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Anissimov to Speak at Transhuman Visions on March 1st

Author of Blog Michael Anissimov will be speaking at the Transhuman Visions conference in Piedmont, CA (near Berkeley) on March 1st. Tickets are $35 and can be ordered on Eventbrite. The topic of the talk will be on hierarchy and high-trust societies. If you’re in the Bay Area, get tickets and watch my talk!  Many transhumanist luminaries will be there.

Some highlights:

Max and Natasha Vita-More Brian Wang, author of Next Big Future (my favorite futurist news blog) Zoltan Itsvan, author of The Transhumanist Wager John Smart, a deep-thinking futurist who created Acceleration Watch

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Foresight @ Google: 25th Anniversary & Reunion Weekend

Interested in emerging technologies? Fascinated by the potential in transformative nanotech? Come explore the future with…

FORESIGHT@GOOGLE 25th Anniversary Conference Celebration and Reunion Weekend Google HQ in Mountain View, CA June 25-26 2011

A rockstar lineup includes keynotes:

• JIM VON EHR – Founder/President of Zyvex, the world’s first successful molecular nanotech company • BARNEY PELL, PhD – Cofounder/CTO of Moon Express, competing for Google’s Lunar X PRIZE

With speakers and panelists including: • WILLIAM ANDREGG – Founder/CEO of Halcyon Molecular • MIKE GARNER, PhD – Chair of ITRS Emerging Research Materials • MIKE NELSON – CTO of NanoInk • LUKE NOSEK – CoFounder of Paypal, Founders Fund Partner • PAUL SAFFO, PhD – Wired, NYT-published strategist & forecaster • SIR FRASER STODDART, PhD – Knighted for creation of molecular “switches” and a new field of nanochemistry • THOMAS THEIS, PhD – IBM’s Director of Physical Sciences

For the full speaker roster, as well as information on our exclusive 25th Anniversary Banquet, see our conference website:

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My Upcoming Talk in Texas: Anthropomorphism and Moral Realism in Advanced Artificial Intelligence

I was recently informed that my abstract was accepted for presentation at the Society for Philosophy and Technology conference in Denton, TX, this upcoming May 26 Р29. You may have heard of their journal, Techn̩. Register now for the exciting chance to see me onstage, talking AI and philosophy. If you would volunteer to film me, that would make me even more excited, and valuable to our most noble cause.

Here’s the abstract:

Anthropomorphism and Moral Realism in Advanced Artificial Intelligence Michael Anissimov Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Humanity has attributed human-like qualities to simple automatons since the time of the Greeks. This highlights our tendency to anthropomorphize (Yudkowsky 2008). Today, many computer users anthropomorphize software programs. Human psychology is extremely complex, and most of the simplest everyday tasks have yet to be replicated by a computer or robot (Pinker 1997). As robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) …

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Global Catastrophic Risks in the Spotlight at Society for Risk Analysis Conference

Today I attended the global catastrophic risk sessions at the Society for Risk Analysis annual meeting in Salt Lake City, and was very pleased by the attendance at these two sessions. Two former Presidents of the society attended, and one, Jonathan Weiner, gave a compelling talk that reminded me very much of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s “Cognitive biases potentially affecting judgment of global risks”. Jonathan called for more attention to global catastrophic risks, including global financial crises, and pointed out specific biases that prevent people from giving due attention to these risks. The whole experience gave me the strong impression that the risk analysis mainstream is very much interested in global catastrophic risks. Congratulations to Seth Baum for spearheading this effort.

Robin Hanson gave a fascinating talk on refuge entry futures. Basically, the idea is that you could potentially judge the probability of catastrophic risks better than the status quo by seeing how many people would be willing to buy tickets to enter secure refuges in case of …

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Silicon Valley Billionaire Backs Futuristic Philanthropy

Here’s the article from yesterday’s San Jose Mercury News:

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel worries that people aren’t thinking big enough about the future.

So he’s convening an unusual philanthropic summit Tuesday night , where he’ll introduce other wealthy tech figures to nonprofit groups exploring such futuristic — some might say “far out” — ideas as artificial intelligence, the use of “rejuvenation biotechnologies” to extend human life and the creation of free-floating communities on the high seas.

“We’re living in a world where people are incredibly biased toward the incremental,” said Thiel, explaining that he wants to challenge his peers to pursue more “radical breakthroughs” in their philanthropy, by supporting nonprofit exploration of technological innovations that carry at least the promise of major advances for the human condition.

“Obviously there are a lot of questions about the impact of these things,” he added. “If you have radical life extension, that could obviously lead to repercussions for society. But I think that’s a problem we want to have.”

The 43-year-old financier and …

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500 Pictures of Singularity Summit 2010 Available

Photo by A. Jolly 2010.

My Flickr account contains almost 500 photos of Singularity Summit 2010, more than you could ever want. I mentioned this before in the Singularity Institute newsletter but not here. A special thanks to our photographers, A. Jolly and Anthony Scatchell. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in volunteering for photography next year.

