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Archive for the 'Abuse of Advanced Technology' Category

THE SINGULARITY film premiere at The Castro Theatre 09.16.13

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 6th, 2013

Doug Wolens’s documentary “THE SINGULARITY: Will we survive our technology” premieres at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre September 16, 2013.

Christine Peterson on pushing the future in a positive direction

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 20th, 2013

In a 47-minute interview Christine Peterson discusses the future that science and technology is bringing over the next few decades, and how to get involved to push the future in a positive direction.

Christine Peterson interviewed on nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 12th, 2013

An interview with Foresight Co-Founder and Past President Christine Peterson covering both the current state and the future prospects of nanotechnology is available on Youtube.

Foresight co-founder among panelists discussing role of technology in human existence

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 23rd, 2012

Human life after advanced nanotechnology has been developed will be fundamentally different from life up until that point.

Singularity University takes on advanced nanotech questions

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 25th, 2011

The Singularity University Executive Program recently took on the challenges of advanced nanotech: Nanotechnology: How should we evaluate the environmental impact of human-made machines that are too small to see? What limits should be placed on self-replicating nanodevices? What defenses should we institute against malevolent uses of such technology? These questions were asked by Marc [...]

Smartphone projects foster discussion of ubiquitous surveillance

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 10th, 2011

Proposed projects to use smartphone networks to gather data and inform authorities are opening discussion of how such data should be used.

Why terrorists are often engineers: implications for nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 16th, 2010

An IEEE Spectrum podcast asks the question, Why Are Terrorists Often Engineers? The blurb: With terrorism back in the news, so, too, is a curious footnote: Of the hundreds of individuals involved in political violence, nearly half of those with degrees have been engineers. This finding, first published in 2008, has been substantiated by two [...]

Bill Joy on steering the future to lower-risk

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 11th, 2010

Many of you will recall Bill Joy’s famous article in Wired called Why the future doesn’t need us, where he expressed concern about various technologies including advanced nanotech. Apparently he gave an update of his views on this in his talk for TED, viewable here. An excerpt: So if we can address, use technology, help [...]

Open Science Summit to be streamed live

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 21st, 2010

Not able to attend the Open Science Summit on July 29-31 in Berkeley, California? We’ll miss you, but you can watch the conference live at: http://fora.tv/live/open_science/open_science_summit_2010 Put it on your calendar now!  Or we’ll hope to see you in person, especially for the session where I’m speaking: “Safety and Security Concerns, Open Source Biodefense” at [...]

Lessons from history for technology designers

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 30th, 2010

Longtime Foresight friend Robert Grudin has a new book Design and Truth, just reviewed by the New York Times.  The review quotes Grudin on designers: “However grand their aspirations, they wait upon the will of people in power,” he writes. “And power, which can ratify the truth of good design, can, conversely, debase design into [...]

The Singularity is Near: the Movie

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 23rd, 2010

David Cassel brings our attention to an h+ review of the long-awaited film The Singularity is Near, based on the book by Ray Kurzweil: In documentary style, we have Ray discussing his ideas about the Singularity, with commentators variously supporting or refuting or worrying about his ideas. With Bill McKibben in the role of the [...]

End of the World

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on January 5th, 2010

Aunt Polly: Tom, it’s time for your bath.  And make sure to wash behind your ears. Tom: But gosh, Aunt Polly, I couldn’t do that.  It might cause the end of the world. Aunt Polly: Land sakes alive, child, what on earth are you talking about? Tom: Well, pouring water in to a tub releases [...]

Martian Graffiti

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 22nd, 2009

One more comment on the post by Mike Treder that I addressed last time.  Recall he wrote Techno-rapturists among our reading audience might be quick to respond with glib answers about miraculous nanotechnology solutions that are just around the corner … To understand Foresight’s actual point of view on this issue (which is actually a [...]

Reynolds advocates faster nano/AI R&D for safety reasons

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 19th, 2009

In Popular Mechanics, longtime Foresight friend Prof. Glenn Reynolds looks at the future of nanotech and artificial intelligence, among other things looking at safety issues, including one call that potentially dangerous technologies be relinquished.  He takes a counterintuitive stance, which we’ve discussed here at Foresight over the years: But I wonder if that’s such a [...]

IEEE Spectrum: German Environmental Agency Miffed at Exploitation of Position Paper on Nanotechnology

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 28th, 2009

IEEE Spectrum: German Environmental Agency Miffed at Exploitation of Position Paper on Nanotechnology. From Dexter Johnson at nanoclast: Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) last week made a background paper available on their website, which they now concede contained no new research and none that their organization had actually performed, entitled “Nanotechnology for Humans and the [...]

Moral Railroads again

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 24th, 2009

Back in my Moral Railroads post I opined: Unless I am completely mistaken and deluded, there was and is nobodyassociated with the DC train system who wanted the crash to happen. It’s not a question of morality at the level of bad intentions, either of people or machines. It was, in simple terms, a case of [...]

Terrorism and advanced technology

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 11th, 2009

On 9/11/01 I stood at Newark airport in New Jersey waiting for my flight to Toronto, which never flew. The airport was in clear sight of the World Trade Center 10 miles away across Jersey City and the Hudson River. As I watched the towers fall, I had a curious sense of detachment from the [...]

ESP redux

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 8th, 2009

Last week I posted an essay in which I claimed that the Singularity could be said to be halfway here already because we had already set up a huge program that was more or less running the world (and that it was fast becoming a computer program). What are the great concerns of the Singularitarians? [...]

ESP

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 4th, 2009

Previous: What Singularity? Yesterday I took issue with Alfred Nordmann’s IEEE post in which he claimed that technological progress was slowing down instead of accelerating. I claimed instead that it was being distorted by the needs of the next rungs of the Maslow hierarchy, and that a huge portion of society’s energy was going into [...]

What Singularity?

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on September 3rd, 2009

There’s an interesting piece up at the IEEE robotics blog, by Alfred Nordmann, with the subtitle “The story of the Singularity is sweeping, dramatic, simple–and wrong.” He argues that far from accelerating, technological progress is slowing down: The trouble begins with the singularitarians’ assumption that technological advances have accelerated. I’d argue that I have seen [...]