The Future of Life in the Universe – Lawrence Krauss at the Singularity Summit Australia 2011

Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. He was born in New York City and moved shortly thereafter to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up. He received undergraduate degrees in both Mathematics and Physics at Carleton University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982), then joined the Harvard Society of Fellows (1982-85). He joined the faculty of the departments of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University as assistant professor in 1985, and associate professor in 1988. In 1993 he was named the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics, Professor of Astronomy, and Chairman of the department of Physics at Case Western Reserve University. He served in the latter position for 12 years, until 2005. During this period he built up the department, which was ranked among the top 20 Physics Graduate Research Programs in the country in a 2005 national ranking. Among the major new initiatives he spearheaded are included the creation of one of the top particle astrophysics experimental and theoretical programs in the US, and the creation of a groundbreaking Masters Program in Physics Entrepreneurship. In 2002, he was named Director of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case.
Video of talk:

Videoed at the Singularity Summit Australia 2011: http://2011.singularitysummit.com.au

Lawrence Krauss - Singularity Summit 2011

Lawrence Krauss – the Universe is Really Really Big!

Moore’s law describes an exponential growth pattern in the complexity of integrated semiconductor circuits – by analogy the Law can be extended to include technologies from long before the integrated circuit to future forms of technology.

If present trends are to continue, it is likely that computers will have more advanced and powerful ‘brains’ than humans within 25 years.

“If you go back 500 years, not much happened in a century. Now a lot happens in 6 months.” says Ray Kurzweil. “Technology feeds on itself and it gets faster and faster, it’s going to continue, and in about 40 years it is going to become so fast, the pace of change is going to be so astonishingly quick that you won’t be able to follow it, unless, you enhance your own intelligence by merging with the intelligent technology we have created.”

The Science, Technology & the Future conference will explore important ethical and philosophical dimensions to exponential change – whilst sharing the very latest scientific and technological breakthroughs.

This conference will challenge and enhance your view of the future.

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Accelerating Change

[/heading] 596px-PPTMooresLawaiIn futures studies and the history of technology, accelerating change is a perceived increase in the rate of technological (and sometimes social and cultural) progress throughout history, which may suggest faster and more profound change in the future. While many have suggested accelerating change, the popularity of this theory in modern times is closely associated with various advocates of the technological singularity, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil.

The mathematician Vernor Vinge popularized his ideas about exponentially accelerating technological change in the SF novel Marooned in Realtime (1986), set in a world of rapidly accelerating progress leading to the emergence of more and more sophisticated technologies separated by shorter and shorter time intervals, until a point beyond human comprehension is reached. His subsequent Hugo award-winning novel A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) starts with an imaginative description of the evolution of a superintelligence passing through exponentially accelerating developmental stages ending in a transcendent, almost omnipotent power unfathomable by mere humans. His already mentioned influential 1993 paper on the technological singularity compactly summarizes the basic ideas.

In his 1988 book Mind Children, computer scientist and futurist Hans Moravec generalizes Moore’s law to make predictions about the future of artificial life. Moore’s law describes an exponential growth pattern in the complexity of integrated semiconductor circuits. Moravec extends this to include technologies from long before the integrated circuit to future forms of technology. Moravec outlines a timeline and a scenario in which robots will evolve into a new series of artificial species, starting around 2030-2040. In Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, published in 1998, Moravec further considers the implications of evolving robot intelligence, generalizing Moore’s law to technologies predating the integrated circuit, and also plotting the exponentially increasing computational power of the brains of animals in evolutionary history. Extrapolating these trends, he speculates about a coming “mind fire” of rapidly expanding superintelligence similar to the explosion of intelligence predicted by Vinge.

n his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines Kurzweil proposed “The Law of Accelerating Returns”, according to which the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including but not limited to the growth of technologies) tends to increase exponentially. He gave further focus to this issue in a 2001 essay entitled “The Law of Accelerating Returns” which argued for extending Moore’s Law to describe exponential growth of diverse forms of technological progress. Whenever a technology approaches some kind of a barrier, according to Kurzweil, a new technology will be invented to allow us to cross that barrier. He cites numerous past examples of this to substantiate his assertions. He predicts that such paradigm shifts have and will continue to become increasingly common, leading to “technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.” He believes the Law of Accelerating Returns implies that a technological singularity will occur before the end of the 21st century, around 2045.

Future Day

Future Day – March 1st

Why are nearly all our holidays focused on celebrating the past, or the cyclical processes of nature? Why not celebrate the amazing future we are collectively creating?

That’s the concept behind a new global holiday, Future Day (March 1), conceived by AI researcher Dr. Ben Goertzel.

past-and-futureFuture Day 2012 gatherings were held in more than a dozen cities, as well as in Second Life. In 2013 there were even more events – 2014 gatherings in Melbourne were fun!
Get in contact and tell us what you want to do for Future Day!

“Celebrating and honoring the past and the cyclical processes of nature is a valuable thing,” says Goertzel. “But in these days of rapid technological acceleration, it is our future that needs more attention, not our past.

“My hope is that Future Day can serve as a tool for helping humanity focus its attention on figuring out what kind of future it wants, and striving to bring these visions to reality.”

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What Sort of Future do You Want?

What sort of future do you want? Future Day is a celebration of imaginative and rational thinking about the future where you can participate.

“Future Day is designed to center the impossible in the public mind once a year as a temptation too delicious to resist.” – Howard Bloom, Author and Publicist

You can use Future Day to harness energy, and help spread the importance of future thinking to a wider audience. Much like Earth Day has. Today with Earth Day there are campaigns to turn off lights, to be more aware of energy consumption, and focus on ecological problems. We hope that Future Day will influence people to take action for a better long term future.
Lets raise a toast to our power to create dramatic new solutions to the problems of today — and let’s have fun in the process. Let’s celebrate the amazing opportunities we have right now to work towards a beneficial future!
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