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Posts Tagged ‘Ray Kurzweil’

Mass Media Promoting Transhumanism: the “Mind-Blowing Benefits of Merging Human Brains and Computers”

Posted by Admin on February 10, 2012

http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/mass-media-promoting-transhumanism-the-mind-blowing-benefits-of-merging-human-brains-and-computers/

By  | February 8th, 2012 | Category: Latest News | 72 comments

Ray Kurzweil in Time Magazine

We’ve seen in previous articles (notably in The Transhumanist and Police State Agenda in Pop Music) that the concept of transhumanism, which can be defined as the merging of humans and robots, is being abundantly promoted in music videos, movies and video games. On top of this “indirect” kind of promotion, transhumanism is being sold through more direct channels such as documentaries, television features and news reports. The main face of the movement is the American inventor Ray Kurzweil who has recently been on a massive PR campaign to promote what he calls “Singularity” (a term that is probably less threatening than “transhumanism”).

Kurzweil is however not a lone nut with a crazy futuristic dream. He works in collaboration with the world’s most powerful people in business and politics. For example, in February 2009, Kurzweil collaborated with Google and the NASA Ames Research Center, to create the Singularity University training center for corporate executives and government officials. The University’s self-described mission is to “assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity’s grand challenges”. It is safe to say that transhumanism is not only the goal of one man but of the entire global elite. For this reason, the merging of humans and robots is not only promoted as something “cool” and positive in mass media, it is announced, despite its potential pitfalls, as an inevitability.

Here’s an article from the Daily Mail about Singularity. It bares the typical “overwhelmingly-positive-but-with-a-hint-of-obligatory-criticism-to-appear-objective” tone most mainstream news sources use when covering the issue.

Hitler would have loved The Singularity: Mind-blowing benefits of merging human brains and computers

Of all the tall tales in the science-fiction TV series Star Trek, what impressed me most when I was a  little boy was the Vulcan mind meld.

Laying his hands on the head of a human (or, in one of the films, a humpback whale), Mr Spock could, for a moment, dissolve the distance between two living things.

Each experienced everything the other felt, thought, knew and saw.

Now it seems scientists are about to make the Vulcan mind meld a reality – and go far beyond it.

Ten years ago, the US National Science Foundation predicted ‘network-enhanced telepathy’ – sending thoughts over the internet – would be practical by the 2020s.

BrainMan and machine: Computers could soon be hardwired into the human brain and unlock amazing powers

And thanks to neuroscientists at the University of California, we seem to be on schedule.

Last September, they asked volunteers to watch Hollywood film trailers and then reconstructed the clips by scanning their subjects’ brain activity.

‘We’re opening a window into the movies in our minds,’ Professor Jack Gallant announced.

Last week, the scientists boldly went further still. They charted the electrical activity in the brains of volunteers who were listening to human speech and then they fed the results into computers which translated the signals back into language.

The technique remains crude, and has so far made out only five distinct words, but humanity has crossed a threshold.

We can now read people’s minds. On Star Trek, the Vulcan mind meld had medical benefits, curing a nasty imaginary infection called Pa’nar syndrome.

Science fact soon?: The Vulcan mind meldScience fact?: Harnessing the power of the mind was a favourite of science fiction, including Star Trek’s Vulcan mind meld

But the new breakthroughs promise to deliver much greater – and real – benefits.

No longer need strokes and neurodegenerative diseases rob people of speech because we can turn their brainwaves directly into words.

But this is only the beginning. Neuroscientists are going to make the mind meld look like child’s play. Mankind is merging with its machines.

The process began centuries ago with simple devices such as eyeglasses and ear trumpets that could dramatically improve human lives.

Then came better machines, such as hearing aids; and then machines that could save lives, including pacemakers and dialysis machines.

By the second decade of the 21st Century, we have become used to organs grown in laboratories, genetic surgery and designer babies.

In 2002, medical researchers used enzymes and DNA to build the first molecular computers, and in 2004 improved versions were being injected into people’s veins to fight cancer.

By 2020 we may be able to put even cleverer nanocomputers into our brains to speed up  synaptic links, give ourselves perfect memory and perhaps cure dementia.

