Thanks to xstof (again ;-), I discovered daily galaxy site.
Two really interesting blog entries related to our Long Term Think Tank ambitions:
The first about robots developing at warp speed.
Hans Moravec, pioneer in mobile robot research and founder of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. Yes, again that Carnegie Mellon University.
Whilst today, these robots are barely at the lower range of vertebrate complexity, they could catch up with us within a half century."
- 2010: A first generation of broadly-capable "universal robots".
- 2015: Utility robots host programs for several tasks.
- 2020: Universal robots host programs for most simple chores.
- 2030: Robot competence will become comparable to larger mammals.
In the decades following the first universal robots, a second generation with mammallike brainpower and cognitive ability will emerge. They will have a conditioned learning mechanism, and steer among alternative paths in their application programs on the basis of past experience, gradually adapting to their special circumstances. A third generation will think like small primates and maintain physical, cultural and psychological models of their world to mentally rehearse and optimize tasks before physically performing them. A fourth, humanlike, generation will abstract and reason from the world model.
Others believe that it is humans who will evolve into advanced “robots”. Their belief is that with futuristic technologies being developed in multiple fields, human intelligence may eventually be able to “escape its ensnarement in biological tissue” and be able to move freely across boundaries that can’t support flesh and blood—while still retaining our identities
Many more video material from Carnegie here.
One is about identities, privacy and social security numbers. I am sure my friends from the Belgian eID project will have a sort of déja-vu when watching the following video:
But in essence, it’s all about the changing nature our own real and perceived identity in a digital world. I should drop the word “digital”, as young people see this as “old-mans-wording”. They not talk about a “digital” camera. It’s just a camera. It’s our “world”.
The other article is about Project Blue Brain.
A bit scary is the statement: ""We cannot keep on doing animal experiments forever," That is Mr. Markram during this month’s TED Global Conference at Oxford, England.
… a simulation that recreates the activity of a human brain may produce ethical concerns. Technically a computer that recreates a rat brain would raise similar issues but, as you’re about to see, these guys don’t have any sympathy for rats.
And not that innocent at all:
With the ability to simulate the effects of rewiring, drugs or external electric fields at an individual neuron level we can investigate enhancements (such as new senses, new cognitive modes or neuroelectric interfaces) without all the inconvenient "human rights violations" and "Crimes against humanity" such research normally entails. We could improve our own minds – and since we’ll have just invented a silicon model operating at computer speeds in a bulletproof shell, we’ll have to.
Again, this is one of the key purposes of our Think Tank: what if all this (technological evolutionary exponential explosion) happens, what are the consequences for our value kit for the future ? For our personal and corporate values, for our ethical context, for the way we want to be human ?
And also, how do we prepare the future generation of leaders for this radically different world ?
By coincidence, one of the links on the home page of Carnegie Mellon University’s Next-Generation Computing faculty points to project Alice 3.0
Alice is an innovative 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool for introductory computing. It uses 3D graphics and a drag-and-drop interface to facilitate a more engaging, less frustrating first programming experience.
(btw, also note that the classrooms are packed with Mac’s not PC’s)
Again, it’s again about “doing things that matter”
Why can we from Europe not set-up this sort of stimulating initiatives for our Net Generation (or Generation Y or Generation M) to prepare the next generation of leaders to be ready for 2030 ?