The Long Poiesis
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Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World | KurzweilAI

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World | KurzweilAI | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Where will you be in a singular world?In Ray Kurzweil’s New York Times bestseller The Singularity is Near, the futurist and entrepreneur describes the...
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The Third Wave of AI – Becoming Human

The Third Wave of AI – Becoming Human | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it

Over the decades, combinations of various programming techniques have enabled slow spotty progress in AI — punctuated by occasional breakthroughs such as certain expert, decision and planning systems, and mastering Chess and Jeopardy! These approaches, and in particular those focused on symbolic representations, are generally referred to as GOFAI (Good Old-Fashioned AI). Importantly, a key characteristic that they share is that applications are hand-crafted and custom engineered: Programmers figure out how to solve a particular problem, then turning their insights into code. This essentially represents the ‘First Wave’.


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Spaceweaver's curator insight, October 7, 8:26 AM
Very informative and clear article. Worth reading.
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Psychedelics work by violating our models of self and the world – Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby | Aeon Essays

Psychedelics work by violating our models of self and the world – Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby | Aeon Essays | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?
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Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation?

Is There a Multidimensional Mathematical World Hidden in the Brain’s Computation? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Greeks looked into the night sky and saw geometric shapes emerge among the stars: a hunter, a lion, a water vase. In a way, they used these constellations to make sense of the random scattering of stars in the fabric of the universe. By translating astronomy into shapes, they …
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The Myth of a Superhuman AI – Backchannel

The Myth of a Superhuman AI – Backchannel | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Debunking the myth of a superhuman artificial intelligence: Hyper-intelligent algorithms are not going to take over the world for these five reasons.
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The Guardian view on immortality: not for the faint-hearted | Editorial

The Guardian view on immortality: not for the faint-hearted | Editorial | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Editorial: The faithful and the futurologists imagine life without death. But living forever may not be all it’s cracked up to be, and then what?
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“Love drugs” will soon be a reality. But should we take them?

“Love drugs” will soon be a reality. But should we take them? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Love potions have been a plot point in fairytales for centuries. Now, thanks to dramatic advances in our understanding of the neuroscience behind love, they’re close enough to reality to be studied by Oxford University researchers.

Anders Sandberg, a neuroethicist at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute, will discuss the role of romance drugs at an upcoming Institute of Art and Ideas conference “Love in the Time of Tinder”. He says that while we can’t buy romance pills yet, it’s only a matter of years before they exist. His work combines neuroscience and philosophy to unpack the ethical consequences of such pills, and just how they’ll fit into our lives.

“All our emotions are built on the foundations of neuroscience,” Sandberg says—whether that’s fear or anger or love. Recently, neuroscientists have begun to map out just what happens in the brain when we’re in love, bringing us closer to artificially recreating those neurochemical processes. “While there’s still not anything you can find in the supermarket or approved, we’re getting towards the point where they probably will show up,” he says.

Neuroimaging studies of brains show that love is, well, extremely complicated. (No surprises there.) Different subsystems of the brain are involved in that initial lustful attraction, the rush that comes when you fall in love, and then the commitment and affection of long-term partnership. It’s that last, lengthy phase of love that romance drugs are likely to focus on, effectively re-booting the romance for existing couples.

“It’s very different to the love potion in fairytales where you drink it and then fall in love with the next person who comes in,” Sandberg says. “From an ethical standpoint, that’s very worrisome… I would imagine a future love drug would be something you take together with your partner, and that causes a slow, long-term experience.”

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Abstract living 's curator insight, April 19, 8:07 PM
#LoveIsTheDrug #RealLove
 
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Yuval Harari on why humans won’t dominate Earth in 300 years

Yuval Harari on why humans won’t dominate Earth in 300 years | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
"It's not because I overestimate the AI. It's because most people tend to overestimate human beings."

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Scientists Hack a Human Cell and Reprogram It Like a Computer

Scientists Hack a Human Cell and Reprogram It Like a Computer | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
By hijacking the DNA of a human cell, they showed it's possible to program it like a simple computer.

