Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Transcript - Transcendant Man Discussion (ii)

Class: Informatics, Computing, and the Future
Instructor: Dan Berleant
Transcriber: Brooke Yu
Date: Thursday, April 04, 2013

Male Student:  Is he alive? 

Professor:  Yes, he's still alive. 

Professor:  It's called Transcendent Man.  It was in movie theaters, actually. 

If you go to the website of the movie, you have to pay for it, but for educational purposes. 

Male Student:  If you go to youtube, can you watch it? 

Professor:  No, you have to buy it there.  But regular old movie theater movies can be shown in classes for educational purposes. 

Male Student:  That's cool.  Could we watch the host?  I have a site for it. 

Professor:  One year we watched minority report.  It's a movie about the concept is pre-crime.  The minority report refers to the.... they have a panel of people with special powers who could tell who committed the crimes. 

Male Student:  The host is kind of futuristic.  I think it'd be really applicable to our class. 

Professor:  I worry about how many movies we watch sometimes.  Send an email to me and I'll forward it to the class.  We're going to finish our movie today. 



I have a recurring dream that has to do with exploring these empty rooms, then feeling abandoned and unable to find anyone else.  That's a pretty good description of death. 

Death is supposed to be a finality, but it's a loss of everyone you care about. 
I do have fantasises about dying

About what it feels like or how I would feel if I were dying. 
And it's such a profoundly sad, lonely feeling that I really can't bear it. 

So I go back to thinking about how I'm not go to die. 

Would you tell the folks your name?

It's Ray Kuzwell. 

Before we show his secret, Ray will play this music

(Playing piano)

Raymond's secret is about something he did. 

Raymond, that's an unlikely piece of music.  Did you composes it? 


Was that written by a computer? 



Well, I built a computer and by feeding it information, I made music. 

How old are you? 

I'm astounded at anyone who can do anything like this.  We predict a great future for you.  Congratulations. 

Ray is here.  He's been called an heir to Thomas Edison.  He's book had some of the most frightening and hopeful things ever. 

He's in award winning scientist and engineer. 

He was chief inventor of the flatbed scnaner. 

Keyboard synthezier. 

This guy is freaky. 
He predicted the collapse of the Soviet union, described the rise of the Internet, and said a computer would beat a chess champion. 

Computers will have consciousness in 25 years.  He thinks microscopic computers will make things. 

So computers in my head?

You're talking about tampering with human kind. 

He think one day, humans can live forever. 

When you say the singularity is coming, what does that mean exactly? 

What is singularity? 

Singularity is a future period which technological change will be so rapid and its impact so profound that human kind will be transformed. 

Our computers will be inside our brains and we'll be a hybrid. 

If you go back 500 years, not much happens in a century.  Now, fast changes occur in just 6 months.  It'll just get faster.  You have to merge intellegent technology.  That's a profound tranformaiton that we've borrowed from physics. 

People are sometimes afraid of the future.  If you talk about what life will be like 10 to 20 years from now it might sound frightening, but technology has the only thing that enables us to overcome problems.  When I was 5, I decided to be an inventory.  I knew you could create transcendent effects.  Other kids wanted to be firemen and teachers. 

I founded my first company when I was 18 years old

In the old days he'd come to me with a crazy idea and I'd say "right" but I don't have that reaction anymore. 

People don't start a project when the hardware and technological capabilities don't exist.  But you should do that and realizing that, I became a student of this technology

Being an engineer, I gathered a lot of data.  If it wasn't information technology, then follow the trajectories, and you can use this as a planning tool. 

I can take projection and make predictions for 20 years from now.  I can't build those devices, but I can describe them and talk about them. 

I wrote a book about the singularity to provide a scientific foundation for this concept. 

I have a certain perspective on the future.  It does come from scientific investigation but it results in a different perspective about what's important today.  I see this wisdom is different to them.  I think people need to understand what's important. 

If I have an opportunity to talk to an audience for an hour, I convince them of this

He has a vision about what will be happening, and he wants the world to prepare for it.  He has a mission to tell the world about what's coming in term of technolgoy. 