But inserting technology into human brains is not the only thing going on. Some scientists also want to insert human brains into technology.

Since the Sixties, computer chips have been doubling their speed and halving their cost every 18 months or so.

If the trend continues, the inventor and predictor Ray Kurzweil has pointed out that by 2029 we will have computers powerful enough to run programs  reproducing the 10,000 trillion electrical signals that flash around your skull every second.

They will also have enough memory to store the ten trillion recollections that make you  who you are.

Adolf HitlerDangerous technology: The huge potential unlocked by the technology raises frightening prospects if it were to be used by evil dictators like Adolf Hitler

And they will also be powerful enough to scan, neuron by neuron, every contour and wrinkle of your brain.

What this means is that if the trends of the past 50 years continue, in 17 years’ time we will be able to upload an electronic replica of your mind on to a machine.

There will be two  of you – one a flesh-and-blood animal, the other inside a computer’s circuits.

And if the trends hold fast beyond that, Kurzweil adds, by 2045 we will have a computer that is powerful enough to host every one of the eight billion minds on Earth.

Carbon and  silicon-based intelligence will merge to form a single global consciousness.

Kurzweil calls this ‘The Singularity’, a moment when ‘the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep . . . that technology appears to be expanding at infinite speed’.

At that point, we will have  left the Vulcan mind meld far behind. But even this may not be the end of the story.

Much of the research behind last week’s breakthrough in brain science was funded not by universities but by DARPA, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

It was DARPA that brought us the internet (then called the Arpanet) in the Seventies, and DARPA’s Brain Interface Project was a pioneer in molecular computing.

More recently, DARPA’s Silent Talk programme has been exploring mind-reading technology with devices that can pick up the electrical signals inside soldiers’ brains and send them over the internet.

With these implants, entire armies will be able to talk without radios. Orders will leap instantly into soldiers’ heads and commanders’ wishes will become the wishes of their men. Hitler would have loved it.

Thing of the past: Advances in technology could revolutionise the way armies communicateThing of the past: Advances in technology could revolutionise the way armies communicate
U.S. Special Forces soldierCyborg-soldier: The defence industry could soon try implanting computer technology into the brain of soldiers

Some of the clearest thinking about the new technologies has been done in the world’s departments of defence, and the conclusions the soldiers draw are alarming.

For example, US Army Colonel Thomas Adams thinks that military technology is already moving beyond what he calls ‘human space’, as robotic weapons become ‘too fast, too small, too numerous, and . . . create an environment too complex for humans to direct’.

Technology, Col Adams suspects, is ‘rapidly taking us to a place where we may not want to go, but probably are unable to avoid’.

As goes war, so,  perhaps, goes everything else. The merging of mankind and its machines that Kurzweil predicts for the mid-21st Century may, in fact, turn out just to be a lay-by on the way to a very different destination.

Later in the century, what we condescendingly call ‘artificial’ intelligence might replace us humans just as thoroughly as we humans once replaced all our evolutionary ancestors.

All this will come to pass . . .  unless, of course, it doesn’t. Maybe the trends Kurzweil and Col Adams identify will slow down, or even stall altogether.

And maybe the critics who mockingly call the Singularity ‘the Rapture for Nerds’ will be proved right.

But on the other hand, maybe the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Richard Smalley is closer to the truth when he points out: ‘When a scientist says something is possible, they’re probably underestimating how long it will take.

But if they say it’s impossible, they’re probably wrong.’

The University of California’s neuroscientists have taken us one more step towards a final frontier far beyond anything dreamed of in Star Trek.

– Source: Daily Mail

 

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Technological Singularity

Posted by Admin on June 18, 2011

http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2011/03/technological-singularity.html

Technological Singularity

By Ed Komarek

3/31/11

Copy and Distribute Freely

My blog: http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/

Sorry about the editing problems with the paragraphs running together, something is wrong with blogger today.

