[Exi-la] FW: [LA Futurists] This Friday: Peter Voss on AI, Dr. Yosef Bar-Cohen on Bio-Inspired Robotics

Peter Voss peter at optimal.org
Tue Jul 6 15:53:12 UTC 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: John Smart [mailto:johnsmart at accelerating.org]
Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 9:40 AM
To: LAFuturists at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [LA Futurists] Next Friday: Peter Voss on AI, Dr. Yosef Bar-Cohen
on Bio-Inspired Robotics

Hello Futurists,

We have a wonderful pair of passionate future-thinkers speaking next
month. I really hope you can make it!

Accelerating Change 2004 is shaping up nicely. Come join us Sept. 10-
12 at Stanford University. We've recently added Chris Anderson,
Editor-in-Chief of Wired, and Jaron Lanier, Founder of VPL to the 36
speaker lineup. Visit: http://accelerating.org/ac2004/index.html to
sign up, spaces are limited!

LA Futurists July Salon
July 9th, 3rd Floor: Chair Circle, 7:00-9:30pm
(Come on time if you don't want floor seats!)
Beautiful Barnes and Noble, Santa Monica Promenade (3rd and
Wilshire). Parking on 4th, S. of Wilshire (Structure 1), $3 after 6pm

New member intros, catchup, and article sharing about our
accelerating world.(7:00pm)

Speaker 1: Peter Voss, Adaptive Artificial Intelligence, Inc. (7:30-
"a2i2 and the Direct Path to AGI – A Progress Report."
Our Featured Book: Understanding Artificial Intelligence, Scientific
American (ed.), Rodney Brooks (fwd), 2002

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is a very special field of
inquiry in computer science that has historically attracted only a
small number of hard-working researchers and theoreticians to date.
Yet its potential payoffs for humanity are enormous. What exactly is
AGI? Why is it desirable? Is it achievable? If so, how soon can we
reasonably expect it?

This fascinating talk will overview the essentials of AGI, exploring
crucial issues and assumptions, and consider the feasability
of "direct" vs. incremental and indirect paths. It will also explore
the history of the ongoing Marina Del Rey-based a2i2 project, an AGI
research and development effort that has involved a team of
developers since 2001. What has been accomplished to date? What are
a2i2's future plans? For further reading, Peter
recommends "Essentials of General Intelligence: The direct path to
AGI" (http://adaptiveai.com/research/)

Peter Voss is an entrepreneur with a background in electronics,
computer systems, software, and management. He has a keen interest
in cognitive science and the inter-relationship between philosophy,
psychology, ethics and computer science. For the past few years he
has been researching artificial general intelligence, and recently
started Adaptive A.I. Inc. (a2i2), with the goal of developing a
highly adaptive, general-purpose AI engine. He is actively involved
in futurism, free-market ideas, and extreme life-extension. Come
join us for what will certainly be an enlightening look into the
opportunities and challenges of theoretical and applied general A.I.
activities here in 2004.

Speaker 2: Yoseph Bar-Cohen, Ph.D., Jet Propulsion Laboratory (8:30-
"Biologically-Inspired Intelligent Robots"
Our Featured Book (available for booksigning): Biologically-Inspired
Intelligent Robots, Yoseph Bar-Cohen (Editor), Cynthia Breazeal,
2003 http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?

Throughout history, humans have always sought to mimic the
appearance, mobility, functionality, intelligent operation, as well
as the decision-making and thinking process of biological creatures.
Recent progress in the field of biologically inspired technologies
led to the development of systems that exhibit realistic appearance
and behavior. Robots, which verbally and facially express emotions
as well as respond emotionally to such expressions, are now being
developed with enormous capability and sophistication. Imagine a
person walking towards you and suddenly you notice something weird
about him - he is not human but rather a robot driven by artificial
muscles. Your reaction would probably be "I can't believe it but
this robot looks very much real", just as you would react to an
artificial flower that is a good imitation. You may even proceed and
touch the robot to check if your assessment is correct but to your
astonishment, as oppose to the case of artificial flowers, the robot
may be programmed to respond verbally and/or physically to your
touch. This science fiction scenario may become a reality as the
current trend continues and robots that appear and behave as human
or animals will appear increasingly realistic. This capability is
becoming feasible as advances are being made in such related
technologies as artificial intelligence, muscles, vision and others.
In this presentation, the state of the art will be reviewed with
emphasis on the emerging technology of artificial muscles, which is
a key to enabling the development of such robots.

Dr. Yoseph Bar-Cohen (home page: http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov/nasa-
nde/yosi/yosi.htm) is a physicist specializing in electroactive
materials and mechanism as well as ultrasonics. He is a Senior
Research Scientist, and Group Leader at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
(JPL) responsible for the NDE and Advanced Actuators (NDEAA) Lab
(http://ndeaa.jpl.nasa.gov/). He is a Fellow of two technical
societies: SPIE and ASNT. Dr. Bar-Cohen received his Ph. D. in
physics (1979) from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. He has
authored or coauthored over 250 publications, and some of his
notable discoveries include the leaky Lamb waves (LLW) and polar
backscattering (PBS) phenomena in composite materials. He is the
initiator of the SPIE Conf. on Electroactive Polymers (EAP),
chairing it since 1999. For his contributions to the field of EAP,
Business Week named him in April 2003 as one of five technology
gurus who are "Pushing Tech's Boundaries." He is a recipient of the
2001 NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal and SPIE's NDE
Lifetime Achievement Award. Come hear about the history and future
of biomimetic robots from one of the leading innovators in this
rapidly changing arena.

As is customary, dinner afterward at a local restaurant for those
socially and culinarily inclined. See you soon!

[Note: LA Futurists is a future-oriented Events & News list, not a
discussion list. An average of one post per month per member is
requested. Set "Edit My Membership"
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LAFuturists/) to "Special Notices" if
you want monthly salon reminders only.]

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