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Aleksej Vasyliev's curator insight, March 29, 4:01 AM
Cell (DNA - ?)  and Computer
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Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so’

Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Homo sapiens as we know them will disappear in a century or so’ | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
The visionary historian, author of two dazzling bestsellers on the state of mankind, takes questions from Lucy Prebble, Arianna Huffington, Esther Rantzen and a selection of our readers
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How Fully Synthetic Complex Life Just Got a Lot Closer

How Fully Synthetic Complex Life Just Got a Lot Closer | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
From domestication to selective breeding and right up to DNA editing, humans have long sought to bend the genetic makeup of animals and plants to our needs. Now an international team has taken a significant step towards building the genome of a complex organism from scratch—a major milestone in the quest for fully synthetic life.

Led by Jef Boeke, a geneticist at New York University Langone Medical Center, the Synthetic Yeast Project (Sc2.0) has now built five new synthetic chromosomes for the single-celled fungus S. cerevisiae, more commonly known as Baker’s yeast.

Boeke’s lab had previously synthesized the first synthetic yeast chromosome in 2014, meaning that more than a third of the organism’s genome—16 chromosomes in total—has now been replaced with engineered alternatives. The consortium has also finished designing the entire genome and expects to have synthesized working versions of all the chromosomes within the year.

Sc2.0 is not the first major effort to create synthetic life. In 2010, geneticist Craig Venter manufactured the entire genome of the bacteria Mycoplasma mycoides and transplanted it into another Mycoplasma species, creating the first self-replicating synthetic organism. This genome was almost identical to the original, but then last year his team released new research in which they had whittled down the organism’s genome to just 473 genes—the bare bones required for life.

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Connor's curator insight, April 24, 4:09 AM
Jef Boeke has created multiple synthetic chromosomes for Baker's yeast. A third of the yeast's chromosomes have now been replaced with engineered ones. Synthetic life was created in 2010 but with bacteria that only had one chromosome. These synthetic chromosomes have been expensive to create. For this reason they have used old genetic engineering technology.

Being able to fully modify the chromosomes of life has been a goal only dreamed up until recently. The ability to modify the genes of life means a plethora of practical uses. Even though it will be years and years before this technology will be common place. It still amazes me what humans are possible of doing when we put our minds to something. I just hope I'll be able to see fruits of this labor and see the practical uses of it.
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Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain?

Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
The towering trees with their sprawling branches in the redwood forests have always reminded me of neurons in the brain.

Like trees, each neuron extends out tortuous, delicate branches in a quest to make contact with others in its ecosystem. By communicating through thousands of contact points—synapses—dotted along their branches, neurons coordinate their activation patterns across the brain. In this way, bits and pieces of information integrate into unified experiences that are our memories, feelings and awareness of the world.

In other words, the secret of conscious thought may lie in the connections of neuronal trees.

In the 140 years of mapping neuronal projection, scientists have seen it all: stubby ones, lopsided ones, and shockingly long branches that thread all the way from the back of the head, the brainstem, to the very front.

But the brain has more surprises in store.

This week at the BRAIN Initiative meeting in Maryland, Dr. Christof Koch, the president of the Allen Institute of Brain Science based in Seattle, announced the discovery of three neurons with branches that extensively span both hemispheres of the brain.

Incredibly, these neurons sit in the claustrum, a mysterious, thin sheet of cells that Koch believes is the seat of consciousness. Among the three, the largest neuron wrapped around the entire circumference of the mouse brain like a “crown of thorns”—something never seen before.

“A single neuron, projecting across the entire cortex! Absolutely astonishing!” Koch exclaimed during his talk.

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Scientists Want to Build a Super-Fast, Self-Replicating Computer That "Grows as It Computes"

Scientists Want to Build a Super-Fast, Self-Replicating Computer That "Grows as It Computes" | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Scientists say it's possible to build a new type of self-replicating computer that replaces silicon chips with processors made from DNA molecules, and it would be faster than any other form of computer ever proposed - even quantum computers.

Called a nondeterministic universal Turing machine (NUTM), it's predicted that the technology could execute all possible algorithms at once by taking advantage of DNA's ability to replicate almost perfect copies of itself over billions of years.

The basic idea is that our current electronic computers are based on a finite number of silicon chips, and we're fast approaching the limit for how many we can actually fit in our machines.

To address this limitation, researchers are currently working on making quantum computers a reality - super-powerful devices that replace the bits of electronic computers with quantum-entangled particles called qubits.

