Saturday, September 30, 2006

MIT-Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Harvard-Lieber Research Group

Friday, September 29, 2006


"You've said that by 2009, we'll have ubiquitous, full-immersion, shared visual-auditory virtual reality environments. In practical terms, what need be the sequence of events to realize that future? And which industry -- or industries -- do you think will take the lead?

All these things require certain enabling technologies. For instance, there are a number of vendors today who offer retinal projection glasses. They don't yet have the resolution or look completely normal, but it's not 2009 yet. We already have wearable computing. But we're not yet at the point in Moore's Law where it's become completely invisible. We need to get personal local area networks. And certainly, we will have systems like that so we don't have to carry all those wires. So your personal computer will turn up in your clothing and your display will be in your glasses. By 2009, we will have very high bandwidth, and the electronics for everything will be so small that it will be embedded everywhere."

"Nanometer bridge combines magnetic and electronic worlds"

From Nanowires to Nanotubes

Nanoparticles to aid brain imaging

"The contrast sensors MIT is developing 'will be tools for making the shift from imaging gross functional properties of the brain through its hemodynamic changes to a fine-tuned analysis based on information flow involving cells and circuits.'"

Roll-Up Laptop

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Harvard Class in Second Life

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Earth Is Warming To Level Not Seen In Million Years

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ray Kurzweil Speaking Event

"South Korea struggles to discover secrets of eternal youth"

Scientific Proof for the Existence of God

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Kurzweil Article

Saturday, September 23, 2006

“I was at Bill Gates’ house not long ago talking with Bill and some senior guys about eLearning.”
-Ray Kurzweil
"The question is not whether we collectively are stupid enough to blow ourselves up, but rather whether a few of us are dazzlingly intelligent enough not to."
"Ray Kurzweil is utterly relentless, merciless, and authoritative as he hammers home his vision of the future. He doesn't just make this stuff up, but opens his book with about fifty graphs depicting the exponential trends in current technology. Graphs depict the increase in computer power, its reduction in cost, the nanotechnological patents applied for, the size of chips, and so on. Dr. Kurzweil doesn't so much indicate trends, as prove that they are inevitable.

Polymath Ray Kurzweil is difficult to debate, he practically invented the voice-recognition software that is now used on every 1-800 phone line, as well as the modern electronic synthesizer, and he has been described as the 'rightful heir to Edison.' A gentleman by the name of Dr. Richard E. Smalley was foolish enough to attempt a critique of Kurzweil and recieved a ten-page broadside in 'Singularity.' Smalley is on the ropes in about two sentences with his wild 'Fat Fingers, Thin Fingers' assertions, and by the time ten pages are up the guy is cringing in a corner."

Richard Branson pledges $3bn to combat global warming

Lifeboat Foundation

"For the price of a cup of coffee a day you can join a select group of visionaries who are standing shoulder to shoulder as the first vanguard in the real war to ensure humanity adopts the increasingly powerful technologies of genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics without too many casualties."
"I'm on the Army Science Advisory Group (a board of five people who advise the Army on science and technology), and the Army is the institution responsible for the nation's bioterrorism protection. Without revealing anything confidential, I can say that there is acute awareness of these dangers, but there is neither the funding nor national priority to address them in an adequate way."
-Ray Kurzweil

Friday, September 22, 2006

I contributed to the Lifeboat Foundation.
Sixteen "years ago, Kurzweil caused a stir with his book 'The Age of Intelligent Machines,' in which he made startling predictions about future developments in information technology. For example, he predicted that a machine would soon outperform a chess grand master. His prediction came true in 1997 when IBM's chess-playing computer Big Blue trounced grand master Gary Kasparov." He also predicted that the World Wide Web would arise in the mid-1990's, which it did.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Nonbiological intelligence is growing exponentially; the crossover point will be in the 2020s. When we get to the 2030s and 2040s, it will be the nonbiological portion of our civilization that will be predominant."
-Ray Kurzweil

Freitas Book

From Robert Freitas

"Perhaps 10-20 years from today, the earliest mol. machine systems and nanorobots may join the medical armamentarium, finally giving physicians the most potent tools imaginable to conquer human disease, ill-health, and aging."
According to an article, IBM's Blue Brain project may simulate the whole brain as early as 2015.
"The present is a deeply personal moment. And for Ray Kurzweil, so deep and understood it is that only people who venture in proximity to his event horizon of consciousness - the border of his self-sustained solipsist integrity - will ever be able to moderately understand it. I think he's applied his understanding of quantum mechanics appropriately to his discussion of consciousness and predictability concerning the human mind."

