Ramez Naam

Ramez Naam

  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    Every cell (A) eventually dies, therefore the nanotech anchored to it will lose its mooring. What happens then? What assurance do you have that a foreign particle, whether bio- or nano-, is not going to get eventually swept up and...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    I think in the short to medium term it's going to be very likely that prices will stay high. The limiting factor is Baumol's cost disease, already a major cause of spiralling healthcare costs. Simply put, human services are hard...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    Dave, It's an honor to have you here. I'm always delighted to learn more about the reality of what's going on. I spend as much time with the folks at the Allen Brain Institute as I can (I'm here in...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    And what in the blue hell makes you think implantology maps at all to the development history of consumer electronics or software? Oh yeah, right, because you're a transhumanist! You typed this comment (I presume you typed) on an electronic...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    I feel like that level of hardware would result in a similar problem that the human genome project faced: an ocean of data and a puddle of knowledge. I've actually made a very similar statement about the Human Brain Project...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    1) 2) and 3) above require the things Ramez is talking about: more bandwidth, better precision, etc. Iterative technological advances which require really clever people doing really clever things, but seem likely to occur sooner or later. 4) [hacking internal...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    What happens when the inferiority of a group stops being ideology generated by the mis-measure of man, and starts being an objective fact. That people in group A have access to a prosthetic motor cortex that makes them stronger, faster,...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    Re: Using optogenetics as an approach in humans. I think that's certainly one possible path. There's likely to be a very strong resistance among parents to genetically engineer the brains of their children in such a fairly radical way, though....
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    I agree on pretty much all fronts. We need a breakthrough in the hardware to make progress here. I suspect we're going to get interfaces that are a half-step between the current implanted probes and the self-assembling oral route of...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    The motivation in every part of the brain is medical. And there are so many people with brain deficits of various types, that there's motivation to work on nearly every aspect of brain function. For example, even though we have...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    Yes, I mean the American Trillion: 10^12. I do think governments will be tempted to use this for control purposes. Though it's much cheaper to point a gun at someone. The most worrisome situations for me in governmental control are...
  • Commented on The Ultimate Tech Frontier: Your Brain
    The big bottleneck in understanding how the brain encodes function - whether that's sound or vision perception, motion control, or memory - has been the ability to get neuron-level data out of the brain. Time and again, when we've done...
  • Commented on Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?
    Ramez,thank you for citing David Brin. Even though it was written 15 tears ago, Brin's "The Transparent Society" remains, if anything, more relevant today Indeed! The Transparent Society by David Brin is a wonderful and important book which anyone interested...
  • Commented on Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?
    The problem I have with such a mass surveillance state is not the invasion of privacy per se, but merely the sheer inefficiency of the thing. The head of the NSA now admits that their electronic dragnet has not nabbed...
  • Commented on Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?
    The second, bigger problem is false positives. It's something that was pounded into my head during multivariates stats class: if you start looking for correlation patterns in a data set and do it often enough, you will find patterns. However,...
  • Commented on Can We Avoid a Surveillance State Dystopia?
    Off-topic AFAIK neither Nexus nor Crux are available in dead tree in the UK? Pity, if so. They are available in paper in the UK, actually! Nexus: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nexus-Angry-Robot-Ramez-Naam/dp/0857662929/ref=tmm_pap_title_1 Crux: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crux-Angry-Robot-Ramez-Naam/dp/0857662953...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Can we merge minds and machines? Kind of a funny question. We already HAVE. It began with the telegraph, and the ability to communicate essentially instantly with other minds that were at a significant distance from our own. Indeed,...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Also, something that's been bugging me since I finished reading Nexus: was the character of Su-Yong Shu inspired in any way by Magneto? I don't want to give too much away for readers who haven't read the books. But...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    To get some mucky biology into the technology, if you think the anbiotic age is about to end, doesn't that mean that the feedback loop is going to get even slower? Certainly the chance that any persistent implant might develop...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Hmmm, I'm sitting here in the middle of my external shared brain 1.0 (my book collection), staring at my external shared mind 2.0 (my computer, hooked to the internet, hooked to your eyeballs), and wondering why people keep insisting...
  • Commented on Why AIs Won't Ascend in the Blink of an Eye - Some Math
    Technical quibble: the 'traveling salesman' problem is only SUSPECTED to take exponential time; we don't know for sure. Thanks, that is in fact correct. And it's possible that we'll see some breakthrough. For now, so far as I know, the...
  • Commented on Why AIs Won't Ascend in the Blink of an Eye - Some Math
    And the "Stalling" models suggest that we might reach hard limits quickly--which puts me in mind of the "Slow Zones" of Vinge's work. Well, to be clear, these are the improvements the AI can make to itself without outside help....
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Where are you getting that 70% -- is it from dividing by sqrt(2)? I think you should be multiplying instead. If the AI is twice as smart as the team that created it, it should be able to produce AIs...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    To expand on post (9), your maths on the hard takeoff scenario is wrong. You assume a deisign team of intelligence X can develop an AI of intelligence 2X. Hence you've stated that the AI is more intelligent that...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Oren writes: When you can create a building full of scientists simply by hitting CTRL+C, CTRL+V a million times and buying compute units from Amazon/Google, yes, you can almost instantaneously outperform the team that built you. I wonder if this...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Robin Hanson says: You give a lot of detail about your reasoning, but then your conclusion is the very vague "quite a long time to come." Is that a decade, century, millennium, or what? I believe a FOOM is unlikely...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Chris Borthwick asks: "How would one distinguish "Has a sense of self" from "Says it has a sense of self"?" There are many many systems out there that pretend to be smarter than they are. Eliza, one of the first...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Humots asks about the math of speedups, and whether it's additive or multiplicative. It's multiplicative. So, in general, Moore's Law predicts that we'll see the following speedups, from now: In 10 years, 100x In 20 years, 10,000x In 30 years,...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    William Stoddard reflects that the uploaded procedure is a kind of reproduction rather than continuity. Indeed. Yet the uploaded version will very much think of itself as you. Just as a future you, who no longer shares any atoms with...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    Hans Rinderknecht asks what I mean by sentient, and very helpfully offers a framework. It's an excellent question. What I mean is something along these lines: An entity that.. 1) Has a flexible general-purpose intelligence. 2) Has an awareness of...
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