If you're going to be anywhere close to the San Francisco Bay Area (California) on Saturday, May 13, this looks like a don't-miss event:
Stanford University's Symbolic Systems Program and the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence are co-sponsoring the Singularity Summit, a one-day event free to the public, to be held at Stanford Memorial Auditorium.
The event will bring together leading futurists and others to examine the implications of the "Singularity" -- a hypothesized creation of superintelligence as technology accelerates over the coming decades -- to address the profound implications of this radical and controversial scenario.
"The Singularity will be a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed," said Ray Kurzweil, keynote speaker and author of the best-selling The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. "Based on models of technology development that I've used to forecast technological change successfully for more than 25 years, I believe computers will pass the Turing Test by 2029, and by the 2040s our civilization will be billions of times more intelligent."
"Some regard the Singularity as a positive event and work to hasten its arrival, while others view it as unlikely, or even dangerous and undesirable," said Todd Davies, associate director of Stanford's Symbolic Systems Program. "The conference will bring together a range of thinkers about AI, nanotechnology, cognitive science, and related areas for a public discussion of these important questions about our future."
Noted speakers at the event also will include cognitive scientist Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning Gödel, Escher, Bach; nanotechnology pioneer K. Eric Drexler; science-fiction novelist Cory Doctorow; philosopher Nick Bostrom; Acceleration Studies Foundation president John Smart; PayPal founder and Clarium Capital Management president Peter Thiel; Steve Jurvetson, a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Sebastian Thrun, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory director and Project Lead of the Stanford Racing Team (DARPA Grand Challenge $2 million winner).
I've accepted an invitation to attend as a "VIP" guest, and I plan to do some live-blogging of the event. Note that the Singularity Summit is free to the public, but it's strongly recommended, due to overwhelming demand, that you register in advance.