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Trends about the next generation
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Rescooped by luiy from Homo Agilis (Collective Intelligence, Agility and Sustainability : The Future is already here)!

Can #robots be trusted to know right from wrong? | #algorithms #morality

Can #robots be trusted to know right from wrong? | #algorithms #morality | Cyborgs_Transhumanism |
HAL 9000 (credit: Warner Bros.) Is it possible to develop moral autonomous robots with a sense for right, wrong, and the consequences of

Via Claude Emond
luiy's insight:

Is it possible to develop “moral” autonomous robots with a sense for right, wrong, and the consequences of both?


Researchers from Tufts University, Brown University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute think so, and are teaming with the U.S. Navy to explore technology that would pave the way to do exactly that.

“Moral competence can be roughly thought about as the ability to learn, reason with, act upon, and talk about the laws and societal conventions on which humans tend to agree,” says principal investigator Matthias Scheutz, professor of computer science at Tufts School of Engineering and director of the Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory (HRI Lab) at Tufts.


“The question is whether machines — or any other artificial system, for that matter — can emulate and exercise these abilities.”

But since there’s no universal agreement on the morality of laws and societal conventions, this raises some interesting questions. Was HAL 9000 (HAL = (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) moral? Who defines morality?

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The Oculus Rift: virtual reality now I #cyborgs #cyberculture

The Oculus Rift: virtual reality now I #cyborgs #cyberculture | Cyborgs_Transhumanism |
Virtual reality used to be ridiculed. But, thanks to Palmer Luckey's new Oculus Rift, industry, medicine and the military are now taking it very seriously indeed
luiy's insight:

This device is called the Oculus Rift, and it has come a long way since 2011, when Palmer Luckey, a 19-year-old Californian student, built the prototype from scavenged parts in his parents’ garage. Luckey was an enthusiastic collector of old VR hardware the clunky headsets that had enjoyed a brief tenure in Nineties amusement arcades and had long dreamt of bringing back the technology in a useful form.

But despite the colourful cyber-predictions of films such as Lawnmower Man, there were good reasons that the virtual reality craze had fizzled out by the millennium. The headsets were too heavy to wear for long, and immersion in the blocky graphics of these early virtual worlds came at a price: a stiff neck, motion sickness and the feeling of wading through treacle.

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Google's #Glass Castle: The Rise and Fear of a #Transhuman Future I #cyborgs #cyberculture

Google's #Glass Castle: The Rise and Fear of a #Transhuman Future I #cyborgs #cyberculture | Cyborgs_Transhumanism |
What happens when humans become more than human? Or when computers surpass humanity to become the dominant 'species' on earth in new cyborg hybrid?
luiy's insight:

Most scholars believe that the movement of transhumanism was unofficially started in 1923 with J.B.S. Haldane’s essay “Prometheus: Science and the Future”. In this essay, Haldane introduced a notable idea; that current political and economic states made it likely that science will develop on its own. This would allow recent developments in biology to impact political choices. These scientific developments would include topics like Eugenics—something fraught with peril—and ectogenesis (the creation of life within an artificial environment). Haldane’s thoughts would pervade much of science for the next 100 years, creating a sense that mankind was in a perfect environment politically and economically to create the tools that would allow one to overcome their bodily weaknesses and become like Nietzsche’s Supermen.


The official founder of transhumanism—and the individual who coined the term—is considered to be biologist Julian Huxley, brother to famous author and activist Aldous Huxley. In a 1957 essay, Huxley presented a new idea:


“Up till now human life has generally been, as Hobbes described it, ‘nasty, brutish and short’; the great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery… we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted… The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself —- not just sporadically, an individual here in one way, an individual there in another way, but in its entirety, as humanity.”

This belief that humanity has the potential to “transcend” its current state seemed revolutionary.


This idea of transcendence would pervade early science fiction as early as the ‘50s and ‘60s. The best example of this thought was Arthur C. Clarke’s book 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). In this novel, the hero finds a technological obelisk on an alien world that provided an opportunity to overcome physical barriers and become a being of pure energy, transcending human evolution. However, Clarke’s understanding of this cultural evolution is not the only one.


