London Futurists news, 8th May 2016

Dear Futurists,

Just a few pieces of news today, before I venture out into the Scottish mists (I’m spending a few days in and around Inverness):

1.) Today is the final day of early bird pricing for RAAD Fest

Today, 8th May, is the final day in which early bird pricing is available for the RAAD Festival – tagline “The revolution against aging and death starts with you”.

This is taking place in San Diego, southern California, August 4-7. At time of writing, people from 25 different countries have registered to attend. The speakers (pictured; click for a larger version) cover a wide range of different approaches to healthy life extension.

RAAD Fest speakers

If you give the promo code FUTURISTS when you register, you’ll gain an additional $80 off the cost of your ticket.

RAAD Futurists discount code.png

2.) Preview chapters from “The Abolition of Aging” now available

Continuing the theme of proactive use of technology change, lifestyle change, and more, in order to fend off and even roll back the bodily damage of aging: my own book on that subject is currently undergoing pre-publication reviews.

This is your chance to assist the overall rejuveneering project, by helping to improve the content of this book before it is distributed more widely.

To request preview copies of up to two chapters, please drop me an email, specifying which chapter(s) you’d like to receive. (Check the table of contents here and a discussion of the contents here.) Please allow 24-48 hours for a reply.

TAoA Cover page v9

For a flavour of the contents of the book, you can read its introductory material online: the foreword and an opening discussion.

I’m very interested to hear what people think of the material in the book. (More details of the review process are written here.)

3.) The Singularity Controversy, Saturday 14th May

Scarcely a day passes without new online articles about the potential forthcoming “Technological Singularity”. Some express deep fear. Others wish for that event to hasten more quickly. Yet others pour scorn on what they see as misplaced hype, conceptual mistakes, irresponsible fearmongering, and so on.

Someone who has looked long and hard at these controversies is Dr Amnon Eden. Amnon  is a computer scientist specializing in software design and architecture (PhD Tel Aviv), machine learning (MSc Cum Laude, Tel Aviv), and superintelligence. His professional work is concerned with the application of disruptive technologies and original thought to interdisciplinary questions in the theory and practice of software design and artificial intelligence.

AmnonProfileJaffa

Three years ago, Amnon was the lead editor of the volume of essays “The Singularity Hypotheses” – a book variously described by reviewers as:

  • “A significant advance in singularity scholarship”
  • “The best introduction I know to some profound debates about our future as a species”
  • “A remarkably thorough survey of contemporary expert thinking concerning the technological singularity”
  • “Riveting. This is one of the more balanced and insightful commentaries on the pragmatics and the possibilities of the continuing co-evolution of computing and humanity.”

London Futurists are very fortunate that Amnon will be returning to speak to us this Saturday, giving us the benefit of three additional years of research and reflection on this jungle of ideas. Topics to be covered will include:

  • Luddites, Philistines, and Starry-Eyed: The War over Killer Robots
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) vs. IA (Intelligence Augmentation)
  • “Technological Singularity”: A Definition, Sufficient and Necessary Conditions
  • Perennial Fallacies, Debunked and Re-debunked
  • Learning from the media storm.

For more details, and to RSVP to attend, click here.

4.) Maintaining London Futurists cash-neutral status

The price to attend London Futurists events at Birkbeck College has remained the same for three years. In that time period, Birkbeck have increased their room hire charges on an annual basis. Having checked the ingoing and outgoing cash, we’ve decided to set a new entry fee for our events from June onwards.

The entrance fee for such events will now be £7, if paid in advance via the PayPal interface on the meetup pages. (In case of any difficulty using this interface, please try a desktop or laptop version of your web browser. And note that you don’t actually need a PayPal account to use the interface: you can specify a credit card instead.)

For people who don’t pay in advance, the price on the door will be £10, assuming seats are still available.

Thanks for your understanding and support, which allows us to keep on organising these public events.

LF Logo Partners

5.) Videos of our last three events are now available

Don’t forget that videos of our previous events can all be accessed from the listing at https://londonfuturists.com/previous-meetings/. Video recordings for our last three events have been uploaded over the last ten days:

We’ll continue to experiment with improvements in the recording and editing!

// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists

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