Neuro-Silicon Interface-Artificial Intelligence?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bionics Tour

Book: "The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed by Rapidly Advancing Technologies"

Around 2030, "a student won't go to school to learn a subject. He or she will take a pill that uses nanotechnology and genetic engineering to put the subject into the student's brain."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Materials scientists tame tricky carbon nanotubes"

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Technology is advancing ‘exponentially’ or faster. This means that the bulk of the change in knowledge and capacity needed to precipitate the singularity will occur within the last year [or two] before the event. [Translation: most of us won’t see it coming.]"

Drowning Polar Bear?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Past Global Warming Tipping Point

Earth After Ice Melts

Polar Bears Drowning Because of Global Warming

Nanotechnology could help reverse global warming, a snowball effect for which appears to have recently begun.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Friday, September 15, 2006

Reprogramming Biology: Tinkering with our genetic programs will extend longevity, By Ray Kurzweil

"As a species we are not particularly adept at thinking about big picture issues."
Under the possibility that we, the world, and the universe are a simulation on someone's computer, the person/thing running the simulation could be in a time period around the singularity and could be running multiple simulations for the possibility that one may show it how to survive existential risks.

(May the above be something to do later?)

multiple universes=multiple simulations?

Once the universe(s) is/are filled with technology/intelligence, may it be possible to exit the simulation (we probably would have survived existential risks, as would have the simulator as a result)?

Multiple Universes?

"From an environmental perspective, the Singularity can be thought of as the point at which technology and nature become one. Whatever perspective one takes, at this juncture the world as we have known it will become extinct, and new definitions of life, nature, and human will take hold."

"Kurzweil and Sun Microsystems' chief scientist Bill Joy agree that, circa 2030, the technology of the 1999 film The Matrix will be within our grasp and that humanity will be teetering on the edge of the Singularity."

The sixth paradigm, the one that will enable technology à la The Matrix, will be here in 20 to 30 years. "It's obvious what the sixth paradigm will be--computing in three dimensions," says Kurzweil. "We will effectively merge with our technology."

"Scientists predict breakthroughs soon that will open the way to molecular-size computing and the quantum computer, creating new scientific paradigms where exponential technological progress will leap off the map. Those who have done the exponential math quickly realize the possibilities in numerous industries and scientific fields--and then they notice the anomaly of the Singularity happening within this century."

"Singularity is the postulated point in our future when human evolutionary development--powered by such developments as nanotechnology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence-accelerates enormously so that nothing beyond that time can reliably be conceived. Typical developments include the merging of man and machine (cybernetic organisms--or cyborgs)."

"The majority of people closest to these theories and laws--the tech sector--can hardly wait for these technologies to arrive. The true believers call themselves extropians, posthumans, and transhumanists, and are actively organizing not just to bring the Singularity about, but to counter the technophobes and neo-Luddites who believe that unchecked technological progress will exceed our ability to reverse any destructive process that might unintentionally be set in motion."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Many leading technology industries have been aware of the possibility of a Singularity for some time. There are concerns that, if the public understood its ramifications, they might panic over accepting new and untested technologies that bring us closer to Singularity. For now, the debate about the consequences of the Singularity has stayed within the halls of business and technology; the kinks are being worked out."
"The system will eventually find itself spreading across the galaxy so fast it hits
the speed of light. Kurzweil toys with the idea that the speed-of-light barrier is there to be broken, which opens up the prospect of the entire Universe being taken over by an omniscient superintelligence within just a couple - a few centuries."
"Cross-pollination of computer science, nanotechnology, and biology are rapidly
bringing advances which have nearly unlimited potential. We have arrived at the
most important period of human history. The choices we make right now will
determine the fate of mankind. It could lead to a humanity which transcends the
limitations of biology and expands throughout the stars or our utter extinction.

A group of very bright people have formed The Lifeboat Foundation to help
navigate the minefield that lies ahead. In addition to addressing the risks
themselves, they're also looking at ways to preserve life off-planet should
their efforts fail and everything on earth is destroyed."
"Researchers in the biochemistry, nanotechnology, and robotics fields may not be as acutely aware of exponential growth (there are no equivalents to Moores law in those fields) but scientists are still cognizant of the rapid and increasing pace of development in those nascent industries. Moreover, Kurzweil correctly states that progress in one field, such as semiconductors, has a ripple effect on other industries. For instance, the Blue Gene supercomputers, a marvel of modern semiconductor technology, will be able to simulate precisely the interatomic forces that determines how a protein folds. This capability will have a profound and direct impact upon the microbiology, biochemistry, and genetic engineering industries. Finally, Kurzweil highlights the burgeoning resources that can be directed towards given technology projects. The surge in labor resources (technically trained scientists and researchers are coming out of worldwide Universities at an ever greater rate) combined with the increased financial funding (industries have growing R&D funds, in inflation-adjusted dollars,) and the inexorable rise in computing power, all lead to a substantial aggregate increase in available R&D resources, which in turn allows seemingly intractable problems to be surmounted."


