Left October 14, 2011 for NYC. Took cab to Kyle Young's apartment and we took the subway to Lincoln
Center where we viewed the IBM exhibit. It starts out with a wall that shows the traffic on a road in NYC.
Different vehicles are different colors but we didn't receive an explanation. We entered for no charge
and were faced with three large touch screens with various films describing various technical issues in
which IBM was involved. Key idea from IBM: "Change is easy. It happens by itself. Progress, on the other
hand, is deliberate." This is a variant of "Evolution is slow, it happens by itself. Current progress in
robots, on the other hand, is by Intelligent Design." Here is a YouTube video which references it: http:
Note that the current president of IBM Sam Palmisano states that the hardest thing to change is not the
business model, but the people.
Met Eric Stari the first thing. He is from Austria and is a Zen Buddhist. He said that someone claimed that
everything south of Switzerland-Austria is Africa. Later on I found him on LinkedIn. He stated that Steve
Jobs made his mark because he had become a Buddhist and lived in an Ashram in India. He learned
focus and simplicity which became the key to his accomplishments at Apple. Eric also talked about
Charlie Munger and the turn around of Gillette. It is important to avoid self-deception.
Also met Eric Brouse who worked for or owned Zig Zag and was using Board on his iPad. This is an
application which allows you to write with your finger on the screen of your iPad and then scroll up and
continue to write more. Looked fairly nice but lacked the handwriting to print conversion of earlier Palm
devices. The iPhone 4S came out that same weekend I was at the conference. Steve Jobs had just died
a few days earlier.
Ray Kurzweil gave the first lecture. His final nail in the coffin of Searle's Chinese Room Argument was to
state that if you substituted "manipulate neurotransmitter concentrations at interneuronal connections"
for "manipulate symbols" for the man in the Chinese Room you would conclude that the human mind
could not think or be conscious.
Ray's next book is How the Mind Works: and how to build one. He noted that the Mind is the Brain plus
Consciousness. It occurred to me that Consciousness is that mechanism which is needed in proportion
to the social communications of the individual who is conscious. Ray noted that the brain is organized in
a hierarchy and so is the world. For example, one may note the gas could be analyzed by noting the
position of each molecule, but it is easier to use statistics and formulae such as PV=nRT.
Advances in computer science in the last decade is 1000 in hardware but 16,000 in software.
The neocortex is a mass of wires connecting different modules. Watson learns the same way that
humans do. Watson has lower than human understanding but higher than human ability to remember.
Given the use of the web, we accomplish in an hour much more than we used to. Anyone into writing
non-fiction will realize that she can use the web to obtain references much more quickly. Consider that
Google and partners scanned in all of those books and one can use that database to find the exact
page in a book where something was stated.
Projects are underway to replace every organ in the human body with either an artificial one or a grown
Cooper invented the cell phone for Motorola. Cooper's Law of Spectral Efficiency states that the number
of bits being moved around wirelessly doubles every 30 months. http://www.sdrinsider.
The fifth paradigm is the current silicon integrated circuit one which is scheduled to end in 2022 at 4
nanometer lines. The sixth paradigm will probably be graphene in three dimensions.
We hear about more problems these days.
All graphs in The Singularity is Near are updated each year.
Information from the neocortex is sent to the hippocampus where patterns are recognized and sent back
to the cerebellum. We can now see new dendrites form.
Patients are sometimes becoming more educated about their disease then their doctors.
Regenerative Medicine: Possibilities and Potential by Stephen Badylak, McGowan Institute for
Remove lining of the esophagus and place pig matrix in as lining. Use stent to hold it in place
temporarily. After 13 months the esophagus looks normal. These procedures are not taking off because
of lack of understanding by doctors and FDA.
Take a liver and depopulate the cells you have a matrix. Repopulate with patients cells and you have a
new liver. Health extension to 150 years old in the lifetime of a current 39 year old person.
100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to
Family and Faith -- Sonia Arrison
Between 1970-2000 we extended life 5 years which added $3.2 Trillion per year to national wealth. (Not
sure how they calculated this). Ben Franklin invented bifocals when he was 78 years-old. Education
goes up as people live longer. (Again, I am not sure how you prove this causation.)
Adultlescent is a thirty-year-old who is back living with his parents. Religion is believed in by 90% of the
peoples living in countries which don't make it illegal. Religion should now focus on how to live one's
current life and not emphasize the after life.
Malthus was wrong because humans solve problems.
Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)
Asian-American woman in NJ lives to 91 while a Native-American Man in So. Dakota lives to 41???
