The Singularity Summit 2011 will be a TED-style two-day event at the historic 92nd Street Y in New York City. Speakers include futurist Ray Kurzweil, visionary scientist Stephen Wolfram, IBM manager Dan Cerutti, longevity expert Sonia Arrison, author David Brin, neuroscientist Christof Koch, PayPal founder Peter Thiel, MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark, AI researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, MIT polymath Alexander Wissner-Gross, DARPA challenge winner Riley Crane, Skype founder Jaan Tallinn, Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, economist Tyler Cowen, television personalities Jason Silva and Casey Pieretti, and robotics professors James McLurnkin and Robin Murphy.
In his influential 1993 article The Coming Technological Singularity, Vernor Vinge discussed the possibility that future technology could feed on itself, causing an "exponential runaway" in technological progress: "Developments that before were thought might only happen in 'a million years' (if ever) will likely happen in the next century." In his 2005 book, The Singularity is Near, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil used current exponential trends in technology to predict the arrival of this Singularity in the next few decades. The Singularity Summit was founded as an academic forum for discussing the "big picture" questions in industry, economics, and ethics raised by the prospect of such a profound event.
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