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GoodAI launches “Solving the AI Race” round of the General AI Challenge Thumbnail

General AI research and development company GoodAI has launched the latest round of their General AI Challenge, Solving the AI Race. $15,000 of prizes are available for suggestions on how to mitigate the risks associated with a race to transformative AI. The round, which is open to the general public and will run until the 18th of May 18 2018, will ask participants to suggest methods to address the potential pitfalls of competition towards transformative AI, where: Key stakeholders, including developers, may ignore or underestimate safety procedures, or agreements, in favor of faster utilization The fruits of the technology might not be shared by the majority of people to benefit humanity, but only by a selected few The round is the latest of the General AI Challenge which will be giving away $5million in prizes in the coming years, to advance [...]

On Singularity University and the Danger of Being Exponential Thumbnail

Singularity University [SU] has a religious fetish for its sacred words – disrupt, innovate and, most of all, exponential. Just listen to any recent SU alumni and you can’t help it but hear disrupt here, innovate there and, most of all, exponential everywhere. This is not surprising since, even before updating its Massively Transformative Purpose [MTP] to “Be Exponential,” SU was the temple proselytizing the gospel of exponential technology. The problem with such shallow-minded slogans is that people might end up doing just that. And it could be the end of us all. Because, while necessary, technology is not enough. You see, the Black Death – aka The Great Plague, was exponential. The Spanish Flu was also exponential. [And we were very lucky that neither SARS nor Ebola went exponential during their respective outbreaks a few years ago.] Al Qaeda was pretty [...]

Is the Singularity Steering us Toward the Greatest Inequality in History? Thumbnail

The basic idea of the technological singularity is simple: the rate at which technology progresses increases as time moves forward. If we believe the technological singularity is happening, then we as a species should inspect its impact on human equality. This phenomenon is pushing our human ship toward a waterfall of technological innovation. Is it also pushing open the gaps between people, classes and whole societies? The basic premise of the singularity can be seen using a graph of major technological advancements throughout the history of our species on Earth. Check out the now famous graph below, most often credited to Theodore Modis, showing major turning points in “canonical milestones.” On the x-axis is the amount of time that has gone by since an event has occurred, and on the y-axis is the amount of time separating that event from the one [...]

Must Watch: “Slaughterbots” Short by Stop Autonomous Weapons Thumbnail

Looking like a creepy TED Talk, this sci-fi short film from Stop Autonomous Weapons looks at a possible near future of autonomous slaughterbot drones trained to kill a specific human target. It’s created by Stop Autonomous Weapons, a group dedicated to bringing pressure to update the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) to explicitly include autonomous weapons. They even set up a creepy StratoEnergetics slaughterbot manufacturer website ;-) If this future isn’t what you want, please take action at http://autonomousweapons.org/   Related Articles Dawn of the Kill-Bots: the Conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Arming of AI (part 1)

We’re All Truck Drivers Now: Nikola Danaylov @ DES2017 Thumbnail

The year rolled away so quickly and I completely forgot that in May I was a keynote speaker at the DES 2017 Conference in Madrid, Spain. Luckily, a fan dug out this video from the depths of the internet and, since she liked it very much, I thought I’d share it with you on Singularity Weblog. The interview runs about 12 minutes long and we cover a variety of topics such as: why in an age when answers are free questions are priceless; the technological singularity or what if your toothbrush is smarter than you; whether we should fear or not fear the singularity; artificial intelligence, technological unemployment and why we are all truck drivers now; chatbots and why technology is a magnifying mirror; why I’m not worried about AI going evil; why technology is no God…

The Beyond: a High Concept Sci Fi Feature Trailer Thumbnail

Check out this trailer for The Beyond – a high concept sci-fi feature (based loosely on the 2014 short film Project Kronos) which will be released by distributor Gravitas Ventures in the US on Jan 9th 2018. The Beyond is a science fiction film that blends the realism of ‘found footage’ with the fantastical, ‘big idea’ nature of the science fiction films of today. The Beyond tells a fascinating and exhilarating story chronicling the ground-breaking mission which sent astronauts – modified with advanced robotics, through a newly discovered wormhole known as the Void. When the mission returns unexpectedly, the space agency races to discover what the astronauts encountered on their first of its kind interstellar space journey. The Beyond promises to be a cinematic, thinking man’s found footage film that shares inspiration from the likes of Contact and District 9 [...]

Chatbots – The New Retail Banking Frontier Thumbnail

Life of the modern Homo sapiens revolves around money and tech. That is why the banking industry is always the first one to adopt the latest trends. A decade ago the digital banking put an end to the three-hundred-year-old ‘tradition’ of waiting in queues. Today, we can run accounts ourselves, and use banking services without stepping foot into an actual bank. For customer service, the eBanking was a huge leap forward, but it has caused an unsettling feeling in the Customer Support departments across the globe. Where do we go from here? The customer expectations went wild in the last couple of years. This trend was confirmed by Deloitte’s Reshaping the Retail Banking Experience – For the Customer of Tomorrow study. They describe future consumers as well-informed, connected, a bit skeptical and very demanding. The financial institutions need to consistently feed [...]

Unexpected Futurist: Mark Twain, Tesla, and a Worldwide Visual Telephone System Thumbnail

In our previous episode of Unexpected Futurist, we covered Ben Franklin’s vision of the year 2776. Since Franklin was a leading scientist and experimenter of his day, it isn’t entirely shocking that he could sense that the increasing pace of scientific discovery was going to revolutionize the world. The second episode of this series features an individual who, while certainly a leading figure of his day, was no scientist: Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Twain experienced his glimpses into the future largely as a scientific layman. While Franklin envisioned a world that would be rapidly evolving, by Twain’s time that rapid evolution had arrived. Twain was fascinated with scientific discoveries, with the new and controversial theory of evolution, and with the consumer products that resulted from new technology. In this sense, looking back on some of Twain’s technological [...]

Blade Runner 2049: “The future of the species has finally unearthed.” [Updated] Thumbnail

Thirty years after the events of the original Blade Runner, in this new version – Blade Runner 2049, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years. From executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve, #BladeRunner2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, MacKenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto. Nexus 2036: New Short Film for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ Explains Jared Leto’s Backstory A new Blade Runner 2049 prequel short film “in-world” piece that explains what happened in the world of Blade Runner between the first movie, set in 2019, and this sequel, set in 2049. [...]

Unexpected Futurist: Benjamin Franklin envisions 2776 and Cryonics Thumbnail

The futurist as a profession is a fairly recent development, dating back, at the earliest, to the 1940s. “The future” as a common theme in pop culture and literature, goes back only a bit further, the genre being launched by famous visionaries such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and exploding in the 1900s through mass market publications such as Popular Science, science-fiction films, and other works that explored the impact of rapidly evolving technology. So it can be easy to forget that well before the “the future” was a commercially exploitable pop phenomenon, the implications of scientific and technological advancements were weighing on the minds of both leading thinkers and the common man. As far back as the beginnings of the industrial revolution, and even the cementing of the scientific method, many individuals started to get an inkling of [...]

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