Peter Voss Interview on Artificial General Intelligence

This is an interview with Peter Voss of Optimal talking about artificial general intelligence.  One of the things Voss talks about is the skepticism which is a common reaction when talking about creating strong AI and why (as Tony Robbins always says) the past does not equal the future.  He also talks about why he thinks that Ray Kurzweil’s predictions that AGI won’t be achieved for another 20 is wrong – (and I gotta say, he makes a good point).  If you are interested in artificial intelligence or ethics in technology then you’ll want to watch this one…  

And don’t worry, the line drawing effect at the beginning of the video only lasts a minute.


Runtime: 39:55


This video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W_vtlSjNk0

Video Info:

Published on Jan 8, 2013

Peter Voss is the founder and CEO of Adaptive A.I. Inc, an R&D company developing a high-level general intelligence (AGI) engine. He is also founder and CTO of Smart Action Company LLC, which builds and supplies AGI-based virtual contact-center agents — intelligent, automated phone operators.

Peter started his career as an entrepreneur, inventor, engineer and scientist at age 16. After several years of experience in electronics engineering, at age 25 he started a company to provide advanced custom hardware and software solutions. Seven years later the company employed several hundred people and was successfully listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

After selling his interest in the company in 1993, he worked on a broad range of disciplines — cognitive science, philosophy and theory of knowledge, psychology, intelligence and learning theory, and computer science — which served as the foundation for achieving new breakthroughs in artificial general intelligence. In 2001 he started Adaptive AI Inc., and last year founded Smart Action Company as its commercialization division.

Peter considers himself a free-minds-and-markets Extropian, and often writes and presents on philosophical topics including rational ethics, freewill and artificial minds. He is also deeply involved with futurism and life-extension.


http://www.optimal.org/peter/peter.htm

My main occupation is research in high-level, general (domain independent, autonomous) Artificial Intelligence — “Adaptive A.I. Inc.”

I believe that integrating insights from the following areas of cognitive science are crucial for rapid progress in this field:

Philosophy/ epistemology – understanding the true nature of knowledge
Cognitive psychology (incl. developmental & psychometric) for analysis of cognition – and especially – general conceptual intelligence.
Computer science – self-modifying systems, combining new connectionist pattern manipulation techniques with ‘traditional’ AI engineering.
Anyone who shares my passion – and/ or concerns – for this field is welcome to contact me for brainstorming and possible collaboration.

My other big passion is for exploring what I call Optimal Living: Maximizing both the quantity & quality of life. I see personal responsibility and optimizing knowledge acquisition as key. Specific interests include:

Rationality, as a means for knowledge. I’m largely sympathetic to the philosophy of Objectivism, and have done quite a bit of work on developing a rational approach to (personal & social) ethics.
Health (quality): physical, financial, cognitive, and emotional (passions, meaningful relationships, appreciation of art, etc.). Psychology: IQ & EQ.
Longevity (quantity): general research, CRON (calorie restriction), cryonics
Environment: economic, social, political systems conducive to Optimal Living.
These interests logically lead to an interest in Futurism , in technology for improving life – overcoming limits to personal growth & improvement. The transhumanist philosophy of Extropianism best embodies this quest. Specific technologies that seem to hold most promise include AI, Nanotechnology, & various health & longevity approaches mentioned above.

I always enjoy meeting new people to explore ideas, and to have my views critiqued. To this end I am involved in a number of discussion groups and salons (e.g. ‘Kifune’ futurist dinner/discussion group). Along the way I’m trying to develop and learn the complex art of constructive dialog.

Interview done at SENS party LA 20th Dec 2012.

 

 

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Sean O’Heigeartaigh – Interview at Oxford Future of Humanity Institute (on Artificial Intelligence)

Here is a video interview with Sean O’Heigeartaigh.  O’Heigeartaigh speaks on the ethics of artificial intelligence, the technological singularity, augmented reality… he covers a lot of ground.  The video is called Sean O’Heigeartaigh – Interview at Oxford Future of Humanity Institute and it’s worth the watch.


