17th level Hacker

Jaron Lanier Speaking in Palo Alto

Jaron Lanier is speaking in Palo Alto on Friday April 23rd. The talk is supposed to be an update to One Half Of A Manifesto, an article written during 2000 in which he examines the beliefs of what he calls “cybernetic totalism”. He argues that the belief that Moore’s law and artificial intelligence will bring about some new class of humanity is just a form of intellectual laziness no more grounded in reality than any other religious dogma. I particularly enjoyed this quote:

Before you tell me that it will be overwhelmingly obvious when the superintelligent new cyber-species arrives, visit a dog show. Or a gathering of people who believe they have been abducted by aliens in UFOs. People are demonstrably insane when it comes to assessing non-human sentience.

Certainly sounds like an interesting time, especially so because I can’t really figure out on which side of this debate I lie.