News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

First Speaker: Dr. Rodney Brooks


Read Richard’s current thoughts about transhumanism and related fringe topics here.

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.
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