 

Runtime: 47:01


This video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY90WIIrrlo 

Video Info:

Published on Jan 24, 2013

Dr Sean O hEigeartaigh
James Martin Academic Project Manager with the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology

Seán has a background in genetics, having recently finished his phD in molecular evolution in Trinity College Dublin where he focused on programmed ribosomal frameshifting and comparative genomic approaches to improve genome annotation. He is also the cofounder of a successful voluntary arts organisation in Ireland that now runs popular monthly events and an annual outdoor festival.

The Future of Humanity Institute is the leading research centre looking at big-picture questions for human civilization. The last few centuries have seen tremendous change, and this century might transform the human condition in even more fundamental ways. Using the tools of mathematics, philosophy, and science, we explore the risks and opportunities that will arise from technological change, weigh ethical dilemmas, and evaluate global priorities. Our goal is to clarify the choices that will shape humanity’s long-term future.

the Future of Humanity Institute: http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/

This short YouTube video on neurobiotics (called A Simulated Mouse Brain in a Virtual Mouse Body) talks about building a ‘virtual mouse’ by putting a computer model of a mouse brain in a virtual mouse body.  How cool is science?


 

Runtime: 2:28


This video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldXEuUVkDuw

Video Info:

Published on Feb 23, 2015

Neurorobotics engineers from the Human Brain Project (HBP) have recently taken the first steps towards building a “virtual mouse” by placing a simplified computer model of the mouse brain into a virtual mouse body. This new kind of tool will be made available to scientists, both HBP and worldwide. Read more:https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/-/a-…

Useful Links:

Human Brain Project: http://www.humanbrainproject.eu
NEST simulator software for spiking neural network models: http://nest-simulator.org/
Jülich Press Release 2013, Largest neuronalnetwork simulation using NEST : http://bit.ly/173mZ5j

Open Source Data Sets:
Allen Institute for Brain Science: http://www.brain-map.org
Bioinformatics Research Network (BIRN): http://www.birncommunity.org

The Behaim Globe:
Germanisches National Museum, http://www.gnm.de/
Department of Geodesy and Geoinformation, TU Wien, http://www.geo.tuwien.ac.at

 

Cyborg Science: Ultrathin Nanowires can Monitor and Influence What Goes on Inside Your Brain

This is a short article from the humanity+ website called Cyborg Science: Ultrathin Nanowires can Monitor and Influence What Goes on Inside Your Brain.  This is some revolutionary brain science.  It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that this kind of tech will open worlds of possibilities in brain science.

Cyborg Science: Ultrathin Nanowires can Monitor and Influence What Goes on Inside Your Brain

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No longer just fantastical fodder for sci-fi buffs, cyborg technology is bringing us tangible progress toward real-life electronic skin, prosthetics and ultra-flexible circuits. Now taking this human-machine concept to an unprecedented level, pioneering scientists are working on the seamless marriage between electronics and brain signaling with the potential to transform our understanding of how the brain works — and how to treat its most devastating diseases.

“By focusing on the nanoelectronic connections between cells, we can do things no one has done before,” says Charles M. Lieber, Ph.D. “We’re really going into a new size regime for not only the device that records or stimulates cellular activity, but also for the whole circuit. We can make it really look and behave like smart, soft biological material, and integrate it with cells and cellular networks at the whole-tissue level. This could get around a lot of serious health problems in neurodegenerative diseases in the future.”

These disorders, such as Parkinson’s, that involve malfunctioning nerve cells can lead to difficulty with the most mundane and essential movements that most of us take for granted: walking, talking, eating and swallowing.

Scientists are working furiously to get to the bottom of neurological disorders. But they involve the body’s most complex organ — the brain — which is largely inaccessible to detailed, real-time scrutiny. This inability to see what’s happening in the body’s command center hinders the development of effective treatments for diseases that stem from it.

By using nanoelectronics, it could become possible for scientists to peer for the first time inside cells, see what’s going wrong in real time and ideally set them on a functional path again.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 11.05.41 AM

For the past several years, Lieber has been working to dramatically shrink cyborg science to a level that’s thousands of times smaller and more flexible than other bioelectronic research efforts. His team has made ultrathin nanowires that can monitor and influence what goes on inside cells. Using these wires, they have built ultra-flexible, 3-D mesh scaffolding with hundreds of addressable electronic units, and they have grown living tissue on it. They have also developed the tiniest electronic probe ever that can record even the fastest signaling between cells.