The gaming industry fits into what I'm talking about.  I've been studying information technology.  This has taken a life of its own.  We gather data in many different fields and we make models of how technology evolves.  I went to MIT in 1965 because it was so advanced that it actually had its own computer.  The computer in your phone today is a million times smaller, and a thousand times smaller.  That's a billion fold decrease in price. 

He takes a lot of steps people agree on and principles that everyone agrees on and shows that they lead to things nobody agrees on. 

He annoys people with the boldness of his projections of the future that I think are based on data driven extrapolations.  I think his biggest tool is the exponential. 

People routinely underestimate what's achievable because they leave out the radical implications of exponential growth. 

We can sense how much occurs in a year.  Just speak to young people.  They can see how much more quickly technology moves today than it did five years ago. 

This is the law of accerating returns. 

The nature of progress is exponential.  If I count linearly, I get to 30.  If I count by 2's, 30 seconds later I'm a a billion. 

Gordon saw exponentially growth of semiconductors.  We can put twice as many components on a chip and they run faster, so computers get twice as capable every year.  We'll make this happen faster in the coming years.  So in the next 25 years something that fits into your pocket will fit into a blood cell. 

The reason that information technology rose exponentially is that we use that technology to create the next.  The speed of the process accelerates over time.  This is true of evolution. 

Before humans evolved, the same phenomenon occurred.  The evolution of DNA took a billion years, but the Cambrian explosion went 100 times faster. 

After a few more steps, it got even faster. 

Then inventions occurred.  We use old technology to create new technology.  Paradigm shifts like search engines evolved in 5 or 6 years. 

It will go into fast gear over the next several decades. 

For me, Ray's projections are obvious. 

I mean, we are a young planet and a young species in an old galaxy. 

People think of us as this technologically advanced species.  We've been advanced for 100 years.  We are just beginning!  We have so much to learn.  We know nothing. 

Right after college we had a meeting at a pancake house in Cambridge.  He laid out his goals at that point, which were to invent things so that the blind could see and the deaf could hear and the lame could walk. 

The reading problems of the blind may soon be significantly be reduced

For the blind students, there are never enough braille materials. 

We visited a lab that can make any book talk. 

The reader can back up, go word by word, have words spelled out. 

When there was this thing on the news about this man who had come up with a way to enable blind people to be able to read- I said this was crazy.  

Obviously it was a lifechanger.  However big it was it didn't matter, because for the first time a blind person could read his or her private information.  It was amazing. 

The machine was practical only for facilities.  It was expensive because the development effort was expensive.  So ten years ago, this technology became very prominent. 

So this device- it's kind of bulky, out this was our first portable machine.  It takes a picture and reads it to you.  We expect soon that cell phones will be able to do this whole technology. 

I think we may see a time when having sight or not having sight doesn't matter.  You know, Ray taught us we'll communicate by sending pictures.   Information will be in our bloodsream. 

Eveyrjg ray has predicted has come true. 

Having site or not having site doesn't matter.  Ray thinks we'll send thoughts through our brains.  Computers will be in our bloodstream.  Everything Ray has predicted has come true.  I have no doubt this will too. 

Oh, how are you!  Great to see you. 

You've made such remarkable contributions.  I downloaded your wikipedia and it took me half the evening to get through it. 

I wrote the energy plant.  In 20 years we'll move to solar energy.  We're all convinced that in 5 years the cost per watt will be less than the cost of coal and oil. 

We only have to capture a thousandth of the sun's energy to meet our needs. 

Our energy needs are rising rapidly. 

There's a lot of encouraging technologies. 

If you ask what's the most powerful phenomenon on the universe, it's intelligence all the things we struggle with today- disease, poverty- we'll be able to solve those before the singularity, just because of increasing information technology. 

80% of disease comes from polluted water. 

This is a small device that can filter polluted water.  It's very expensive, but of we did it, we could met all the water needs of Africa. 

