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#1 2011-12-16 06:02:58

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,312
Website

Newt Gingrich

Well, he's the most pro-space potential President there is at the moment... which unfortunately may cost him the candidacy...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#2 2011-12-16 09:58:19

Rune
Member
From: Madrid, Spain
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 191

Re: Newt Gingrich

Can't help the feeling he is on it for all the wrong reasons... But what do I know, the politics of the US is foreign territory for me. I guess if he ends up president and does something important to NASA, I'll just treat it as a deal with the devil: you get what you asked for, but maybe you are not too happy about it.


Rune. I can barely make sense of the politics here anyway.


In the beginning the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a "bad move"

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#3 2011-12-16 15:51:42

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Newt Gingrich

I would say that he does have a relatively pro-space history compared to the rest of the candidates in the field, though at this point congress is more standing in the way of achievement in space than the president.


-Josh

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#4 2011-12-16 18:05:57

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,312
Website

Re: Newt Gingrich

I wouldn't say Obama is in anyway pro-space... after all, one of NASA's priorities is to make Muslims feel good about their historic contributions to science...

I didn't even know there was a Space Caucus until I read up on Gingrich - I've been getting most of my info about his space politics from @jeff_foust, who's also been tweeting a lot about Stratolaunch.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#5 2013-11-03 09:56:34

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Newt Gingrich

I really don't think Gingrich's space advocacy made a difference one way or another. I think in the future, it will all depend on private enterprise, I think government's role is to give them a shove out the door, and once they have profitable business interests in space, those interests will continue even after fickle political support by the government dries up! There are a number of private space launch vehicles being developed now, I think some of them will succeed. I think we're approaching the era where lobbying Congress for funds to explore space will shortly cease to matter, once the costs of space access is brought down low enough, there will be a space "land rush" and it will be up to individuals and businesses to explore and colonize space.

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#6 2013-11-04 11:41:22

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
Website

Re: Newt Gingrich

Don't be fooled by Gingrich.  I've watched him for decades.  He tells his audiences whatever they want to hear,  like so many hack politicians.  The reality is quite different from the appearance.

He's better at confrontation than governance,  too.  He led the radical GOP types in their efforts that created multiple shutdowns in the 1980's.  That's the real roots of today's Tea Party & similar radicals. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#7 2013-11-05 10:15:13

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Newt Gingrich

The Tea Party would be right at home in space, space offers them freedom, which is what they want, from heavy government interference and control, after all isn't that what the UN Space Treaty states, no Earth bound government may own or control any part of space? Besides, the Centralized Government Control model has failed with Project Apollo, if the government enables, it also disables. When the political will dried up for taxpayers funding Apollo Apollo got cancelled, the real action from now on will be with private corporations and individual efforts. I think we've seen the end of big Apollo style efforts, the next footprints on the Moon or Mars will likely be made by corporate astronauts or tourists and private adventurers, In a matter of a decade, it will be an entirely new ballgame in space! Space is the place where people can expand and try out their own ideas. We've been begging Congress to fund various space programs for decades now, and I think in the future the government is not going to have much money to spare, the best thing to do is encourage growth in the economy and develop the right technologies for cheap access to space.

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#8 2013-11-05 14:56:45

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
Website

Re: Newt Gingrich

Big government is inherently intrusive,  but is also inherently required for large,  dense populations.  Taken to extreme:  in a room packed with people,  all must sit down at once for any to sit down at all. 

Outfits like the tea party might make more common sense if their agenda was population reduction,  so that we really could have a smaller,  less intrusive government.  Very sparse population is what space offers,  and that's why folks out there will be freer than folks down here.  It ain't really about "politics",  and never really was.  Population also starts with a "p",  but that's where the similarities end. 

Actually,  I quite agree that the next big feats in space will be done by the commercial folks,  not so much the government agencies.  The very successful unmanned planetary probes are pretty much their last gasp,  unless some drastic change happens.  We're in a transition right now,  with the commercial folks still hamstrung by government-generated rules and mission objectives.  Once that model is fully broken,  really exciting progress will be made by the commercial entities,  and men will finally leave LEO once again. 

Spacex isn't the only commercial player with a vision and some new ideas to offer.  But they are the most visible right now.  And the furthest along,  apparently. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#9 2013-11-05 18:56:17

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Newt Gingrich

So I say avoid large dense populations. I don't want my freedom taken away and a number stamped on my forehead! Saying you can't have that child or we'll come and arrest you is also a limit on freedom. I'm all for self-replicating machines, that way we can avoid crowding humans together, taking away their freedoms and reducing them to cogs in a vast economic machine. We are so close to human level machine intelligence, about a decade or so away, it we can task those before they escape our control to get us off the planet, that would be a good thing.

