comments

An Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Ray Kurzweil: That Singularity Guy In the year 2050, if Ray Kurzweil is right, nanoscopic robots will be zooming throughout our capillaries, transforming us into nonbiological humans. Ray Answers the following questions & more: Are we going to look like humans forever, or will we eventually just become ghosts in the machine while our physical bodies devolve into dwarves with lobster hands? Is the ultimate goal to transcend biology and choose how long we would like to live?
posted by Fizz on May 30, 2010 - 102 comments

The Rapture of the Nerds

Science Fiction writers Alastair Reynolds, Vernor Vinge, Karl Schroeder and MeFi's own Charles Stross discuss the Singularity - which, Stross cheekily points out, has been around the corner for a good 20 years.
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2010 - 27 comments

"The constant undertone of the singing formed the theme that bound her mind together, no matter how many different things she might do at one time."

"The Gentle Seduction," by Marc Stiegler. A non-techie lives before, through, and after the Singularity. (via Reddit) [more inside]
posted by MikeHarris on Jan 4, 2010 - 93 comments

transcendental numbers rumble in the technium

Extropy
How did life arise? What is information? In his recent dispatches from The Technium, Kevin Kelly would say extropy (cf. negentropy & Prigogine). [previously 1|2]
posted by kliuless on Sep 20, 2009 - 70 comments

Books have the same enemies as people: fire, humidity, animals, weather, big business and their own content.

Build a DIY non destructive book scanner for under $300. An open source OCR package. A gratis ebook creation tool. An open source ebook library management tool and reader. An open-source Linux distribution for eink-based devices. And many, many ebook readers.
posted by bigmusic on Apr 23, 2009 - 84 comments

Consider my opinion changed.

Overcoming Bias [via]
posted by fantabulous timewaster on Sep 10, 2008 - 26 comments

Slipping towards the Singularity

The current issue of IEEE Spectrum devotes itself to the sci-fi genre du jour, the Singularity. Neuroscientists such as Christof Koch and David Alder talk about our understanding of the brain and quantum computing, John Horgan argues that it's just too difficult to recreate consciousness in a computer any time soon. Robin Hanson writes on the Economics of the Singularity, and of course, Vernor Vinge - the person who originally postulated the Singularity - tells us how to spot its approach. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Jun 3, 2008 - 145 comments

End-of-the-world Filter

Larry Niven warned everyone about it. MetaFilter, too: Try to escape. Quantum black holes is dangerous.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Mar 29, 2008 - 70 comments

Singularity

The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence has put up a some interesting media, including a variety of talks from the Singularity Summit 2006 and 2007, about the possibilites and progress of technological development. For an overview of the issues Ray Kurzweil talks about the ideas and promises of the singularity, while Douglas Hofstadter calls for deeper exploration of the implications and hazards of coming technology.
posted by MetaMonkey on Jan 21, 2008 - 44 comments

AI - sooner rather than later?

Dr. Ben Goertzel is an interesting guy. Having previously tried to create an AI based on internet distribution he refined his approach. High level elaborations on his developing thinking here, here and here (arranged chronologically). He gave a talk to Google about it recently (video) (related text), while mentioning why he thought Google isn't in the AI business. Here's a (low quality, sorry) vid of his system's virtual learning in action. Research finances were always a problem - could this be a solution?
posted by Sparx on Sep 24, 2007 - 11 comments

Cyberspace, the Singularity, Belief Circles, oh my!

Vernor Vinge: Mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction visionary worthy of Arthur C Clarke's mantle, Vinge is most famous for popularising the idea of the singularity, where technology advances so quickly that humans cannot participate, but he's also credited with writing one of the first stories about cyberspace, True Names, back in 1981. More recently, he's been exploring how augmented reality and belief circles will change the way we live in his latest novel Rainbows End - which he put online, completely for free.
posted by adrianhon on Aug 24, 2007 - 43 comments

Old people neglecting to die

The Coming Death Shortage We've talked about Aubrey De Grey and gerontology before, but what about the Anna Nicole Smith syndrome and compound interest? This piece from the Atlantic online brings up a scenario that that we may well have to deal with as the maximum possible age increases. Generational warfare, government subsidized longevity treatments ,30 year old adolescence and bio-engineered nations are just some of the things we will live to see if this forecast is accurate. (via Plastic)
posted by daHIFI on Sep 29, 2006 - 52 comments

Grey Vs. Blue? What Kind of Goo Are You?

Grey Goo? The maximum rate of global ecophagy by biovorous self-replicating nanorobots is fundamentally restricted by the replicative strategy employed...
posted by Freen on Aug 4, 2006 - 33 comments

singularity gets just slightly closer

Italian & German researchers have created a "neuro-chip" for linking computers with mammalian neurons (A NewScientist, LiveScience, MSN). They added neuron gluing proteins to the chip to attract the sodium pores, and genetically modified the neurons to add more sodium pores.

In the short term, the work is expected to aid the pharmaceutical industry in testing the effects of drugs on neurons, assist basic research into the workings of the brain, and perhaps help treat neurological disorders. In the long term, numerous sci-fi technologies are slightly closers, such as computers with living components, useful brain implants, and Beowulf clusters of humans.
posted by jeffburdges on Mar 29, 2006 - 15 comments

The Simulacrisation of Technology into Life

As the Pentagon ousts plans to turn insects into cyber war machines you'd be forgiven for asking the question: Where does the real digital end and the faked life begin? Are we simulating life synthetically? or just speeding up an entirely natural process? Technologically engineered life is here to stay. Its not far fetched to speculate that simulacra may become all there is.
posted by 0bvious on Mar 15, 2006 - 13 comments

Gaze into my crystal ball...

BT Technology Timeline 2006-2051 It's interesting to see a major company such as BT set a timeline such as this, especially as they say thier 1990 timeline has had around 80% accuracy. They predict a supercomputer as powerful as the human mind in 2006, self aware computers that pass the turing test by 2020, and the rise of a global computer dictator by and artificial brain around 2040. After that its hard to predict, you know with the singularity coming and all... Some of the interesting things they predict: genetically engineered teddy bears; androids form 10% of the population around 2015; the Matrix is created, 2030; thought recognition as input device by 2014; the list goes on and on. Discuss. [via]
posted by daHIFI on Dec 23, 2005 - 43 comments

Quantum Leap

Mass Producible Quantum Computer - Christopher Monroe has produced the first quantum computer capable of being scaled to a production model at the Trapped Ion Quantum Computing facility at the University of Michigan. (via)
posted by sourbrew on Dec 16, 2005 - 21 comments

The concept of the Transhuman: human, the self, consciousness and their effects on the law

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious on Dec 13, 2005 - 37 comments

Wash. Monthly: Singularity, Free Will, etc. It's a short article.

So. What will happen when our computers get good enough
posted by Tlogmer on Oct 11, 2005 - 30 comments

One for the Copper Tops.

Singularity, The. A black hole in the Extropian worldview whose gravity is so intense that no light can be shed on what lies beyond it. "Popular Science" talks about The Singularity, and asks "Is Science Fiction about to go blind?" Also, see previously, here and here.
posted by seanyboy on Sep 29, 2004 - 43 comments

singularity

What Happens When Technology Zooms Off the Chart? (pdf) Singularity is the subject of the Spring 2003 issue of Whole Earth magazine.
posted by Ty Webb on Jul 10, 2003 - 14 comments

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