I didn't try to justify this concept of the world.  When I look at the implications of technology on the human experience, if you go out 30 years, I began to realize what a significant change lay ahead of us. 

The three great overlapping revolutions- sometimes go by GNR.  g is genetics [On board.]  

We will ulitmately be able to reprogram biology away from disease and aging. 

N is is for nanotechnology.  In the coming years, we'll have small devices that will go in your brains to merge with non-biological things.  R is for robots, or artificial intelligence. 

It's the most significant in 2029, or the coming years, an AI will be able to match human intelligence and go beyond it.  AI will actually give us super human intelligence.  It'll enable us to olive problems we can't solve today. 

We're looking forward to a time when we can back up our brains.  They'll be largely non-biological, so we'll basically be machines.  We can stop aging, live indefinitely.  All our bodies are limited and we need to deal with overcoming their limitations the one means or another. 

There's nothing good about disease and death.  People have no alternative but to rationalize death as a good thing, but it is a profound tragedy- a profound loss of meaning. 

Some people articulate "well, we need to accept Death" and that's the goal of life.  I don't accept it. 

A lot of things have changed in just a few years.  We're accelerating an a rapid pace.  We need to get smarter by amplifying our intelligence with a mental amplifier- technology- to continue our quest. 

I'm a material scientist.  I'm a big fan of this show.  I want to express my disappointment because you've invited this genius crackpot to push is ideas that have no basis in reality

It takes me a while to get my mental and emotional thoughts aroud of what I see for the future.  People have never heard of these ideas, so when they first hear them, I really see myself some decades ago. 

I realize it's a long path to get comfortable with where the future is heading. 

Machine intelligence improves, imrpoves, improves until we get to a point where it consumes control. 

We don't know the implications of the singularity. 

It's a mathematical term where everything breaks down

It's a tear in the fabric of space and time. 

It's going to be interesting to see if we can get though the next 20 years. 

When and if we reach a place where machines are more capable of doing things that we call thinking, the consequences of that- who is running the world and how will we relate?  It's hard to really understand. 

We'll transcend humanity.  We'll go beyond the whole way of thinking and feeling and relating. 

It's an idea so large that we have to deal with it, even if it turns out not to be true. 

The singularity, like some other mythic events, has many definitions.  One is the arrival of a super intelligence that will very quickly invent solutions to major problems.  So then we'll have things like immortality. 

I think there's lots of things that Ray is correct about- but he's off on the timing.  There's a lot in this vision of the future that's hard wired into people's own hopes to see this before they die.  People think this will happen in 2040 right before they die.  I don't think that will happen. 

This is kind of built into a grand case.  My father had this.  It's of beethoven. 

These are books from the business field.  This is a table of awards. 

I have over 300 cat figurines. 

That's not just a salutation in our family. 

This is the garden.  It's a little after the peak. 

I'm the assistant. 

My father really loved gardening and getting into the dirt.  We had the only fig trees that would blossom.  But that's not something I inherited from him. 

My parents were involved with the arts, and my mother was a talented artist.  My father a musician.  Generally the conversations around the dinner table had to do with some new idea that had been discovered.  There was a great respect for human knowledge.  That was a part of the religion, if you will, of my family- the power of human ideas and the power of ideas to shape history and overcome problems. 

It was personalized.  My family told me I could find these solutions. 

My father was a tragic figure.  He was able to create magical affects with his music.  It was a work of passion, but there are many real life challenges- financial and health, and supporting his sons.  If I had ideas that were crazy, they still supported them. 

Fred was sick with a heart condition, and he had a lot of heart failures.  He would work very early in the morning and stay out late working. 

I think it was hard on Ray.  You know, he needed a father, and his father was never around. 

He had a heart attack when he was 51, and he just became weaker.  He worked hard to overcome these challenges, but we didn't have the knowledge back then. 

The problem with my father was a cloud in my life.  I knew heart disease was hereditary.  We are fundamentally information.  At the core of our cells are our genes, which are sequences of data. 