Back to the Future -- Peter Thiel, from The Thiel Foundation
A decline in innovation over the last thirty ears threatens global prosperity. Tracked against the lofty
forecasts of the 1950s and 1960s, technological progress outside of computers has fallen short in many
domains, including aviation, energy, medicine, and education. The United States is by far and large the
only country that creates new goods and industries. But high unemployment, increased regulation, and
stuttering economic growth make one wonder whether it is losing this edge. We have come to confuse
progress with mere change. The sooner the next generation of technology leaders learns how to think
for themselves, take on risk, and solve hard problems, the sooner they can accomplish what the baby
boomer generation dismissed as impossible.
The problem is the lack of understanding of technology outside of groups such as the Singularity
Summit. Note that Spock wants to be fully Vulcan in Star Trek, but that Data wants to gain emotions in
Star Trek, the New Generation. Robin Williams as Millinnium Man Wants to be human.
Americans tend to be optimistic about the growth of China but pessimistic about technology.
Bricks => Clicks => BRICs
In the developed world (Europe, for example) there is a perception that there is nothing left to do. Many
people perceive that Science and Technology are scary and might be a giant trap that humans have
created for themselves. The attitude toward Science and Technology was more positive before the
invention of the Atom Bomb, which only took the US Government 3 years. More people are afraid that
the robot is going to kill them than look for advantages. The earlier dream of 1950 was that a person
could someday be walking on the moon with his robot.
Consider a start-up company who is about to hire employee #20. Why should this employee want to
join? it is past the point where he is one of the founders.
Government is not likely to create the technology because there are so many people in government who
don't believe in technology.
Motivation for starting a new company:
Trying to solve important problems.
Interest in profitability.
Interest in Technology.
Less privacy is okay when the people in the society are more tolerant.
Thorium Energy should be big.
Peter Thiel has gotten away from political stuff because it only makes people mad.
Alternative Energy must be cheaper. Analogy: What if you started Amazon on the principle that books
would cost double and take twice as long to get to the customer?
We need more pessimism and more optimism.
Apple products designed to be a fashion statement with the technology hidden from view. Steve Jobs
studied Buddhism and learned Focus and Simplicity.
In the US, the IQ has risen 3 points per decade for 90 years.
Copernican Principle is that humans are not special.
Gini coefficient has gone from 0.68 => 0.6
People are better liars than they are lie detectors.
Government and Religion own the violence
James McLurkin -- Multirobot Systems
Robots do jobs which are Dangerous, Dirty and Dull.
In swarm of robots, the highest ranked one is the one who has never received a message from another
robot in the swarm.
Read Honey Bees, TD Seeley, 1995 The Wisdom of the Hive.
Set 10,000 robots to reclaim land fills.
R-one is a new robot designed to be inexpensive and travel in groups. Parts cost about $200. It will be
released in 2012. Rice University see: http://www.robaid.com/robotics/r-one-swarm-robot-low-cost-
McLurkin's main point is that we need to make it cool to be a geek.
Rice University professor and former Irobot engineer James McLurkin believes that if everyone loves a
robot, then everyone will love swarms of robots so much more. While his team of 20 or so wheeled
square robots sorted themselves, lights flashing, into a line by ID number and set out on a treasure
hunt, McLurkin said his inspirations are swarms of bees and internet routing.
Bee algorithms are good, he explained, "because they've been debugged over 160 million years."
Twenty robots can look for hot spots in forest fires; 200 can search earthquake-stricken areas for
survivors; 2,000 could explore Mars; 10 thousand could perhaps reclaim a landfill. All jobs humans can't
Steven Wolfram is either much smarter than I am or has gone off on a wrong track.
His point is that sometimes simple algorithms can create seemingly complex patterns or systems, as he
describes in A New Kind of Science. He claims that during the development of his Wolfram Alpha he
has used the principle of computational equivalency to add many things to his machine.
Mentions Gregory Benford and Robin Hanson.
Normal fly lives for 7 days and a methesula fly lives 28 days.
David Deutsch The Beginning of Infinity.
$150 million Singularity film next year. Roland Enmerho?? Singularity: a Religion for Athiests
Should one argue that we should not have invented fire because it could burn down our homes?
As long as mortality exists, everything is escapism.
Christof Koch - The Neurobiology and Mathematics of Consciousness
He refers to the brain in our gut which contains 0.5 billion neurons. Book was 1999: The Second Brain
-- Dr. Michael Gershon has devoted his career to understanding the human bowel (the stomach,
esophagus, small intestine, and colon). His thirty years of research have led to an extraordinary
rediscovery: nerve cells in the gut that act as a brain. This "second brain" can control our gut all by
itself. Our two brains -- the one in our head and the one in our bowel -- must cooperate. If they do not,
then there is chaos in the gut and misery in the head -- everything from "butterflies" to cramps, from
diarrhea to constipation. Dr. Gershon's work has led to radical new understandings about a wide range
of gastrointestinal problems including gastroenteritis, nervous stomach, and irritable bowel syndrome.
