Ray Kurzweil (AI) Accelerating Intelligence
Overhyped AI site of “extraordinary”, “revolutionary”, “prophetic vision” (sic), but contributory big thinkers include the likes of Richard Dawkins, Arthur C Clarke, Richard Feynman, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Marvin Minsky, Roger Schank (of Jorn infamy ?), Murray Gell-Mann, Martin Rees, Roger Penrose, Steve Jones, Paul Davies, Stephen Jay Gould and more. Of course now I remember, I came across this many months ago and didn’t blog it then, but this lot originated with Kurzweil’s Edge / Reality Club / Digerati / Third Culture projects where he exploited the big names for many of whom he’d acted as publishing agent for their popular science culture books.
The hyping is deliberate – to get science into the public eye, to give “intellectuals” the same status as literary and artistic media stars, unfortunately the Third Culture manifesto comes perilously close to say this kind of popular science writing is replacing academic science entirely … “[ writers] in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are.”. I guess its the usual tension in any industry between the Marketing and Production departments – science is a big business.
(Thursday morning update – Spooky coincidence No328 in a series of thousands – BBC Today reports UK House of Commons committee concluding that the way science is taught in schools up to 16 yrs old is uninspiring and needs relating to the newsworthy science issues of the day. See Guardian story above too.)