Rapid-fire cell signaling controls all of the body’s movements, including breathing and swallowing, which are affected in some neurodegenerative diseases. And it’s at this level where the promise of Lieber’s most recent work enters the picture.

In one of the lab’s latest directions, Lieber’s team is figuring out how to inject their tiny, ultraflexible electronics into the brain and allow them to become fully integrated with the existing biological web of neurons. They’re currently in the early stages of the project and are working with rat models.

“It’s hard to say where this work will take us,” he says. “But in the end, I believe our unique approach will take us on a path to do something really revolutionary.”

Their presentation is taking place at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. The meeting features nearly 12,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics and is being held here through Thursday.

Lieber acknowledges funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Air Force.

 

This article can also be found here.

Interview with Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan

Here is an interview from Reason.tv with Zoltan Istvan called What If You Could Live for 10,000 years? Q&A with Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan.  

Zoltan is the transhumanist party’s candidate for US presidency in 2016.  Even though I am not a religious person, I like how Zoltan reconciles transhumanism with religion*.  The interview also covers various other transhumanist ideas and themes.  I still don’t think this will be our next president, but I’m curious to see where his campaign leads us.  At very least, I’m hoping Zoltan’s campaign will bring the transhumanist debate to the forefront of our cultural awareness.

*Personally, I often wonder how many religious people there would be if the concept of hell had never been fabricated (because, really, how evil would you have to be to even allow a hell to exist in the first place?).  

Runtime: 9:58

This video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Pi52PNL_c0

Video Info:

Published on Feb 6, 2015

“I’m not saying let’s live forever,” says Zoltan Istvan, transhumanist author, philosopher, and political candidate. “I think what we want is the choice to be able to live indefinitely. That might be 10,000 years; that might only be 170 years.”

Istvan devoted his life to transhumanism after nearly stepping on an old landmine while reporting for National Geographic channel in Vietnam’s demilitarized zone.

“I’d say the number one goal of transhumanism is trying to conquer death,” says Istvan.

Reason TV’s Zach Weissmueller interviewed Istvan about real-world life-extension technology ranging from robotic hearts to cryogenic stasis, Istvan’s plan to run for president under the banner of the Transhumanist party, the overlap between the LGBT movement and transhumanism, and the role that governments play in both aiding and impeding transhumanist goals.

Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Justin Monticello and Paul Detrick. Music by Anix Gleo and nthnl.

Visit http://reason.com/reasontv for downloadable versions of this interview, and subscribe to Reason TV’s YouTube channel for daily content like this.

Thought-controlled Prosthetics

This is an article by Lucy Ingham from factor-tech.com entitled Thought-Controlled Prosthetics: Pioneering Bionic Reconstruction Surgery Performed For First Time.  

THOUGHT-CONTROLLED PROSTHETICS: PIONEERING BIONIC RECONSTRUCTION SURGERY PERFORMED FOR FIRST TIME

A pioneering surgery technique known as bionic reconstruction, which enables the control of a prosthetic hand with the mind, has been performed for the first time.

The surgery was performed on three Austrian men with injuries to a group of nerves in their neck known as the brachial plexus, which is responsible for sense and movement in the shoulders arms and hands. The injuries – a result of vehicle and climbing accidents – had resulted in the three men having very little use of one of their hands.

The bionic reconstruction surgery involved amputating the functionless hand and replacing it with a prosthetic, which was connected to each patient’s remaining arm muscle and nerves, allowing them to control it through thought.

“The scientific advance here was that we were able to create and extract new neural signals via nerve transfers amplified by muscle transplantation,” explained Professor Oskar Aszmann, director of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function at the Medical University of Vienna, and co-developer of bionic reconstruction.

“These signals were then decoded and translated into solid mechatronic hand function.”

14TL3681_1

Although clearly a major part, the actual surgery was only one aspect of the bionic reconstruction process, as all three patients prepared for an average of nine months prior to their surgery.

To start with, the patients underwent cognitive training to reactivate the under-used muscles in their arm, before learning to control a virtual hand that responded to electrical signals from their muscles.

