David Kirkpatrick

August 23, 2010

A tip for seekers of ET life — look for AI

Via KurzweilAI.net — I think is very sound advice. Of course even though I wholeheartedly support the efforts of SETI and other science-based searches for extraterrestrial life, I’m pretty skeptical we are going to come across any ET intelligence, biological or artificial.

Alien hunters ’should look for artificial intelligence’

August 23, 2010

Source: BBC News — Aug 22, 2010

The odds favor detecting alien AI rather than biological life because the time between aliens developing radio technology and artificial intelligence  would be short, says SETI Institute senior astronomer Seth Shostak.

He also says that artificially intelligent alien life would be likely to migrate to places where both matter and energy — the only things he says would be of interest to the machines — would be in plentiful supply. That means the SETI hunt may need to focus its attentions near hot, young stars or even near the centers of galaxies.

Photo of Allen Telescope Array: SETI Institute

Update 8/25/10: Here’s more on this story from PhysOrg.

May 20, 2010

Ray Kurzweil at H+ Summit

Via KurzweilAI.net — Sounds like an interesting talk.

Kurzweil to discuss the brain at H+ Summit
KurzweilAI.net, May 20, 2010

Ray Kurzweil will keynote the H+ Summit, to be held June 12-13 at Harvard University, with a talk on “The Democratization of Disruptive Change.”

The talk will focus on understanding the brain: Where are we on the roadmap to this goal? What are the effective routes to progress — detailed modeling, theoretical effort, improvement of imaging and computational technologies? What predictions can we make? What are the consequences of materialization of such predictions – – social, ethical?

“According to my models, we are only two decades from fully modeling and simulating the human brain,” said Kurzweil. “By the time we finish this reverse-engineering project, we will have computers that are thousands of times more powerful than the human brain. These computers will be further amplified by being networked into a vast worldwide cloud of computing. The algorithms of intelligence will begin to self-iterate towards ever smarter algorithms.

“This is how we will address the grand challenges of humanity, such as maintaining a healthy environment, providing for the resources for a growing population including energy, food, and water, overcoming disease, vastly extending human longevity, and overcomingpoverty. It is only by extending our intelligence with our intelligent technology that we can handle the scale of complexity to address these challenges.”

Kurzweil will also discuss his upcoming book, How the MindWorks and How to Build One, and examine some of the most common criticisms of the exponential growth of information technology.

The H+ Summit is a two day event that explores how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the near futureVisionary speakers will explore the potential of technology to modify your body, mindlife, and world.

March 17, 2010

Ray Kurzweil on Singularity University

A note from Ray hot from today’s inbox:

I wanted to take a moment to provide you a quick update on the ongoing progress of Singularity University.

I started Singularity University with Peter Diamandis (X Prize) last year and I am happy to report that it is growing, well, exponentially. Last week we concluded our second 9-Day Executive Program at our NASA Ames campus in Silicon Valley. Forty-five entrepreneurs, CEOs, venture capitalists, and government leaders came from over 15 countries and the feedback we are receiving from participants has been remarkably positive. Over 90% of participants rated the program very highly with one third saying it was their “best program ever!”

Our next 9-day program is coming up on April 30 – May 9th. The program concentrates on six exponential growing technologies:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

2. Nanotechnology

3. Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

4. Medicine and Human-Machine Interfaces

5. Networks & Computing Systems

6. Energy & Environmental Systems
Attending the program provides an understanding of how these accelerating technologies will transform your business and your industry by showing you what is in the lab today and where the technologies will be in 5 and 10 years. If you have an interest in attending, learn more about the program and how to apply by visiting our website at http://singularityu.org/executive-programs/.
With my best wishes,

March 15, 2010

AI is big news at SXSW

Not as big as web 2.0/social media, but big enough to get some attention.

From the link:

Chris Valentine, the event’s producer, says that social Web businesses are still king–200 companies applied to compete, and there were twice as many in the social media category as in any other. But he’s starting to see a shift in the technology behind the companies involved in the event. “We knew we were going in the direction of artificial intelligence,” Valentine says, and this year there are a number of startups harnessing technology from the field–especially natural language processing and computer vision.

A prime example is Siri, a startup that launched this February. The company was spun out of SRI International, a research organization based in Menlo Park, CA, commercializing technology developed as part of the CALO artificial intelligence project. The company offers a virtual personal assistant with impressive voice recognition, learning capabilities, and the capacity to interact with many different apps. Its founders describe Siri as “the mother of all mashups with a big brain in the front.”

February 11, 2010

Artificial intelligence at the human level

Filed under: et.al., Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:38 am

KurzweilAI.net — Maybe by 2050?

How Long Till Human-Level AI?
H+, Feb. 5, 2010

A significant numbers of individuals informed about AI believe it is likely that artificial general intelligence (AGI) at the human level or beyond will occur around the middle of this century, and plausibly even sooner, probably integrating a wide range of approaches, according to a survey of 21 AGI-09 conference participants.

