My Two May Em Talks

You are invited to attend two unusual conferences where I’ll speak in May:

1. INSTED: Agitate! Los Angeles, May 2, 10am-10pm. $25 if you act fast. I talk at time TBD:

The Age Of Em: Envisioning Brain Emulation Societies

Tired of all the wining and boasting on the latest tech & politics trends? See it all shrink to insignificance as we contemplate the next revolution on the scale of the farming and industrial revolutions. The Age of Em will start sometime in the next century; in it, brain emulations could change almost everything. (video)

2. Building The New World Conference, May 28-31, Radford University in Virginia,  $375 for 4 days includes food & room. I talk at 3:30pm May 30 on:

When Men Become Machines: Meaning, Identity, and Ethics at the Advent of a Trans-Human Era and Emulation-Based Singularity.

The three most disruptive transitions in history were the introduction of humans, farming, and industry. Another transition lies ahead: Artificial Intelligence in the form of whole brain emulations – “ems” – sometime in the next century. We will explore the upcoming Trans-Human Era, which will include ems, using a broad synthesis of standard academic consensus, and we will outline a baseline scenario for this “Singularity.” Lastly, we will consider not only the economics of this new world, but also the meaning and identity that human residents will experience during this unprecedented shift. (video)

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  • Brian McInnis

    That needs editing:


    Los Angeles, May 2, 10am-10pm. $25 if you act fast. I talk at a time TBD:

    The Age Of Em: Envisioning Brain Emulation Societies

    Tired of all the & boasting about the latest tech & politics trends? See it all shrink to insignificance as we contemplate the next revolution on the scale of the farming and industrial revolutions. The Age of Em will start sometime in the next century. In it, brain emulations could change almost everything.

  • Grant

    Robin, why not come out more strongly in favor of human cloning? I’ve nothing against ems, but at this point they seem much more theoretical than clones.

    A quick google search tells me the half-life of DNA is 521 years, enough time to allow a great many now-dead geniuses to be cloned to stand on the shoulders of… themselves?

    • IMASBA

      “A quick google search tells me the half-life of DNA is 521 years, enough time to allow a great many now-dead geniuses to be cloned to stand on the shoulders of… themselves?”

      If only it were that simple (you dont’t actually believe a series of clones of Alexander Graham Bell would always make it to the patent office two hours earlier than their closest competitors, do you?)

      • Grant

        Hah, no I don’t think its that simple. I’m not familiar with cloning techniques, and for all I know cloning someone who’s been dead for a while isn’t even possible. Then of course there’s the whole nature vs. nurture question.

        Even still, the potential gains seem enormous.

      • Mark Bahner

        Even if there was no gain, the outcome would be very interesting to me. In other words, even if the cloned Einstein was just an average plumber (or patent clerk), to me that outcome would be very interesting.
        And if Einstein 2 was “another Einstein” that would be even more interesting.
        P.S. A long time ago, I read a couple books about Einstein. One aspect I remember is that people remarked that he was incredibly good at coming up to speed even in areas of physics where he was not doing research. It would be very interesting to see clones of Einstein go into physics, medicine, and engineering.
        P.P.S. It would also be fascinating to see a Leonardo DaVinci 2 (if his DNA is available and hasn’t degraded)…to see whether he would also come up with technologies that are so futuristic that they currently can’t be built, as well as being a great painter.