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#10 2013-11-06 03:34:24

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,312
Website

Re: Newt Gingrich

Srsly? You think we're that close? Far, and certainly no cigar.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#11 2013-11-06 06:46:14

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Newt Gingrich

Here are some predictions by Ray Kurzweil:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction … y_Kurzweil

I've highlighted the relevant parts in Bold.

The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990)[edit]
Early 2000s[edit]
Translating telephones allow people to speak to each other in different languages.
Machines designed to transcribe speech into computer text allow deaf people to understand spoken words.
Exoskeletal, robotic leg prostheses allow the paraplegic to walk.
Telephone calls are routinely screened by intelligent answering machines that ask questions to determine the call's nature and priority.
"Cybernetic chauffeurs" can drive cars for humans and can be retrofitted into existing cars. They work by communicating with other vehicles and with sensors embedded along the roads.
Early 21st century[edit]
The classroom is dominated by computers. Intelligent courseware that can tailor itself to each student by recognizing their strengths and weaknesses. Media technology allows students to manipulate and interact with virtual depictions of the systems and personalities they are studying.
A small number of highly skilled people dominates the entire production sector. Tailoring of products for individuals is common.
Drugs are designed and tested in simulations that mimic the human body.
Blind people navigate and read text using machines that can visually recognize features of their environment.
Note: Since the "Early 2000s" and "Early 21st century" predictions are both listed before the "2010" predictions in the technology Chronology, it can be assumed that the timeframe for the first two is 2000–2010.
2010[edit]
PCs are capable of answering queries by accessing information wirelessly via the Internet.
2020–2050[edit]
Phone calls entail three-dimensional holographic images of both people.
By 2020, there will be a new World government.
2020–2070[edit]
A computer passes the Turing Test, becoming the first true Artificial Intelligence.
Kurzweil has even wagered that his predictions will be true, on the site Long Bets Betting against Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus Software Corporation for a payout of $20,000, or $10,000 each.
Centuries hence[edit]
Computer intelligence becomes superior to human intelligence in all areas.
The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999)[edit]
2009[edit]
Most books will be read on screens rather than paper.
Most text will be created using speech recognition technology.
Intelligent roads and driverless cars will be in use, mostly on highways.
People use personal computers the size of rings, pins, credit cards and books.
Personal worn computers provide monitoring of body functions, automated identity and directions for navigation.
Cables are disappearing. Computer peripheries use wireless communication.
People can talk to their computer to give commands.
Computer displays built into eyeglasses for augmented reality are used.
Computers can recognize their owner's face from a picture or video.
Three-dimensional chips are commonly used.
Sound producing speakers are being replaced with very small chip-based devices that can place high resolution sound anywhere in three-dimensional space.
A 1000 dollar pc can perform about a trillion calculations per second.
There is increasing interest in massively parallel neural nets, genetic algorithms and other forms of "chaotic" or complexity theory computing.
Research has been initiated on reverse engineering the brain through both destructive and non-invasive scans.
Autonomous nanoengineered machines have been demonstrated and include their own computational controls.
2019[edit]
The computational capacity of a $4,000 computing device (in 1999 dollars) is approximately equal to the computational capability of the human brain (20 quadrillion calculations per second).
The summed computational powers of all computers is comparable to the total brainpower of the human race.
Computers are embedded everywhere in the environment (inside of furniture, jewelry, walls, clothing, etc.).
People experience 3-D virtual reality through glasses and contact lenses that beam images directly to their retinas (retinal display). Coupled with an auditory source (headphones), users can remotely communicate with other people and access the Internet.
These special glasses and contact lenses can deliver "augmented reality" and "virtual reality" in three different ways. First, they can project "heads-up-displays" (HUDs) across the user's field of vision, superimposing images that stay in place in the environment regardless of the user's perspective or orientation. Second, virtual objects or people could be rendered in fixed locations by the glasses, so when the user's eyes look elsewhere, the objects appear to stay in their places. Third, the devices could block out the "real" world entirely and fully immerse the user in a virtual reality environment.
People communicate with their computers via two-way speech and gestures instead of with keyboards. Furthermore, most of this interaction occurs through computerized assistants with different personalities that the user can select or customize. Dealing with computers thus becomes more and more like dealing with a human being.
Most business transactions or information inquiries involve dealing with a simulated person.
Most people own more than one PC, though the concept of what a "computer" is has changed considerably: Computers are no longer limited in design to laptops or CPUs contained in a large box connected to a monitor. Instead, devices with computer capabilities come in all sorts of unexpected shapes and sizes.
Cables connecting computers and peripherals have almost completely disappeared.
Rotating computer hard drives are no longer used.
Three-dimensional nanotube lattices are the dominant computing substrate.
Massively parallel neural nets and genetic algorithms are in wide use.
Destructive scans of the brain and noninvasive brain scans have allowed scientists to understand the brain much better. The algorithms that allow the relatively small genetic code of the brain to construct a much more complex organ are being transferred into computer neural nets.
Pinhead-sized cameras are everywhere.
Nanotechnology is more capable and is in use for specialized applications, yet it has not yet made it into the mainstream. "Nanoengineered machines" begin to be used in manufacturing.
Thin, lightweight, handheld displays with very high resolutions are the preferred means for viewing documents. The aforementioned computer eyeglasses and contact lenses are also used for this same purpose, and all download the information wirelessly.
Computers have made paper books and documents almost completely obsolete.
Most learning is accomplished through intelligent, adaptive courseware presented by computer-simulated teachers. In the learning process, human adults fill the counselor and mentor roles instead of being academic instructors. These assistants are often not physically present, and help students remotely.
Students still learn together and socialize, though this is often done remotely via computers.
All students have access to computers.
Most human workers spend the majority of their time acquiring new skills and knowledge.
