Amnon Eden has sent out this call for papers on technological singularity, which many Less Wrongers may be interested in. I presented at last year's conference, which was a good experience with many interesting people. Submitting good papers can help to legitimate and cultivate the field and thus reduce existential risk (although of course poor work could have the reverse effect). If you have an idea or a draft that you're not sure about, and would like to discuss it before submitting, I'd be happy to help if you contact me (carl DOT shulman AT gmail).

I am also told that the Singularity Institute may be able to provide travel funding for selected papers. Email for more information. 

Track in:

8th European conference on Computing And Philosophy — ECAP 2010
Technische Universität München
4–6 October 2010

Important dates:

* Submission (extended abstracts): 7 May 2010
* ECAP Conference: 4–6 October 2010

Submission form


Historical analysis of a broad range of paradigm shifts in science, biology, history, technology, and in particular in computing technology, suggests an accelerating rate of evolution, however measured. John von Neumann projected that the consequence of this trend may be an “essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs as we know them could not continue”. This notion of singularity coincides in time and nature with Alan Turing (1950) and Stephen Hawking’s (1998) expectation of machines to exhibit intelligence on a par with to the average human no later than 2050. Irving John Good (1965) and Vernor Vinge (1993) expect the singularity to take the form of an ‘intelligence explosion’, a process in which intelligent machines design ever more intelligent machines. Transhumanists suggest a parallel or alternative, explosive process of improvements in human intelligence. And Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave (1980) forecasts “a collision point in human destiny” the scale of which, in the course of history, is on the par only with the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution.

We invite submissions describing systematic attempts at understanding the likelihood and nature of these projections. In particular, we welcome papers critically analyzing the following issues from a philosophical, computational, mathematical, scientific and ethical standpoints:

* Claims and evidence to acceleration
* Technological predictions (critical analysis of past and future)
* The nature of an intelligence explosion and its possible outcomes
* The nature of the Technological Singularity and its outcome
* Safe and unsafe artificial general intelligence and preventative measures
* Technological forecasts of computing phenomena and their projected impact
* Beyond the ‘event horizon’ of the Technological Singularity
* The prospects of transhuman breakthroughs and likely timeframes

Amnon H. Eden, School of Computer Science & Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, UK and Center For Inquiry, Amherst NY



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I likely won't be able to attend the conference, but if anyone would like to collaborate on a paper, let me know.

Economics and politics aren't mentioned anywhere. I would think they're both essential components in any realistic predictions relating to TS. But then again I've yet to see any serious analysis of TS.

Personally, I would be very interested in those. But the call is for a track is part of the European Computing And Philosophy conference, and that restrict us to themes that fall under that umbrella.