In my past two articles I have pointed out that we don’t own the earth and that we don’t even own our own genome, two very important challenges to National Security and human evolution.http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2011/03/we-dont-own-earth.htmlhttp://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2011/03/genome-security-and-sovereignty-by-ed.html The third major issue related to National Security and earth human evolution is a rapidly approaching Technological Singularity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity At the technological singularity boundary the evolutionary rules change just as drastically as the rules of physics change at the boundary of a black hole.http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae251.cfm It is at this Technological Singularity where we begin to rewrite our genome and our external reality giving us superhuman powers and intelligence. In a case of monkey see, monkey do, I believe we are copying this process from covert extraterrestrial contact.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7681252/ns/health-cloning_and_stem_cells A friend of mine at Open Seti suggested to me after reading my article on genome security that my next article should cover the man in the machine or the concept of human machine hybrids.http://surroundingsignifiers.com/2011/03/13/the-future-of-uxui-and-human-machine-integration/

We need to explore what will happen to us and what will we look like when we no longer interface with our computers through keyboard and mouse but through mind-machine interfaces. The first step toward a man-machine hybrid as suggested to me by Clifford Stone is through a bio-suit loaded with microprocessors and sensors, while the second and final step is integration of these devices into our genetic structure as suggested by Ar Borden. Borden has even suggested that we already have these devices in our genome and just need to learn how to activate them. This of course is consistent with Yogi philosophy. I tend to believe both individuals claims of longstanding extraterrestrial contact with different ET races in and out of the classified arena. I have known both of these individuals for many years. I think the main driver behind the approaching Technological Singularity is extraterrestrial contact.

While this contact is still being hidden from the public it is filtering out into the public domain accelerating our technological development in ways suggested by Col. Corso in his book, The Day After Roswell. This has happened before in our history with the covert release of newly discovered Chinese technology in the 12th and 13th centuries by the autocrats of the day, so as to preserve their control over the masses of humanity.http://exopolitics.blogspot.com/2010/05/ets-ignite-modern-renaissance-similar.html

I think that many of these extraterrestrial races and civilizations now becoming known to us are already in this technological singularity domain and by association we are ourselves drawn rapidly into the domain as well. Let’s hope we can handle ourselves in a creative rather than a destructive fashion becoming an asset rather than a liability in this domain. I think that this domain is what the Hopi and other Native Americans have foreseen as the Fifth World as described to them by the Sky People in their past. http://www.mondovista.com/flyingshields/http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_leyenda_hopi21.htm I think that the extraterrestrials are shepherding us into this technological or evolutionary singularity for better or for worse but once there our future is for us to decide if we take responsibility for our thoughts and actions.

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2012 – And Man Shall Walk as Machine?

Posted by Admin on March 27, 2011

Cover of "The Singularity Is Near: When H...

Cover via Amazon

‘Transhumanism’ is a term that has become a euphemism that has been assimilated into our vocabulary such that it shocks no longer. It would seem perfectly natural that we follow the next ‘evolutionary’ step towards the survival of the fittest and convert ourselves into an information field that never breaks down or decays. No need for physical bodies that break down and die, we can reconstruct our virtual self in electronic form and go on forever. Or can we?

Ray Kurzweil believes the exponential growth of artificial intelligence, biotechnology and nanotechnology means that before 2050 his consciousness and identity – can be copied and uploaded into a non-biological form transcending biology and achieve the dream of immortality.

All this flows from Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, a generalization of Moore’s Law, which predicts ongoing exponential growth of key technologies. What this means, Kurzweil writes, is that “…we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”

A body vastly enhanced through biotech and nanotech may suffice to extend life spans indefinitely, but the ultimate leap is to transcend biology entirely. Before 2050, Kurzweil predicts that AI and nanotech will have advanced so far that his brain, with its memories, capabilities and characteristics, can be reduced to pure information and rebooted in a non-biological format, be it a supercomputer, a real or virtual body, or a swarm of nanobots.

If he’s right, before 2050 all information-based technologies will be millions of times more advanced and AI will far outshine the power of all human brains combined, a development futurists describe as ‘The Singularity.’

There are a surprising number who will see morphing into a non- biologically centred virtual machine as an attractive and even exciting prospect for the future of our species. Many look at it as a palliative for all the ills that plague the human quantum both in terms of a social and a physical perspective. Many people will be familiar with how the elements that contrast man against machine play out.