Blind people wear special glasses that interpret the real world for them through speech. Sighted people also use these glasses to amplify their own abilities.
Retinal and neural implants also exist, but are in limited use because they are less useful.
Deaf people use special glasses that convert speech into text or signs, and music into images or tactile sensations. Cochlear and other implants are also widely used.
People with spinal cord injuries can walk and climb steps using computer-controlled nerve stimulation and exoskeletal robotic walkers.
Computers are also found inside of some humans in the form of cybernetic implants. These are most commonly used by disabled people to regain normal physical faculties (i.e. - Retinal implants allow the blind to see and spinal implants coupled with mechanical legs allow the paralyzed to walk).
Language translating machines are of much higher quality, and are routinely used in conversations.
Effective language technologies (natural language processing, speech recognition, speech synthesis) exist
Access to the Internet is completely wireless and provided by wearable or implanted computers.
People are able to wirelessly access the Internet at all times from almost anywhere
Devices that deliver sensations to the skin surface of their users (i.e.--tight body suits and gloves) are also sometimes used in virtual reality to complete the experience. "Virtual sex"—in which two people are able to have sex with each other through virtual reality, or in which a human can have sex with a "simulated" partner that only exists on a computer—becomes a reality.
Just as visual- and auditory virtual reality have come of age, haptic technology has fully matured and is completely convincing, yet requires the user to enter a V.R. booth. It is commonly used for computer sex and remote medical examinations. It is the preferred sexual medium since it is safe and enhances the experience.
Worldwide economic growth has continued. There has not been a global economic collapse.
The vast majority of business interactions occur between humans and simulated retailers, or between a human's virtual personal assistant and a simulated retailer.
Household robots are ubiquitous and reliable.
Computers do most of the vehicle driving—-humans are in fact prohibited from driving on highways unassisted. Furthermore, when humans do take over the wheel, the onboard computer system constantly monitors their actions and takes control whenever the human drives recklessly. As a result, there are very few transportation accidents.
Most roads now have automated driving systems—networks of monitoring and communication devices that allow computer-controlled automobiles to safely navigate.
Prototype personal flying vehicles using microflaps exist. They are also primarily computer-controlled.
Humans are beginning to have deep relationships with automated personalities, which hold some advantages over human partners. The depth of some computer personalities convinces some people that they should be accorded more rights.
While a growing number of humans believe that their computers and the simulated personalities they interact with are intelligent to the point of human-level consciousness, experts dismiss the possibility that any could pass the Turing Test.
Human-robot relationships begin as simulated personalities become more convincing.
Interaction with virtual personalities becomes a primary interface
Public places and workplaces are ubiquitously monitored to prevent violence and all actions are recorded permanently. Personal privacy is a major political issue, and some people protect themselves with unbreakable computer codes.
The basic needs of the underclass are met. (Not specified if this pertains only to the developed world or to all countries)
Virtual artists—creative computers capable of making their own art and music—emerge in all fields of the arts.
2029[edit]
A $1,000 personal computer is 1,000 times more powerful than the human brain.
The vast majority of computation is done by computers and not by human brains.
Further progress has been made in understanding the secrets of the human brain. Hundreds of distinct sub-regions with specialized functions have been identified. Some of the algorithms that code for development of these regions have been deciphered and incorporated into neural net computers.
Massively parallel neural nets, which are constructed through reverse-engineering the human brain, are in common use.
The eyeglasses and headphones that used to deliver virtual reality are now obsolete thanks to computer implants that go into the eyes and ears. The implants are either permanent or removable. They allow direct interface with computers, communications and Internet-based applications. The implants are also capable of recording what the user sees and hears.
Computer implants designed for direct connection to the brain are also available. They are capable of augmenting natural senses and of enhancing higher brain functions like memory, learning speed and overall intelligence.
Computers are now capable of learning and creating new knowledge entirely on their own and with no human help. By scanning the enormous content of the Internet, some computers "know" literally every single piece of public information (every scientific discovery, every book and movie, every public statement, etc.) generated by human beings.
Direct brain implants allow users to enter full-immersion virtual reality—with complete sensory stimulation—without any external equipment. People can have their minds in a totally different place at any moment. This technology is in widespread use.
Most communication occurs between humans and machines as opposed to human-to-human.
The manufacturing, agricultural and transportation sectors of the economy are almost entirely automated and employ very few humans. Across the world, poverty, war and disease are almost nonexistent thanks to technology alleviating want.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence creates a real "robot rights" movement, and there is open, public debate over what sorts of civil rights and legal protections machines should have. The existence of humans with heavy levels of cybernetic augmentation and of larger numbers of other people with less extreme cybernetic implants lead to further arguments over what constitutes a "human being."
Although computers routinely pass the Turing Test, controversy still persists over whether machines are as intelligent as humans in all areas.
Artificial Intelligences claim to be conscious and openly petition for recognition of the fact. Most people admit and accept this new truth.
Reverse engineering of the human brain completed
Non-biological intelligence combines the subtlety and pattern recognition strength of human intelligence, with the speed, memory, and knowledge sharing of machine intelligence
Non-biological intelligence will continue to grow exponentially whereas biological intelligence is effectively fixed
2049[edit]
Food is commonly "assembled" by nanomachines. This food is externally indistinguishable from "natural" food, but it can be made more wholesome since production can be controlled at the molecular level. This technology decouples food production from climate conditions and the availability of natural resources.
The distinction between virtual reality and "real" reality becomes confounded as foglets come into common use, allowing immediate assembly or disassembly of all sorts of physical objects.
2072[edit]
Picoengineering (technology on the scale of trillionths of a meter) becomes practical.
2099[edit]
The human brain has been completely reverse engineered and all aspects of its functioning are understood.
Natural human thinking possesses no advantages over computer minds.

