At the AGI-09 post-conference workshop‘s Roadmap Panel, Itamar Arel of the University of Tennessee announced the founding of a wiki at agi-roadmap.org that will serve as a supplement to the creation of an AGI Roadmap. Taking as examples several previous, related technology projects, J. Storrs Hall made mention of work conducted by the Foresight Institute on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems and Ben Goertzel discussed his participation in the writing of the Metaverse Roadmap.
Christine Peterson is the founder and vice president of public policy for the Foresight Institute and co-chair of the Convergence 08 Unconference. For the February 13, 2008 lecture for the Stanford Law, Science and Technology Colloquium at Stanford University, she presented on the long-term potentials and unprecedented challenges inherent in nanotechnology.
As AI developers are convening in San Francisco this week for the Game Developers Conference, another artificial intelligence conference is wrapping up in Arlington, Virginia, a short walk from the Pentagon. AGI-09, the second conference on artificial general intelligence, brings together researchers attempting to create learning, reasoning agents with broad, humanlike intelligence.
Organized by Dr. Ben Goertzel, chief science officer of Novamente LLC, the AGI conference series is a motivated effort to steer research back in the direction of the original intents of AI, namely to make a thinking machine. Goertzel’s plan is to inch up the cognitive ladder by incrementally developing more cleverly adaptive pets in virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games.
When cheap, advanced sensors give rise to ubiquitous monitoring technology, there will be the potential for what David Brin in The Transparent Society and others have called “sousveillance” to become universal. One could envision a future in which everyone was monitoring the activities of everyone else. At the AGI-09 post-conference workshop, Ben Goertzel presented on a paper with Stephan Bugaj on various scenarios resulting from a future of advanced artificial intelligence that includes sousveillance technologies.
Ben Goertzel and J. Storrs Hall at the AGI-09 post-conference workshop
Following in the footsteps of AGI-08, the Future of AI workshop was held in conjunction with AGI-09. This year’s workshop, held Monday, March 9th, 2009, at the main conference venue of the Crowne Plaza National Airport in Arlington, Virginia featured a slate of invited talks as well as contributed papers and posters. The event was hosted by J. Storrs Hall, president of the Foresight Institute, and introduced the topic of the economics of advanced AI.
The world’s democracies are set to face their gravest challenge yet as viable and ongoing political options. George Dvorsky, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and Humanity+ while bloging at Sentient Developments, presented at the Global Catastrophic Risks conference in Mountain View on how given these high stakes situations, democratic institutions may not be given the chance to prevent global catastrophes.
Though some areas of SENS, such as stem cells and amyloid immunotherapy, are sufficiently mainstream not to need funding, most are still relative backwaters that rely on the Methuselah Foundation to progress. As a result of the great generosity of donors, the non-profit organization trebled the diversity of its research in 2008. At the BIL unconference in February, Chief Science Officer Aubrey de Grey gave an overview of the research projects that the organization is now funding, their significance to SENS, and their potential to lead to accelerated progress towards the defeat of aging in 2009 and beyond.
Convergence08, the interdisciplinary unconference, continued with a panel discussion on life extension. Moderated by Christine Peterson of Foresight Nanotech Institute, the group of biotechnology and health experts included Aubrey de Grey of the Methuselah Foundation, Terry Grossman of the Frontier Medical Institute, Bruce Ames of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and Gregory Benford of Genescient Corporation.
Peter Voss started his career as an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer and scientist at age 16. After a few years of experience in electronics engineering, at age 25 he started a company to provide advanced custom software development and information-technology services. Seven years later the company employed several hundred people and was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Having recently taken his artificial intelligence company Adaptive A.I. Inc. (a2i2) out of stealth mode, he presented at the BIL unconference in Long Beach, California in February on the prospects of creating artificial general intelligence, or “Real AI,” in less than a decade.
Convergence08, the technology unconference, began with a different kind of AI debate: not on whether to create AI, or which technical path will work fastest, but how we can use AI technology to build the world we want to live in. Jonas Lamis of SciVestor moderated the panel of artificial intelligence experts, which included Barney Pell of Powerset, Steve Omohundro of Self-Aware Systems, Peter Norvig of Google and Ben Goertzel of Novamente.
Mike LaTorra and J. Hughes led a group discussion at the Convergence 08 unconference titled “Digital Serfs and Cyborg Buddhas.” Digital (or data) serfdom currently exists — and is growing — among high-tech workers. In a future of mind-uploading, the situation could worsen into a dystopian horror. The bright alternative to this vision of servitude in dark digital mills is life as an enhanced, empowered, free individual, the Cyborg Buddha, who enjoys both technological abundance and the time to enjoy it in contemplative bliss.
The Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems charts a path beginning with current nanotechnology capabilities to advanced molecularly-precise systems. Christine Peterson, co-founder of the Foresight Nanotech Institute, spoke on the organization’s attempts to lay out a step-by-step course of development for molecular nanotechnology at a Stanford graduate class in technology forecasting in January. After outlining near and mid-term projections for nanoscale technologies, she introduced the future objective of establishing open source physical security, a means to broadly protect both privacy and safety in a society empowered with sophisticated surveillance technologies.