The Paradox of the Artificial Zen Master:
If we make an artificial Zen master,
And it perfectly reproduces everything
that a real Zen master can say or do,
Is it a Zen master?
No. To be an actual Zen master it would have to be sentient.… Read More “Spiritual Machines are Not Possible”
When I was eight years old, I had a very unusual dream in which I saw many lifetimes of my future. In this dream I saw a very clear picture of what the world would go through for perhaps a century or two into the future.… Read More “The Keeper of the Book: My Childhood Dream of the Future”
Early this year a software engineer, Shaun Gilchrist, reached out to me after reading a blog post of mine from many years ago, about my informal search for hidden patterns in the prime numbers.
The Ulam Spiral revealed non-random patterns, but they didn’t quite match up.… Read More “An Interesting Pattern in the Prime Numbers: Parallax Compression”
I was quoted several times in this article on the future of bots and intelligent assistants, in The Atlantic.
UPDATE: The Arch Mission Foundation was officially launched on October 24, 2016
In this article, I propose an achievable project to seed the solar system and eventually the universe with digital copies of humanity’s most important knowledge — stored in digital archives that I call “Archs.”… Read More “Let’s Put the Wikipedia in Space: The Arch Project”
I had the honor of participating in a panel on the future of AI with a group of industry luminaries, led by Kevin Kelly of WIRED Magazine.
Watch the discussion here.
The stunning news that Apple bought social search engine, Topsy, for more than $200M has many scratching their heads. Why would Apple want social data, and why would they pay so much for it?
There has been a lot of speculation about the reasons for this acquisition — ranging from making Siri better, to making the App Store smarter, to acquiring big data expertise to develop insights on the Apple firehose.… Read More “Did Apple Buy Topsy for Contextual Awareness?”
I was quoted in this New Yorker article about whether relationships between humans and bots are real, along with some other AI experts. Can bots experience love? Read it and find out.
In the previous article in this series, Is The Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges I wrote about some new evidence that appears to suggest that the universe may be like a computer, or least that it contains computer codes of a sort.… Read More “Consciousness is Not a Computation”
I haven’t posted in a while, but this is blog-worthy material. I’ve recently become familiar with the thinking of University of Maryland physicist, James Gates Jr. Dr. Gates is working on a branch of physics called supersymmetry. In the process of his work he’s discovered the presence of what appear to resemble a form of computer code, called error correcting codes, embedded within, or resulting from, the equations of supersymmetry that describe fundamental particles.… Read More “Is the Universe a Computer? New Evidence Emerges.”
I was recently interviewed by Stephen Ibaraki and Alex Lin (CEO of ChinaValue) in what turned out to be the most interesting, far-reaching, and multi-disciplinary (and long) interview I’ve ever given. I was very pleased with the depth of their questions and the topics we covered.… Read More “My Best Interview: About Global Brain, Consciousness and AI”
We exist in a epoch of great technological change. Within the space of just a few generations we have gone from horse drawn carriages to exploring the outer reaches of our solar system, from building with wood, stone and metals to nanoscale construction with individual atoms, and from manual printing presses and physical libraries, to desktop publishing and the World Wide Web.… Read More “The Digital Generation Gap”
The human brain is like an archaeological record. Different layers and functional areas have evolved outwards over time. And now a new layer is evolving. I propose we call this new layer of the brain “the metacortex.” (Note: Metacortex also happens to be the company that Neo worked for in the movie, The Matrix)
The metacortex is the Web — our growing global network of information, people, sensors, and computing devices.… Read More “A New Layer of the Brain is Evolving: The Metacortex”
The emerging realtime Web is not only going to speed up the Web and our lives, it is going to bring about a kind of awakening of our collective Global Brain. It’s going to change how many things happen on online, but it’s also going to change how we see and understand what the Web is doing.… Read More “The Global Brain is About to Wake Up”
We are so focused on how to improve present-day search engines. But that is a kind of mental myopia. In fact, a more interesting and fruitful question is why do people search at all? What are they trying to accomplish? And is there a better way to help them accomplish that than search?… Read More “Eliminating the Need for Search – Help Engines”
The BBC World Service’s Business Daily show interviewed the CTO of Xerox and me, about the future of the Web, printing, newspapers, search, personalization, the real-time Web. Listen to the audio stream here. I hear this will only be online at this location for 6 more days.… Read More “The Future of the Web: BBC Interview”
DRAFT 1 — A Work in Progress
Here’s an idea I’ve been thinking about: it’s a concept for a new philosophy, or perhaps just a name for a grassroots philosophy that seems to be emerging on its own. It’s called “Nowism.”… Read More “Nowism — A Theme for the New Era?”
(DRAFT 2. A Work-In-Progress)
The Problem: Our Communities are Failing
I’ve been thinking about community lately. There is a great need for a new and better model for communities in the world today.
Our present communites are not working and most are breaking down or stagnating.… Read More “Can We Design Better Communities?”
Kevin Kelly recently wrote another fascinating article about evidence of a global superorganism. It’s another useful contribution to the ongoing evolution of this meme.
I tend to agree that we are at what Kevin calls, Stage III. However, an important distinction in my own thinking is that the superorganism is not comprised just of machines, but it is also comprised of people.… Read More “How to Build the Global Mind”
Melissa Pierce is a filmmaker who is making a film about "Life in Perpetual Beta." It’s about how people who are adapting and reinventing themselves in the moment, and a new philosophy or approach to life. She’s interviewed a number of interesting people, and while I was in Chicago recently, she spoke with me as well.… Read More “Life in Perpetual Beta: The Film”
I had an interesting thought today about the long-term preservation and transmission of human knowledge.
The Wikipedia may be on its way to becoming the one of the best places in which to preserve knowledge for future generations. But this is just the beginning.… Read More “The Wikipedia, Knowledge Preservation and DNA”
I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not it is possible to formulate a scale of universal cognitive capabilities, such that any intelligent system — whether naturally occurring or synthetic — can be classified according to its cognitive capacity. Such a system would provide us with a normalized scientific basis by which to quantify and compare the relative cognitive capabilities of artificially intelligent systems, various species of intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps even intelligent lifeforms encountered on other planets.… Read More “A Universal Classification of Intelligence”