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growing singularity awareness in congress

From a recent House Science Committee meeting:

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) did not propose an amendment, but wanted further discussion and perhaps a report on a particular aspect of future supercomputing research. Sherman said that, based on the opinions of experts, there is reason to believe that in about 25 years a supercomputer will be built that “exceeds human intelligence.” Sherman said he hopes that some of the future researchers that the bills would cultivate will be steered toward the potentially emerging field of making sure that the super-intelligent computers “avoid self-awareness … and ambition,” he said. To which Boehlert responded: “My grandson has a Gameboy that exceeds my intelligence.”
(from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/08/compete)

It's nice to see them catching on (even if they are taking the time-estimates a bit too rigidly), but if all they do in response is go and ban a lot of AI research, I will be very worried. That would be a good way to make sure some terrorist develops the first strong AI instead of a more friendly, law-abiding research group like SIAI. Not a good plan! (Although it's not clear that's what he's advocating, it sounds very suspicious to me that he would want them to "avoid self-awareness and ambition".)

In other news...

Here's a demonstration video of a telepathic link designed to allow disabled people to control computers with their mind (not quite Cerebro, but still impressive):
direct human-computer interface

Molecular models made out of balloons:
http://www.balloonmolecules.com/Html/Galerie_vor.htm

And (just what you've always wanted)... a robotic worm designed to crawl up your ass and take pictures of the insides of your intestines. Sure to be a hit at dinner parties:
http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn9283-worminspired-robot-crawls-through-intestines.html

(PS: Regarding the wormbot, I'm just guessing on the entry point... they don't really say how it would get in there, so it could be through the mouth too.)

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
ladycatherina
Jun. 13th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
To which Boehlert responded: “My grandson has a Gameboy that exceeds my intelligence.”

I think those words would be funny in the mouth of a certain current President, lol. Seriously, I don't see why we shouldn't have AI with self-awareness, humans and computers could potentially work together and learn from each other.

Btw, I should introduce myself. I'm a writer and former science and tech journalist in California, and a friend of antastra and ratkrycek.
spoonless
Jun. 13th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
welcome!
(Anonymous)
Jun. 16th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC)
hmm
We'd be best off if they don't think about such things. Even if they don't ban AI research, just preventing genetic modification of humans is disastrous.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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