Liveblogging (and Blogging) the Singularity Summit Today - Heylin & Brigis Storm San Jose

October 25 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Technology   Year: 2008   Rating: 1

Good morning readers! It’s 7:30am in Mountain View, CA and in just a few hours MemeBox will begin liveblogging and not-so-liveblogging the 2008 Singularity Summit. MemeBox reporter John Heylin (soon to be Future of Gadgets Editor) and I will be storming the festivities to soak up some future-focused speaker presentations and asking anyone and everyone to get on camera to talk about the future, paint some scenarios and specifically make a few predictions for the year 2015. We’ll scramble and do our best to post these to You Tube and here on Future Blogger as soon as humanly possible, while still experiencing the event.

If you’re also attending (physically or virtually) and would like to post a reaction, summary or video, then we encourage you to add it to the comment threads (yes, you can embed youtube videos and image links) of our ongoing Singularity Summit 2008 pieces!

Alright, off to wake up Heylin and head down to San Jose for what’s sure to be a day full of brain-freezes, vigorous debate and non-stop journalism. If yesterday’s preceding SciVestor Workshop, organized and moderated by the capable Jonas Lamis, serves as an gauge then today should unfold very nicely. Stay tuned…

Update #1: Shortly before the summit:

Update #2: Multiple Hugo Award winning sci-fi author and coiner of the term “Singularity” Vernor Vinge is onstage right now speaking with Bob Pisani about the value of scenario planning in forecasting our future. He insists that scenarios expand our ability to collectively process the future because they open up various options to contemplate.

re: the current economic crisis, Vinge believes this can be attributed in part to the outsourcing of more and more of human processes.

Discussing the Singularity and Intelligence Amplification – Vinge concurs with Cascio’s esimation that technology growth is generally banal, but does not believe a Singularity will be banal – unless someone has amplified their intelligence to a Super-Human status.

re: Post-Singularity Future Fiction – How do you deal with thinking about super-humanly creatures? Through analogy. Human-like, systems attributes. Vinge is encouraged that much of nature is about cooperation. New life depends on old life. “It’s actually a pretty optimistic view.”

Pasani asks about failure scenarios. Vinge, “A person in America is every day faced with existential threats. ... Embedded networked micro-processors are the biggest economic win over the last 50 years. ... They may be the way the Singularity materializes. ... The become so ubiquitous that they become a ‘single failure’ point. ... We don;t know how many people would actually die if somethign like this failed.”

Pasani asks about Disaster Scenarios. Vinge, “It could be that Killjoy has it right. ... But it could be that Killjoy has it opposite, that in fact the future really, really does need us. ... We are something that can work even if technology goes away.”

Vinge on the likelihood of the Singularity. “Barring physical catastrophes – if humanity became extinct it wouldn’t happen. Nuclear war would pre-empt it.”

Responding to a question from the audience, “Any time you’re playing a positive sum game it makes sense to be nice.” Vinge argues evolution continues in the realm of psychology. “Culturally I think we’ve gotten much better in the last 5 centuries. So there’s reason to be very optimistic.”

On climate change: It’s an existential threat. “I don’t think it by itself is the most existential threat that we face.”

Comment Thread (2 Responses)

  1. Also, check out my Twitter feed if you’re interested in updates. jheylin

    Posted by: John Heylin   October 25, 2008
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  2. Thanks guys, keep it coming.

    Posted by: Covus   October 25, 2008
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