They evolved thousands of years ago.  We have this old software that isn't entirely relevant to the time we live in.  We're learning how to change them to overcome problems. 

I have my blood taken every few months.  I had a pain in my gut one day, and it was pancreatitis.  My triglycerides were very high.  I was also diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 

They painted a very bleak prognosis.  It freaked me out, I have to say. 

I was given insulin.  That made things worse.  So I had all the markers of a disposition for heart disease

We had to get really on this. 

I dove into this with my own approach.  I used a discipline of gathering information and harnessing science to overcome these problems. 

He's a genius, but he has another talent- his ability to swallow pills.  I'm amazed by it. 
You're looking good

You too.  I work hard at that. 

What are you doing? 

Well, mostly I'm reprogramming my biochemistry with a lot of supplements- vitamins, minerals, it's a start.  I take 200 a day. 

Your cell membrane is made up of a certain substance that depletes over time.  You can reverse that process by supplementing with substances. 

Where do you find that supplement? 

I sell it, actually. 

I want to live as long as I can.  If following ray's regimen will put that day off, I'm very willing to try. 

Life expectancy was 25 years ago, but now it's 70. 

I took some supplements and exercised which improved my insulin sensitivity, which got rid of the whole profile of being diabetic. 

I've gained tools to understand biology.  The fat receptor says to hold on to every calorie.  That was a good idea 1000 years ago, but we've learned to adjust that gene.  So when it was turned off in the animals, they ate ravenously and stayed slim and didn't get health problems. 

So now we want to bring this to the human market.  All diet drugs today work by inhibiting appetite, which is not what we want, like a birth control pill that inhibits interest in sex. 

I think human beings are a marvel.  We are our bodies. 

There are not good genes and bad genes.  There's a balance. 

We can do a lot of foolish things to alter human beings

The result of that might be tragedy. 

Ray is interesting and entertaining.  But he's not a biologist. 

I think a biologist needs to be more moderate.  Engineering a better human being is going to be a daunting task.  We've had years and years of field testing that has filtered down an organism that is affected by environment.  To upset the balance by exaggerating some feature will cost us something.  We should not think we have transcended thousands of years of human experience. 

We still have a ways to go to creating this machine.  Sam covers it in our next segment. 

We're on a journey inside the human body.  So what's it going to look like in 100 years?   Ray will tell us. 

What will the body be like in the future? 

Nanotechnology will enhance our bodies from the inside. 

So we're going to have robots inside us.  We'll be perfect. 

What's perfect? 

The ability to blow shit up with our eyes

Nanotechnology will change everything.  We're building devices now at the nano scale this is a red cell sized robot.  If you could replace some of your own cells, we could download software about pathogens, and if you look at what will be feasible, we could go far beyond the limitations of our own bodies. 

This is going to dominate our global politics.  It will color the century. 

Good evening. 

There's more competing capacity in a little brain of sugar- one bit per atom.  There's more in that grain of sand than in our brains. 

So these machines, if we decide to build them. 

My name is Hugo Garis.  I'm a professor of computer science at a southeast Chinese university.  I have a four year contract there to build china's first artificial brain. 

AI today, in terms of broad general ideas, the brain sciences haven't taught us what intelligence is.  Neuroscience hasn't even learned to walk yet. 

It talks!  What I think about Ray's point of view- I think he's naive because he doesn't consider the negative consequences of these developments.  His reason for living is to create inventions that help humanity. 

So for him to hear someone like me saying these inventions might cause the worst war humanity has ever had freaks him out.  He doesn't want to hear it. 

The nature of progress is exponential, and if you think about what that's going to mean for biology, AI, nanotechnolgy, they'll all happen at the same time and build on each other. 

The future will be more fantastic than anything I've articulated. 

There's AI all around us.  Every time you send an email, AI make financial decisions, fly planes, etc.  There's lots of software that does things humans used to have to do.  The source comes from the human brain itself. 

We find we can look inside and the spatial resolution doubles every year.  We're learning we can take this data and turn it into working models. 