The Second Brain represents a quantum leap in medical knowledge and is already benefiting patients
whose symptoms were previously dismissed as neurotic or "it's all in your head."
Of the 86 billion neurons in the human brain, 69 billion are in the cerebellum and are not involved in
consciousness. Koch then goes on to eliminate many areas of the brain as not being involved in
It seems to me that consciousness is needed in social animals. If I am driving alone in a car, I can forget
being conscious for a large number of minutes. Where did I eat lunch last Thursday? It depends on
whether I had lunch with someone or at a unique restaurant.
Eliezer Yudkowsky -- Open Problems in Friendly Artificial Intelligence
This fellow is truely a genius who understands the problems that might come from artificial intelligence
Yet crowdsourcing can be extremely effective, as MIT's Riley Crane showed in answering DARPA's
challenge to find 10 weather balloons moored around the US. The MIT team used social networks and a
pyramid of financial incentives to recruit volunteers, their friends and their friends of friends to report
sightings - and won by finding all 10 within nine hours.
"Not all hard problems can be solved by aggregation," he said. Unlike movie recommendations or
Google Instant, problems like the balloon challenge require "coordination or collaboration". The reports
of sightings weren't enough by themselves. The team had to eliminate false reports by comparing
reported locations with IP addresses.
"This is a toy problem," he said, "but it's still starting to show some of the possibilities of what we're going
to be able to do in future."
Max Tegmark -- The future of Life: A cosmic perspective
Alexander Wissner-Gross -- Planetary Scale Intelligence
Global Stock Exchange. Stock market trading at high speeds quickly reaches the limits of the speed of
light. From NYC to London is 52.2 miliseconds line of sight. Finance is what is driving us to push the
limits of Special Relativity. Trading can be shown as space-time events on a chart with the vertical axis
time and the horizontal axis space. Automatic sensors precede intelligence. Vasicek Process (see
Methods of regulating High Speed Trading (HST).
Pre-trade testing of algorithms
Dark Pools level the playing field between those machines of greater or lesser intelligence.
Define a "Larger Trader" and regulate him. SEC, July 2011.
Market Circuit Breakers in the form of centralized ability to cut off all Artificial Intelligence.
Swapdata repositories dictated by the Dodd-Frank Act
Centralized AI Activity recording
Short-term capital gains tax proposed by Europeans
Tax or throttle AI bandwidth to outside physical and digital worlds.
Darwin's evolution is ubiquitous in the financial high speed trading area.
Regulations are being pushed by companies who would otherwise have problems competing.
The Problem with Dark Pools is who watches the watchers.
Could market inefficiency adn speculation dominate?
Compare it to Nuclear non-proliferation.
Sharon Bertsch McGrayne -- A History of Bayes Theorm
Bayes Rule is the cornerstone of the Singularity. The Black Boxes from the France airline crash in the
Atlantic were searched for for 2 years until they hired a Bayesian Consulting firm. Then it took only one
week to find them. Two professors have earned their Nobel Prizes using Bayes rules.
Was used during WWII but the proof that it works was kept top secret.
It was also used to link smoking to lung cancer.
David Brin -- So you want to make gods. Now why would that bother anybody?
Culture War. We need to talk to each other. We are currently facing waves of nostalgia which will resist
seeing intelligent machines coming.
From the right: "The Republican War on Science".
From the left: Collapse
If you push your theory of Singularity too hard, you may end up like Giordano Bruno who was burned at
the stake for proposing that the sun was just another star and that there were probably many other stars
in the sky with intelligent beings on planets going around them. http://en.wikipedia.
Thrive and succeed. Don't divide your adversary. Speak their language. Understand them. Read the
Tyler Cowen -- The Great Stagnation
Difficult areas are those where you are working directly with people rather than machines. Healthcare
and Education are two examples where the "working with people" dominates things.
Science is no longer graspable by individual minds. Rent seeking is predominant and healthcare,
government and education are filled with fraud. See the movie The Cartel which shows the corruption in
the New Jersey educational system.
Peter Thiel blames regulation. You couldn't build today's energy infrastructure with today's regulations.
In the 1950s we over estimated progress.
in 2011, we underestimate progress.
Are we training the top 1% to be leaders or are we focusing on retrieving the bottom 10%?
Who will start the next AAPL of the future?
1870s 1880s inventions US was more inventive back then with the economy of Door County today.
