God and the Robots

I have in mind writing a non-fiction book called God and the Robots. Here’s a first look at my early book proposal.  ——————————————– In the summer of 2015, two stories were on the front page of the New York Times. The stories did not appear to be related. The first was an announcement that a group of technical luminaries – including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking – had signed a statement calling for governments to outlaw the building of autonomous killing weapons, or so-called “Terminator” machines.[1] The other was a story about a well-meaning robot called “hitchBot” being destroyed by vandals while hitchhiking across the United States.[2] The first story was about how...

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Post-Humanity and Terminator

I’ve had some fun recently watching and reading about the Terminator series. It’s not a bad attempt to bring a large SF franchise into the more constrained world of TV, and there’sconsiderable fan momentum If you were creating an artificial lifeform from the ground-up, what kinds of elements would you use? First, in any kind of hostile environment, it would be wise to create an internal skeleton made of a matrix of some sort of highly flexible yet very strong metal. A network that would carry materials to re-build and upgrade internal systems — the best way of communicating would be through a chemical/electrical metallic soup of individually independent systems — little nano-like magnetized iron particles, each of which would contain...

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PARC – New Context Aware App (featuring Ned Hayes)

At the renowned PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), I’ve been instrumental in creating the Meshin context-aware communications platform and mobile apps for Android and iPhone. Meshin analyzes communications in real-time and provides insight into your activity with a new user experience on Android and iPhone. Recent videos about my work on PARC’s Meshin project below: Vulca Please like &...

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Future of Technology: The Ned View

I recently gave an interview to a pair of researchers about what I thought was coming in future technology. Apparently, I said some useful things, so I got a transcript, and here it is!  Thanks to many for re-posting! 1. INVISIBLE A couple things I think are essential about technology. Really good technology should be mostly invisible to the user. Technology in general should be something that lets people get to their goal or their task focus. Without being in the way. It should be a layer that almost does not exist. So if you think about clothing for example, clothing can move smoothly and quickly rather than clothing that restrains and constricts you. The goal of good software is to enable you to move faster, not slow you down. For example, a touch screen gets...

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Recent Research: Symbolic Machines

The assumption that ‘raw’ matter such as silicon, metals, and ceramics can be organized in such a manner that they can give rise to a mental state that we can recognize as consciousness, is a fundamental underpinning of the effort to create artificial intelligence. As philosopher of mind Nick Bostrom points out: Substrate-independence is a common assumption in the philosophy of mind. The idea is that mental states can supervene on any of a broad class of physical substrates. Provided a system implements the right sort of computational structures and processes, it can be associated with conscious experiences. It is not an essential property of consciousness that it is implemented on carbon-based biological neural networks inside a cranium; silicon-based processors...

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