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Foresight Update 23.26: Plugging AIs into civilization - June 25, 2009

Discuss these news stories at http://foresight.org/nanodot.

Top News of the Week

The Software of Civilization

When we build a formal, mechanical version of a given skill, we don't save it to be part of a single huge AI system as if we were building the Forbin Project, but deploy it directly in the form of a software app or machine controller or accounting practice or whatever is appropriate. It gets hooked into the existing huge network of information processing and feedback/control function that forms civilization…

In this issue:

Foresight Events – Lectures
Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
More Events
Contact Foresight

Smart Cascio article in Atlantic

Jamais Cascio has an article in the current Atlantic about how humans are getting smarter. This is the best article on the subject I've seen in the mainstream press, and better than most in the transhumanist corner of the web.

Cascio's main point is that, as we've always done, we build our technology to make ourselves smarter…

Attitudes to nanotech regulation

An article this past weekend on Nanowerk reports on a study about attitudes toward regulation of nanotechnology among nanoscientists and the general public:

As reported in the online version of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research today (June 19), Scheufele and Corley found that the public tends to focus on the benefits — rather than potential environmental and health risks — when making decisions about nanotechnology regulation, whereas scientists mainly focus on potential risks and economic values…

Regulation of millitechnology

Suppose there were a class of technologies called millitech: science and engineering that could be measured in millimeters, from say about a tenth of a millimeter to 100 millimeters — in any dimension. That includes hairs, paper, pebbles, marbles, anything you can hold in the palm of your hand, anything less than 4 inches thick no matter how long or wide it is.

This would be, frankly, an insane classification on which to base regulations of whatever technology you had in mind…

—Nanodot posts by J. Storrs Hall

Foresight Events – Lectures

Foresight Lectures

July 30, 2009
Singularity University
Mountain View, California
Christine Peterson will moderate and Foresight advisor Stewart Brand will serve on a panel on time horizons in an accelerating world, for Singularity University participants.
Click here for conference details

August 20-22, 2009
Gnomedex: a technology conference of inspiration and influence
Seattle, Washington
Christine Peterson will speak on life extension.
Click here for conference details

Foreseeing Future Technologies

Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.

Since 1986, the Foresight Institute has been in the forefront of a worldwide community of visionaries who work to help shape these possibilities into a positive, beneficial reality. If you would like to help us understand the potential of these technologies, and influence their direction, please consider becoming a member of the Foresight community. With your support, Foresight will continue to educate the general public on these technologies and what they will mean to our society.

To join:
http://foresight.org/members/index.html

More Events

Converging Technologies for 21st Century Security
Organized by the Institute of Nanotechnology
November 25, 2009
The Royal College of Physicians, London, UK

Organised crime, terrorism, civil conflict, and natural disasters are sadly commonplace in global society and have developed increasingly complex dimensions. To counter such threats, civil security and emergency response teams are looking towards new technologies that offer more sensitive, rapid, and accurate detection methods; that provide the means to neutralise or effectively deal with the outcomes of such incidents; and that provide greater protection to personnel.

Contact Foresight

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