Machines have attained equal legal status with humans.
Humans and machines merge in the physical and mental realms. Cybernetic brain implants enable humans to fuse their minds with AI's.
In consequence, clear distinctions between humans and machines no longer exist.
Most conscious beings lack a permanent physical form.
The vast majority of the Earth's sentient beings are AI's that exist entirely as thinking computer programs capable of instantly moving from one computer to another across the Internet (or whatever equivalent exists in 2099). These computer-based beings are capable of manifesting themselves at will in the physical world by creating or taking over robotic bodies, with individual AI's also being capable of controlling multiple bodies at once.
Individual beings merge and separate constantly, making it impossible to determine how many “people” there are on Earth.
This new plasticity of consciousness and ability for beings to join minds seriously alters the nature of self-identity.
The majority of interpersonal interactions occur in virtual environments. Actually having two people physically meet in the real world to have a conversation or transact business without any technological interference is very rare.
Organic human beings are a small minority of the intelligent life forms on Earth. Even among the remaining Homo sapiens, the use of computerized implants that heavily augment normal abilities is ubiquitous and accepted as normal. The small fraction of humans who opt to remain "natural" and unmodified effectively exist on a lower and more limited plane of consciousness from everyone else, and thus find it impossible to fully interact with AI's and highly modified humans.
"Natural" humans are protected from extermination. In spite of their shortcomings and frailties, humans are respected by AI's for giving rise to the machines.
Since knowledge and skills can be instantly downloaded and comprehended by most intelligent beings, the process of learning is compressed into an instantaneous affair instead of the years-long struggle normal humans experience. Free from this time-consuming burden, AI's now focus their energies on making new discoveries and contributions.
AI's are capable of dividing their attention and energies in countless directions, allowing one being to manage a multitude of endeavors simultaneously.
Femtoengineering (engineering on the scale of one thousandth of a trillionth of a meter) might be possible.
AI's communicate via a shared electronic language.
Artwork and music created by machines encompasses areas of the light spectrum and frequencies of sounds that normal humans cannot perceive.
Money has deflated in value, meaning all sorts of goods and services have become cheaper.
Some humans at least as old as the Baby Boomers are still alive and well.
Computer viruses are a major threat since most intelligent beings are software-based.
AI's frequently make "backup copies" of themselves, guaranteeing a sort of immortality should the original AI be killed.
The concept of "life expectancy" has become irrelevant to humans and machines thanks to medical immortality and advanced computers.
The pace of technological change continues to accelerate as the 22nd century nears.
Thousands of years from now[edit]
"Intelligent beings consider the fate of the Universe." Presumably, this means that the AI's created by humans will have the ability to control the entire Universe, perhaps keeping it from dying.

