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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

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

The Turing Exception by William Hertling

About a year ago I wrote about the "Avogadro Corp" by William Hertling, the first book of his Singularity Series. A week ago I finished reading "The Turing Exception", the fourth and final instalment and a worthy close to the series.The Turing Exception follows common patterns of the series. Avogadro Corp was set in 2015 with its sequels taking place 10 years later each. With The Turing Exception we've now arrived around 2045 and a world that in some respects still ... Read more

I don’t want an app for that

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame recently posted an article on why your phone interface is a legacy train wreck. He argues that the way we interact with our smartphones goes all the way back to the beginning of desktop computing. In spite of what Apple probably would have us believe - in spite of swiping, tapping and multitouch - we're still largely using our computing devices as if they were a 1987 IBM PC running Microsoft Word or Excel: When trying ... Read more

Huge Potential For Mesh Networking In Mobile Phones

Apple's iOS 7 contains a highly interesting but until now very much under-appreciated feature that Apple calls Multipeer Connectivity.Another name for this feature is mesh network and it potentially can change the world. Basically, a mesh network is a network topology, in which each participant is connected to every other participant. This results in a dense network that's particularly resilient towards failures and tampering from outside.In contrast to that the computer networks we commonly use for the most part employ a ... Read more

Transcendence

Having watched the film Transcendence recently I thought I'd use this opportunity to write a bit more about how the singularity might come about and how it might look like.I have a bit of a problem (to say the least) with the film's overarching anti-technology stance. Then again, the Luddites in the film are terrorists who aren't above killing humans for, well, preventing machines from killing humans. I suppose logic and reason have never been strong points of terrorists, both in ... Read more

How the Singularity Might Actually Look Like

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame recently posted an intriguing article on how the robots will take over (to be taken with a pinch of salt, of course).His point is this. Assuming that the singularity indeed is near and ruling out any Terminator Skynet scenarios - because those are boring and inefficient:How might the first post-singularity artificial intelligence try to control its environment both for its own benefit and humanity's - assuming that there's some sort of incentive or inherent moral imperative ... Read more

Closer than you think

I've recently finished reading Avogadro Corp by William Hertling and the sequel A.I. Apocalypse.These books deal with the idea how artificial intelligence might come about today or in the near future. The story's main premise is the eponymous Avogadro Corp, a hardly disguised Google. This company, whose name is conveniently related to a large number as well, offers a wide range of Internet services: Search, web-based office suite, web-based eMail (AvoMail ...) and its own smartphone OS (AvoOS). Sounds familiar?The story ... 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

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