The computational paradigm has several facets including network, social, artificial, biological, and spiritual. How it arises, and where it is leading to, are popular topics. In some futures, the grand elements of identity include better personalization and representation amid the complexity, so the group dynamics that approach or avoid these can be studied.
Recent Links (about twenty links): AI: IBM Watson, semantics: News patterns, science: Sun music, metrics, art: Sci-fi urban illustration, history: Turing archive, digital libraries: SpringerLink, telecom: Iridium satellite, dark pulses, search: Google commerce, user interface: GoogleCL, entertainment: Rdio, OnLive games.
Science & technology in China: a roadmap to 2050 : strategic general report of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, edited by Yongxiang Lu and others, 2010
The Chinese Academy of Sciences reports how the country is modernizing science and technology and social changes for a developed world expected to triple in population and economic size over the next five decades. Revolutions in S&T require changing from imitation to innovation, independence, and institutions. Breakthroughs are expected in information science that will outpace technology. Computational thinking combines man-cyber-physical in a ternary universe. The plan is to absorb global innovations and intellectual resources. The format is like a brochure that defines structure, characteristics, steps and research support.The text is supported by data formatted in tables, charts, and highlighted boxes which detail characteristic indicators. There are five chapters by a committee of five writers and forty reviewers representing over three-hundred members. It is written at the level of principles and categories rather than specifics like the design of a new plane, and compares the rate of modernization of twenty-four countries. The major topics are economics, emerging areas, security, basic science, sustainability, and strategic efforts. This will be followed up by actual research, publications, workshops, peer review and priorities. It refers to relevant past plans, the immediately previous of which lasted for four years. It adds integration between demonstration and application, e.g. the topic of social computing and how it goes from electronic to ubiquitous. By 2050, China sees itself as an open society, advanced in culture, ethics, politics, materials, and conservation. Eight basic and strategic systems for economic development include energy, materials and manufacturing, networking, agriculture and biology, health, ecological and environmental, space and ocean, and security. Three emerging cross-disciplinary areas are nanotech, space, and complex systems. Security recognizes open-source intelligence and has two areas, space situational awareness, and social computing and parallel management systems. Four basic science areas are dark matter and energy, controlling structure of matter, synthetic biology, and photosynthesis. Seven sustainability efforts are comprised by 4k meter transparence underground to see ore deposits, renewable energy, deep geothermal, nuclear, marine, stem cells and regenerative medicine, and early diagnosis and intervention of chronic diseases. Six strategic efforts are post-IP networking, green manufacturing, process engineering, ubiquitous sensing, exa supercomputing, and molecular design. The primary milestones are shown for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050.
Technical literacy and individual and social decision-making are among challenges that philosophy attempts to address. It is useful to get a high-level summary. This book includes many technology-related issues in a single volume. There are ninety-eight chapters by about seventy-nine contributors under the seven themes of history, science, philosophy, environment, politics, ethics, and the future. The authors are Western, i.e. European and American, though there are discussions of Eastern references. The chapters are like the intros to books on each separate topic. The notion of convergence appears in the Future section, written by Bainbridge, who is one of the writers having multiple entries. There would probably be value in further integration, perhaps through discussions among various subsets. This might or might not improve prediction market accuracy depending upon how participants actually influenced eachother. This text compares well to previous philosophy books which were more in-depth and are likely included in the reading lists. It presents questions, terminology and some handy visualizations, and would be a good place to begin.
New Computational Paradigms: Changing Conceptions of What is Computable, edited by Cooper and others, 2008
This book is comprised of proofs of neo-Turing theories of logic and mathematics in technically advanced publications from the Computability in Europe (CiE) conference in 2005. It advocates the dynamic turn of interactions between observers and systems, and eachother socially. Conversation is computation. Turing’s boss in 1948, Darwin’s grandson, dismissed his paper on “intelligent machines” as merely “a schoolboy essay” so it was not published for two decades. It turned out to be a manifesto for at least AI, connectionism, and neural computing and was accompanied by another discussing evolutionary computing. Turing machines, the basis for modern computers, were derived as a model of computation. The computable analysis problem was to decide what was computable and how long to expect it to take. Applications include wireless mobile nets, neural nets, analog computers, topological spaces, graphics and hardware. There are machines that do not fall into these classes, e.g. algebraic calculations done by planar mechanisms such as rigid bars joined by rotatable rivets, or viewing an eternity in finite time using relativity equations. Information processing is emphasized, e.g. regulatory genomes. Biological computing has new operations such as splicing, crossover and point mutations and annealing, which demonstrate parallelism, reversibility, nondeterminism, energy efficiency, self-healing and evolution. Membrane computing structures have local reaction rules for evolving objects in multisets, e.g. DNA software. Computational models can be classified by space and time, discrete and continuous in each case. The authors look at how nature, or what the universe, computes. Additional directions are pursued including continuous time computations, derivatives of continuous functions and infinite time computation. There are about thirty international contributors beside the three editors. The format combines twenty papers in four parts. New paradigms were expected to follow.
Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality, Robert M. Geraci, 2010
Apocalypticism consists of dualism, alienation, transcendence, and bodily purification, all of which are present in AI. A2I is a social strategy for research funding, as well as an ideology for online life. It is argued philosophically, legally and theologically. It is about commitment to actions and attitudes. This book approaches the technology and philosophy from the perspective of divinity, and has five chapters, a pair of appendices, notes and references. There are descriptions of the work of many researchers in AI and robotics, e.g. Turing, Minsky, Kurzweil, de Garis, and Warwick. Newell observed that Prometheus denotes tragedy, where technology actually leads to magic. Moravec wrote an essay in 1978 about converting nonlife to immortal mind, and in 1988 predicted that humans would eventually be capable of uploading their mind into a robot “bush” body which is fractal-like. A “mind fire” transforms the cosmos at lightspeed. Nationalism and war are obsolete. We are living in a simulation created by a god. Identity is a pattern and process within the brain and body which is possible in other materials. The Order of Cosmic Engineers believe that they will become the new creators. This may result in a virtualization of identity, available anywhere. It also has intermediate separate personalities of Transhumanists, e.g. Second Life’s Stenvaag. Games and digital worlds are precursors of digital paradise. These are primarily forms of social contact. Bainbridge’s sociology work for NSF is discussed. Actor-Network Throery, e.g. Latour’s trials of strength, observes that understanding scientific advance requires both natural and social actors. Transmutation is also a topic of religious history. There are methodologies common to science and religion, though the two are distinct. Religion affects how robots are integrated into society in the US, Europe and Asia. Japanese karakuri may descend from daVinci’s automata through missionaries. Relationships between humans and robots are worth study since the two may become indistinguishable. The major funding of robotics in the US is from defense, which may also provide the ethics. The robots may be more objective and humane.
Blogs of interest:
MSDN cashto on unit testing
Barnett reviews Natural Computing
Videos of interest:
Philip Low at TEDMED 2009 on cell phone brain cognition display