Foresight Update 23.33: Haptics, the Feynman Path, and AI - August 21, 2009
Note: Technical difficulties with Nanodot prevented making posts for a week. As a substitute for the missing week, Dr. Hall commends the following transcript to Nanodot readers:
Have a look at this conversation between Charlie Stross (Hugo-winning novelist) and Paul Krugman (Nobel-wining economist and NYT columnist):
(He meant, "feed them a blueprint of", but the point is clear.) What we have here is a clear, incremental, pathway to nanotech. 3-D printers are here now, as Charlie points out. At each stage, not only is there a simple figure of merit to measure the next stage — the range of products the printer can make — but each step along the pathway is clearly more valuable, making it a pathway that can pay for itself.
There's a nice article over at the Singularity Hub that's a round-up of currently-available haptics devices. They seem primarily excited over the prospects of haptics in gaming, but there are two reasons we're interested in developments…
From Open Source Sensing:
A short comment on Drexler's paper Biological and Nanomechanical Systems: Contrasts in Evolutionary Capacity: He distinguishes two types of design, O-style (like organic) and M-style (like mechanical) systems. He points out that O-style systems are much more robust to incremental design modification, where M-style systems require coordinated changes that are much, much less likely to happen all at once in the course of natural variation.
Note, however, that it's not really necessary that the physical instantiation of the system not be M-style…
Over at Accelerating Future, Michael Annisimov has a pointer to a review of Moral Machines by Wallach and Allen. He makes one major factual mistake, though: MM is not the "first published book exclusively focused on Friendly AI" as he calls it.
The first book dealing exclusively with these issues was my Beyond AI, which came out a couple of years before MM. (2007, Prometheus)…
While we're on the subject of machine morality, here's a talk I gave a couple of years ago on the subject…
Nanodot appears to be back on the air again. Our outage was an aftereffect of the hack attack we had a few weeks ago. This, and the other lingering effect (de-listing of the main site from Google) are both not actual results of the hacking (which put code in that popped up ad windows) but of reactions to it — in the case of nanodot, too much security prevented us from logging in to post!
The lessons for future technology, one hopes, are clear…
—Nanodot posts by J. Storrs Hall
From Open Source Sensing:
David Kotz over at Dartmouth has been doing some interesting work on helping individuals control data sensed about us…
The sticky issue of who gets sensor data has been addressed by Guruduth Banavar and Abraham Bernstein in "Challenges in Design and Software Infrastructure for Ubiquitous Computing Applications" in the book Advances in Computers, Vol. 62, parts of which you can view at Amazon or Google Books…
Randall Lucas brings to our attention a new whitepaper over at EFF that will sound familiar to readers of this site…
A paper by researchers at University of Washington, Intel, and Dartmouth reports on Exploring Privacy Concerns about Personal Sensing. Some interesting data…
An ITU paper spells out the main reason to care who gets sensing data about individuals…
Not everyone realizes that "electronic" surveillance can include not just what we think of as electronic information (email, etc.) but physical data as well. In an EFF article on the UK's half million intercepts of communications data in 2008 — which has no judicial review — this is explained…
Simson Garfinkel gave a talk a while back that examined the "Code of Fair Information Practices", developed originally by a U.S. government task force and described thusly…
—Open Source Sensing posts by Christine Peterson
August 20-22, 2009
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