[SLED] Book Review - Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality

Giulio Prisco gp1 at metafuturing.com
Mon Mar 15 00:56:18 PDT 2010

@Iggy - I am also one of these "Children of Apollo", frustrated and
disappointed because space did not happen as we were promised in the
Apollo days. But other things happened, like the Internet and virtual
worlds. Remember the communication system used in 2001 (the film, not
the year)? We use a better communication system everyday with Skype,
other videoconferencing systems and Second Life. And we have
cellphones, conspicuously absent in Clarke's vision. If we manage to
solve some problems, which are not technical but political in nature,
space will also happen.

"no imaginable advance in computing I've read about seems likely to
permit us to upload our consciousness online." Google BCI (Brain to
Computer Interfaces), fMRI and optogenetics, and extrapolate two or
three orders of magnitude in performance. 100-1000 increases in
performance can be achieved, and are frequently achieved. Of course
this does not mean that operational mind uploading tech can be
developed next year, or in the next decade, but I am quite confident
it will be developed in the second half of the century, and some of
the younger list members will see it.

I am organizing a session with Geraci in SL to discuss these issues,
followed by a 2-3 days seminar. I will post details here.

On Sun, Mar 14, 2010 at 8:16 PM, Iggy O <iggyono at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you, Giulio, for sharing this. This is a good book to own, and
> I'll snag a copy.
> I like reading about failed technological dreams, and this is one in
> the making. Raymond Kurzweil's transhumanist vision strikes me as
> "sad" for a reason different from those often provided by skeptics. As
> with cheap space travel, no imaginable advance in computing I've read
> about seems likely to permit us to upload our consciousness online.
> I say that not as a transhumanist wannabe, because being a disembodied
> intelligence in the Net sounds rather dreary to this organic gardener,
> ecologist, and beekeeper. The Singularity might even further our
> wanton rapine of the natural world and our species' ongoing denial of
> a livable future to our descendants.
> Mostly, however, the transhuman ideal saddens me because its adherents
> will end up as disappointed as "Children of Apollo" like myself, who
> were promised moon colonies and cheap vacations in orbit by the year
> 2000.  And those technotopian dreams are not on iota closer to reality
> than they were in 1969, when NASA began its long retreat after Apollo
> 11, a few Chinese taikonauts and Virgin Galactic's rich suborbital
> tourists excepted.
> So we'd best enjoy our immersion in SL and other online worlds: I'm
> betting that is as far as we'll ever get to Kurzweil's vision.
> Reality can be a slog, but for the foreseeable future, it's what we have.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Joe Essid, University of Richmond Rhetoric & Communication Studies
> Iggy Strangeland: Reaction Grid
> Iggyo Heritage: Heritage Key
> Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Second Life
> blog: http://iggyo.blogspot.com
> Web: http://virtualworldsedu.info/
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Giulio Prisco
gp at metafuturing.com (remove 1)
giulioprisco @ skype

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