Singularity Summit 2010 on Aug. 14-15 in San Francisco

The Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit 2010 will be held on Au­gust 14th and 15th at the Hy­att Re­gency in San Fran­cisco, and will fea­ture Ray Kurzweil and famed Tra­di­tional Ra­tion­al­ist James Randi as speak­ers, in ad­di­tion to nu­mer­ous oth­ers. Dur­ing last year’s Sum­mit (in New York City), there was a very large Less Wrong meetup with dozens of at­ten­dees, and it is quite pos­si­ble that there will be one again this year. Any­one in­ter­ested in plan­ning such a meetup (not just at­tend­ing) should con­tact the Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute at in­sti­tute@in­tel­li­gence.org. The Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit press re­lease fol­lows af­ter the jump.

Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit 2010 re­turns to San Fran­cisco, ex­plores in­tel­li­gence aug­men­ta­tion
Speak­ers in­clude Fu­tur­ist Ray Kurzweil, Ma­gi­cian-Skep­tic James Randi

Will it be one day be­come pos­si­ble to boost hu­man in­tel­li­gence us­ing brain im­plants, or cre­ate an ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence smarter than Ein­stein? In a 1993 pa­per pre­sented to NASA, sci­ence fic­tion au­thor and math­e­mat­i­cian Ver­nor Vinge called such a hy­po­thet­i­cal event a “Sin­gu­lar­ity”, say­ing “From the hu­man point of view this change will be a throw­ing away of all the pre­vi­ous rules, per­haps in the blink of an eye”. Vinge pointed out that in­tel­li­gence en­hance­ment could lead to “clos­ing the loop” be­tween in­tel­li­gence and tech­nol­ogy, cre­at­ing a pos­i­tive feed­back effect.

This Au­gust 14-15, hun­dreds of AI re­searchers, robotics ex­perts, philoso­phers, en­trepreneurs, sci­en­tists, and in­ter­ested laypeo­ple will con­verge in San Fran­cisco to ad­dress the Sin­gu­lar­ity and re­lated is­sues at the only con­fer­ence on the topic, the Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit. Ex­perts in fields in­clud­ing an­i­mal in­tel­li­gence, ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence, brain-com­puter in­ter­fac­ing, tis­sue re­gen­er­a­tion, med­i­cal ethics, com­pu­ta­tional neu­ro­biol­ogy, aug­mented re­al­ity, and more will share their lat­est re­search and ex­plore its im­pli­ca­tions for the fu­ture of hu­man­ity.

“This year, the con­fer­ence shifts to a fo­cus on neu­ro­science, bio­science, cog­ni­tive en­hance­ment, and other ex­plo­ra­tions of what Ver­nor Vinge called ‘in­tel­li­gence am­plifi­ca­tion’ — the other route to the Sin­gu­lar­ity,” said Michael Vas­sar, pres­i­dent of the Sin­gu­lar­ity In­sti­tute, which is host­ing the event.

Irene Pep­per­berg, au­thor of “Alex & Me,” who has pushed the fron­tier of an­i­mal in­tel­li­gence with her re­search on Afri­can Gray Par­rots, will ex­plore the eth­i­cal and prac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tions of non-hu­man in­tel­li­gence en­hance­ment and of the cre­ation of new in­tel­li­gent life less pow­er­ful than our­selves. Fu­tur­ist-in­ven­tor Ray Kurzweil will dis­cuss re­verse-en­g­ineer­ing the brain and his forth­com­ing book, How the Mind Works and How to Build One. Allan Syn­der, Direc­tor, Cen­tre for the Mind at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney, will ex­plore the use of tran­scra­nial mag­netic stim­u­la­tion for the en­hance­ment of nar­row cog­ni­tive abil­ities. Joe Tsien will talk about the smarter rats and mice that he cre­ated by tun­ing the molec­u­lar sub­strate of the brain’s learn­ing mechanism. Steve Mann, “the world’s first cy­borg,” will demon­strate his lat­est geek-chic in­ven­tions: wear­able com­put­ers now used by al­most 100,000 peo­ple.

Other speak­ers will in­clude ma­gi­cian-skep­tic and MacArthur Ge­nius Award win­ner James Randi; Gre­gory Stock (Redesign­ing Hu­mans), former Direc­tor of the Pro­gram on Medicine, Tech­nol­ogy, and So­ciety at UCLA’s School of Public Health; Terry Se­jnowski, Pro­fes­sor and Lab­o­ra­tory Head, Salk In­sti­tute Com­pu­ta­tional Neu­ro­biol­ogy Lab­o­ra­tory, who be­lieves we are just ten years away from be­ing able to up­load our­selves; Ellen He­ber-Katz, Pro­fes­sor, Molec­u­lar and Cel­lu­lar Onco­ge­n­e­sis Pro­gram at The Wis­tar In­sti­tute, who is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the molec­u­lar ba­sis of wound re­gen­er­a­tion in mu­tant mice, which can re­gen­er­ate limbs, hearts, and spinal cords; Anita Goel, MD, physi­cist, and CEO of nan­otech­nol­ogy com­pany Nanobiosym; and David Han­son, Founder & CEO, Han­son Robotics, who is cre­at­ing the world’s most re­al­is­tic hu­manoid robots.

In­ter­ested read­ers can watch videos from past sum­mits and reg­ister at www.sin­gu­lar­i­ty­sum­mit.com.