We don't sufficiently appreciate inventors.
Total factor productivity.
High School Graduation Rates have peaked. Are we maxed out on what the genetics has given us?
Green revolution ended in mid 1950s.
Clean water and antibiotics were the easy parts. Now we have antibiotic resistance problems and obesity
is "going backwards".
Energy is too overregulated.
Fun drugs versus Technology.
Liberal Artist types deconstructionists are the enemy of science and they seem to be winning in many
Light in the Tunnel book
Owning machines versus owning captial smart machines need a lot of help from humans.
John Chisholm John Chisholm has three decades of experience as general manager and
entrepreneur. In 1997 he founded and for a decade served as CEO/Chrmn of CustomerSat
(acquired by MarketTools), leading provider in enterprise feedback management. A pioneer in
online marketing research, in 1992 he founded and for five years served as CEO/Chrmn of
Decisive Tech (now part of Google), publisher of the first desktop and client-server software for
online surveys. Earlier he worked at HP, Xerox & Grid. Entrepreneurship is the most ethical thing
that you can do. it funds most charities. Release your inner geek: http://youtu.be/d7T4RKvZo_U
Growth in Japan stagnated for 20 years. Italy has been stagnant for 10 years. People oriented is the
problem. Include machines and you have advancement again.
Racing the Red Queen
People don't want to learn.
Dodd-Frank shows that the leaders don't understand the problem.
In 1973 we went off the Gold Standard and we now have an inability to monitor risk.
Debate wit Michael Vassar
The singularity has happened and we are out of the loop according to some people.
# of PhDs = # people in prison.
Tech crunch disruptive
How would Pocket Advisor change the GDP? Need to ask such questions.
Your cell phone in your pocket would vibrate to remind you that you are taking too much on a date.
Copyright and patents are causing a slowdown in technology.
Infovores devour information.
TV shows are just something to talk about.
Development of greater than human intelligence.
Robin Hanson's blog, on honesty, signaling, disagreement http://www.overcomingbias.com/
John Mauldin -- The Endgame Meets the Millennium Wave - Why the Economic Crisis will be History as
We Create the Future.
Occupy Wall Street should be Occupy Congress. It is only going to get worse.
We gave the world securitization. All developed nations are coming to the end of their supercycles at the
same time. Greece, Iceland, Japan. Most important book is This Time it is Different. Key is whether
debt is too large relative to income. Spain as a country looks good but the private debt of the citizens is
Kynes v. Von Mises v. Fisher v. Friedman
4 religions of Economics.
You need a GDP increase which means increase population or increase productivity.
Current administration wants to take money from those who create jobs and give it to those who will
Instead of that, we need a policy to increase entrepreneurs. When government debt reaches 90% it
seems to reduce potential GDP by about 1% annually. This is an observable fact.
Biggest bubble is Government and it is about to burst. We are heading toward becoming Greece.
We will be going through recessions to deleverage.
Japan is a bug in search of a windshield. Savings rate has gone from 16% to 2% as more older
Japanese retire and want to cash in their bonds. They are running 12% deficits and they are going to
have to print Yen.
Trade wars might go ballistic.
the Millennium Wave-- better to ride the wave than let it hit you.
Humans are not ready for rapid change.
High speed internet will bring inventions from rural India.
Republican debate is now Gotcha
John Mauldin is now 62 and expects to get a lot older.
Europe is worse on SSI committments.
#3 The rise of the Sovereign Individual. The FDA is making us go overseas to get our medications.
Biotech revolution is coming. One molecule which kills every cancer in mice has been found.
Reconstruct heart with new cells.
You have to keep reading up on new technology. Biotechs will explode 100:1 and make a bubble. Go
long life insurance and short the writers of annuities.
#5 Close to home manufacturing. Nanotech and 3D printing.
#6 Energy is not the problem, it is the solution. Refrigerator sized generators. (thorium)
#7 Powerful reprecussions from the Coming Millennium Wave Age
Government is the problem, not the solution.
We travel to conferences to see each other's faces.
20% fewer businesses start this year than 3 years ago.
"John Mauldin" is a transnational corporation.
US is putting more $ into R&D thant the rest of the world combined.
Riley Crane -- Rethinking Communication
MIT Media Labs
Attention is scarce...you want them to react immediately. He shows a graph that shows how long it took
for famous people to respond to letters. Log-Log scale.
Reputation is helpful. Attention most important.
David Ferrucci, IBM
Watson was developed between 2007 and early 2011 Its accuracy went from 15% to grand champion
level. It is a big statistical machine with hundreds of algorithms and stastical machine learning
algorithms to train it to choose more accurate results. It had 15 TeraBytes of RAM and 2880 CPU cores.
