Welcome, you got yourself a step closer to the singularity…

We love to discuss ideas, have fun, drink beer (and other beverages). The future and the ever faster pace of change are what we talk about.

Come join us, organize meetings, discuss!

oneoverzero 20.0 – improbable singularity? discussion ensues

August 16, 2012

It turns out this meeting is not going to happen at this time. Stay tuned for the next instalment of the oneoverzero meetings.

Nothing like great weather, beer and a futurist telling us that the singularity is improbable to guarantee a great discussion night at Hennessy’s Irish Pub in Cais do Sodré, Lisboa. Everybody is welcome. And who nows what will come out of it…

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oneoverzero 19.0 – it’s getting hard to think up witty titles, isn’t it?

July 11, 2012
Jul ’12
18
18:00

The One Over Zero crowd will gather once more in a brain storm of thoughts, ideas, and unstoppable creativity. Our most recent collaborative project is moving forward at a steady pace, but it’s never too late to jump in on the fun and lend
a helping … brain :-)

Join us, and come find out what lies beyond the Tipping Point!

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oneoverzero 18.0 – the story that never was

June 15, 2012
Jun ’12
20
18:00

The classified project is going ahead at full steam. If you want to know what it is and be a part of it, show up on June 20th from 18h00 onwards at Hennessy’s Irish Pub at Cais do Sodré in Lisbon. It’s better if you bring your laptop/tablet/paper and pen, creativity, and hunger and thirst. All will be put to good use. We might (as we always do) be distracted by shiny new ideas not related to the project, but that’s just how it works.

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oneoverzero 17.0 – the tipsy point

May 21, 2012
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May ’12
28
18:30

It’s been too long since we’ve rallied the troops.

Next monday, May the 28th, there will be another meeting of the oneoverzero minds. We will work on our seekrit projekt, so come armed with inspiration, creativity and/or a laptop (or analog note-taking device) and be ready for some breeze shooting and some beers.

The hangout will be the same as per usual, good ol’ Hennessy’s. Expect to start finding the lobsters there from around 18h30 or so.

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Will Corporations Prevent the Singularity?

March 27, 2012
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Ben thinks about the technological singularity quite a lot and on one of his recent* posts, “Will Corporations Prevent the Singularity?” he brings up the point of the pushback corporations will most likely exert against it.

I happen to believe this will be a mute point in the end because the Singularity, by it’s very nature, will be a rather unstoppable event and so, by the time we get there, the corporations that can will adapt and those that can’t will simply perish. Which is really just “business as usual” mostly (pun intended).

But you still should go and read his article, as it brings up some good issues to consider.

 

* “recent” for a given value of the word, we’ve been busy. :-)

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A Singularity by any other name

March 15, 2012
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In this video, Jürgen Schmidhuber talks about an event he calls Omega, which should be very familiar to anyone who knows about the Singularity concept.

He talks about artificial brains and intelligence, about creativity, about humour. About the major human developments throughout history and about his current work and breakthroughs in AI.

And he does so in a charming, funny and accessible way. These are 13 minutes you’ll be glad you spent watching the talk.

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On the human body’s inadequacies

March 5, 2012

One aspect that is often associated with the coming of the Singularity is that it will enable us to live forever (or at least for as long as we want to). This may or may not be desirable, but setting aside the discussion about whether we will want to live forever or even if we can cope with such a thing, at least the notion of substantially extending our current lifespan is very appealing to most people right now.

In fact, and regardless of the Singularity, for quite some time now we’ve been studying the ageing process in animals, with an especially keen eye towards the human species, in the hopes of being able to substantially delay said process or even to revert it and make it possible to rejuvenesce an ageing body into a younger, healthier one.

As it turns out, our bodies appear to have a definite expiry date after which, no matter how sound our mind is, they’ll simply shut down, independently of our efforts to keep them healthy. Assuming the following article accurately reflects the state-of-the-art of our knowledge about human ageing, trying to keep this body around for much more than a century is a losing proposition.

In  ”Your Body Wasn’t Built To Last: A Lesson From Human Mortality Rates” the author explains how

By looking at theories of human mortality that are clearly wrong, we can deduce that our fast-rising mortality is not the result of a dangerous environment, but of a body that has a built-in expiration date.

Now, even if we can’t live forever in our own bodies, we’ll still be inside them for quite some time, as the expected life span of the average human being increases (whether or not we do hit a biological limit). So what can we do to be better able to cope, then?

Well, some people are thinking about ways to enhance the human body, in order to make it more adapted to our living conditions here on earth. This could be taken to the natural conclusion in the form of a process of gradually replacing body parts that become defective. This process may have it’s appeal for some but it is also a controversial issue with it’s fair share of hot buttons (“When do I stop being a person and become a machine?”, “Am I less of a person as a Cyborg?”, “Am I the same person I was when I began the process?”, “And if not, when did I become a different person?” and so on and so forth…)

Others are working on ways to preserve and even enhance our brain’s abilities but only at a very small, personal level (no big society-scale jump here).

Personally I don’t put much stock in the possibility of making our current frail shells last forever, preferring to bank on another staple of the Singularity concept, which is the idea that after it comes to pass, we’ll very soon be able to codify our minds (which is not the same as our brains exactly, but does include them) in such a way that will allow us tu upload them to a different container, be it a computer, a computer network (living in the clouds, anyone?) or a new, physical, engineered body. And some container that will be, can you imagine our ability to design such things by then?

Now the fun part comes when we try to ponder such a possibility under the light of our current moral standards. If the concept of incremental body enhancements through technology is a controversial one, what can be said about the concept of living as a bodiless entity, or about the concept of “self” when your mind can be uploaded and, thus, *gasp* copied!

Fun stuff indeed.

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Starting from the outside, with Robot Legs

February 28, 2012

Big post over at the Singularity Hub, about Ekso Bionics‘ robot legs.

Technically I don’t think there’s all that much to the robot legs themselves. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a very well devised and beautifully implemented piece of engineering, it’s just that in the recent past we’ve seen things that show us how much more advanced we are in this field, from military full-exoskeletons for reducing the load on field-personnel, to things like Petman.

Much more relevant than the product itself, is the fact that all of the necessary bureaucratic hurdles have been successfully surpassed for a product like this to come to the market. This is possibly a giant leap in terms of trusting technology to help us in a very physical, personal way. It is an external device, yes, but the principle of body augmentation is already clearly perceptible in it and it gets us just that little bit more comfortable with this kind of non-biological systems, so that when brain augmentation (as of yet in the far distant horizon) gets here we won’t have such a strong and immediate sense of rejection about it.

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Robotic Drivers legally allowed to drive in Nevada

February 24, 2012

Starting March 1, robotic drivers will be legally allowed to drive around in Nevada, USA with a special “test” driver’s license.

The plan is that companies wishing to test-drive their autonomous cars will have to file a detailed plan about what exactly they are testing, but once accepted, they may openly and lawfully set their machines lose on the streets of Nevada.

We all knew this was coming, but this was a surprisingly fast turn of events.

Have I said how I, for one, welcome our future robotic overlords?

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