After this, they learnt to use a hybrid prosthetic hand, which was connected to their non-functioning hand using a special device similar to a splint. This allowed them to practice controlling a prosthesis before undergoing amputation.

Once they were comfortable with the hybrid, the patients underwent the surgery. This involved transfer of a selection of nerves and muscles, the amputation of the non-functioning hand and the connection of the prosthesis, which contains an array of sensors that detect and respond the the muscles’ electrical signals.

After three months recovery, all three patients were able to perform a wide range of tasks with the new hand, such as using a knife to cut meat, pouring water out of a jug and using a key.

14TL_3681_fig2

While a radical step, the bionic reconstruction surgery has given the men far greater freedom to perform tasks, allowed them a greater quality of life and has reduced their pain.

With few other effective medical treatments available, without the new surgery they would have likely been faced with a lifetime of pain and limited hand use.

“In effect, brachial plexus avulsion injuries represent an inner amputation, irreversibly separating the hand from neural control,” said Aszmann.

“Existing surgical techniques for such injuries are crude and ineffective and result in poor hand function.”

The research, which was undertaken along with engineers from the Department of Neurorehabilitation Engineering at the University Medical Center Goettingen, was published today in medical journal The Lancet, and should enable other surgeons to perform similar surgeries.

“So far, bionic reconstruction has only been done in our centre in Vienna,” explained Aszmann.

“However, there are no technical or surgical limitations that would prevent this procedure from being done in centres with similar expertise and resources.”

Injuries to the brachial plexus can be very damaging, and are surprisingly common. Almost 5% of motorcycle and snowmobile accidents cause damage to the nerve group, and a 2010 study of Canadian football players found 26% received brachial plexus injuries in the season.

As a result, the surgery is extremely promising, and could boost the quality of life of many people.

However while promising, only the long-term use of the prosthetics by the three men will determine its level of success.

In a comment piece also published in The Lancet, Professor Simon Kay the surgeon who performed the UK’s first hand transplant, and Daniel Wilks from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, urged caution.

“The present findings – and others – are encouraging, because this approach provides additional neural inputs into prosthetic systems that otherwise would not exist,” they said.

“However, the final verdict will depend on long-term outcomes, which should include assessment of in what circumstances and for what proportion of their day patients wear and use their prostheses.

“Compliance declines with time for all prostheses, and motorised prostheses are heavy, need power, and are often noisy, as well as demanding skilled repair when damaged.”

This article can also be found here.

The video can also be found https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBU0SQuG-sQ.

Video Info:

Published on Feb 24, 2015

A recipient of bionic reconstruction surgery to a hand affected by severe nerve damage demonstrates his hand function before and after surgery. For more details see our article on the research: http://factor-tech.com/health-augment…

The Transhuman Future: Be More Than You Can Be by Marcelo Gleiser

Here’s an article called The Transhuman Future: Be More Than You Can Be from the NPR website.  This article explores what it means to be transhuman and relates it to ways we’ve already begun to enhance ourselves.

The Transhuman Future: Be More Than You Can Be

JUNE 11, 201410:59 AM ET
Collage illustration of a human head, computer chip, digits and various abstract elements.

Andrew Ostrovsky/iStockphoto

How is it that we define a human? Is it our body? Our genome? Our behaviors? Our self-awareness? Our compassion? Our minds? All of these and then something more? What now may be obvious to most people about being human will become less so as we become progressively more integrated with technology both inside and outside our bodies.

Transhumanism, according to the dictionary on my Apple laptop, is defined as “the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.”

It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, people flying around with purple wings (an image a student of mine mentioned in my class “Question Reality!” based on my book The Island of Knowledge). How about translucent skin or the strength to lift cars with one hand? Enhanced memory: who wouldn’t want that?

If you have a purist definition of what it means to be human, without any intervention from outside gadgets, it’s time to come to terms with reality: almost no one in modern society is purely human.

Our integration with technology is evolving us into something else.

Consider, for example, medication. If we take a drug that changes our chemistry to treat depression or high blood pressure, we are not the same. We are who we were before plus the medication. That’s not quite the same as going beyond our current human state. But it is a change.

