Haptics past and future: Gloves and the Octopus Butler Robot
My interlocutor for this month: The Wii
Phenotropics; web mashups, brains, bacteria, and how to escape the curse of neo-Von Neumannism
My interlocutor for this month: Suffering programmers everywhereBook reviews in American Scientist:
place to start
...and here's Salon's story
on it. Ray Kurzweil has written a counter-manifesto
an essay about it in American Prospect. Here's
Upside's article on it, and here's
a lot of ranting about Upside's version of what I said on
to specific topics explored in the Half-manifesto"
the problem of "Spiritual anxiety" as
egged on by "Cybernetic Totalists"
arguments against the
Artificial Intelligence research agenda
place to start is this
For online materials, start with this chapter from a book on Consciousness Studies. There are two opposing chapters on machine intelligence, with the "pro" position supported by Danny Hillis. I take the "anti" position.
My take on the Kasprov/Deep Blue Chess Game, originally published in IBM's Think Magazine
... and then see a rather friendly discussion with Richard Dawkins, the meme man himself, that was originally published in Psychology Today.
In effort to make utopianism respectable once again, I gave talk on a 1000 year optimistic scenario. These are some of the powerpoint slides from that talk, though alas some browsers won't read them.
Computing Machinery asked various people to
essays on the subject of "hope" in the next fifty years of computing.
were published in the fiftieth anniversary special
of the ACM's Communications
Here's my contribution, titled "The
I stand by everything I said in the above piece, even the bit about the
pernicious longevity of MS DOS influence, which, far from becoming
now haunts us in stealth.
Here's a vintage interview which captures some of the delirious, infectious way I used to talk about VR in my twenties.
added some images of
vintage VPL VR equipment from the 1980s in answer to many
will add more and better photos and documentation soon.
an interview about Phenotropics, from the main Java website.
is the inevitable slashdot riot. Most of the
about one particular issue, and in this case I have to say the critics
are absolutely correct. I goofed by not catching an incorrect
when I checked the interview for accuracy. The number was
as 10,000,000. It should clearly have been higher.
value isn't important to the idea. If you want to know what
is all about, read the interview! Many thanks to all the
have written extended comments on the ideas in the interview and sent
to me directly. I will read and respond- might take me a
the second part of the interview on the java website. This
covers some of my earlier activities, like VR.
If you missed this seminar on Phenotropics, here are my characteristically sloppy slides.
Title: Should Computer Science Get Rid of Protocols Altogether?
Abstract: Computers are finally beginning to connect to the physical world with a little of the facility displayed by living organisms, which are generally able to interact reliably with an environment even though unplanned elements are often present. Medical instrumentation, robotics, and advanced user interfaces have all been improved recently by using techniques such as pattern recognition and predictive filtering. But operating systems and programming languages are still conceived of in the terms of mid-twentieth century engineering, in which sending signals on wires between slow machines was the central metaphor, and the protocol was the only solution. Perhaps it is time to take some of the advances from recent systems that interface to the real world and apply them to the world that remains strictly inside the computer. Components in such systems would connect together through pattern recognition of each other instead of adherence to protocols. This approach might be called “phenotropic”. While the phenotropic idea is still not fully formed, there are reasons to hope that phenotropic systems would display more useful failure modes, facilitating adaptive systems and avoiding crashes, and might also grow to larger sizes than traditional protocol-adherence-based systems.
Blog on HuffingtonPost is (or was- I lost interest after a
while) stimulated by politics and headlines, but
enduring ideas are addressed, and I think you will find that the
entries are still worth reading. The names and places can
be changed to keep up with the headlines of the future.
Go back to Jaron's home page.