First Speaker: Dr. Rodney Brooks

Dr. Rodney Brooks opened the Singularity Summit 2007 with a summary of concepts related to the Singularity, robotics, and artificial general intelligence. He then talked about his work at iRobot and MIT, including the success of Roomba, visual attention systems in robots like KISMET, and upcoming robots that interact with their environments. He presented video of many of these robots.

He offered several alternative futures, such as:

  • AGI appears but humans are not aware of it and it is not aware of humans.
  • AGI accidentally arises on the Internet.
  • AGI appears but ignores humans.
  • Humans are not smart enough to develop AGI.
  • Humans will be fundamentally different than they are today, when AGI appears. For example, humans begin to use direct neural implants, and drug and neural enhancments become available and acceptable.

Published by

Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (, on Goodreads (richardleis), his (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).