The experts were asked when they estimated AI would reach each of four milestones:

  • passing the Turing test by carrying on a conversationwell enough to pass as a human
  • solving problems as well as a third grade elementary school student
  • performing Nobel-quality scientific work
  • going beyond the human level to superhuman intelligence

    Read Original Article>>

  • January 12, 2010

    Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI coming January 16-17

    Along with the usual presentations, this year’s conference celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Foresight Institute’s founding.

    From the link:

    Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI

    Join us in for an exciting conference focused on the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and general Artificial Intelligence and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Foresight.Register online here. The two day conference rate is $175 with discounts for early registration!

    Several rapidly-developing technologies have the potential to undergo an exponential takeoff in the next few decades, causing as much of an impact on economy and society as the computer and networking did in the past few. Chief among these are molecular manufacturing and artificial general intelligence (AGI). Key in the takeoff phenomenon will be the establishment of strong positive feedback loops within and between the technologies. Positive feedback loops leading to exponential growth are nothing new to economic systems. At issue is the value of the exponent: since the Industrial Revolution, economies have expanded at rates of up to 7% per year; however, computing capability has been expanding at rates up to 70% per year, in accordance with Moore’s Law. If manufacturing and intellectual work shifted into this mode, the impact on the economy and society would be profound. The purpose of this symposium is to examine the mechanisms by which this might happen, and its likely effects.

    This announcement also made today’s KurzweilAI.net newsletter:

    Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI
    KurzweilAI.net, Jan. 12, 2010

    The Foresight 2010: the Synergy of Molecular Manufacturing and AGI conference will be held January 16-17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA.

    Topic will include Roadmaps to Nanotechnology, Feynman’s Path: A top-down roadmap, Roadmaps to general Artificial IntelligenceRobotics, Autogeny: Principles underlying exponential manufacturing andintelligence, Additive manufacturing: A roadmap to nanofactories, Open source in manufacturing and AI, Accelerating change, and Space development.

    For those unable to attend, video will be streamed for free at http://www.techzulu.com/live.html.

    November 18, 2009

    Wolfram Alpha developing elements of AI?

    Via KurzweilAI.net — This sure sounds a lot like artificial intelligence to me.

    Innovation: The dizzying ambition of Wolfram Alpha
    New Scientist Tech, Nov. 17, 2009

    Stephen Wolfram wants Wolfram Alpha to generate knowledge of its own.

    Alpha has been exposed to more utterances than a typical child would hear in learning a new language, allowing it to get smarter at understanding how people phrase their requests, he says.

    “You’ll be able to ask it a question, and instead of it using knowledge that came out of a method invented 50 years ago it will invent a new method on the fly to answer it.”


    Read Original Article>>

    September 4, 2009

    Guidelines for ushering in the Singularity

    Via KurzweilAI.net — Singularity news is always fun stuff.

    The Singularity and the Fixed Point

    Technology Review, Sept. 4, 2009

    If one is trying to build an intelligent machine capable of devising more intelligent machines, a few guidelines are essential, says MIT professor Edward Boyden:

    – Find a way to build in motivation, and also motivation amplification–the continued desire to build in self-sustaining motivation, as intelligence amplifies.

    – Avoid paralysis of decision making from too many choices and a “societal fixed point” outcome that self-reinforces, remaining in the status quo.

    Read Original Article>>

    March 13, 2009

    A look at the future of neuroscience

    Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:34 pm

    Informative blog post at FutureTechie.com on the future of neuroscience.

    From the link:

    Before we come up with some kind of Evil Hollywood Science Fiction Artificial Intelligence that for some reason utilizes the horribly inefficient human body as a power source, we are stuck with brains.  We are already doing with brains what the machines do with humans in the classic film “The Matrix”.

    Animal brains, that is.  Scientists at University of Reading have removed the neural cortex of a fetal rat, put it in a nutrient and neuron rich broth surrounding a circuit board, and waited.  Over 300,000 rat neurons eventually forged their own new and unique connections with the cortex and circuit board:

    Also from the link:

    Some say we will lose our unique individualism as we merge with machines, I predict the opposite.  Just as an uneducated, starved brain from the medieval dark ages or poverty-stricken Africa is limited in comparison to an educated healthy brain, in the future our minds will expand and become more varied in psychology, ideas, creativity, and perception as we voluntarily tinker with our intelligence, speed of thought, memory, and even how the basic components of our brains are organized.  Similar to how a prosthetic leg helps one walk again or a pacemaker allows one to live additional years brain-computer interfaces will be just another step.

    March 14, 2008

    Passing the Turing Test

    From KurzweilAI.net:

    AI researchers think ‘Rascals’ can pass Turing test
    EE Times, Mar. 12, 2008Passing the Turing test–the holy grail of AI (a human conversing with a computer can’t tell it’s not human)–may now be possible in a limited way with the world’s fastest supercomputer (IBM‘s Blue Gene) and mimicking the behavior of a human-controlled avatar in a virtual world, according to AI experts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

    “We are building a knowledge base that corresponds to all of the relevant background for our synthetic character–where he went to school, what his family is like, and so on,” said Selmer Bringsjord, head of Rensselaer’s Cognitive Science Department and leader of the research project.

    “We want to engineer, from the start, a full-blown intelligent character and converse with him in an interactive environment like the holodeck from Star Trek.”
    Read Original Article>>