Ray Kurzweil has projected the date for a Technological Singularity as 2045. AI researcher Ben Goertzel believes it could potentially happen much sooner, if appropriate attention and resources are focused on the right R&D projects. What current technologies are most likely to lead to the rapid advent of powerful Artificial General Intelligence systems? What impact will the advent of such technologies have upon human life? What philosophical, scientific and spiritual ideas should be deployed to explore such questions? How probable are Terminator type outcomes, versus friendlier scenarios where advanced artificial intelligences play a beneficent role to humanity and other sentiences? What should be our top priorities now, looking forward to a radically different AI-centric future? This book gathers together essays that Ben Goertzel wrote during the period 2009-2011, for H+ Magazine and other periodicals, which explore these issues from various directions. Each essay is presented along with a brief personal introduction discussing the context in which the essay was written, and reviewing relevant developments from the period 2012-2014.
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Dr. Ben Goertzel is a long-time leading researcher in the field of Artificial General Intelligence, and has also been prominent in the futurist and transhumanist communities, writing and speaking frequently about the long-term implications of AGI technology. He currently resides in Hong Kong with his AI-researcher wife Ruiting Lian, serving as Chief Scientist of financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings and participating in the OpenCog AGI/robotics project at Hong Kong Poly U. Holding a PhD in mathematics, Dr. Goertzel has published over a dozen books and 100+ research papers on AI, longevity biology and other areas of science, and is the founder of the AGI conference series, and Vice Chairman of Humanity+.
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