Time Traveling Refugees


This last week has seen an MIT Technology Review story about a startup company, Nectome1, that is developing a mind-uploading service that is “100 percent fatal”. The idea is that when you are ready, perhaps when you are terminally ill, you get connected to a heart-lung machine and then, under anesthesia, you get injected with chemicals that … Continue reading Time Traveling Refugees

The Productivity Gain: Where Is It Coming From And Where Is It Going To?


There are a lot of fears that technology of various sorts is going to reduce the need for human labor to a point where we may need to provide universal basic income, reduce the work week radically, and/or have mass unemployment. I have a different take on where things are headed. I think we are … Continue reading The Productivity Gain: Where Is It Coming From And Where Is It Going To?

AI/ML Is Not Uniquely Powerful Enough To Need Controlling


Note: This short post is intended as a counterpoint to some claims that are being made about the need to control AI research. I don’t directly refer to those claims. You can figure it out.  When humans next land on the Moon it will be with the help of many, many, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning … Continue reading AI/ML Is Not Uniquely Powerful Enough To Need Controlling

What If There Were Men On The Moon Today?


I was sitting on the beach looking at the full moon above. I looked through my binoculars to see more detail. And then it occurred to me that I could see on that surface every single location that humans had landed on the surface of a body in space that was not Earth. Six times, … Continue reading What If There Were Men On The Moon Today?

[FoR&AI] Future of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence


I plan on publishing  a set of essays on the future of robotics and Artificial Intelligence in the late summer and fall of 2017, perhaps extending in to 2018. I’ll list them all here as they come out. They are designed to be read as stand alone essays, and in any order, but I’ll order … Continue reading [FoR&AI] Future of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Experiments In Automobile UI/UX


Our automobiles are getting three makeovers simultaneously, with promises of a fourth. There is more action in reinventing of automobiles all at once than there has been since the first ones crawled into existence. First, our cars are turning electric, and the UK recently said that no new gas or diesel automobiles will be allowed … Continue reading Experiments In Automobile UI/UX

Patrick Winston Explains Deep Learning


Patrick Winston is one of the greatest teachers at M.I.T., and for 27 years was Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (which later became part of CSAIL). Patrick teaches 6.034, the undergraduate introduction to AI at M.I.T. and a recent set of his lectures is available as videos. I want to point people to lectures 12a and … Continue reading Patrick Winston Explains Deep Learning

Adding to the Alphabet of Life


There was a really important scientific result reported on this week in the press. The original paper, by a team at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, a person in Grenoble, France, and a person in Henan, China, is behind a paywall at the National Academy of Science. This team had previously introduced a new, … Continue reading Adding to the Alphabet of Life

Research Needed on Robot Hands


This is a short piece I wrote for a workshop on what are good things to work on in robotics research. One measure of success of robots is how many of them get deployed doing real work in the real world. One way to get more robots deployed is to reduce the friction that comes up during … Continue reading Research Needed on Robot Hands