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Feb 2, 2016

Why Ray Kurzweil’s Predictions Are Right 86% of the Time

Posted by in categories: computing, internet, law, Ray Kurzweil, singularity

It’s that time of the year again when techno pundits are once again breathlessly telling us all about the technology and innovation trends that will be big in 2013. That’s great, but many of those predictions will be hopelessly wrong by the end of March. That’s why it’s so fascinating that Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading thinkers when it comes to the future of technology, has had such a strong track record in making predictions about technology for nearly two decades. In fact, of the 147 predictions that Kurzweil has made since the 1990’s, fully 115 of them have turned out to be correct, and another 12 have turned out to be “essentially correct” (off by a year or two), giving his predictions a stunning 86% accuracy rate. So how does he do it?

The fact is, Ray has a system and this system is called the Law of Accelerating Returns. In his new book How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, Kurzweil points out that “every fundamental measure of information technology follows predictable and exponential trajectories.” The most famous of these trajectories, of course, has been the price/performance path of computing power over more than 100 years. Thanks to paradigms such as Moore’s Law, which reduces computing power to a problem of how many transistors you can cram on a chip, anyone can intuitively understand why computers are getting exponentially faster and cheaper over time.

The other famous exponential growth curve in our lifetime is the sheer amount of digital information available on the Internet. Kurzweil typically graphs this as “bits per second transmitted on the Internet.” That means the amount of information on the Internet is doubling approximately every 1.25 years. That’s why “Big Data” is such a buzzword these days — there’s a growing recognition that we’re losing track of all the information we’re putting up on the Internet, from Facebook status updates, to YouTube videos, to funny meme posts on Tumblr. In just a decade, we will have created more content than existed for thousands of years in humanity’s prior experience.

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Feb 1, 2016

Is Harm to a Prosthetic Limb Property Damage or Personal Injury?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, law

Oxford researchers suggest the law might have to reassess what it considers person and property.

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Jan 27, 2016

Official Alcor Statement Concerning Marvin Minsky

Posted by in categories: cryonics, law, life extension, nanotechnology

The legal death of Marvin Minsky was publicly reported on Monday, January 25, 2016. There has been speculation on the part of numerous individuals and publications that he may have been cryopreserved by Alcor. This notice is Alcor’s formal response to inquiries on this issue.

In a public ceremony at the Extro-3 conference in 1997, nanotechnology pioneer Eric Drexler presented Prof. Minsky with a bracelet given to all new Alcor members. This bracelet provides emergency contact information and basic instructions. Minsky has spoken publicy many times about his advocacy of overcoming aging and the inevitability of death and about cryonics (human cryopreservation) as a last resort. He was also among the 67 signatories of the Scientists Open Letter on Cryonics and a member of Alcor’s Scientific Advisory Board. This much is public knowledge. None of this necessarily means that Prof. Minsky had cryopreservation arrangements at the time of legal death. Alcor neither confirms nor denies whether Prof. Minsky had such arrangements.

Alcor’s official response may puzzle some readers, so we would like to point out the privacy options that have been and currently are available to our members. When a member signs up for cryopreservation by Alcor, they have four options:

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Jan 11, 2016

Google Doodle Celebrates Alice Paul | google.com

Posted by in categories: governance, human trajectories, law

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“Alice Paul was the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century. Born on January 11, 1885 to Quaker parents in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, Alice Paul dedicated her life to the single cause of securing equal rights for all women.”

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Jan 9, 2016

Why We Need A Legal Definition Of Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: governance, law, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Everyone today claims they are a digital disruptor or have AI; even if they have call forwarding on their Skype phone thay claim to have AI. So, I do believe there do needs to be better standardized definitions around some of these terms in order to keep confusion down plus not comprimise the real value that these areas bring into the marketplace.


When we talk about artificial intelligence (AI) — which we have done lot recently — what do we actually mean? AI experts and philosophers are beavering away on the issue. But having a usable definition of AI – and soon — is vital for regulation and governance because laws and policies simply will not operate without one.

Creepy robots image from Shutterstock.

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Dec 27, 2015

Company Claims To Have Developed 3D Printed Liver Tissue

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs, law

3D printing in the medical industry isn’t new. We’ve seen companies 3D print prosthetics and even bones, but now a company in India has claimed to have developed 3D printable liver tissue, which they are hoping that one day will be usable for full-fledged liver transplants, although we suppose there will be quite a bit of legal and regulatory hurdles to overcome.

According to Pandorum Technologies, the company behind the technology, they claim that these 3D printed liver tissues are made of human cells and will allow for inexpensive medical research. This also means that reachers will need to rely less on human and animal trials. The entire process could also save companies millions of dollars which is usually needed in research and development.

Pandorum Technologies’ co-founder Arun Chandru said, “Our 3D bio-printed mini-livers that mimic the human liver will serve as test platforms for discovery and development of drugs with better efficacy, less side effects and at lower costs.” Apart from being used as test platforms, 3D printable liver tissue could also be used for other purposes.

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Dec 18, 2015

Report: artificial intelligence will cause “structural collapse” of law firms

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, finance, health, law, life extension, robotics/AI


Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate legal practice within 15 years, perhaps leading to the “structural collapse” of law firms, a report predicting the shape of the legal market has envisaged.

Civilisation 2030: The near future for law firms, by Jomati Consultants, foresees a world in which population growth is actually slowing, with “peak humanity” occurring as early as 2055, and ageing populations bringing a growth in demand for legal work on issues affecting older people.

This could mean more advice needed by healthcare and specialist construction companies on the building and financing of hospitals, and on pension investment businesses, as well as financial and regulatory work around the demographic changes to come; more age-related litigation, IP battles between pharmaceutical companies, and around so-called “geriatric-tech” related IP.

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Nov 19, 2015

France votes to give government powers to block online communications during state of emergency — By Paul Sauers | VentureBeat

Posted by in categories: government, internet, law, policy, security

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“French members of parliament (MPs) have voted to give the government extra powers to block online communications when the country is under a “state of emergency.””

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Nov 13, 2015

Legalization of Drugs Should Be Part of a Transhumanist Agenda

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, life extension, transhumanism

New article for Vice Motherboard on why society should support legalization of all drugs–and a short video of the Immortality Bus in Arkansas talking to marijuana supporters (a state where it’s totally illegal):


The “Mount Rushmore of the Drug War” featuring founding prohibitionists Harry Anslinger, Billie Holiday, and Arnold Rothstein. Image: Donkey Hotey/Flickr

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Nov 3, 2015

Professionals, your time is up, prepare to be sidelined

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law, robotics/AI

A new book, The Future of the Professions, argues that machines will soon do the work of lawyers, doctors, and others. Should babies be delivered by robots?

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