The Singularity is Near (2005)[edit]
2010[edit]

Supercomputers will have the same raw computing power as human brains, though the software to emulate human thinking on those computers does not yet exist. (IBM Sequoia)
Computers will start to disappear as distinct physical objects, meaning many will have nontraditional shapes or will be embedded in clothing and everyday objects.
Full-immersion audio-visual virtual reality will exist.
2010s[edit]
The decade in which "Bridge Two", the revolution in Genetics/Biotechnology, is to reach its peak. During the 2020s, humans will have the means of changing their genes; not just "designer babies" will be feasible, but designer baby boomers through the rejuvenation of all of one's body's tissues and organs by transforming one's skin cells into youthful versions of every other cell type. People will be able to "reprogram" their own biochemistry away from disease and aging, radically extending life expectancy.
Computers become smaller and increasingly integrated into everyday life.
More and more computer devices will be used as miniature web servers, and more will have their resources pooled for computation.
High-quality broadband Internet access will become available almost everywhere.
Eyeglasses that beam images onto the users' retinas to produce virtual reality will be developed. They will also come with speakers or headphone attachments that will complete the experience with sounds. These eyeglasses will become a new medium for advertising as advertising will be wirelessly transmitted to them as one walks by various business establishments. This was fictionalized in Dennō Coil.
The VR glasses will also have built-in computers featuring "virtual assistant" programs that can help the user with various daily tasks.
Virtual assistants would be capable of multiple functions. One useful function would be real-time language translation in which words spoken in a foreign language would be translated into text that would appear as subtitles to a user wearing the glasses.
Cell phones will be built into clothing and will be able to project sounds directly into the ears of their users.
Advertisements will utilize a new technology whereby two ultrasonic beams can be targeted to intersect at a specific point, delivering a localized sound message that only a single person can hear. This was fictionalized in the films Minority Report and Back to the Future Part II.
2015[edit]
By now, it is likely that "clean a house" will be within the capabilities of a household robot.
2018[edit]
10^13 bits (=10 TB) of computer memory—roughly the equivalent of the memory space in a single human brain—will cost $1000.
2020s[edit]
The decade in which "Bridge Three", the revolution in Nanotechnology, is to begin: allowing humans to vastly overcome the inherent limitations of biology, as no matter how much humanity fine-tunes their biology, they will never be as capable otherwise. This decade also marks the revolution in Robotics (Strong AI), as an AI is expected to pass the Turing test by the last year of the decade (2029), meaning it can pass for a human being (though the first A.I. is likely to be the equivalent of an average, educated human). What follows then will be an era of consolidation in which nonbiological intelligence will undergo exponential growth (Runaway AI), eventually leading to the extraordinary expansion contemplated by the Singularity, in which human intelligence is multiplied by billions by the mid-2040s.
Early in this decade, humanity will have the requisite hardware to emulate human intelligence within a $1000 personal computer, followed shortly by effective software models of human intelligence toward the middle of the decade: this will be enabled through the continuing exponential growth of brain-scanning technology, which is doubling in bandwidth, temporal and spatial resolution every year, and will be greatly amplified with nanotechnology, allowing us to have a detailed understanding of all the regions of the human brain and to aid in developing human-level machine intelligence by the end of this decade.
Computers less than 100 nm in size will be possible.
As one of their first practical applications, nanomachines are used for medical purposes.
Highly advanced medical nanobots will perform detailed brainscans on live patients.
Accurate computer simulations of the entire human brain will exist due to these hyperaccurate brainscans, and the workings of the brain will be understood.
Nanobots capable of entering the bloodstream to "feed" cells and extract waste will exist (though not necessarily be in wide use) by the end of this decade. They will make the normal mode of human food consumption obsolete.
By the late 2020s, nanotech-based manufacturing will be in widespread use, radically altering the economy as all sorts of products can suddenly be produced for a fraction of their traditional-manufacture costs. The true cost of any product is now the amount it takes to download the design schematics.
By the later part of this decade, virtual reality will be so high-quality that it will be indistinguishable from real reality.
The threat posed by genetically engineered pathogens permanently dissipates by the end of this decade as medical nanobots—infinitely more durable, intelligent and capable than any microorganism—become sufficiently advanced.
The many variations of "Human Body 2.0" (as Kurzweil calls it) are incrementally accumulated into this and the following decade, with each organ and body system having its own course of refinement and development. It ultimately consists of a nanotechnological system of nourishment and circulation, obsolescing many internal organs, brain-extension and an improved skeleton.
2023[edit]
10^16 calculations per second—roughly the equivalent of one human brain—will cost $1,000.
2025[edit]
The most likely year for the debut of advanced nanotechnology.
Some military UAVs and land vehicles will be 100% computer-controlled.
2030s[edit]
Mind uploading becomes successful and perfected by the end of this decade as humans become software-based: living out on the Web, projecting bodies whenever they want or need (whether in virtual or real reality), and living indefinitely so long as they maintain their "mind file". Eventually, all human beings (including those with transbiological 2.0 or 3.0 bodies) will migrate to this postbiological state except for those who wish to remain unenhanced: the transbiological era giving way to the postbiological era.
Nanomachines could be directly inserted into the brain and could interact with brain cells to totally control incoming and outgoing signals. As a result, truly full-immersion virtual reality could be generated without the need for any external equipment. Afferent nerve pathways could be blocked, totally canceling out the "real" world and leaving the user with only the desired virtual experience.
Brain nanobots could also elicit emotional responses from users.