"Bionic Arm Moves By Mind Power"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Scanning tools can [now] see individual interneuronal connections, and watch them fire in real time. Already, we have mathematical models and simulations of a couple dozen regions of the brain, including the cerebellum, which comprises more than half the neurons in the brain."
Japan says it will have a 10^16 supercomputer in 2010.

"My predictions often end up conservative."
-Ray Kurzweil
"One cubic inch of nanotube circuitry would be billions of times more powerful than the power required to simulate all regions of the human brain."

Nanotube circuits are working.

Monday, September 11, 2006


"Ray Kurzweil, an inventor and futurologist, has stumbled on a discovery of earth-shattering importance. It is the arrival of singularity, and according to him it will happen in 2045."

Kurzweil: U.S. House of Representatives Hearing

Reverse Engineering the Brain

The complexity of the design of the human brain is about a billion times simpler than the actual complexity we find in the brain. This is due to the brain (like all biology) being a probabilistic recursively expanded fractal. We can ascertain the complexity of the design of the human brain because the design is contained in the genome and the genome (including non-coding regions) only has about 30 to 100 million bytes of compressed information in it due to the massive redundancies in the genome.

The requisite algorithms will be available in the next 20 years.

We did not have scanners that could see into the human brain with sufficient resolution until recently.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

"South Koreans race for space"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Earth-like planets may be common

"Siberian lakes burp 'time-bomb' greenhouse gas"


Singularity Essay from 1993

Paper I'm Working On This Fall

Friday, September 08, 2006

People think they live in a linear world. The web feels like it came out of
nowhere, but actually it was in the flatter part of the exponential curve.
"We’ve been evolving exponentially faster since the beginning of time. We hadn’t noticed before because we were in the flat part of the curve; now we’re at the knee. Soon we’ll be on a rocket ride, where everything becomes a blur."

The genome is 800 MB.

Kurzweil Quote

"The acceleration of paradigm shift (the rate at which we change fundamental technical approaches) as well as the exponential growth of the capacity of information technology are both beginning to reach the “knee of the curve,” which is the stage at which an exponential trend becomes noticeable. Shortly after this stage, the trend quickly becomes explosive. Before the middle of this century, the growth rates of our technology—which will be indistinguishable from ourselves—will be so steep as to appear essentially vertical. From a strictly mathematical perspective, the growth rates will still be finite but so extreme that the changes they bring about will appear to rupture the fabric of human history."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kurzweil Paraphrase

"Only technology, which can scale, can solve the problems, such as disease, poverty, and death, that the human species has struggled with for eons."

"The T-1000 in Terminator 2 is another example of a nanorobot swarm."
"Exponential growth is deceptive. It starts out almost imperceptibly and then explodes with unexpected fury---unexpected, that is, if one does not take care to follow its trajectory."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

1.5 Petaflops Supercomputer


Book Excerpts


Ray Kurzweil Quote

"Being a Singularitarian is not a matter of faith but a matter of understanding."

"Being a Singularitarian has often been an alienating and lonely experience for me because most people I encounter do not share my outlook. Most 'big thinkers' are totally unaware of this big thought. In a myriad of statements and comments people typically evidence the common wisdom that human life is short, that our physical and intellectual reach is limited, and that nothing fundamental will change in our lifetimes. I expect this narrow view to change as the implications of accelerating change become increasingly apparent."


"1.25 terabytes has been claimed as the capacity of a human being's functional memory, according to Raymond Kurzweil in The Singularity Is Near, p. 126."
"It is sad that humanity as a whole has not invested even a few million dollars
to improve its thinking about how it may best ensure its own survival."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The computer processor equivalent of the human brain is expected to cost $1 in 2029.
"Bill Gates has described Kurzweil as in a class by himself as regards to accurately predicting the trends and pace of technological development.

Ray Kurzweil is considered one of the top inventors on the planet.
Omni-font optical character recognition machine
Print-to-speech reading machine for the blind
Text-to-speech synthesizer
Synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano
Large-vocabulary speech recognition"

Moore's Law

Technocracy Quote

"We are operating a system that is designed for the 17th century."


