Singularity Summit at Stanford, 5/13 - RSVP now

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Thu Apr 13 2006 - 16:56:37 MDT

If you wish to attend, RSVP swiftly. Apparently seats are going fast.



Media Contacts:

Tyler Emerson
Singularity Institute
emerson at singinst dot org

Todd Davies
Stanford University Symbolic Systems Program
tdavies at csli dot stanford dot edu

Renee Blodgett
Blodgett Communications
Renee at blodgettcomm dot com
(business press, bloggers)

Singularity Summit At Stanford Explores Future Of 'Superintelligence'

STANFORD, CA April 13, 2006 -- The Stanford University Symbolic Systems
Program and the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
announced today the Singularity Summit at Stanford, a one-day event free
to the public, to be held Saturday, May 13, 2006 at Stanford Memorial
Auditorium, Stanford, California.

The event will bring together leading futurists and others to examine
the implications of the "Singularity" -- a hypothesized creation of
superintelligence as technology accelerates over the coming decades --
to address the profound implications of this radical and controversial

“The Singularity will be a future period during which the pace of
technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human
life will be irreversibly transformed," said Ray Kurzweil, keynote
speaker and author of the best-selling The Singularity Is Near: When
Humans Transcend Biology (Viking, 2005). "Based on models of technology
development that I've used to forecast technological change successfully
for more than 25 years, I believe computers will pass the Turing Test by
2029, and by the 2040s our civilization will be billions of times more

"Some regard the Singularity as a positive event and work to hasten its
arrival, while others view it as unlikely, or even dangerous and
undesirable," said Todd Davies, associate director of Stanford's
Symbolic Systems Program. “The conference will bring together a range of
thinkers about AI, nanotechnology, cognitive science, and related areas
for a public discussion of these important questions about our future."
Noted speakers at the event will also include cognitive scientist
Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning Godel,
Escher, Bach; nanotechnology pioneers K. Eric Drexler and Christine L.
Peterson; science-fiction novelist Cory Doctorow; philosopher Nick
Bostrom; futurist Max More; Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, research fellow of the
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Acceleration Studies
Foundation president John Smart; PayPal founder and Clarium Capital
Management president Peter Thiel; Steve Jurvetson, a Managing Director
of Draper Fisher Jurvetson; and Sebastian Thrun, Stanford Artificial
Intelligence Laboratory director and Project Lead of the Stanford Racing
Team (DARPA Grand Challenge $2 million winner). In addition, author Bill
McKibben will participate remotely from Maine via Teleportec, a two-way,
life-size 3D display of the speaker.
The event will be moderated by Peter Thiel and Tyler Emerson, executive
director of the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

Among the issues to be addressed:

Bostrom: Will superintelligence help us reduce or eliminate existential
risks, such as the risk that advanced nanotechnology will be used by
humans in warfare or terrorism?

Doctorow: Will our technology serve us, or control us?

Drexler: Will productive nanosystems enable the development of more
intricate and complex productive systems, creating a feedback loop that
drives accelerating change?

Hofstadter: What is the likelihood of our being eclipsed by (or absorbed
into) a vast computational network of superminds, in the course of the
next few decades?

Kurzweil: Will the Singularity be a soft (gradual) or hard (rapid) take
off and how will humans stay in control?

More: Will our emotional, social, psychological, ethical intelligence
and self-awareness keep up with our expanding cognitive abilities?

Peterson: How can we safely bring humanity and the biosphere through the

Thrun: Where does AI stand in comparison to human-level skills, in light
of the recent autonomous robot race, the DARPA Grand Challenge?

Yudkowsky: How can we shape the intelligence explosion for the benefit
of humanity?

The Singularity Summit is hosted by the Symbolic Systems Program at
Stanford, and co-sponsored by Clarium Capital Management,, MINE, the Singularity Institute for Artificial
Intelligence, the Stanford Transhumanist Association, and United

The free event will be held in Stanford Memorial Auditorium, 551 Serra
Mall, Stanford, CA 94305. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to For further information: or 650-353-6063.

About the Stanford University Symbolic Systems Program

The Symbolic Systems Program ( is an
undergraduate and master's interdisciplinary program at Stanford,
focusing on the relationships between people and computers. SSP's goal
is to prepare students with the vocabulary, theoretical background, and
technical skills to understand and participate in interdisciplinary
research into questions about language, information, and intelligence --
both human and machine.

About Clarium Capital Management

Clarium Capital Management ( is a San
Francisco-based global macro hedge fund, combining the diligence and
prudence of an Old World investment firm with the energy and
entrepreneurship of a Silicon Valley start-up. Clarium is a fortress in
Greek mythology. Clarium's President and Chairman of the Investment
committee is Peter Thiel, the former chairman, CEO, and co-founder of
PayPal Inc., acquired by eBay Inc. for $1.5 billion in 2002. Driven by a
contrarian bias, CCM pursues opportunities in four areas: currencies,
commodities, distressed debt, and micro-cap public equities. CCM also
selectively pursues private investments that show exceptional promise.


Founded by Ray Kurzweil, ( features
more than 600 articles by big thinkers examining the convergence of
accelerating revolutions in AI, nanotechnology, genetics, and other
areas shaping the future of superintelligence. Its free
Accelerating-Intelligence News daily newsletter tracks the latest news
in these areas and its Mind-X forum allows for open discussion. also manages and,
covering Kurzweil's recent two books.

About MINE

MINE ( was founded with the philosophy that good
design is good business, and that working smart beats working big. A
multidisciplinary studio, MINE offers innovative and informed solutions
as tools to support corporate, enterprise, and nonprofit organizations.
Emphasizing intelligence-based design and sound strategic thinking, MINE
seeks to create definitive, stand-out work that projects a unique
position of leadership and promotes the highest standards of excellence.

About the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
( is a research and public interest institute
for the advancement of three emerging research fields: beneficial
artificial intelligence, the singularity, and global catastrophic risks
associated with anticipated technologies. The Institute aims to develop
and foster a community of highly gifted interdisciplinary researchers to
accelerate these fields, and create the foundation needed to support
this research community. The Institute’s main goal is to ensure the
creation of beneficial AI.

About the Stanford Transhumanist Association

The Stanford Transhumanist Association
( was founded in 2004
by Michael Jin (President) and Yonah Berwaldt (Financial Officer), then
freshmen. It is a working group dedicated to spreading awareness about
the impact of emerging technologies on humanity. The group is a Student
Chapter of the World Transhumanist Association, an international
nonprofit membership organization advocating the ethical use of
technology to expand human capacities.

About United Therapeutics

United Therapeutics ( is a biotechnology company
focused on the development and commercialization of unique products for
patients with chronic and life-threatening cardiovascular, cancer and
infectious diseases. In these segments, United Therapeutics is actively
developing four technology platforms: Prostacyclin Analogs,
Immunotherapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies, Glycobiology, and Telemedicine.

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