Ritalin, on the other hand, does change things in a more transformative way. That’s why it’s such a prize among college students, as it supposedly enhances cognitive faculties in ways that help during exams. The movie Limitless takes this to the extreme. But transhumanism is no longer just in the realm of the fictional.

Even vitamins, superfoods and protein powders are doing the same: enhancing physical performance, the immune system, improving memory, boosting sexual energy, etc.

And when we add prosthetic implants? Should an athlete with carbon fiber prosthetic legs compete with others who don’t have the same technology? In the last Olympics, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius competed with prosthetic legs. What if he had won?

We are already in the transhuman era.

If it isn’t vitamins or performance-inhancing drugs, who can be without a cell phone? This device is now an extension of who we are, indispensable in our everyday life. Forgetting one at home is tragic: a sense of loss, of disconnection, no memory, no schedule, no music, camera, news, email, maps, GPS, Facebook, Twitter, games. Nearly every app is an extension of our mental faculties, part of who we are.

Just a few decades ago, when you got to someones house you’d check out their records and books to get a feel for the person. Now, it’s their apps.

We are now linked to huge amounts of data. Any one of us can connect by video to people across the planet; cellular devices are a means of extending our presence, of redefining the reality in which we live. Our brain is no longer just the gray mass inside our head; through its digital tentacles the brain now extends itself — and you — around the world.

The future? Transhumanism will only grow. Technological devices will be implanted in our heads and bodies, our used peripherally, like Google Glass, extending our senses and cognitive abilities. Why see only in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum? Let’s go ultraviolet! Infrared! Let’s extend our hearing range, our memory capacity, our immune defenses, our life span, our brainpower.

The question that no one has answered, though, is what will this do to our species? Will we simply reinvent ourselves, taking evolution into our own hands? It seems that we are already doing this. And will we then become less human?

It seems so, but “less” may be a misnomer. We are becoming something else. We are becoming a new species. Let us hope that whatever we become, or some of us become, will be wise enough to deal with the unavoidable inequalities that will surely follow.Brave New World is not a good model for our future.

This article can also be found at http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/06/11/320961912/the-transhuman-future-be-more-than-you-can-be

The Transhumanist Future of Sex by Zoltan Istvan

This is an article by Zoltan Istvan called The Transhumanist Future of Sex.  Hm… Transhumanism and sex; if there were more articles like this, maybe more people would know about the singularity…

The Transhumanist Future of Sex

October 20, 2014 // 10:50 AM EST

Zoltan Istvan is a futurist, journalist, and author of the novel The Transhumanist Wager. He writes an occasional column for Motherboard in which he ruminates on the future beyond natural human ability.

The internet is rife with chatter about the transhumanist age we are entering, where radical science and technology are already changing the way we live. Everything fromrobotic hearts to personal drones to mind-reading headsets are here. The new tech coming in just a few years will touch nearly every aspect of our lives, including one of the most personal ones: sex.

Mammals use sex as a means to generate offspring, to experience pleasure, and for bonding with partners. Throughout the last few centuries, humans have embraced tools, drugs, and even surgical operations in an attempt to improve sex.

To date, the list of transhumanist-themed tools and apparatuses our species has created for sex is practically endless. Perhaps the best known one is the condom, where descriptions of their use and composition begin to appear in 16th century writings. The writings of 16th century physician Gabriele Falloppio includes one of the  first documented references to condoms, and describes them as linen sheaths soaked in a chemical solution. Today, the condom is one of the leading life extension tools in the world, due to the protection it offers from disease, such as HIV.

Over 300,000 Americans underwent breast augmentation via plastic surgery, which typically aims to enhance sex appeal, in 2011. In the last century, one of the most sensationalized applications for sex is Viagra, whose name is almost as recognizableas Coca-Cola or Rolls Royce. Along with other options like Levitra and Cialis, erection drugs have helped return sexual health to millions of men (and their partners) around the world.

Today, sex—and technology for sex—is all around us, 24/7. The internet provides a continual stream of pornography, for better or worse, to millions of users everyday. A Forbes article citing neuroscientist Ogi Ogas says that between July 2009 and July 2010, 13 percent of web searches were for erotic content. It’s not just computers, though. Many people routinely use their cell phones for sexting. And the sex toy industry is a multi-billion dollar business, with thousands of workers and engineers dedicated to it.