I think it's conservative to say that at this pace, we'll understand how our brains work in 20 years.  We'll have a tool kit of our own intelligence, and we can create similar systems that work just as well or better.  Apply these things to the emotional intelligence we have, and that will be very powerful. 

For these AI, they'll continue to expand and grow every year, but our brains are fixed.  If we have simulations of human brains, they'll seem very human, and there won't be much difference.  That won't be much in our bodies that we can't create or enhance.  We'll create AI's that are real people.  

That's the house.  It's pretty much the same.  I remember lots of happy and sad times.  Mostly happy. 

My father was very busy in my early life.  When I was 15 he had his first heart attack, and he was home more.  We developed an adult relationship and he would tell me his worries. 

I think Fred knew he was dying, and he was very brave. 

My father had gotten recently ill in the last months of his life and he had difficulty walking and his heart was very weak. 

I got a call from my aunt saying he had passed away.  The call was not surprising, but it was shocking.  I did not really experience death before that. 

I felt frustrated in that keeping him was a goal that slipped through my fingers. 

My father was 58 when he died.  It was a real tragedy of great talent that never really had completely the opportunity to express itself.  I knew there was a reason I kept this stuff.  I have all his letters, documents, music, and bills. 

I have all this stuff.  I do plan to bring back my father.  My memory has faded, but he still visits me in dreams. 

What happens in 40 years from nowwhen Ray dies and isn't have his father back.  Does this mean he was wrong?  Well, he was right about some things. 

He's imagining technoogies he would have within a certain amount of time when he dies. 

The precursors of those technologies simploy are not here. 

It's sort of heart warming, but it isn't going to happen. 

There certainly come a time when an AI says I'm self-aware and I'm conscious.  The more subtle question is whether you can believe it. 

I wouldn't want to minimize this issue, but once we have AI's that are conscience, these questions will be irrelevant. 
I think people will interact with AI's when push comes to shove. 

Once we have an intelligence significanlty smarter than a human, it will be able to do anything it can dream of.  It will feel like a God, just like we feel to a mouse or roach. 

Once you have an AI ten times smarter than Einstein, who knows what that AI will do

We're talking about a vast level of intelligence.  So they could be assigned to create a person- let's say it's a virtual person in virtual reality, that's a replica of an actual person. 

My work on this project righ tnow is to maintain and gather enough information about my father so these future AI's will have something to work with.  I have boxes and boxes of his letters.  I have his music, his financial ledgers, and I have my own memories which are fading, but the future AI will pull out those memories that even I have difficulty accessing. 

These are instructions from my father on playing the piano.  He was my piano teache are

I think AI's could create smoeone who would seem much like my father. 

I think it was useful to keep all these rotting bodies around, but now it is practical to have a place where some of their DNA is accessbile.  People do live on in our memories in their creative works. 

Ray is a bit more of an optimist.  I think the optimist scenario he portrays could happen- the singularity will bring better life to humans.  On the other hand, there are dstopian possibilities.  I think it's outrageous to think we can control everything.  I can't imagine a bacterium mastering me.  Once it's 10,000 times smarter, who's to say it won't figure out how to reprogram our brains or to join with aliens, and then they have their way with us. 

There's all kinds of other interesting technologies- biotech, nanotech- they have their own risks, so it's not like avoiding to build in AI will make everything easy to understand. 

I think Ray is wrong to be so optimistic, and I think others who are pessimistic are wrong too.  We just can't know

I guess I'm best known for the concept of the artilect war- artificial intellect.  So these machines will wipe out humanity is a risk.  Consider how we look at ants or mosquitoes as pests.  We don't give a damn if we kill them because we think they're so inferior to us.   So who is to say that an artilect won't look upon us the same way. 

We could never be sure. 

I'm predicting that there will be a major war between two human groups, so one group will argue that the only way to ensure that the risk is 0 is that they're never built in the first place.  But for the other group, they'll be godlike, so there will be a conflict between these two groups.  With late 21st century weapons, billions will be killed. 

