1.) 51st Anniversary Conference, Cybernetics Society
There is no London Futurists event tomorrow, Saturday 21st Sept, but an event is taking place at Kings College in the Strand, London, which will be of interest to a number of you.
It’s the 51st Anniversary Conference of the Cybernetics Society, and it features seven speakers covering different aspects of cybernetics. In case you’re unsure of the meaning of that term, the Society’s website gives this definition:
The science of control, computation, and communications in animals, machines, and organised systems.
You’ll find details of the talks and the speakers online. If you’re thinking of attending, please note the following:
Cybernetics Society members, staff, students and alumni of King’s College are admitted free of charge. Non-members may apply to join at the conference. The membership fee for the three months to the end of the year is £5. The student membership fee for the three months is £2.50. Application forms will be made available on the day. If you are considering attending please email so that we can estimate numbers.
2.) What are the Real Risks of Super A.I?
The talk I’ll be giving at tomorrow’s event (see previous news item), “Anticipating New Waves of Disruption in the Field of Artificial Intelligence”, is a 50 minute adaptation of a longer talk that I give from time to time on “What are the Real Risks of Super A.I.”.
Here’s a short video preview of that talk:
Apologies in advance for the Terminator picture which Funzing, the event hosts, have decided to put on their pages for these events. It’s not my first choice! But at least it leads into a discussion of how to identify the real risks of Super A.I., as compared to Hollywood stereotypes.
3.) To see the future, you have to change your thinking
That leads to the broader question of how to free our minds from unhelpful stereotype thinking about the future. Given the dangers of sleepwalking into a future we didn’t properly foresee, this is a very important question.
The speaker at the London Futurists event on Sat 12th Oct, Bryce Hoffman, has some very valuable insights on that key question.
To find out more about Bryce and the topics he’ll be covering on 12th Oct, click this link.
4.) Video recording of “The future of improving human performance”
In case you missed our event on Sat 7th Sept, when Nick Powell led us through a wide discussion of the future of improving human performance, you can catch up by watching this video recording:
Many thanks to Kiran Manam for operating the camera. Thanks also to all the audience members who asked great questions and contributed to the conversation. Special thanks to Nick Powell for sharing so much knowledge with us!
5.) The Abolition of Aging by 2040 – event in Manchester
If the kind of improvement in human performance that most interests you is the radical concept of the abolition of aging – and if you will be in or near Manchester on Wednesday next week (25th Sept) – then let me draw your attention to another Funzing event that I’ll be giving. Here’s a short video preview:
Click this link for more information, and to register to attend.
6.) Bigger than Bitcoin?
Jamie Bartlett, friend of London Futurists, has been working on a story that is by turns fascinating and disturbing. It features in a new BBC Sounds programme “The Missing Cryptoqueen”.
Here’s the description of the series (which will run to eight episodes) from the BBC Sounds website:
Release Date: 17 Sep 2019. Available for over a year
In 2014, a businesswoman called Dr Ruja Ignatova launched a new cryptocurrency that promised to change money forever. OneCoin, she said, was similar to Bitcoin, only bigger, better and easier to use. Within two years, over 3 million people had joined the OneCoin revolution, and Dr Ruja became rich and famous. But then she suddenly disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.
For the last six months, writer and journalist Jamie Bartlett has been on the hunt to find The Missing Cryptoqueen. What he uncovers is a lot more than a missing woman. It’s a story of greed, deceit and herd madness that takes him all over the world – and gets far weirder than he thought possible.
New episodes every Thursday morning, starting 19th September
For anyone who can’t get BBC sounds for whatever reason, the podcast is also here on iTunes.
The story is a reminder – in case we needed it – that the route to the future depends very heavily on understanding human factors as well as on technological possibilities.
With best wishes
// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists