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Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno Revolutions to be Explored at Convergence08 Unconference

The Convergence08 conference (www.convergence08.org) on Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno (NBIC) technologies and their interactions will be held November 15-16, 2008 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The event will use an innovative “unconference” format to enable participants to customize the event in a highly interactive way.

Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley forecaster with over two decades experience exploring long-term technological change and its practical impact on business and society, will keynote the event. About Convergence08 he observed, “A host of technologies that seemed like daring science fiction just a few years ago are racing toward practical application with breathtaking speed. Convergence08 is a unique opportunity to look into the coming NBIC future, examine its implications and prepare for the vast surprises in store for us all.”

Both days feature debates on controversial NBIC topics including Synthetic Biology, Longevity, and Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Barney Pell, founder of Powerset and search strategist & evangelist at Microsoft, stated, “At this event we aim to use the power of collective intelligence to see farther along the convergence trajectories — each of the NBIC technologies is transformative on its own, and there’s a strong interplay among them.”

Debaters include:

  • Dr. Bruce Ames, biochemistry professor at UC Berkeley, founder of Juvenon
  • Dr. Chris Anderson, bioengineering professor at UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Gregory Benford, physics professor at UC Irvine, founder Genescient
  • Denise Caruso, executive director of Hybrid Vigor Institute
  • Dr. Aubrey de Grey, chairman of The Methuselah Foundation
  • Dr. Ben Goertzel, CEO of Novamente, chair of AGIRI
  • Terry Grossman, MD, co-author, Fantastic Voyage
  • Andrew Hessel, consulting biologist and author
  • Dr. Chris Heward, president of Kronos Science Laboratories
  • Dr. Peter Norvig, director of research at Google
  • Dr. Steve Omohundro, founder and president of Self-Aware Systems
  • Dr. Barney Pell, founder of Powerset, search strategist at Microsoft

Registration details available at http://www.convergence08.org/registration.

About Convergence08:

Sponsored by organizations focused on cutting edge technologies, Convergence08 will bring together an eclectic mix of visionaries, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists, and independent thinkers in general to merge their distributed knowledge into an improved view of where the NBIC revolutions are taking us, how to maximize benefits to humanity and the environment, and how to minimize any downsides.

Convergence08 Supporting Organizations are Foresight Nanotech Institute, Humanity+, ImmInst.org, Long Now Foundation, Methuselah Foundation, and the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Cooperating Organizations include Acceleration Studies Foundation, CyBeRev, the Millennium Project, and Reason Foundation. Corporate Sponsors include eStitch and SciVestor.

For more information, contact Alicia Isaac, 650-289-0860 ext 254, or email alicia@foresight.org.

—Jim

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