The arguments settle within the aprons of two broad primary factions. There are those who are able to have a sense of what might lie beyond the scales of the purely physical and empiricist standpoint; people with a religious faith or belief in an eternal tray of continuity. Then there are those who hold a hard wired outlook and only believe in an existential tray that is strictly the manifestation of atoms alone and thus of a Universe of force and parts that decays to a complete negation of all things ending in a nothingness driven by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The latter is a strictly temporal view that only believes in what is here and affirmable through the physical senses, a view that, finally exposes an end to all reason and meaning and more pertinently, an end to the delineation of the concept of free compunction within an individualization that allows for an assertion of the concept and realization of the Self. Whilst the former, the religious view, all too often points to an anthropomorphic entity as a God who out of his perfection creates us in our imperfection just to watch the fun. If he, she, or it is any God he, she, or it should know the outcome! So how perfect can such a God be?

I have written extensively about a third way, one that unites both factional views and points to the fallacy and terrifying consequences of each taken in isolation.

Let’s first take a deeper look at the kind of ‘Singularity’ Kurzweil outlines as a something that might well point to a kind of Valhalla.
If you trace back the pathway of the explosion into states of greater and greater separation with time, as we can trace what has happened with the Universe, you will inevitably arrive at a point of union, a singularity where there is no separation of points and therefore no time, space or matter, a non-physical quantum field that you might for want of a better word call God. If our consciousness is a manifestation of that quantum field set against what is incidentally opposite to it, then the singularity that Kurzweil is so looking forward to would be a reconstruction of that original natural state in an artificial, virtual format.

But what exactly is that original natural state? There seems to be a power that allows for ordered states to happen incidentally within a disorganizing inertia. This power I believe emanates from an ultimate singularity that is itself manifested through the existence of two absolute Poles. One a pole of ultimate Union and Harmony, the singularity before the Big Bang and the other a Pole of ultimate disunion and disharmony, the point of ultimate chaos, the end point of the second law of thermodynamics or ‘entropy’ that describes the fact that all states decay into greater and greater randomness, chaos, and separation with time. This primary existential backdrop is implicit and implicate. There is no creator God playing dice with his created beings. We are, as a combined manifestation of these primary existential opposed poles, here through our own choice made in the perfect freedom of the state in which all choices are possible. It is this pole of ultimate union that provides for the whole reference against which all partial states can be known. Without that reference these partial states cannot be known. Thus artificial intelligence cannot include self awareness or consciousness. It will always be a sum of parts working together, a working machine, but it will have no reference of the whole picture through which it may know its parts.

The Earth as a planetary concept for instance is claimed to be conscious as the manifestation of the Gaya principle. If consciousness is defined as the ability to have control over one’s environment, to be cognizant enough to break the chain of cause and effect, the Earth cannot be conscious because it cannot intervene in the basic laws of cause and effect of its own volition and intercept them. In the same way no purely atomic construction can break the chain of cause and effect. It is intrinsically part of that chain of action and reaction in an enforced universe. Only that which has no force can break the chain and as force is the product of the separation of points only that which is from state of perfect union has no force.

A wonderful illustration of this principle is the contrast between the Old Testament dictum of ‘an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth’ and the Christian prophet’s instruction to turn the other cheek. By this simple statement Christ illustrated the nature of consciousness set against that which is not conscious. A computer program or a non living static-dependent object (by that I mean – a robot) can only follow an eye for an eye, action and reaction. A conscious and thus self evaluating being can intercept that chain of events and change it regardless of implied trend. When Jesus said “If a man asks you for his coat give him your cloak also” he was illustrating the same principle. Conscious being can change the course of events, do that little bit more than simply respond to stimuli. In fact it could be said that every positive quality that has a unionizing momentum that might be termed ‘love’ is an expression of consciousness intercepting the entropic chain of cause and logically implied effect.

In his unbridled enthusiasm to recreate his identity does Kurzweil believe that his self awareness will be there to appreciate its own virtual eternity? Will he be there to view and appreciate his virtual self? “In the 2040s,” says Kurzweil, “the non-biological proportions of our beings will be powerful enough to completely model and simulate the biological part. It will be a continuum, a continuity of pattern.” But is self awareness recreated by repeating the pattern of a self aware being? Would you be there to know your own artificial re-creation? Or would it be accurate to say that Kurzweil’s singularity is actually a dead end, nothing but an empty go-nowhere image of the conscious, aware singularity that preceded the Big Bang?