Another key idea is that artificial intelligence’s mental capabilities will eventually go through a “Singularity”, where the data capability exceeds that of a mortal man. This Singularity is a concept invented by computer scientist Vernor Vinge who predicted the sudden rise of transistors and intelligence in computer brains. From this, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggested that humanity would eventually mix its subconscious with an AI, becoming “one with the machine”. There are multiple variations on these stories, but all of them offer the same result, the ability to gain immortality through technology and overcome human suffering.

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Future life forms among #posthumans | #species #symborgs

Via Claude Emond
luiy's insight:

Malaska defined the other intelligent and conscious beings as: 

- Bio-orgs or Homo sapiens - a protein- coded bio-organism in the earthly infra- structure as their "natural" surrounding.

- Cyborgs - a cybernetic organism - a combi- nation of techniques and human biology mainly for the earthly infrastructure and the near space.

- Silorgs - a silicon organism - a humanlike non-human, fashioned by coding artificial DNA onto silicon compounds with ammo- nium as a solvent and aimed basically for outer space infrastructure.

- Symborgs - a symbolic organism - self- reflective, self-reproducing, self-conscious, "living programs" within the Internet as their "natural" infrastructure with advanced interface functions with the other species. 




Wildman uses the concept "borg" in its historical and generic sense to identify a "Bionic" (i.e. human made) "ORGanism", and defines five such terrestrial FOL borgs:

- Orgoborgs - organic FOL, including "tradi- tional" Humborgs (like Homo sapiens) and new and hybrid bioengineered Bioborgs.

- GEborgs - Genetically Engineered FOL.

- Cyborgs - human/machine composite FOL.

- Symborgs - symbolical and symbological FOL, including Conscious/External (such as cultures and corporations) and Unconscious/Internal (such as myths and archetypes) FOL.

- Technoborgs - technological FOL, includ- ing Exoskeletalborgs (with an external insect like skeleton) and Siliborgs (silicon- based FOL). 

Claude Emond's curator insight, January 11, 2014 7:55 PM

To be consistent with my last . More information on our future posthuman partners :)


"What is a human being, then?"
"A seed."
"A ... seed?"
"An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in
growing into a tree."

                                                             David Zindell

Rescooped by luiy from Cyborg Lives!

Freakishly realistic telemarketing #robots are denying they're robots I #CyberCulture

Freakishly realistic telemarketing #robots are denying they're robots I #CyberCulture | Cyborgs_Transhumanism |

This is how it starts, people. First we get our chatbots to sound and act realistic — and then we get them to convince everyone they're actually human. Listen to this crazy conversation between Time's Michael Scherer and a telemarketing robot who refuses to admit her true artificial nature.

Recently, Time Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer received a phone call from an apparently bright and engaging woman asking him if he wanted a deal on his health insurance. But he soon got the feeling something wasn't quite right.

After asking the telemarketer point blank if she was a real person or a computer-operated robot, she chuckled charmingly and insisted she was real. Looking to press the issue, Scherer asked her a series of questions, which she promptly failed. Such as, "What vegetable is found in tomato soup?" To which she responded by saying she didn't understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained of a bad connection (ah, the oldest trick in the book).

Here, listen for yourself:

Via Wildcat2030
luiy's insight:

Remember that super-realistic telemarketing chatbot who denies she's a robot? Turns out "Samantha West" may not a robot after all — but the real story is just as bizarre.


As Time is now reporting, the telemarketing robot is actually a computer program used by telemarketers outside the United States. According to John Rasman of U.S.-based Premier Health, the system allows English speaking telemarketers with thick non-American accents to sort through leads to find real prospective buyers before passing them off to agents back in the United States. "We're just contacting people in a way they're not familiar with," said Rasman. The human agents who trigger Samantha West's responses act as brokers for health insurance companies inside the U.S.


So, when Samantha West calls, there's another person on the other end of the line who actively participates in the exchange. Rasman told Time that human telemarketers — heavy accents and all — communicate using a machine that spouts off pre-recorded utterances. He insisted that humans are involved in the mix, and that the canned responses don't change that fact that no "robot" is involved.

KatRas's curator insight, January 17, 2014 6:46 AM

This is bit scary and does sound really realistic. 
We have a Blade Runner here!
What next?