Using brain nanobots, recorded or real-time brain transmissions of a person's daily life known as "experience beamers" will be available for other people to remotely experience. This is very similar to how the characters in Being John Malkovich were able to enter the mind of Malkovich and see the world through his eyes.
Recreational uses aside, nanomachines in peoples' brains will allow them to greatly expand their cognitive, memory and sensory capabilities, to directly interface with computers, and to "telepathically" communicate with other, similarly augmented humans via wireless networks.
The same nanotechnology should also allow people to alter the neural connections within their brains, changing the underlying basis for the person's intelligence, memories and personality.
The many variations of "Human Body 3.0" are gradually implemented during this and the following decade; It mostly likely lacks a fixed, corporeal form and can alter its shape and external appearance at will via foglet-like nanotechnology.
2040s[edit]
People spend most of their time in full-immersion virtual reality (Kurzweil has cited The Matrix as a good example of what the advanced virtual worlds will be like, without the dystopian twist).
Foglets are in use.
Nonbiological intelligence will be billions of times more capable than biological intelligence.
2045: The Singularity[edit]
$1000 buys a computer a billion times more intelligent than every human combined. This means that average and even low-end computers are vastly smarter than even highly intelligent, unenhanced humans.
The technological singularity occurs as artificial intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest and most capable life forms on the Earth. Technological development is taken over by the machines, who can think, act and communicate so quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend what is going on. The machines enter into a "runaway reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From this point onwards, technological advancement is explosive, under the control of the machines, and thus cannot be accurately predicted (hence the term "Singularity").
The Singularity is an extremely disruptive, world-altering event that forever changes the course of human history. The extermination of humanity by violent machines is unlikely (though not impossible) because sharp distinctions between man and machine will no longer exist thanks to the existence of cybernetically enhanced humans and uploaded humans.
Post-2045: "Waking up" the Universe[edit]
The physical bottom limit to how small computer transistors (or other equivalent, albeit more effective components, such as memristors integrated into Crossbar latches) can be shrunk is reached. From this moment onwards, computers can only be made more powerful if they are made larger in size.
Because of this, A.I.s convert more and more of the Earth's matter into engineered, computational substrate capable of supporting more A.I.s. until the whole Earth is one, gigantic computer, except for a few nature reserves set aside on the planetary surface for those humans who decided to remain in their natural state. "MOSH's" (Mostly Original Substrate Human) who choose to remain purely organic would still possess virtual assistants that will act as their transcendent servants, living in the blurred real world ("foglet-reality") and being provided with environments and everything they could possibly need as they live out the rest of their normal lives unless they enhance themselves.
At this point, the only possible way to increase the intelligence of the machines any farther is to begin converting all of the matter and energy in the universe into similar massive computers. A.I.s radiate outward from Earth, first into the Solar System and then out into interstellar space, then galaxies in all directions, utilizing starships that are Von Neumann probes with nanobot crews, breaking down whole planets, stars, moons, and meteoroids and reassembling them into computers. This, in effect, "wakes up" the universe as all the inanimate "dumb" matter (rocks, dust, gases, etc.) is converted into structured matter capable of supporting life (albeit synthetic life).
Kurzweil predicts that machines might have the ability to make planet-sized computers by 2099, which underscores how enormously technology will advance after the Singularity. Venus Solletta is a planet sized computer, its radius is 39,000 km.
The process of "waking up" the universe could be completed well before the end of the 22nd century, provided humans are not limited by the speed of light.
With the entire universe made into a giant, highly efficient supercomputer, AI and human hybrids (so integrated that, in truth it is a new category of "life") would have both supreme intelligence and physical control over the universe. Humanity will still not possess infinite levels of any attributes, as the accelerating change of evolution never reaches an infinite measure (though it moves rapidly in that direction), becoming, as Kurzweil writes, "moving inexorably toward this monotheistic conception of God, though never reaching this ideal"; even with theories such as the holographic universe. The final chapter however notes that, if possible, the ability to create and colonize other universes (and if there is a way to do this, humanity's vast intelligence is likely to harness it, as with surpassing/bypassing the speed of light) could allow the intelligence of the human/machine civilization to extend indefinitely, akin to a mathematical singularity. If not, then saturating humanity's own universe will remain their ultimate fate.
Some indeterminate points within a few decades from now[edit]
Space technology becomes advanced enough to provide the Earth permanent protection from the threat of asteroid impacts.
The antitechnology Luddite movement will grow increasingly vocal and possibly resort to violence as these people become enraged over the emergence of new technologies that threaten traditional attitudes regarding the nature of human life (radical life extension, genetic engineering, cybernetics) and the supremacy of mankind (artificial intelligence). Though the Luddites might, at best, succeed in delaying the Singularity, the march of technology is irresistible and they will inevitably fail in keeping the world frozen at a fixed level of development.
The emergence of distributed energy grids and full-immersion virtual reality will, when combined with high bandwidth Internet, enable the ultimate in telecommuting. This, in turn, will make cities obsolete since workers will no longer need to be located near their workplaces. The decentralization of the population will make societies less vulnerable to terrorist and military attacks.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2013-11-06 07:06:39)

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#12 2013-11-06 07:32:05

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: Newt Gingrich

...Your point...? Quoting someone's predictions prove absolutely nothing, other than that the person believes these things will happen. But other people believe these things won't happen, and those people are at least as qualified to make such predictions.

