Singularity Institute Covered by NPR’s All Things Considered

From today’s program:

It’s been called “the rapture of the nerds.” For some computer experts, the Singularity is the moment when an artificial intelligence learns how to improve itself in an exponential “intelligence explosion.” They say it’s a bigger threat to puny humans than global warming or nuclear war — and they’re trying to figure out how to stop it.

Reading the transcript, it seems like OK coverage.

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Josh Tenenbaum Video Again: Bayesian Models of Human Inductive Learning

I posted this only a month ago, but here’s the link to the video again. People sometimes say there’s been no progress in AI, but the kind of results obtained by Tenenbaum are amazing and open up a whole approach to AI that uses fast and frugal heuristics for reasoning and requires very minimal inspiration from the human brain.


In everyday learning and reasoning, people routinely draw successful generalizations from very limited evidence. Even young children can infer the meanings of words, hidden properties of objects, or the existence of causal relations from just one or a few relevant observations — far outstripping the capabilities of conventional learning machines. How do they do it? And how can we bring machines closer to these human-like learning abilities? I will argue that people’s everyday inductive leaps can be understood as approximations to Bayesian computations operating over structured representations of the world, what cognitive scientists have called “intuitive theories” or “schemas”. For each of several everyday learning tasks, I will consider how appropriate knowledge …

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IBM Cat Brain Nonsense in the Zeitgeist

I found another ridiculous article on IBM’s so-called “cat brain” at TechWorldNews, titled “IBM Researchers Go Way Beyond AI With Cat-Like Cognitive Computing”. I run into these articles all the time doing AI-related searches, so even though they were published a year ago, their deception remains strongly in effect. The fact that so many people actually believe what IBM implies shows how fundamentally confused 99% of the population (including geeks) is about AI in general. Here’s a quote from the article:

IBM researchers have developed a cognitive computer simulation that mimics the way a cat brain processes thought, and they expect to be able to mimic human thought processes within a decade. “A cognitive computer could quickly and accurately put together the disparate pieces of any complex data puzzle and help people make good decisions rapidly,” said Daniel Kantor, medical director of Neurologique.

Mimics the way a cat brain processes thought. They actually wrote that. So people believe in a computer that processes cat thought existing in 2009, but don’t expect a computer …

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Comprehensive Nanorobotic Control of Human Morbidity and Aging

Robert Freitas’ book chapter for The Future of Aging compilation is now online. It looks very interesting. Freitas always produces fantastic work, that’s one of the reasons Kurzweil constantly cites him. Here’s the abstract:

Nanotechnology involves the engineering of molecularly precise structures and molecular machines, and nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to medicine, including the development of medical nanorobotics. Theoretical designs for diamondoid nanomachinery such as bearings, gears, motors, pumps, sensors, manipulators and even molecular computers already exist. Technologies required for the molecularly precise fabrication of diamondoid mechanical components and medical nanorobots, along with feasible strategies for the mass production of these devices, are the focus of active current research. This chapter describes a comprehensive solution to human morbidity and aging which will be attained when mankind has established control over all critical molecular events in the human body through the use of medical nanorobotics. Medical nanorobots can provide targeted treatments to individual organs, tissues, cells and even intracellular components, and can intervene in biological …

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