Unlike regular bits that can only take on the form of 1 or 0 in the binary code, qubits can take the form of 0, 1, or a superposition of the two simultaneously, which allows them to perform many different calculations at once.

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GROW.'s curator insight, March 5, 4:19 PM

Self-Replicating Computer

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Do We Need a Speedometer for Artificial Intelligence?

Do We Need a Speedometer for Artificial Intelligence? | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Measuring how quickly machines are getting smarter could help us prepare for the consequences for society and the economy.

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A Blueprint for Coexistence with AI | Backchannel

A Blueprint for Coexistence with AI | Backchannel | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
There's no getting around the fact that artificial intelligence will upend our world—but human empathy can't be coded.

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This Machine Could Print Synthetic Life Forms on Demand, And Our Minds Are Reeling

This Machine Could Print Synthetic Life Forms on Demand, And Our Minds Are Reeling | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Back in 2016, biologist Craig Venter achieved something extraordinary. He built a new species of bacteria from scratch in the lab - the simplest genetic life form known to science, made entirely through chemical synthesis of a custom-made genome.

Now, he's unveiled a new machine that could print these synthetic life forms on demand - simply feed in a genome design, and let the 'ink' form the building blocks of life. The invention could see us colonise Mars with synthetic life without ever setting foot on the Red Planet, and Venter and Elon Musk have teamed up to make this happen.

Called 'biological teleportation', the technique could allow scientists to email the genome from Earth to a printer on Mars, theoretically allowing us to colonise the Red Planet from afar.

"I think biological teleportation is what is going to truly enable the colonisation of Mars," Venter told his biographer Ashlee Vance back in 2015.

"Elon and I have been talking about how this might play out."

The new tabletop prototype, called the digital-to-biological converter (DBC), is the first machine that can receive genetic sequences via the internet or radio waves.

That means it can print the four chemical bases of DNA - guanine, thymine, cytosine, and adenine (G, T, C and A) - via remote control to form various biological components.

"Just like a printer, it needs cassettes, but instead of colours, it's bottles of chemicals," Venter told Jordan Pearson at Motherboard.

"It's packaging complex biology that each of our tiny cells do remarkably well at a much, much smaller scale."

Venter has been working on this prototype for years now, but a new study describes how it's finally been able to produce biological compounds such as DNA templates, RNA molecules, proteins, and viral particles without any human intervention.

The printer has also made functional influenza viral particles (H1N1), and bacteriophages that can fight bacterial infections.

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Tensions Flare as Scientists Go Public With Plan to Build Synthetic Human DNA

Tensions Flare as Scientists Go Public With Plan to Build Synthetic Human DNA | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
One of the greatest ethical debates in science - manipulating the fundamental building blocks of life - is set to heat up once more.

According to scientists behind an ambitious and controversial plan to write the human genome from the ground up, synthesising DNA and incorporating it into mammalian and even human cells could be as little as four to five years away.

Nearly 200 leading researchers in genetics and bioengineering are expected to attend a meeting in New York City next week, to discuss the next stages of what is now called the Genome Project-write (GP-write) plan: a US$100 million venture to research, engineer, and test living systems of model organisms, including the human genome.

Framed as a follow-up to the pioneering Human Genome Project (HGP) – which culminated in 2003 after 13 years of research that mapped the human genetic code – this project is billed as the logical next step, where scientists will learn how to cost-effectively synthesise plant, animal, and eventually human DNA.

"HGP allowed us to read the genome, but we still don't completely understand it," GP-write coordinator Nancy J. Kelley told Alex Ossola at CNBC.

While those involved are eager to portray the project as an open, international collaboration designed to further our understandings of genome science, GP-write provoked considerable controversy after its first large meet-up a year ago was conducted virtually in secret, with a select group of invite-only experts holding talks behind closed doors.