Hardware =/= software. You can have the entire universe for your computer, but unless you actually know what algorithms to implement, you're getting nowhere.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#13 2013-11-06 10:32:03

GW Johnson
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Wow!  The air is mighty thin where this high-flying conversation has gone.  Allow me to bring it down nearer the surface for a moment. 

I'd rather there be a trained human pilot in any airliner I ride,  a pilot with the authority to override all automatic systems and take full manual control of the airplane.  The pilot's inability to override the computer in Airbus machines has already caused more than one fatal crash.  That's why I don't like riding Airbus products. 

On the other hand,  the pilots taking manual control need both training and experience at hand-flying airplanes,  as the recent Asiana crash at SFO so clearly demonstrated.  Same for the Colgin Air crash some years ago.  And many others. 

I do not want aircraft (or cars,  or trains,  or ships,  or anything else) operated solely by computers.  They can only do what they are programmed for,  unlike people.  I have seen nothing to suggest that will change even in our childrens's or grandchildren's times,  notwithstanding some of the stunts done with supercomputers in recent years.  Winning chess games is one hell of a long way from self-awareness and spontaneous creativity. 

Computers as we know them are like any other tool,  they exist to amplify and augment human abilities,  not replace them.  Robot manufacturing does require human supervision and intervention,  even today.  I see great dangers for any society that would ignore those facts of life. 

Not until the technology advances to the point where machine self-awareness and creativity can be verified (something we do not yet really know how to verify!!!),  should we allow any total job replacement.  Maybe we no longer need to weld the parts on the assembly line,  but we still need to supervise,  program,  intervene,  and repair the machines that do it for us.  Those are the proper roles for humans and machines.   

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#14 2013-11-06 23:31:19

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Can you prove that there is a physical process in the Universe that cannot be modeled by a computer doing math? Computer models predict the weather after all. Do you say there is something supernatural in the way the human brain operates? Is there a soul? Are souls required in order for the human brain to work? The human brain is a collection of atoms weighing about 3 pounds on average that follows natural laws that can be modeled on a computer, therefore the human brain + body can also be modeled on a computer. Most scientists would agree with this, unless you are a man of religious persuasion, who believes that there are something that science can't explain and that humans require a soul to be conscious. You can't have it both ways you know, either science explains everything or it doesn't, in which case we need God's permission to build a self-aware robot.

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#15 2013-11-06 23:37:11

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Terraformer wrote:

...Your point...? Quoting someone's predictions prove absolutely nothing, other than that the person believes these things will happen. But other people believe these things won't happen, and those people are at least as qualified to make such predictions.

Hardware =/= software. You can have the entire universe for your computer, but unless you actually know what algorithms to implement, you're getting nowhere.

AI's don't need to be programmed, they are designed to learn naturally. What you do is program a computer to model the human brain at a certain level of abstraction, you replicate all the things human brain cells do when connected to other human brain cells, then you replicate all the tissues surrounding the human brain, those tissues respond to the signals from the simulated human brain, then you place the computer doing this simulation in a robot that is shaped like a human being, and you program the robot to move a body part in response to the simulation moving a simulated body part, then you feed the sensory date from cameras, air samplers, chemical analizers, microphones, and tactile sensors back into the simulation so it experiences what the robot experiences, and you have a self-aware robot!

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#16 2013-11-07 02:33:55

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Here's an article from someone who actually works in figuring out how the brain works - http://hplusmagazine.com/2009/10/19/gho … ve-matrix/. In computers, hardware =/= software. In humans, hardware == software.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#17 2013-11-07 07:09:22

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Terraformer wrote:

Here's an article from someone who actually works in figuring out how the brain works - http://hplusmagazine.com/2009/10/19/gho … ve-matrix/. In computers, hardware =/= software. In humans, hardware == software.

To recreate a brain/mind in silico, whether a cyborg body or a computer frame, is equally problematic. Large portions of the brain process and interpret signals from the body and the environment. Without a body, these functions will flail around and can result in the brain… well, losing its mind. Without corrective “pingbacks” from the environment that are filtered by the body, the brain can easily misjudge to the point of hallucination, as seen in phenomena like phantom limb pain or fibromyalgia. Additionally, processing at light speed will probably result in madness, as everything will appear to happen simultaneously or will change order arbitrarily.

