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William Hertling on AI Risks

William Hertling, author of the Singularity Series books and the recent techno-crime thriller Kill Process earlier this year shared a few of his thoughts regarding artificial (general) intelligence (AI / AGI) and the hazards as well as ethical ramifications and quandaries that the emergence of AI / AGI might give rise to. In Ten Musings on AI Risks William broaches both pragmatic subjects such as risk mitigation and deeper moral questions. In his (and my ...) opinion rather than artificially slowing down ... Read more

Neil Harbisson: I listen to color And The Renaissance of our Species

Earlier this month I attended Reasons to: in Brighton. It's been a fantastic 3 days full of information, insights and inspiration, in addition to getting to know a lot of nice and interesting people. The talk that stood it in particular was Neil Harbisson's The Renaissance of our Species. Right after that talk I tweeted: Mind blown. By designing new senses cyborg Neil Harbisson is pushing the envelope of pushing the envelope Neil was born with achromatopsia or total colour blindness. In 2003 he ... Read more

William Hertling – Kill Process

I've recently finished listening to the audio version of William Hertling's latest novel "Kill Process" I think it's fair to say that I'm quite a fan of his novels and his writing. Kill Process is a bit of a departure from Hertling's Singularity series in that it doesn't deal with future events and science fiction technology but mostly takes place in the present day with a few exceptions for flashbacks to previous events in the protagonist's life. The novel has been described as ... Read more

Expanding Human Sensory Perception

In this mind-blowing TED talk neuroscientist David Eagleman talks about his exciting work to extend and substitute human senses and even add completely new channels to the gamut of human sensory perception that will allow us to make more sense of an increasingly complex world more quickly and more readily: Can we create new senses for humans? Read more

Email as a Personal API

Some time ago I came across a concept by Marc Bevand advocating email as a Decentralized API to Personal Information. In this post he outlines the idea that - email being such a pervasive tool to the extent that nearly everyone uses it - a personal, distributed and decentralized API layer could be built on top of it. The basic idea is this: Email could be used as a protocol for transactions and automatically exchanging information. Take these use cases for example: Automatically ... Read more

The Gentle Seduction – A Short Story About The Singularity

The Gentle Seduction by Marc Stiegler - originally published in Analog Magazine in 1989 - is an intriguing story about how the technological singularity might come to pass. It's based upon Ray Kurzweil's and Vernor Vinge's concepts of accelerating technological development and exponential growth (see law of accelerating returns). While I'm not sure about the singularity myself - there sure is a 'rapture for the nerds' aspect to it - the story makes for a compelling read. It deals with issues related ... Read more

The 4 Hour Workweek – Revisited

Some time ago I read Tim Ferris' seminal book 'The 4-Hour Workweek'. It's a bold take at lifestyle design that challenges common misconceptions about what work actually means and how we should live our lives. In this book Ferriss outlines four main steps for an independent, self-determined life: Definition: Self-awareness. What do you truly want in life? What are your real goals? Do you really want to work till you drop in order to become rich just to live up to society's expectations? Elimination: ... Read more

Piano Stairs – A Brilliant Design

How to improve a millenia-old design: [youtube 2lXh2n0aPyw] Read more

Fixing Work

I somehow dislike the concept of New Year's resolutions since a new year is just as good a time for trying to change something or venturing into something new as any other time. New Year's resolutions also tend to be forgotten ever so quickly. It just so happens that I've been nurturing a few thoughts as of lately that I'd like to turn into something real right now. My point is that the way software development work (or any engineering / technical / ... Read more