"[In 2023], predicts Ray Kurzweil, $1,000 computers will match the power of the human brain. Kurzweil offers a thought-provoking analysis of human and artificial intelligence and a unique look at a future in which the capabilities of the computer and the species that invented it grow ever closer."
-- Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft

With these brilliant descriptions of coming connections of computers with immortality, Kurzweil clearly takes his place as a leading futurist of our time. He links the relentless growth of our future technology to a universe in which artificial intelligence and nanotechnology may combine to bring unimaginable wealth and longevity, not merely to our descendants, but to some of those living today."
-- Marvin Minsky,
Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, M.I.T

"Ray's technology and ideas have truly been among the sunshines of my life. This book is a wonderful riff on the next century from a keen seer, a great inventor, and a good friend."
-- Stevie Wonder

"Ray Kurzweil, peerless inventor of such brain extenders as reading machines, speech recognition, and music synthesis, has now reinvented the book as a luminous synthesis of mind and machine. In a series of witty, ingenious, and profound meditations, he explores the metamorphic moment when machines will attain and then surpass the capabilities of the human brain. This is a book that makes all other roads to the computer future look like goat paths in Patagonia."
-- George Gilder, Author of Wealth and Poverty, The Spirit of Enterprise, Microcosm, and Telecosm

"A sage, compelling vision of the future from one of our nation's leading innovators. Ray Kurzweil brings serious science, common sense, aesthetic sensibility, and a twinkling sense of humor to the question of where we are headed with the machines we call computers. With his pioneering inventions, and his penetrating ideas, Kurzweil convincingly takes us to 'the other side,' in what promises to be the most pivotal of centuries."
-- Mike Brown, Chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, Former Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft
"Ray Kurzweil is the author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, which won the Association of American Publishers' Award for the Most Outstanding Computer Science Book of 1990. He was awarded the Dickson Prize, Carnegie Mellon's top science prize, in 1994. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology named him the Inventor of the Year in 1988. He is the recipient of nine honorary doctorates and honors from two U.S. presidents."

Monday, September 04, 2006

From a 1999 Book By Ray Kurzweil

"2009 [many of the things below are already happening; you'll see if you research them; most of his predictions for the 1990s in a ~1990 book were correct]
-A $1,000 personal computer can perform a trillion calculations per second.
-Personal computers with high-resolution visual displays come in a range of sizes, from those small enough to be embedded in clothing and jewelry up to the size of a thin book.
-Cables are disappearing. Communication between components uses short-distance wireless technology. High-speed wreless communication provides access to the Web.
-The majoity of text is created using continuous speech recognition [in Windows vista]. Also ubiquitous are language user interfaces.
-Most routine business transactions (purchases, travel, reservations) take place between a human and a virtual personality. Often, the virtual personality includes an animated visual presence that looks like a human face.
-Although traditional classroom organization is still common, intelligent courseware has emerged as a common means of learning.
-Pocket-sized reading machines for the blind and visually impaired, "listening machines" (speech to text-conversion) for the deaf, and computer-controlled orthotic devices for paraplegeic individuals result in a growing perception that primary disabilities do not necessarily impart handicaps.
-Translating telephones (speech-to-speech language translation) are commonly used for many language pairs.
-Bioengineered treatments for cancer and heart disease have greatly reduced the mortality from these diseases.
-The neo-Luddite movement is growing.

-A $1,000 computing device (in 1999 dollars) is now approximately equal to the computational ability of the human brain.
-Computers are now largely invisible and are embedded everywhere---in walls, tables, chairs, desks, clothing, jewelry and bodies.
-Three-dimensional virtual reality displays, embedded in glasses and contact lenses, as well as auditory lenses are used routinely as primary interfaces for communication with other persons, computers, the Web, and virtual reality.
-Most interaction with computing is through gestures and two-way language spoken communication.
-Nanoengineered machines are beginning to be applied to manufacturing and process-control applications.
-Most learning is conducted through intelligent, simulated software-based teachers.
-Automated driving systems are now installed in most roads.
-Virtual artists, with their own reputations, are emerging in all the arts.

2029: A $1,000 (in 1999 dollars) unit of computation has the computing capacity of approximately 1,000 human brains.

Permanent or removable implants (similar to contact lenses) for the eyes as well as cochlear implants are now used to provide input and output between the human user and the worldwide computing network.

Direct neural pathways have been perfected for high-bandwidth connection to the human brain. A range of neural implants is becoming available to enhance visual and auditory perception and interpretation, memory, and reasoning.

Automated agents are now learning on their own, and significant knowledge is being created by machines with little or no human intervention.

