Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Humanity 2.0

Projects to live 700 years: What is Singularity University?

Remember Deep Blue?  The program of IBM that defeated Garry Kasparov in chess?  How about Project Blue Brain, also by IBM, a synthetic brain following mammalian’s models?  David Ferruci is responsible of the Semantic Analysis and Integration part; David is ironing out a few glitches in project Watson, a supercomputer designed to challenge contestants in Jeopardy. Project Blue Brain has created hundreds of programs and algorithms endowed with capabilities of reasoning, learning, organizing memories…; these algorithms are based on Artificial Intelligence rules of (If-Then) questions and answers.

There is this Singularity University, a campus based at NASA, and is supported and funded by Google and the Pentagon.  Google is working on a “giant brain” emulating human reflexes!  Yes, a “Singular Brain”. Peter Diamantis, the co-founder of Singularity University and its director since June 2009, declared that his objective is to live to be 700 years; “I am very serious” he said.  It seems that current technology has limits: It cannot extend life beyond 700 years; or maybe an oracle warned him not to witness what will happen 700 years later. The 49-year old Diamantis is a pioneer of private space trips.

You have participants coughing up $15,000 just for a 9-day sessions of discussions and training for acquiring creative minds.  If you want to attend a 10-week session then you must have saved $25,000.  Obviously, these rich participants are encouraged by their multinational corporations as direct means for funding this Singularity thing.

Andrew Hessel, former researcher at Amgen (biotechnology leader) is confident that within 10 years we will be able to control the code of life.  Christopher de Charms is involved in brain imaging:  Collecting information by means of detection systems that quantify (objectively) the levels of depression or pain; he said: “We are about to obtaining objective data directly from the brain”. How objectively feelings can be quantified?  How would a experimenter know what we feel in order to gather the proper data?

What about this engineer and entrepreneur Raymond Kurzwell? He is the author of “Humanity 2.0: The bible of change” and described as the “absolute thinking machine”?   He pretends that artificial recreation of a brain is far simpler than what it appears since everything is enclosed in the genome.  Kurzwell is the inventor of readers of characters for the blind, music synthesizer,  and voice recognition. Kurzwell envisions the usage  of sciences to improving mankind physical and mental capabilities; for example, by applying genetics and nanotechnologies illnesses and getting old would one day be history!  He said: “Being a human means precisely to going beyond what we are”.  Ethan, Kurzwell’s son, said lately: “My dad has been considered lately as far less bizarre:  He is such meticulous in his research and his reflections are far advanced.”

Skeptics are by the shovelful; generally they had experienced life and tend to view the optimism of Singularity University as overly premature:  extrapolating trends on prior advances are no longer applicable, since the rates of scientific advances and technology are diminishing rapidly relative to population rate increase . Among other facts. Anyway, how many people reaped any advantages in decoding the genome so far?  Are these technology destined to be reserved for the elite 1% of humanity?  Are eugenics programs developing full swing?

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January 2023

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