Yet, whatever has happened so far in the history of sex is not going to be nearly as exciting or bizarre as what’s coming next. Whether by drugs, technology, or surgery, the future of sex is set to explode. Look for virtual sex and foreplay to become commonplace, where partners are linked into brain wave headsets and virtual reality goggles.

Some will take it further, and use full body haptic suits—a friend of mine called it the future hump suit—to experience full sexual immersion. Virtual worlds and Second Lives will keep people experiencing sexual acts they might not feel comfortable doing in real life—all without the risk of pregnancy or STDs.

I recently was asked by my wife what I wanted for Christmas. I replied: I want an exoskeleton suit. They’re going to be all the rage soon.

Image: Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia

Indeed, exoskeleton technology is significantly improving every year. Panasonic is getting ready to sell the first mass-produced robotic exoskeleton for just under $5,000. They are still crude, but in 5-10 years time, they are likely to make us faster runners, stronger climbers, and better athletes. I surmise an entire sporting and recreational culture will develop around them, similar to motorcycles and ATVs. Can you imagine the growing discipline of Parkour in one? Eventually, exoskeleton suits will look like the ones in the blockbuster movie Elysium starring Matt Damon.

But what about sex? Will they help? Yes! Potentially, a lot. Especially for disabled, obese, or unfit persons. Harvard is working on a soft exoskeleton suit. Someday soon, we will strap on exoskeleton suits and put ourselves in sexual positions once only possible for Bikram yoga experts—and then go at it. And we won’t be tiring very easily, either, not with the suits doing much of the work.

Almost as strange is the new internal skeletal stuff being developed, which combines structures inside your body to external artificial limbs. In a recent article forExtremeTech, engineer and neuroscientist John Hewitt writes:

In order to wield any artificial limb with full strength and confidence we are going to need to plug it in properly, so that it becomes a real part of our musculoskeletal system. Researchers at the Royal National Orthopedic hospital have now created an implant that does just that by interfacing a leg prosthesis directly to your endoskeleton.

We’ve already seen penile implants and surgical modifications of sexual organs. But this new musculosketelal technology is much more revolutionary. If scientists can connect internal human parts to external bionic parts, (and they’re already connecting robotic arms to the nervous system) then the age of the cyborg is truly here. Surely biohackers will remove body parts and limbs in an attempt to become a stronger, more agile entity.

If scientists can replicate that feeling through firing signals from an implanted chip or a brain wave headset, then it might even be the end of sex altogether.

With those acquisitions will come cyborg sex—something that is sure to be an upgrade to the usual romp. Don’t forget, those robotic fingers on those artificial limbs will soon have sensors that can detect some things, like heat and sweat, far more specifically than biological fingers. In time, every sense of ours will be improved and updated with technology that simply outmatches our biology.

How will this and all the other technologies affect sex for over seven billion people in the future? Probably dramatically—especially when it is combined with microchip implants. Erogenous zones and orgasms are simply the product of chemicals firing in the brain. If scientists can replicate that feeling by firing signals from an implanted chip or a brain wave headset, then it might even be the end of sex altogether. We’d turn on and off endless orgasms with our cell phone (or buzz our partners at will if they’ll allow us).

Hopefully it will be better than this.

Implants are becoming more commonplace. Recently, Dr. Theodore Schwartz and a New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center team put a cranial implant into an epileptic sufferer to help stop attacks. Other brain implant surgeries are now occurring to fight Alzheimer’s, a disease which affects over five million Americans. It’s not that big of a leap to imagine someone figuring out how to stimulate the sexual pleasure areas in the brain with an implant.

If all this seems crazy, then check out this WiFi-enabled vibrator called Vibease which will become available next month, according to its website. People can leave them in all day long, and enjoy for up to three hours of use whenever they want to. That might make you wonder about a lot of things in the future. Did your date really enjoy the spaghetti you made, or was something else going on?

