Bumper news catch-up

Dear Futurists,

There’s lots of big news to share.

Indeed, there’s so much big news pending that I’m going to break it up into a number of separate newsletters over the next few weeks.

This time around, I’ll start with some of the most pressing topics.

1.) London Futurists Podcast: preannouncement

We all need as much help as possible as we seek to anticipate and manage the exponential disruptions that lie ahead.

Part of that help can come via the rich discussions at our London Futurists webinars, or (watch this space) in real-life gatherings. Some of that help can come via blogposts, videos, books, and newsletters.

But there’s also an important role that can be filled by short, engaging, curated audio podcast episodes.

That’s the need that Calum Chace and I seek to address with London Futurists Podcast.

Compared to the numerous other podcasts to which you might listen, Calum and I believe that we can provide a unique angle that combines:

  • A pragmatic grasp of how disruption and innovation actually operate (and often fail to operate)
  • An appreciation of the profound exponential potential of ongoing technological changes
  • An ability to cut through hype and technicalities to highlight the issues that most deserve attention.

We expect each episode to be around 30 minutes in length.

We’re still getting the podcast set up. We’ve recorded a number of scene-setting conversations between the two of us, and will shortly also release episodes that feature industry experts.

You should be able to find London Futurists Podcast episodes wherever you normally listen to podcasts – e.g. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts

Or if you’re relatively new to consuming podcasts, take a look at our online page here.

As I said, we’re still ramping up the process, and there may be a few glitches at first. Let us know!

The first two episodes are:

  1. Why this podcast?
  2. AI overview: 1. From the Greeks to the Big Bang

If you like what you hear, please subscribe, on your preferred podcast platform, and provide some online feedback.

2.) Two London Futurists webinars on one day: 24th September

After a break for the summer months, the London Futurists webinar programme restarts on Saturday 24th September with two separate sessions:

For more details of these two webinars, click on the pictures that follow.

The two events have separate registration pages and will be run as separate Zoom webinars.

3.) Reddit Futurology AMA on “The Singularity Principles”, 5th Sept

Moderators from the Futurology subreddit have kindly invited me to hold an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session from 9pm UK time today (Monday 5th September).

I’ll be ready to answer questions about my most recent book The Singularity Principles as well as any other topic that members of the subreddit send in my direction.

I plan to answer questions for up to two hours, depending on the level of audience interest. I’ll also be looking back from time to time over the next day or so, to respond to selected follow-up comments.

To take part, simply visit https://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/ at or shortly after 9pm UK time, and look for my AMA post which (I’m told) will be pinned close to the top of the discussion.

As the session runs, I’ll especially welcome any friendly support from members of London Futurists who are already familiar with the way Reddit works.

4.) Crypto Policy Symposium, 5th-6th Sept

One of the most fascinating areas of technology disruption is that of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and decentralised autonomous organisations.

As with many areas of technology disruption, discussion of this field is sometimes bedevilled by uncritical enthusiasm (and even hucksterism and fraud), and is sometimes also poisoned by sharp critical hostility.

My eye has been caught by a two-day online “crypto policy symposium” taking place later today (Monday) and tomorrow:

As you can see, there’s an extensive set of speakers and panellists.

You’ll be able to watch the sessions live on YouTube.

5.) The Centre for Research into AI and Mankind: Inaugural conference, 19th Oct

I’ve recently taken up a position as advisor to the newly formed CRAIM think tank. To quote from the CRAIM website:

We are the Centre for Research into AI and Mankind, an interdisciplinary think tank based in Harrow in London. Hugh Shields is the Founder and Chairman of the think tank. The think tank’s purpose is to research and determine ways of optimising human use of AI as we approach the singularity. Hugh is joined by a number of amazing fellows whose biographies are detailed on this website.

Please join us at our upcoming conference on 19th October in Edinburgh: AI and ESG for Corporates 2022.

This will be the pre-eminent conference in the UK on the interaction of artificial intelligence and environmental, social and governance matters. Intended for C-suite and other senior corporate decision-makers, the event is hosted by AI and sustainability expert Lord Shields of Chaol Ghleann. Headlined by Sir Dermot Turing, nephew of Alan Turing, you will also hear from a wealth of other world-class speakers.

You can read the agenda for the conference on this page. The event will address AI and ESG from multiple perspectives, with a particular focus on assisting leaders in corporations and NGOs to navigate what will be a rapidly changing landscape of possibilities and threats in the years ahead.

You can attend in Edinburgh itself, or virtually. Registration links are here.

For members of London Futurists, a discount of 30% is available at time of registration. When you make the booking and you’re on the payment page, there will be a discount field where you can write LONDONFUTURISTS30 and submit. This will automatically apply the 30% discount.

6.) Opportunity to write for The Yuan

Finally, here’s an invitation for all writers in the London Futurists community.

I’ve recently started writing some articles for The Yuan, a relatively new tech community platform focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, machine learning (ML) and related disciplines.

To quote from their website:

Our aim is to provide an open forum for global innovators, entrepreneurs and others in the AI world to exchange insights into this transformative technology. We are seeking talented AI professionals and social commentators to share their expertise and wisdom to inform our readership of investors, scientists, researchers, engineers, graduate students, policymakers, healthcare providers and patients, and the public at large, of developments in this novel arena that is poised to become central to every of field of human endeavour.

The Yuan is born from the conviction that AI must be harnessed to uplift humanity, not oppress it.

The concept of the Yuan’s LOGO derives from the Chinese character 圆(yuán), which means ‘round’ or ‘a circle,’ a shape the distance from whose centre is equal point to any point around it, thus signifying our desire to annihilate distance and bring together AI stakeholders from all around the world at one focal point. 圆 also means ‘come true,’ as in ‘a dream come true.’ In the spirit of both these senses, we are committed to realizing AI potential to transform people’s lives and fulfil the promise it holds to attain game-changing breakthroughs in such areas as e-commerce, sustainable agricultural, pandemic prediction, prevention and control, and amelioration of climate change and environmental degradation, among a myriad of other applications.

We hope you will join hands with us in a circle and help make an AI dream come true for all of us.

If you think you might like to write for The Yuan, more details are available at https://www.the-yuan.com/write-for-us.htm.

// David W. Wood
Chair, London Futurists

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