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nukem777's curator insight, May 5, 6:33 AM

This is not your grandma's DNA

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Researchers Have Successfully Grown Premature Lambs in an Artificial Womb

Researchers Have Successfully Grown Premature Lambs in an Artificial Womb | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
The technology could be used on humans in 3-5 years.
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The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had

The ‘untranslatable’ emotions you never knew you had | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Learning to identify and cultivate these feelings could give you a richer and more successful life
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Preparing for our posthuman future of artificial intelligence | KurzweilAI

Preparing for our posthuman future of artificial intelligence | KurzweilAI | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
(credit: iStock) By David Brin “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that
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Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever

Silicon Valley’s Quest to Live Forever | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Can billions of dollars’ worth of high-tech research succeed in making death optional?
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‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality

‘Your animal life is over. Machine life has begun.’ The road to immortality | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Here’s what happens. You are lying on an operating table, fully conscious, but rendered otherwise insensible, otherwise incapable of movement. A humanoid machine appears at your side, bowing to its task with ceremonial formality. With a brisk sequence of motions, the machine removes a large panel of bone from the rear of your cranium, before carefully laying its fingers, fine and delicate as a spider’s legs, on the viscid surface of your brain. You may be experiencing some misgivings about the procedure at this point. Put them aside, if you can.

You’re in pretty deep with this thing; there’s no backing out now. With their high-resolution microscopic receptors, the machine fingers scan the chemical structure of your brain, transferring the data to a powerful computer on the other side of the operating table. They are sinking further into your cerebral matter now, these fingers, scanning deeper and deeper layers of neurons, building a three-dimensional map of their endlessly complex interrelations, all the while creating code to model this activity in the computer’s hardware. As the work proceeds, another mechanical appendage – less delicate, less careful – removes the scanned material to a biological waste container for later disposal. This is material you will no longer be needing.

At some point, you become aware that you are no longer present in your body. You observe – with sadness, or horror, or detached curiosity – the diminishing spasms of that body on the operating table, the last useless convulsions of a discontinued meat.

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nukem777's curator insight, March 26, 10:28 PM

Worth the read, more worth the meditation

fairmath's comment, March 27, 12:29 AM
amazing
nukem777's curator insight, April 1, 11:00 AM

ReeeDicuL0us...

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Kurzweil Claims That the Singularity Will Happen by 2029

Kurzweil Claims That the Singularity Will Happen by 2029 | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
At the SXSW Conference in Austin, Texas, Ray Kurzweil made yet another prediction: the technological singularity will happen sometime in the next 12 years.
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‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence | Quanta Magazine

‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence |  Quanta Magazine | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.
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NASA Wants to Launch a Giant Magnetic Field to Make Mars Habitable

NASA Wants to Launch a Giant Magnetic Field to Make Mars Habitable | The Long Poiesis | Scoop.it
NASA scientists have proposed a bold plan that could give Mars its atmosphere back and make the Red Planet habitable for future generations of human colonists.

By launching a giant magnetic shield into space to protect Mars from solar winds, the space agency says we could restore the Red Planet's atmosphere, and terraform the Martian environment so that liquid water flows on the surface once again.

Mars may seem like a cold, arid wasteland these days, but the Red Planet is thought to have once had a thick atmosphere that could have maintained deep oceans filled with liquid water, and a warmer, potentially habitable climate.

Scientists think Mars lost all of this when its protective magnetic field collapsed billions of years ago, and solar wind – high-energy particles projected from the Sun – has been stripping the Red Planet's atmosphere away ever since.

Now, new simulations by NASA suggest there could be a way to naturally give Mars its thick atmosphere back – and it doesn't require nuking the Red Planet into submission, as Elon Musk once proposed.

Instead, the space agency thinks a powerful-enough magnetic shield launched into space could serve as a replacement for Mars's own lost magnetosphere, giving the planet a chance to naturally restore its own atmosphere.

In new findings presented at the Planetary Science Vision 2050 Workshop last week, NASA's Planetary Science Division director, Jim Green, said launching an "artificial magnetosphere" into space between Mars and the Sun could hypothetically shield the Red Planet in the extended magnetotail that trails behind the protective field.

"This situation then eliminates many of the solar wind erosion processes that occur with the planet's ionosphere and upper atmosphere allowing the Martian atmosphere to grow in pressure and temperature over time," the researchers explain in an accompanying paper.

While the team acknowledges that the concept might sound "fanciful", they point to existing miniature magnetosphere research being conducted to protect astronauts and spacecraft from cosmic radiation, and think that the same technology on a larger scale could be used to shield Mars.

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