As a brain builder myself, am I prepared to risk the extinction of the human species for the sake of building an artilect?  Because that's what it comes down to.  Yep. 

We can talk about technical solutions to viruses.  We can talk about technical solutions to other things, but to AI, now you're talking about the most powerful phenomenon.  There's no magical solution. 

There's no technical solution to the danger.  If you ask what the challenge of the 21st century is, it's to keep AI's reflecting human ideals.  Breakthroughs will occur and this will become faster.  I'm using the third person they, but it's actually going to be us. 

What I feel the singularity is as we look towards the future- we'll get to a point where either intelligent machines or cyborgs will start to dominate.  The signularity is the point where humans lose control. 

We are going to get to the terminator scenario.  Intelligent machines calling the shots and humans being subservient. 

Looking at how we are ourselves now, I don't think the future is good.  If you're a human after the singularity, forget it. 

This little part here is the first implant that I had.  It was implanted here and that identified me to the computer in the building. 

"Hello, professor." 

The last implant I had was more serious.  What we have there is an array of 100 electrodes that was implanted in the median nerves of my left arm.  I had wires in my arm that came out into a connect art.  I went to new York and we put my nervous system online in real time.  We hooked it up to the hand here in this town

So my brain received pulses when the hand moved

When they took the implant out, they found that the body tissue had grown around it.  Mentally and physically, it was a part of me. 

Once you link the human brain to a human network, not only can you improve sensory input, you can think in more dimensions.  I'm limited in what I do as a human.  If I could come out of the singularity being upgraded, I don't mind changing dramatically from what I am. 
I believe there will be flash memories you can plug in. 

I think we can Google in our brains.  There will be a lot of changes with technology.  There's an unanswered question of how far can you go and still be human. 

As we merge with machines, and I think it's inevitable that we will, we will transform and do something new

The small proportion that's still human gets smaller and smaller. 

Anybody resisting this progress will be resisting evolution, and fundamentally they'll die out.  It's going to happen. 

We'll get to the point where so much of the action won't be just nanobots in our brains it'll be the cloud that's already computing now. 

Part of our existence will be living out of that cloud. 

People spend some of their time in virtaul worlds like second life.  Today it doesn't look as real, but if you look at video games and how they've changed, these virtual realities will grow too. 

Exponential growth has dominated without variation in second life. 

It's amazing to see how it's growing while the real world is not. 

This world will eventually go inside the brain.  Virtual reality will have all the features of real reality, plus more. 

You can be someone else.  You don't have to pick the same boring body.  You can be different people in different situations.  Over time, our biological bodies will become obsolete.  We'll have many bodies, and we'll look back on having only one body as primitive. 

Ray talks about uploading everything you know as a human to the Internet, and that becomes philosophical - is that you?

I think it's unlikely that kids today will grow up with the concept of this immortality and how their biological packages will change.  I don't think that will be realistic for the kids today.  They will have new expectations of life. 

We began as single cell prokaryotes and we incorporated technology- the endoplasmic reticulum.  We're following that same process.  We'll link with each other and come a meta intelligence.  We'll become an interconnection of the whole race, and we'll become godlike.  We'll be able to know anything- plug your brain into Google.  When I think about that- once you plug into that mobile network, to unplug yourself will be so lonely. 

God is who he is.  We should not try to create him.  We should just try to know him. 

We have a scenario laid out- the world is headed for an Armageddon, and we'll be the generation that's alive. 

Ray postulates possibilities about 2040.  There are biblical reasons that make us think we won't get that far.  We think man will destroy himself. 

There's a risk here that is starting to develop.  Those kinds of concepts of god being everywhere can be articulated, but it can be a path to destruction.  There can be a danger in worshiping technology. 

He called me up very sad and said he was lonely and missed me.  That was very uncharacteristic, because he was not prone to making emotional statements like that.  He must have sensed something. 

That was shortly before he died. 

That's probably the last time I talked to him. 

What are you thinking about, ray? 