Steven Mann is so cool!

The videos are currently being edited, they’ll be completed over the next few weeks. Sorry for the delay, one of our initial editors backed out of the project. Watch the Vimeo channel for updates. I’ll announce it officially on SIAI blog when some go online.

Total attendance at Singularity Summit 2010 was approximately 620.

For any new readers: the Singularity Summit is put on by the Singularity Institute, which I work for. I co-organize Singularity Summit, assisting our President, Michael Vassar. Everyone at …

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Humanity+ @ Caltech to be Held at Beckman Institute in Los Angeles, December 4-5

Here’s the website. Humanity+ @ CalTech is hosted by the California Institute of Technology and ab|inventio, the invention factory behind QLess, Whozat, SocialDiligence and MyNew.TV.

The speakers list is a mix of the usual suspects and some new names. The usual suspects include Randal Koene, Suzanne Gildert, Michael Vassar, Max More, Nastasha Vita-More, Bryan Bishop, Patri Friedman, Ben Goertzel, and Gregory Benford. If you were following my tweets from this weekend you’ll recall that Benford announced StemCell100(tm) at the Life Extension Conference in Burlingame, which is a product of LifeCode, a spinoff company of Genescient.

The conference is partially being organized by my friend Tom McCabe, who was recently voted on to the Board of Directors of Humanity+. Please let Tom know (his email is at his website) if you want to help sponsor the event!

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Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting Presentation

This is just a reminder that I will be presenting at the Society for Risk Analysis annual meeting in Salt Lake City on December 5-8. The meeting is open to anyone interested in risk analysis. Registration is $500. Robin Hanson and Seth Baum will be there as well. My presentation will be part of the “Assessment, Communication and Perception of Nanotechnology” track. The full session list is here. Seth will be chairing the “Methodologies for Global Catastrophic Risk Assessment” track, where Robin will be giving his talk.

Here’s my abstract:

T3-F.4 14:30 Public Scholarship For Global Catastrophic Risks. Anissimov M*; Singularity Institute

Abstract: Global catastrophic risks (GCRs) are risks that threaten civilization on a global scale, including nuclear war, ecological collapse, pandemics, and poorly understood risks from emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and artificial intelligence. Public perception of GCRs …

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ASIM Experts Series: Brain-Machine Interfacing: Current Work and Future Directions, by Max Hodak, October 17, 2010

“ASIM” stands for Advancing Substrate Independent Minds, the field previously known as mind uploading, though ASIM can be construed as broader. ASIM is the focus of Carboncopies, a new non-profit founded by Suzanne Gildert (now at D-Wave) and Randal Koene (Halcyon Molecular). Randal and I work at the same company so I get to see him in the lunch room now.

The presentation, to be held in Teleplace this upcoming Sunday (email Giulio Prisco for directions on how to log in) has the following abstract:

Brain-machine interfacing: current work and future directions Max Hodak –

Abstract: Fluid, two-way brain-machine interfacing represents one of the greatest challenges of modern bioengineering. It offers the potential to restore movement and speech to the locked-in, and ultimately allow us as humans to expand far beyond the biological limits we’re encased in now. …

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Wendell Wallach to Give Keynote on AI Morality at WFS Meeting

Wendell Wallach will be giving the keynote talk at the plenary session of the World Future Society Conference in Boston on July 8th. The title of the talk will be, Navigating the Future: Moral Machines, Techno Humans, and the Singularity. Other speakers at WorldFuture 2010: Sustainable Futures, Strategies, and Technologies will be Ray Kurzweil, Dennis Bushnell, and Harvey Cox.

Wallach will also be making a splash in an upcoming issue of Ethics and Information Technology dedicated to “Robot Ethics and Human Ethics.” As the Moral Machines blog, Wendell offers the first two paragraphs of his editorial, and some additional information about the issue:

It has already become something of a mantra among machine ethicists that one benefit of their research is that it can help us better understand ethics in the case of human beings. Sometimes this expression appears as an afterthought, looking as if authors say it merely to justify the field, but this is not the case. At …

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SENS Foundation Los Angeles Chapter, First Meeting

From Maria Entraigues. Here is the event page.

On behalf of SENS Foundation I am writing to you to invite you to join Dr Aubrey de Grey for our first SENSF L.A. Chapter meeting to be held on Friday, July 9th, 2010, at the Westwood Brewing Company (1097 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-2907) from 5pm until Aubrey has had enough beer :-)

This will be an informal gathering to create a local initiative to promote the Foundation’s interests and mission.

The idea of forming a SENSF L.A. Chapter, which is planned to have monthly meetings, is to create a network of enthusiasts, field professionals, potential donors, sponsors, collaborators, students, etc. Also to promote educational efforts in the area, and to reach out to the Hollywood community and gain their support.

Please RSVP. We hope you will come and join us!

Cheers! Maria Entraigues SENSF Volunteer Coordinator

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