It is almost as though he and those who advocate trans-humanism are re-enacting the age old metaphor in which the character Lucifer, the fallen angel, makes copies of the heavenly hierarchy. Artificial intelligence, cloning, virtual reality would all come under this umbrella. Would you want your children to look forward to a future in which they will be implanted with chips that can increase their intelligence or their musical ability, genetically engineer their offspring to be to follow a desired specification and eventually download their personalities, their likes their dislikes, their whole being into a virtual copy? Would you want to leave your kids the legacy trans-humanism has to offer? If the answer is no and Kurzweil is right in his predictions now is the time to slam on the brakes.

If you suspect that the Grey alien phenomenon is real and have deduced as I have from the evidence thus far that these visitors are the ultimate in artificial intelligence then you might also come to the conclusion that the civilization that produced them never applied the brakes. In them are we looking at our future? Perhaps a more pertinent question would be, are they sponsoring that future?

In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 13 there is a remarkable description of what may well be trans-human future.  HYPERLINK “http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Revelation-13-11/” \o “View more translations of Revelation 13:11″A beast comes up out ‘out of the earth’ that has ‘horns like a lamb’ but speaks ‘as a dragon.’ The implication is of something that is seemingly innocent and harmless but in reality quite different. This beast does ‘great wonders’ and deceives those ‘that dwell on the earth by the means of miracles.’ An entity is described that has a deadly wound but is somehow miraculously brought back to life, an image is then created out of that entity. Could this refer to cloning procedures involving imaging and copying, procedures that might one day be so commonplace that anyone who does not embrace the trans-human ideal that they bring about will be dispensed with, ‘as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed?’

Many have speculated that the ‘mark’ of the ‘beast’ that is received ‘in their right hand or in their foreheads’ may well be a form of bio-chip that will be essential for all ‘buying’ and ‘selling.’ Could the ‘beast’ that seems, in the Book of Revelation, to lead the creation of a kind of Sim-card man simply refer to the ultimate irony that trans-humanism makes us like beasts as it takes away from us the very freedom of rationally, based sophisticated choice, the very freedom to beat the chain of cause and effect that marks us out as human when set against the simple reactive mental modes of animals not far removed from the mechanical psycho-expletives one might expect from a robot or machine and its functioning paradigms.

I do not wish to send a chill through the spine of readers but the mere possibility that such as I am outlining might be true exposes a remarkable irony. Could it be that the ultimate in apparent sophistication and human evolutionary potential actually results in the ultimate in human devolutionary potential, the conversion of the human species into a state of an idle and restricted freedom no different in real terms to that of the lowest forms of life.

Even if one does not accept a reality beyond the physical that might be compromised by the abrogation of the human spirit to mechanized external features there is no doubt that trans-humanism mortgages our capabilities as human beings to a prosthetic technology that is quantum steps further than that brought about by the industrial revolution, which arguably made life easier for us through mechanization of basic tasks. Trans-humanism is the mechanization of our intrinsic faculties as human beings to think and know.

I believe this all is a startlingly real and will be a verifiable threat for those who are willing to do the research (with a mind-set that is objective and neutral), into the consequence of the world Kurzweil and his cohorts are laying out for us. The trouble is that many of us find this very hard to do. We slip on with the days own troubles leading us into boxes made by our restrictions and prejudices, the strongest of which are those we hitch up to our eyes. We creep along inexorably with views that blend into a backdrop of ready assembled comfort points. Comfort points designed to provide physical ease and convenience. It is simply the dope of the damned. A matrix we create for ourselves where we weave a spiders web of restrictions all around us. The trouble is we don’t trap any flies. We are the flies. We trap ourselves and our futures.

Will we pay the ultimate price for not being able to see that an eternal scope might exist for each and every one of us in a scale that lies beyond the hems of atoms? Are we going to compromise something as mightily significant as this simply because we in the empirical way cannot measure it, and see, hear, touch, smell or taste it? Man shall surely walk as machine if we do.

© Nigel Kerner 2011

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