Well, I was thinking about how much computation is represented by the ocean.  It's all these water moleculesinteracting with each other.  It's beautiful, and I've always found it soothing, and that's what computation is all about.  Capturing these moments of our consciousness. 

We're the only species that goes beyond our limitations.  We didn't stay in the ground or the planet, or within the limitation of our biology.  In 1870 the life expectancy was 37.  Now it's 80.  In the future, the life expectancy will move away from you.  So if you can hang in there for 15 more years, we may get to experience the remarkable century ahead. 

We've spent thousands of years rationalizing death and have come up with many philosophies. 

The tragedy of illness and death has to be experienced personally to appreciate its significance. 

Losing someone you love is unbearable.  That's one reason to bring someone back.  I think people are kidding themselves when they say they have accepted death. 

I think they're fooling themselves. 

I didn't realize that this mission to not die is really the right course.  It's not guaranteed I can't make a scientific case.  I'm not  immune to everything.  I think I'll make it to a point in time where I can at least back myself up. 

Well, they have to cut the breast bone to get to the heart, they stop the heart, then they repair the valve, close you up, and restart your heart.   That's the end of the operation.  \

I'm still living with some undesirable genes.  I've been struggling with that my whole life. 

The incision was right here. 

I mean, I don't have great respect for our biological bodies.  I expect things to go wrong.  But if something goes wrong and there is no well-established procedure, or maybe there's nothing at all and I'd have to invent something quickly. 

I don't think we'll re-create the dead or download ourselves and our sense of significance to a computer.  I dread my own death up to a point.  I'm a practicing Christian.  Will we conquer death?  Not physically, but spiritually. 

If you look at the implications of my ideas, they have a resonance with some traditional religious ideas.  The idea of a profound transformation of the future, bringing back the dead.  We're applying technology to fulfill goals that have been talked about in all philosophy

I think we are the cutting edge of the inelligence beauty, and we do have godlike powers because we can change the world. 

All these religious traditions describe god as being all knowing and ever present.  All of these technologies move to become more godlike, so evolution is a spiritual process.  What's evolving is the appreciation of ourselves.  We can use our insight to make this a better world.  Thank you very much. 

I think he'll be looked at as someone who was more poet than mechanic.  His belief in this complete idea- he has no doubts about it, and I think he is kind of a prophetic type figure who was really sure and nothing can be wavered.  His absolute certainty about this.  I think he's a modern day prophet- but that's wrong. 

He had a difficult and sad life, but he did get a lot of joy from his music and family.  It's comforting to stand here. 

I'm not sure why. 

It's kind of a lovely stone. 

I like that passage.  His passing definitely doesn't end here. 

This technology does fit in your shirt pocket.  And I'm pulling it out now, and here it is. 

Take a picture.  The uncertainty of exploration, [Can't hear/can't understand.] 


Thank you for all the work you've done. 

Alright, good.  Oh, that's good. 

You don't have to wonder about the singularity to see remarkable changes coming from technology.  Look today at how remarkable technology is.  It's hardly stopping. 

These very powerful technologies become very inexpensive.  They start out unaffordable, but at that point they don't work very ewll.  As they work better, they get less expensive.  The computer you carry in your pocket is the equivalent of a hundred million dollar computer years ago. 

Today, you can turn a file into a book or a movie, but the real problem is turning something into an actual object from your computer.  We'll create everything we need from inexpensive materials. 

So we are lucky.  We're at an explosion of information, an ultimately information will be everything.  Everything will become intelligent.  Rocks, trees- everything will have nanotechnology.   At that point, we'll expand out into the rest of the universe.  We'll send nanotechnolgy infused with AI, and find find other energy in the unviverse.  The universe will wake up and become intelligent, and that will multiply our intelligence. 

We can't fully contemplate.  That's why it's called the singularity, but it will be the universe waking up.  So does god exist?  I would say not yet. 


Professor:  Okay.  Comments? 