Computers have read all available human- and machine-generated literature and multimedia material.

There is widespread use of all-encompassing visual, auditory, and tactile communication using direct neural connections, allowing virtual reality to take place without having to be in a "total touch enclosure."

The majority of communication does not involve a human. There is almost no human employment in production, agriculture, or transportation. Basic life needs are available for the vast majority of the human race.

There is a growing discussion about the legal rights of computers and what constitutes being "human."

Although computers routinely pass apparently valid forms of the Turing Test, controversy persists about whether or not machine intelligence equals human intelligence in all of its diversity.

Machines claim to be conscious. These claims are largely accepted.

2049: The common use of nanoproduced food, which has the correct nutritional composition and the same taste and texture of organically produced food, means that the availability of food is no longer affected by limited resources, bad crop weather, or spoilage.

Nanobot swarm projections are used to create visual-auditory-tactile projections of people and objects in real reality.

2072: Picoengineering (developing technology at the scale of picometers or trillionths of a meter = size of 10 protons) becomes practical.

By the year 2099:
There is a strong trend toward a merger of human thinking with the world of machine intelligence that the human species initially created.

There is no longer any clear distinction between humans and computers.
Most conscious entities do not have a permanent physical presence.

Machine-based intelligences derived from extended models of human intelligence claim to be human, although their brains are not based on carbon-based cellular processes, but rather electronic and photonic equivalents. Most of these intelligences are not tied to a specific computational processing unit. The number of software-based humans vastly exceeds those still using native neuron-cell-based computation.

Even among those human intelligences still using carbon-based neurons, there is ubiquitous use of neural-implant technology, which provides enormous augmentation of human perceptual and cognitive abilities. Humans who do not utilize such implants are unable to meaningfully participate in dialogues with those who do.

Because most information is published using standard assimilated knowledge protocols, information can be instantly understood. The goal of education, and of intelligent beings, is discovering new knowledge to learn.

Femtoengineering (engineering at the scale of femtometers or one thousandth of a trillionth of a meter = engineering new subatomic particles the size of quarks) proposals are controversial.

Life expectancy is no longer a viable term in relation to intelligent beings.
It is said that it will be possible to download a brain to a computer, so it should also be possible to copy it.

Japan Building 10 Petaflop Supercomputer (should have the power to simulate the human brain)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

"The roster of Lifeboat Foundation Scientific Advisory Board members today
totaled 200 with the addition of multidisciplinary scientist/author Howard
Bloom, who is bringing together space scientists to explore beaming solar power
from space and setting up a colony off-planet in case humanity is extinguished
due to warfare.

The Board's members, grouped in 23 sub-boards, include inventor/futurist Ray
Kurzweil; Alex Wolszczan, discoverer of the first planets ever found outside
our solar system; Ian Foster, "father of grid computing," Frank Wilczek, winner
of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics; Sir Clive W.J. Granger, winner of the 2003
Nobel Prize in Economics; and Wole Soyinka, winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in

The Board's research programs, designed to deal with future existential risks,
now total 21. The newest: LifePreserver (radical life-extending and
life-enhancing technologies), PersonalityPreserver (such as uploading),
SeedPreserver (storing seeds in a safe location), BioPreserver (preserving
animal life and diversity on the planet), ClimateShield (protecting against
harmful climate changes), EnergyPreserver (such as solar power from space),
InfoPreserver (preserving civlization's information), and NeuroethicsShield
(prevent abuse from neuropharmaceuticals, neurodevices, and neurodiagnostics).

The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization dedicated to
ensuring that humanity safely adopts increasingly powerful technologies,
including genetics/biotechnology, nanotechnology, and robotics/AI, as we move
towards the Singularity."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Gene therapy cures cancer

Time Travel and the Singularity

"We know today that time travel is potentially possible. If the Singularity expands in all possible ways it should also expand in all time directions."

"Today humankind is only able to upload (copy) conciousness on the time axis (you yesterday, you now, you tomorrow). Sometime into the future we maybe able to copy conciousness on the three space dimensions.

Since today we cannot move back in time, we don't face the paradox of facing the other me that lived yesterday. Somehow I think that the time travel 'kill yourself yesterday' paradox is linked to the 'upload me but don't discard the old me paradox.'

The interesting thing is that when we come to the time axis our conciousness doesn't have the option of not being copied to the next future time frame, so we don't bother. But we think of being copied in space, enter in this machine here and wake up there in a split second."

"Duke Chemist's Lab Steady Source of 'Nanotube' Advances"

Nanoscale Researcher Laboratory