Finally, without context we may lose the ability for empathy, as is shown in Bacigalupi’s disturbing story People of Sand and Slag. Empathy is as instrumental to high-order intelligence as it is to survival: without it, we are at best idiot savants, at worst psychotic killers. Of course, someone can argue that the entire universe can be recreated in VR. At that point, we’re in god territory… except that even if some of us manage to live the perfect Second Life, there’s still the danger of someone unplugging the computer or deleting the noomorphs. So there go the Star Trek transporters, there go the Battlestar Galactica Cylon resurrection tanks.

You don't actually have to recreate an entire Universe in silico, only a room with a baby in it, this room is a virtual nursery, a caretaker would don a body suit, and with each movement of the bodysuit, and avatar in the simulation would move, the care taker would be able to pick up the baby, feed it comfort it, in the room is a series of virtual appliances, the foster parent in the body suit can walk up to a cabinet, press a button with her avatar's finger and open the door and food will be found inside on dishes with appropriate cutlery, she feeds the baby, later on as the baby grows, it learns to feed itself. The foster parent teaches the baby to talk same as we teach a real child. At the toddler stage the child learns to walk within the simulated room, the child can watch television on a virtual television set, it plays in the virtual room.

Later on the virtual room becomes a classroom, other real children put on body suits and manipulate their own avatars and sit in a classroom with the virtual child in a class taught by a teacher in a body suit. The virtual child makes friends with real children, they play games and grow up. The virtual child along with classmates graduates from Elementary School, Middle School, and high school, and finally goes to college in the virtual classroom, attends a graduation ceremony in that virtual room. receives a virtual diploma, and then is ready to enter the job market. The virtual person is then copied to fill how ever many job openings their are in that particular field. The child can be copied after high school and each copy can pursue a different college degree and fill a different job opening, these are all human equivalent AIs, they can be improved and made smarter than a human being.

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#18 2013-11-07 10:32:25

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: Newt Gingrich

So you accept that they wouldn't be sapient?


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#19 2013-11-07 10:36:36

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Call me ignostic but I don't think you can define sapience either smile


-Josh

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#20 2013-11-07 14:02:11

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Okay, conscious. Which everyone, except the philosophical zombie which posted above me, will understand. Self-awareness. Whatever.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#21 2013-11-07 20:52:56

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Newt Gingrich

I don't pretend to know what it is, all I know is I got it. I think since I am part of this Universe and I obey its natural laws, what I've got can be replicated in a machine.

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#22 2013-11-08 18:54:55

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Terraformer wrote:

Okay, conscious. Which everyone, except the philosophical zombie which posted above me, will understand. Self-awareness. Whatever.

Can you define it in such a way as we'll never be able to design a computer (be it carbon or silicon based) that doesn't run afoul of it?


-Josh

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#23 2013-11-08 19:06:49

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
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Re: Newt Gingrich

The existence of an I. I can't define it any better than that, but it's kind of given that everyone knows what consciousness is, given that humans possess it. Or solipsism is correct.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#24 2013-11-08 21:00:58

Tom Kalbfus
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Posts: 4,401

Re: Newt Gingrich

Maybe we can't replicate the "I" in a machine, you know how this could be? Maybe all of us are already in a simulation and we don't know it, there are AI programs in charge of our minds, though in the simulation all our thinking appears to come from the brain, and if we study this brain closely, there are safeguards that prevent us from reproducing whatever goes on in a human brain no matter what we do, in this simulation, we will never produce an AI that bests us and we'll always need human labor. It would be nice if someone could expand the simulation so we have other worlds to explore besides this one, maybe a "magic door" we can step through that would give us an whole new "Earth" to explore, now that would be convenient, save us a lot of trouble in building spaceships and terraforming other planets, as they are all not real in anycase and neither are we, so it doesn't really matter.

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#25 2013-11-09 06:34:44

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
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Re: Newt Gingrich

Terraformer wrote:

The existence of an I. I can't define it any better than that, but it's kind of given that everyone knows what consciousness is, given that humans possess it. Or solipsism is correct.

Under what circumstances does an "I" exist?  Chatterbots have been using the pronoun to describe themselves since the 60s.  Many of these have passed the Turing test.   Who's to say they're not conscious? 

Most humans are conscious for most of their lives.   But it's not enough to say that, because when you start talking about AI there is no clear like between conscious and non-conscious.   I note that you prefer the term Artificial General Intelligence to Artificial Intelligence.   What's General Intelligence?   Do humans have it?

We have so many sociocultural biases that it's hard to even talk about consciousness, but a good starting point is admitting that we're made of matter and therefore fundamentally replicable.

I don't see why we wouldn't be able to simulate AI in a computer, even if we're already running on one as long as the laws of physics remain constant.


-Josh

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