“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.”—Alan Turing
We will discuss the technological singularity, roughly defined as the point in technological advance beyond which things become very hard to predict - the point at which our world changes dramatically. Many people who think about the topic believe there's a decent chance it will happen within many of our lifetimes. My own interest in the topic centers on the route to friendly artificial general intelligence, AGI, but others will certainly bring expertise and knowledge on other possible routes to singularity, including human cognitive enhancement, and more general technological improvement. My primary goal is to exchange ideas in a pleasant and friendly way; we won't agree on many things, and we probably won't all be able to get adequate airtime or discussion time for our favorite ideas right away. But we're going to do what we can while smiling, and that should keep the group going long enough that we CAN all be fully heard!
We'll have some social time at the start of the group, followed by a brief (about 20 min or less) talk by one of who's prepared in advance. That will be followed by discussion, which will be moderated by a rotating cast of characters chosen by popular vote or pirate mutiny.
Beer will be awarded for good behavior and valuable contributions, while the argumentative shall be forbidden to consume alcohol. Unless they don't ordinarily drink, in which case they'll be politely forced to have some in hopes that it calms them down and smoothes them out.
Seriously, let's get some nice, smart minds together and share some interesting ideas!