Male Student:  That guy's crazy.  I think as it progressed, in the beginning his mindset of it was progressive as in technology, but at the end it was just like he was obsessed with bringing his dad back to life.  I think it's interesting, but I think he's crazy. 

Male Student:  It did seem like he was solely trying to bring his father back. 

Professor:  Any other comments?

Male Student:  I liked the part where he said he had to invent something to cure himself. 

Male Student:  I also never thought of the idea of if we did create something way more intelligent, then it'd be like the fly or mosquito thing.  Where the AI would just look at us like that. 

Professor:  Yeah, one of the other speakers said that.  Garis asked why we would want to create something that smart.  That was funny, because he's trying to do it. 

You know, I wonder how much of the father theme was something the director of the movie thought would be a good theme in there, and how much it was really sort of guiding his life.  The director made a good case that it does kind of guide his life.  In fact, I even wrote down a part about that in the discussion

What about his own life?  Any comments about that? 

Male Student:  I think it's interesting that he got rid of his diabetes. 

Professor:  I heard him speak once before.  He was really a bundle of energy.  He seemed old, but he wouldn't stop.  It made me wonder what he was taking in those 200 pills. 

Male Student:  Probably b12. 

Professor:  What does that do? 

Male Student:  It makes them more energy.  They do that in the military. 

Female Student:  You can get a shot of b12. 

Professor:  Yeah, there's a place in town that has a sign showing that.  I always thought it was just bunk, but if they do it in the military, maybe there's something to it. 

Male Student:  They do a lot of things in the military

Professor:  Yeah, I guess just because they do it doesn't mean it's right.  I'm not saying he's right, but he's brilliant, and that's what some of the people in the movie were saying. 

Male Student:  I think if you make the argument, like not necessarily go through with it but make everyone argue with it, it takes away from other people's ideas because you're deleting ideas.  Everyone trusts your theories. 

Professor:  Yeah, just because he gets a lot of publicity, doesn't mean he necessarily 100% believes in it. 

Male Student:  It's all a part of a theory.  Just stating it doesn't mean you have to believe it. 

Professor:  Well, he has made it into a theory and he has a book that was shown the movie- the singularity is near.  He goes through and shows the data to back it all up.  You know, to show that there will be a computer as smart as the human race.  

I wanted to show you two things.  We have a few minutes left.  There's an institution called singularity university

You can't go there and major in information science, but they teach short courses that cost a lot of money and learn about how the singularity will create a better future, really. 

I want to show you who's... oh, our team. 

I don't see his picture, but he's the leader of the whole university. 

Founders- let's look there.  Well, there he is.  Anyone recognize this guy from the movie?

Male Student:  That's the CEO of something. 

Professor:  Yeah, his name is Diamandis

Male Student:  He seemed kind of loony too. 

Professor:  Well, he runs the university.  Kurzwiel isn't there day to day, but the other guy is.  He wrote a book called Abundance, where he claims all these technologies Kurzweil talked about will lead to a world where everything is abundant. 

I think that's a little over-optimistic. 

Anyway, singularity university.  You can go there and study.  They have graduate seminars that are like 10 weeks.  You can learn all about the ways singularity will make the world so much better. 

Male Student:  Do you think we think they're crazy because we don't know- you know, like say the earth rotated around the sun.  You know?  Like people said they were crazy. 

Like say the catholic church said "no, the sun rotates around us, or earth is flat."  We just don't understand what they're thinking.  We're too stupid. 

Professor:  Well, someone in the movie said there's no way... there are these extremely optimistic scenarios which is what Kurzweil says, and there are dystopian scenarios.  It was the guy with the funny hat.  He said there's just no way to know.  It could be one way or the other.  We just don't know .  One thing I want to do in this class is to help you understand that we can't know. 

Male Student:  Yeah, he was kind of like a hippy

Professor:  Yeah, don't underestimate him.  He's pretty well-known in the field and the futurism community.  I don't know why he decided to wear that hat in the movie.  So next time I have lecture notes on this and we'll talk about it and we'll go on from there.  If anyone needs a copy of the homework, I have it here.  

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