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    Spring 2002 Gathering

Special Interest Group (SIG) Meetings

In Conjunction With Spring 2002 Senior Associates Gathering
Exploring the Edges

Palo Alto, California
April 26-28, 2002

All Interested Senior Associates Invited

Friday NiteOwl Session, April 26, 10-11:00pm

Solving Complex Problems—Mediterranean Ballroom
Moderator: Dean Tribble
Description: Join Eric Drexler, Richard Nesbit, and myself in applying a new problem-solving technique to a critical problem in nanotechnology. We will generate a "Current Reality Tree" to explore why the public environment outside Foresight is hostile to discussing or preparing for the potential impacts of nanotechnology.

Nanomedicine: Aggressive Approaches—Bacchus Room
Moderator: Chris Phoenix
Description: Chris Phoenix (one of only three who reviewed all ten chapters of Robert Freitas's Nanomedicine) will survey proposed nanomedical devices, discuss nanotech life extension, and unveil a new and advanced device that he and Freitas co-described. Unthinkable now, commonplace "soon"... techno-medicine is often controversial; prepare for future shock!

Exploring the Technological Singularity: Universal Trends in Accelerating Change—Portofino Room
Moderator: John Smart
Description: Friday's NightOwl SIG, run by John Smart of, asks why universal and local events both appear to be continually accelerating. Whither Moore's law? Will nanosystems, as described in Drexler's 1992 book, continue this trend? We'll also consider evolutionary vs. developmental contributors to change, exploring the paradigm of "evolutionary development." How might this apply in the tech and nanotech sectors?

Saturday Evening, April 27, 6:00-6:30pm

Brave New Unwired World: Getting From Here To Kurzweil's Future—Mediterranean Ballroom
Moderator: Alex Lightman
Description: This SIG will cover the predictable milestones in the future of wireless, Internet, broadband, wearable computing and augmented reality that will take us from the present up to the Kurzweil visions of always connected, augmented life. SIG leader Alex Lightman, drawing up his new book, Brave New Unwired World, guarantees a lively and interesting discussion that will give participants new frameworks and concepts for understanding the steps that lead to a very different Internet that will create a very different world. The Brave New Unwired World SIG will indicate the importance of open source, nanotechnology, and, especially, the vital necessity of informed discussion of technology policy in making the next generation wireless broadband and wearable computing happen.

Reaching for a Swifter and Safer Singularity—Portofino Room
Moderator: Eliezer Yudkowsky
Description: The Saturday Evening SIG, moderated by Eliezer Yudkowsky of the Singularity Institute, asks what we can do today to bring about a swifter and safer Singularity — not just in terms of general technological progress, but projects that directly impact the Singularity. This critical moment in human history means that small efforts may have the potential to accomplish tremendous good; let's not waste the opportunity.
Followed by: — Saturday Dinner, 6:30 pm, El Torito (Mexican) or Chef Chu's (Chinese), a short walk from hotel. John and Eliezer will each be gathering dinner groups.

Saturday Dinner 6:00-8:00 pm

Strategies for a Real-Money Idea Futures Market
Moderator: Ken Kittlitz (administrator, the Foresight Exchange)
Description: This SIG focuses on strategies for creating a real-money Idea Futures market that would carry forward the goals of the Foresight Institute's market, ideally with broader participation and higher investment limits. Tom W. Bell (who has analyzed the legality of IF markets) will be among the participants.

Saturday NiteOwl, 10-11:00 pm

Capability Security SIG—Mediterranean Ballroom I, II
Moderator: Mark S. Miller
Description: Nanotechnology and other powerful coming technologies make it essential that our computers get a lot better at doing what we want them to do, and not doing what we don't want them to do. Capability security as an approach to solving some important computer security challenges has often been examined by Foresight. Here we will review the basics and give a demo of a capability-secure desktop. For background, see and

Nanotech Advances: Abrupt Asymmetric Advantage?— Bacchus Room
Moderator: Chris Phoenix and Chris Hibbert
Description: Currently there's no clear winner in the nanotech race. Will this apparent balance persist, or will nanotech (or its spin-offs) give one side an unbeatable advantage at some point? There are strong arguments on both sides. Chris Phoenix and Chris Hibbert will debate, with much audience participation.

Brainstorms in Accelerating Change: Open Singularity Discussion—Portofino Room
Moderator: Ray Kurzweil
Description: The Saturday NiteOwl SIG is a collective brainstorming session on accelerating change. After an informal intro, Ray Kurzweil will respond to your questions and ideas with regard to processes creating the singularity, how fast it is approaching, what is likely to happen in the process and afterward, and the promise and peril of the transition. ( (

Spring 2002 Gathering

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