London Futurists news, 13th July 2016

Dear Futurists,

This is a mini-newsletter, with a few late-breaking news items that just missed being included in the previous newsletter 🙂

1.) Collaboration with Singularity University UK – Thurs 14th July

Exponential technologies. Grand challenges. Entrepreneurial innovation. Social impact. Singularity University. And Newcastle University Business School.

All these themes feature in a meetup happening this Thursday evening (14th July), at the London Campus of Newcastle University, not far from Liverpool St station.

This event is organised by the Singularity University (SU) UK alumni meetup – which is also open to people who would like to find out more about the work of the SU. The stated mission of Singularity University is:

To educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.

Here’s the agenda for the event:

  • 6.00pm – Doors open. Informal networking
  • 6.15pm – Chair’s opening remarks, introducing the Singularity University and Grand Challenges
  • 6.30pm – Jonathan Sapsed, Chair of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Newcastle University Business School
  • 7.00pm – Imad Yassin, SU, Chairman of Idris Foundation and global Ambassador for the global online sustainability movement, World Leaders Forum: Social impact investing
  • 7.30pm – Anish Mohammed, SU, crytography consultant: The impact of blockchain
  • 8.00pm – David Wood, SU collaborator: Using disruptive tech in healthcare and the longevity dividend
  • 8.15pm – General Q&A
  • 8.30pm – End of formal part of the evening. Retire to a local hostelry, and have fun drinking and talking about exponential technologies.

As a long-time collaborator of Singularity University, it will be my pleasure to chair this event.

At time of writing, there are still a few tickets available (free of charge). To find out more, click here.

SU Grand Challenges

2.) The Future and All That Jazz – 15th & 17th Aug – Request for volunteers

From collaboration with Singularity University (and Newcastle University) to collaboration with… the University of Alberta, Canada.

London Futurists is very pleased to be able to support part of a a world tour of a show called “The Future and All That Jazz”. This show is an offshoot of the Technology and Future of Medicine Course taught at the University of Alberta, Canada. It features music, improv, poetry and modern sound bytes as a backdrop to discussions and lectures about emerging technologies in AI and medicine. Here’s part of the description of the show:

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steven Hawking, and Nick Bostrom have warned recently that sentient machines of the future represent the greatest existential threat faced by humanity. Their opinions have been used to promote the idea that permanent enslavement of sentient artificial intelligence is the way to save the human race from extinction.  University of Alberta computing science expert Rich Sutton has posed the common sense counterargument that since smarter than human machines will inevitably outwit us, planning to enslave them ensures that they will want to annihilate us, and they will almost certainly succeed in that aim.  Sutton argues for cooperation, diversity and inclusiveness, eventually treating sentient machines as equals and including them in our circles of empathy.

Humans and sentient machines can coevolve, each helping the other, and the future could be very bright. This central message is too important to be left to lectures alone to convey, since the survival of the human race is at stake.  The people we are trying to reach are unlikely to listen to a lecture about this. The sound bytes of poetry and music are needed to reach them.  Young presenters and presentations geared to young audiences are also an important element in delivering the message, since young people have the greatest stake in this issue, in our survival as a species.

Ahead of publishing more details of this show, London Futurists is asking its membership for people interested in volunteering to assist with tasks such as publicity, registration, box office, videography, and general running around. If you’d like to find out more details, please get in touch.

Your involvement is something you could choose to highlight in your CV in the future 🙂

(And, it’s something that might stand you in good stead with our future robot AI overlords…)

To find out more about the multi-talented performers at this show – including Kim SolezRich SuttonAyesha HerianRoylin Picou, and Mallory Chipman, see this event page.

3.) More speakers announced for 3D printing event, Wed 20th July

In addition to the details already communicated for the DSMLF event on 3D Printing and Manufacturing, happening on the morning of Wed 20th July with support from London Futurists, the following organisations have been announced as taking part in the event:

  • BeeHex – a startup which uses clean robot 3D printers to make pizza in under 4 minutes that would otherwise take a human 9 minutes
  • Makerhub – which provides educational courses and other services for people interested in 3D printing and manufacturing.

If you want to snap up one of the small number of complimentary tickets that still remain for this event, don’t forget you need to register via this EventBrite site.

4.) Venue for “Our geopolitical futures” this Saturday

UK politics is changing fast these days!

Related in a way, the room in Birkbeck College for our event this Saturday afternoon, “Our geopolitical futures, with Alun Rhydderch”,  is probably going to have to change too.

It will be another room inside the main Birkbeck Building, but I don’t yet know which one. Birkbeck are juggling a bunch of different requirements, and they’ve asked me to be flexible. Since they’ve been flexible with my changing requirements in the past, I’ve said I’m open to their suggestions.

So, in conclusion, please check the meetup page for the event, later this week, to find out exactly which room we’ll be in! (It will probably be 532, on the 5th floor, and not the basement room B18 previously communicated.)

5.) Audio chapters from “The Abolition of Aging”

I have a new-found admiration for the people who narrate and edit audio books!

I say this having recorded, and edited, over the last few days, myself reading several chapters from my book The Abolition of Aging. It’s been a lot of hard work…

At time of writing, I’ve uploaded to the book website a copy of Chapter 1, “A shocking possibility”, and uploads of several other chapters are pending. For the time being, all these chapters will be freely available. (There will be links from one chapter to another, to help you find your way around.)

If you listen, hopefully you’ll find it interesting, and you won’t mind too much my lack of narrating professionalism.

If you do like the content, please consider writing a book review on Amazon. Thanks in anticipation!


// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists



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