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Published on Feb 9, 2013
Humanity+ @San Francisco 2012 - http://2012.humanityplus.org Prophetic Narratives: Will Humanity's Successors Also Be Our Decendants? Accelerating technological progress leads some futurists to predict the imminent end of the transhuman era and the dawn of posthuman superintelligence. But what is superintelligence? How does intelligence relate to sentience? What is the Explanatory Gap, Moravec's Paradox, and the Binding Problem? Will nonbiological machines ever be more than zombies? This talk explores three different narratives for the major evolutionary transition in prospect. In the first narrative, biological humans will rewrite their genetic source code, recursively self-edit their own minds, and bootstrap their way to full-spectrum superintelligence. Mastery of our reward circuitry will deliver life based on information-sensitive gradients of bliss. In the second 'Kurzweilian' narrative, cybernetic brain implants will enable humans to fuse our minds with artificial intelligence; and also allow humans to scan, digitize and "upload" ourselves onto less perishable substrates. In digital nirvana, the distinction between biological and non-biological machines will effectively disappear. In the third scenario, most closely associated with mathematician I.J. Good, is a combination of Moore's law and the advent of recursively self-improving software-based minds will culminate in an ultra-rapid "Intelligence Explosion" and an era of non-biological superintelligence. Posthuman superintelligence may or may not be human-friendly. How strong is the supporting evidence for each of these prophecies?
==Writing the Future==
Of special significance is the theme 'Writing the Future'. The aim is to encourage refined communication about the future in creative ways, and thereby promote serious attention to the opportunities and risks we are facing.