"We have discussions about the future, in a non confrontational and awesome way. The singularity is coming! Let's all drink and gossip about what the future may be like!"
That's how David H. introduced the group back in Oct 2014. Since then, the potential Singularity (specifically the notion of a recursively self-improving Artificial Intelligence evolving past our comprehension) has possibly only grown closer. But more than just runaway AI impinges on our sense of the Possible supplanting the Familiar. Robotics, ubiquitous networking, gene editing, extra-terran colonization...all of these and more advances were once only explored in science fiction. Increasingly, they make it to the front pages of the news, and not always under the Science section. Proposed technologies can affect our jobs, our safety, our privacy, our potential for expression...even our self-notion of what passes for human.
So as of Fall 2017, we are re-launching Cider + Singularity 2.0 as a broad examination of the coming future. If this were a college course, it might be filed under "Philosophy of Future Technology." But our format has a few advantages over a campus offering: 1) drinking need not wait until after class; 2) free tuition; and 3) no tests!
The format will remain largely the same: discussions about the future, in a non-confrontational and (with your help) awesome way. We will focus, at least to start, on technologies or developments that have already have been proven plausible (i.e. no time travel...yet). Each month, we will pick a topic, consider both the Promise and the Peril it represents, and make a Prediction of how it will turn out. And, perhaps just as critically, we will meet to discuss it at a venue that serves cider, in keeping with our name.