The human species has come a long way in developing its sexual mores. Thankfully, many societies are philosophically and psychologically freer than ever to enjoy all that sex can be. But technologically, we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg for all for all that is coming, regardless of tastes and desires. Transhumanism has long centered on technologies that grant better health and extended longevity to people, but we shouldn’t forget that it will also make some of our most cherished experiences—like sex—a lot more fun in the future.

 

This article can also be found on the Motherboard website at http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-transhumanist-future-of-sex

The video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jae38H1_j-E

Video Info:

Published on May 1, 2014

Kevin Warwick Claims Turing Test Passed; Really? C’mon, Kevin…

This is an article from The Telegraph website called ‘Captain Cyborg’: the man behind the controversial Turing Test claims.  In the article, Kevin Warwick (Professor of Cybernetics at The University of Reading, England) claims milestone has been reached in AI; the passing of the Turing test.  Personally, I’m disappointed in Prof. Warwick for making this claim, but read the article and decide for yourself…

‘Captain Cyborg’: the man behind the controversial Turing Test claims

Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University who implanted a microchip into his arm, is being scrutinised by scientist over his claims that a computer passed the “Turing Test”Prof Warwick is considered a maverick among the science communityProf Warwick is considered a maverick among the science community Photo: Rex Features

Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University, called his recent experiment in which a computer fooled humans in the Turing Test an “important landmark”, but scientific opposition is gathering.

Prof Warwick made headlines when the university claimed the 65-year old Turing Test was passed for the first time by a “supercomputer” called Eugene Goostman at an event organised by Prof Warwick at the Royal Society in London.

Ten out of thirty human judges believed they were speaking to a real teenage boy during a five minute period, so the experiment was hailed as a victory.

However, other experts said the announcement trivialised “serious” AI (Artificial Intelligence) research, and fooled people into believing that the world of science fiction could soon become science fact.

Prof Warwick is considered a maverick among the science community. He first had a microchip implanted in his arm that triggered a greeting from computers each day when he arrived at work.

The scientist later implanted sensors and a microchip into the nerves in his arm, similar to an implant he also gave to his wife, so that when someone grasped her hand Prof Warwick was able to experience the same sensation in his.

He claimed it was a form of telepathy as it allowed his nerves to feel what she was feeling over the internet, but the work was controversial among other scientists as they doubted whether his experiments were much more than entertainment.

The latest announcement that the Turing Test has been passed for the very first time has been met with yet more scepticism.

Prof Warwick said: ”In the field of Artificial Intelligence there is no more iconic and controversial milestone than the Turing Test.

“This milestone will go down in history as one of the most exciting.”

However, Professor Murray Shanahan, a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London, said there were “a lot of problems” with the claims.

The scientist said that as Eugene was described to judges as a 13-year-old boy from Ukraine who learned English as a second language, some of the bizarre responses to questions could be explained away.

He said the five-minute conversation benchmark was “taken out of context” from the Turing Test, and fell well short of a true experiement for Artificial Intelligence, which should last for “hours, if not days”.

He also said the 30-strong judging panel, which included Robert Llewellyn, the Red Dwarf actor, was not big enough to support the claim.

Prof Shanahan told the Telegraph: “I think there are a lot of problems with the claims and I do not believe the Turing Test has been passed.

“I think the claim is completely misplaced, and it devalues real AI research. It makes it seem like science fiction AI is nearly here, when in fact it’s not and it’s incredibly difficult.”

Prof Shanahan added that the “supercomputer” was in fact a chatbot, a computer programme, rather than a powerful machine.

Gary Marcus, a professor of cognitive science at New York University, said in an article for the New Yorker: “Here’s what Eugene Goostman isn’t: a supercomputer.

“It is not a ground-breaking, super-fast piece of innovative hardware but simply a cleverly-coded piece of software.”

Prof Warwick told the Telegraph: “I think they’re just pointing fingers. It’s a particular aspect of Artificial Intelligence research. It’s an iconic test, it’s controversial, as we can see.

“I don’t think it devalues other Artificial Intelligence. If anything, I would say if it excites a few children, then I think it’s a good thing.”

 

The original article can be found here.