I consumes 80 Kwatts of electricity and needs a 20 ton air-conditioner.
Watson understands ambiguous human language. It is capable of reading both structured and
unstructured information. It importantly returns confidence levels with evidence as to where the
information lies. It learns.
It still has the expense of needing skilled humans to input data.
Dan Cerutti, IBM
The following video is through the end of the day: http://youtu.be/en9oOnivgSw
The next step for Watson is to identify high value problems which will allow IBM to do something which
really matters. Over 300 ideas were presented to the Watson team at IBM.
Tell me which stocks to invest in.
Read legal briefs.
Spy type of intelligence.
Analyst is anything that requires reading and digesting large quantities of data and digesting it.
Number one problem is Healthcare. It is impossible for an MD to read and digest every article and also
read and digest all of the patient's medical history. This means that there is an information gap.
Conversation with patients and caregivers. Patient can talk to doc for 10 minutes and then go have a
talk with the family to get other ideas, family history etc. The patient may then go on-line and add new
information. Cerutti has met with 300 doctors and major insurers in the healthcare system and is very
excited about the possibilities of making a dent in the problems we currently face.
Workup takes information and looks up Electronic Medical Records
Diagnosis -- interaction with caregivers.
Caregivers are 85% nurses
Pilot program in 2012
Access web portal that has your information and present your complaints.
You don't have to fill out the same old forms with your name and address. Everything you type in with be
digested by Watson and presented to the doctor.
Healthcare policies will be wired in.
Evidence based protocols will also be wired in.
There should be less waste.
Prototypes will be with multiple providers including WellPoint.
Cerutti would also personally like to help kids with reading difficulties using Watson.
Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings quipped, "I for one welcome our computer overlords," when IBM's
Watson computer defeated him in February 2011.
"It's hard to make a joke on Jeopardy," he said Sunday, "because there isn't much time." He was
speaking at the Singularity Summit, the sixth annual gathering to check on progress to a fistful of
possible futures that might be science fiction or might be…real?
Other interesting approaches included the MIT Media Lab's Alexander Wissner-Gross, who argues that
if a planet-scale superhuman intelligence emerges it will most likely be from either the quantitative
finance or advertising industries. Both have great incentives and great rewards for improvement. These
proposals seem dubious on one count: given recent market history it's arguable that a quantitative
finance-derived AI would crash every six months.
Exactly how much AI should resemble humans is a long-running debate. We are limited by our biology:
our knowledge, as Ken Jennings commented, is unevenly distributed among categories, and our
response times vary.
The British mathematician Stephen Wolfram, whose Wolfram Alpha web site delivers expert knowledge
on an expanding range of topics represents a different approach. "When I was younger I thought some
core breakthrough would suddenly give us AI," he said. Instead, the work he profiled in A New Kind of
Science led him to conclude that all you needed was computation. "I'm still often surprised that [Wolfram
Alpha] is possible as a practical matter at this point in history." Wolfram Alpha does not try to copy the
human brain: it simply provides a structure on which human intelligence can build.
A likely key either way is the rule stated by the 18th century British mathematician, the Reverend
Thomas Bayes, who would surely be astounded if he could wake up for a day and see the impact of his
ideas. Among them, in 2000, was turning Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch into Britain's first software
billionaire (he has just sold his company to HP for £8bn).
Yet for centuries, explained Sharon Bertsch McGrayne, author of The Theory That Wouldn't Die,
mentioning Bayes was career suicide. The reason: Bayes' willingness to begin his search for the cause
of an effect with a guess, a strategy long despised as subjective. But his methodology, in which your
answer changes as you acquire more data, is the way all human learning works.
"Bayes is the foundation of the Singularity and AI, and if AI passes the human brain," she said, "Bayes
will be there, too." µ
Is Watson a seminal moment? Many contemporaneous news reports were simultaneously vague and
hyperbolic. Explained up close by IBM's David Ferrucci, Watson is more impressive: it's not a database
trying to anticipate all possible questions but a harnessed team of hundreds of different algorithms
whose results must be weighted and assessed with a degree of confidence.
But consider the imbalance. Watson: 2,880 processor cores, 15TB of RAM, 20 tons of air conditioning,
requiring 80KW of electricity to power it all.
"Compare that to a brain that weighs two pounds, fits in a shoebox, and that you can power with a tuna
fish sandwich," said Ferrucci. Plus, as he didn't say, much cheaper reproduction. Watson cost upwards
of $3 million.
What makes Watson difficult to appreciate is that the action is all internal.
The complete IBM 2011 Tech Trends Report and the data gathered as part of the survey are available
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