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Foresight Update 23.32: Prospect of a universal learning machine - August 6, 2009

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Top News of the Week

Learning and AGI

Yesterday I wrote that we don't have a clue how learning works. If that were as categorically true as I made it sound, the prospects of AGI would be pretty much sunk. AGI requires getting up to the universal level of a learning machine: one that can in theory learn anything any other learning machine can learn…

In this issue:

From Open Source Sensing:

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

Where is my flying car?

In 1902, H. G Wells penned a book, remarkably prophetic in some respects, that can be taken as the definition of the fin de siecle take on the probable course of the 20th century. It was called Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought


There's a very nice post at IEET by Marcelo Rinesi entitled Education and Learning: Still in the Middle Ages. He points out that we're pretty damn bad at education compared to the improvements we've seen in most other endeavors…

Self-replicating machines and risk

Engineering and analysis in the field of SRMs is unusual in many ways. Eric Drexler has posted a paper about differences in evolutionary capacity in mechanical and biological systems that's worth a look.

Purely coincidentally, we at Foresight have been discussing self-replication in the context of the Feynman Path and I came up with an example that shows just how counter-intuitive self-replication, if you try to view it as a capability, can be…

—Nanodot posts by J. Storrs Hall

From Open Source Sensing:

Ethical contracts for emotion sensors

Principled sensing will often involve getting permission from those being sensed. We can get some ideas about how to think about this process from the paper Affective Sensors, Privacy, and Ethical Contracts by two MIT Media lab researchers, Carson Reynolds (now at U. Tokyo) and Prof. Rosalind Picard…

—Open Source Sensing posts by Christine Peterson

Foresight Events – Lectures

Foresight Lectures

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:

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.

NanoManufacturing Conference & Exhibits
Looking to understand what nanotechnology means for you?
April 14, 2010 to April 15, 2010
Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa, Mesa AZ USA

Call for Speakers, Abstract deadline: October 7, 2009

This conference will highlight the current, near-term, and future applications of nanotechnology and how they are transforming the way we manufacture products. Peer networking, information sharing, and technology exchange among the world's nanomanufacturing leaders will be a key feature of the event.

Contact Foresight

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