Quantified Self Revolution

The quantified self revolution is the idea that as the data we accumulate on a daily basis grows and becomes more complete, our understanding of ourselves deepen and we can use that data to create better internal and external environments for ourselves.  The article is called Quantified Self revolution : Hello Human 2.0 and features a video in the Shots of Awe series with Jason Silva called Explore The “Quantified Self” Revolution with Jason Silva.

Quantified Self revolution : Hello Human 2.0

This week’s Quantified Self roundup features a filmmaker’s perception of the Quantified Self revolution, a platform that tracks everything in your life, and a design-savvy fitness tracker.

Human 2.0

Renowned filmmaker Jason Silva recently released a new video in his YouTube channel Shots of Awe wherein he talks about how amazing the Quantified Self revolution is.  Silva talks about how sensors obtaining all these data from millions of people can be used to better analyze a person and could well be the beginning of Human 2.0.

It’s certainly an interesting concept to ponder, and that’s what Silva does best.  The filmmaker’s been on a guest on theCUBE on at least one occasion, and we revisit his most recent appearance here, where he discusses Big Data and its impact on the consumer.

Tictrac

 

The biggest challenge right now in the Quantified Self revolution may be app fatigue, so it certainly doesn’t help that there are so many apps and gadgets available today.  To keep you get focused and on task, there’s a new platform that will help you keep track of all the tracking that matters.

Tictrac  allows you to sync all the apps and gadgets you are currently using so everything you need is in one place.  It tracks anything from your email, blood pressure, supermarket foods, food intake, your baby, and even the calories you burned during your workout.  And if you have just started with the quantified self revolution and your fitness tracker or app doesn’t offer other tracker, you can use Tictrac to track anything you please.

It is available in both mobile and web platform so you can check your progress anytime.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/64713784″>Tictrac</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/tictrac”>Tictrac</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Via Heartbeat Bracelet

 

If you’re still looking for a fashionable fitness tracker, you might want to check out the Via Heartbeat Bracelet.  The Via Heartbeat is still a Kickstarter project and has a long way to go to achieve its $300,000 funding goal.

What makes this fitness tracker different is that it looks simple but elegant and if people aren’t familiar with it, no one would guess that it’s a fitness tracker.  It is designed to fit comfortably and stay in place no matter how rigorous your workout routine is.  Via it’s web app, you can set your goals.  This will automatically sync with your bracelet and will glow various colors depending on which of your goals is being achieved.

If you are interested with this project, make sure to check out the project and help fund it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drbrenda/the-via-heartbeat-bracelet/widget/video.html

This article can also be found on the Silicone Angle website at http://siliconangle.com/blog/2013/11/13/quantified-self-revolution-hello-human-2-0/

The first video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjflrXDDU-w#t=89

The second video can also be found at https://vimeo.com/tictrac

The third video can also be found on the Kickstarter website at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drbrenda/the-via-heartbeat-bracelet?ref=video

Video Info:

Published on Nov 5, 2013

“We will measure everything… and feed that information back into the system.”

The Quantified Self Revolution. You’ve heard the buzz term, but it’s the idea that as we extend computation into everything, and as we extend sensors into everything, we’re increasingly extending those sensors into ourselves – creating a data rich, always on stream of information about our biological functioning.

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz. New episodes every Tuesday.

Watch More Shots of Awe on TestTube http://testtube.com/shotsofawe

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Jason Silva on Twitter http://twitter.com/jasonsilva

Jason Silva on Facebook http://facebook.com/jasonlsilva

Jason Silva on Google+ http://plus.google.com/10290664595165…

Tictrac is a Lifestyle Design Platform that empowers people through their own data. Users can connect with health and fitness apps and devices they may already use, from blood pressure monitors, wireless weight scales, sleep/stress trackers, diet and activity monitors to email, calendar, weather and much more. We currently sync with over 50 services/devices from fitness (MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Endomondo) medical (Withings, VitaDock) personal (Fitbit, BodyMedia, Garmin) even social (Facebook, Twitter, Klout) adding new API integrations every week.

Users can visualise their data about themselves in personal dashboards that give them insights into how to improve their lifestyle. Users can also cross reference disparate sets of data to see how one aspect of their lives may affect another. They can then share their dashboards with professionals like their physician, personal trainer or coach who can interpret that data and tailor their programmes accordingly.

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