[ExI] UKTA: Post Transcendent Man

estropico estropico at gmail.com
Sat Mar 19 13:11:13 UTC 2011

To drill down more deeply into the potentially radical implications of
Kurzweil’s ideas and projects, the UK chapter of
Humanity+<http://humanityplus.org/>has arranged an event in  Birkbeck
College <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps> (WC1E 7HX), Torrington Square in Central
London on the afternoon (2pm-4.15pm) of Saturday 9th April.  We’ll be in
Malet Street lecture room B34 – which seats a capacity audience of 177
people.  For more details about logistics, registration, and so on, see the
official event website<http://humanityplus.org.uk/2011/02/20/post-transcendent-man/>,
or the associated Facebook

The event is privileged to feature an outstanding set of speakers and
panellists who represent a range of viewpoints about the Singularity,
transhumanism, and human transcendence.  In alphabetical order by first

Dr Anders Sandberg<http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/our_staff/research/anders_sandberg>is
a James Martin research fellow at the Future
of Humanity Institute at Oxford University <http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/>. As a
part of the Oxford Martin School he is involved in interdisciplinary
research on cognitive enhancement, neurotechnology, global catastrophic
risks, emerging technologies and applied rationality. He has been writing
about and debating transhumanism, future studies, neuroethics and related
questions for a long time. He is also an associate of the Oxford Centre for
Neuroethics and the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, as well as
co-founder of the Swedish think tank Eudoxa <http://www.eudoxa.se/>.

Jaan Tallinn <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaan_Tallinn> is one of the
programmers behind Kazaa <http://www.kazaa.com/> and a founding engineer of
Skype <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#History>. He is also a
partner in Ambient
Sound Investments <http://www.asi.ee/> as well as a member of the Estonian
President’s Academic Advisory
He describes himself as singularitarian/hacker/investor/physicist (in that
order). In recent years Jaan has found himself closely following and
occasionally supporting the work that SIAI <http://singinst.org/> and
FHI<http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/>are doing. He agrees with Kurzweil in
that the topic of Singularity can be
extremely counterintuitive to general public, and has tried to address this
problem in a few public presentations at various

Nic Brisbourne <http://www.theequitykicker.com/about-2/> is a partner at
venture capital fund DFJ Esprit <http://www.dfjesprit.com/> and blogger on
technology and startup issues at The Equity
As such he’s interested in when technology and science projects become
products and businesses. He has a personal interest in Kurzweil’s ideas and
longevity in particular and he says he’s keen to cross the gap from personal
to professional and find exciting startups generating products in this area,
although he thinks that the bulk of the commercialisation opportunities are
still a year or two out.

Paul Graham Raven <http://paulgrahamraven.com/> is a writer, literary critic
and bootstrap big-picture futurist; he prods regularly at the fuzzy boundary
of the unevenly-distributed future at futurismic.com. He is Editor-in-Chief
and Publisher of The Dreaded Press <http://rock-metal-music-reviews.com/>, a
rock music reviews webzine, and Publicist and PR officer for PS
Publishing<http://news.pspublishing.co.uk/>– perhaps the UK’s foremost
boutique genre publisher. He says he’s also a
freelance web-dev to the publishing industry, a cack-handed fuzz-rock
guitarist, and in need of a proper haircut.

Russell Buckley<http://www.droidcon.co.uk/News/Why-we-are-excited-about-Russell-Buckley>is
a leading practitioner, speaker and thinker about mobile and mobile
marketing. MobHappy <http://mobhappy.com/>, his blog about mobile
technology, is one of the most established focusing on this area. He is also
a previous Global Chairman of the Mobile Marketing
a founder of Mobile Monday in Germany <http://www.mobile-monday.de/> and
holds numerous non-executive positions in mobile technology companies.
Russell learned about mobile advertising startup,
soon after its launch, and joined as its first employee in 2006, with the
remit of launching AdMob into the EMEA market. Four years later, AdMob was
sold to Google for
By night though, Russell is fascinated by the socio-political implications
of technology and recently graduated from the Executive Program at the
Singularity University<http://singularityu.org/programs/executive-programs/>,
founded by Ray Kurtzweil and Peter Diamandis to “educate and inspire leaders
who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially
advancing technologies in order to address humanity’s grand challenges”.

*The discussion continues*

The event will start, at 2pm, with the panellists introducing themselves,
and their core thinking about the topics under discussion.  As chair, I’ll
ask a few questions, and then we’ll open up for questions and comments from
the audience.  I’ll be particularly interested to explore:

   - How people see the ideas of accelerating technology making a difference
   in their own lives – both personally or professionally.  Three of us on the
   stage were on founding teams of companies that made sizeable waves in the
   technology world (Jaan Tallinn, Skype; Russell Buckley, AdMob; myself,
   Symbian).  Where do we see rapidly evolving technology (as often covered by
   Kurzweil) taking us next?
   - People’s own experiences with bodies such as the Singularity
   the Singularity Institute <http://singinst.org/>, and the Future of
   Humanity Institute at Oxford University <http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/>.  Are
   these bodies just talking shops?  Are they grounded in reality?  Are they
   making a substantial positive difference in how humanity responds to the
   issues and challenges of technology?
   - Views as to the best way to communicate ideas like the Singularity –
   favourite films, science fiction, music, and other media.  How does the move
   “Transcendent Man” compare?
   - Reservations and worries (if any) about the Singularity movement and
   the ways in which Kurzweil expresses his ideas.  Are the parallels with
   apocalyptic religions too close for comfort?
   - Individual’s hopes and aspirations for the future of technology.  What
   role do they personally envision playing in the years ahead?  And what
   timescales do they see as credible?
   - Calls to action – what (if anything) should members of the audience
   change about their lives, in the light of analysing technology trends?

*Request for help*

If you think this is an important event, I’ve got a couple of suggestions
for you:

   - When you register to attend<http://posttranscendentman.eventbrite.com/>,
   register as an “Event supporters” (cost £10), to help to cover the costs of
   room hire and other event organisation
   - Help to publicise this event, by linking to the event
   this blogpost <http://wp.me/pBygI-s2>, or the event Facebook
page<http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=154918001229384>– and by
using the Twitter hashtag
   #hplusuk <http://twitter.com/#%21/saved-search/%23hplusuk>.
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