Sociopaths flogging Aspergers …

The New York Times ran a pretty good article on the harsh, ruthlessly efficiency-driven work environment inside Amazon…


I take this as more evidence that the last gasp of the human-driven economy will consist of
  • A) scattered small groups of creative-minded maniacs spinning out new ideas
  • B) large, well-coordinated groups of overworked Aspergers people, ruled over and metaphorically flogged by overworked sociopaths [e.g. Amazon] —- dealing with the tricky bits of the scaling-up and rolling-out of these new ideas

After the robots and AIs have taken over all the other jobs, during an interim period, these may still be left — and then a few years or at most a couple decades later, they’ll be obsoleted too …

Hopefully, during this interim period, some of the ideas being implemented by the Aspergers/sociopath armies will involve distributing some resources to everyone else who has already been obsoleted from the economy as such…

Google DeepMind’s new Video Game AI

People are asking me today about the importance of Google DeepMind’s new video-game AI demo — see e.g. the Guardian article glowingly titled

Google develops computer program capable of learning tasks independently: ‘Agent’ hailed as first step towards true AI as it gets adept at playing 49 retro computer games and comes up with its own winning strategies

First off: Yeah, it’s certainly cool!!!

This is progress beyond DeepMind’s former Atari 2600 game demo, and I don’t want to pooh-pooh the amount of work and brilliance that goes into making something like this ACTUALLY WORK !! But this doesn’t especially feel to me like some sort of breakthrough, just good solid work in deep reinforcement learning… In particular, it doesn’t convince me that deep RL as DeepMind has habitually practiced it is an adequate approach to AGI….

The key issue is that these video games are very constrained domains, so that a deep reinforcement learning system can handle them without being able to interpret data in a broader context. This kind of constrained domain can obviously be handled by methods that wouldn’t work for broader, messier, more contextuality-rich real-world domains….

So to me “learning independently in a very constrained world” is not entirely the same problem as “learning independently in a big rich messy world” — the former can be done by a system that ignores a lot of stuff any real-world AI has to pay a lot of attention to…. The universe of simple video games they’ve dealt with in these fascinating experiments, are in the end still a very small and special domain for which a software system can be heavily tuned in various ways (i.e. even if the tuning is independent of which specific game is being learned, it can still be particular to the domain of “games of this type”).

Personally I think DeepMind would need to add a lot of extra stuff to their AGI approach as I understand it (at least, a lot of stuff beyond anything they’ve discussed publicly, and beyond anything hinted at by this demo), to approach AGI seriously. I think the kinds of deep learning and deep reinforcement learning they’ve focused on are only a moderate-sized fraction of the story of what’s needed for human-level cognition. To me, this demo doesn’t show that they have embraced the complexity and multi-aspect nature of what’s needed for human-level AGI. (Maybe they HAVE, behind the scenes, but this video doesn’t show it….)

Another way to put my point is: To really hit a home run their system will need to be able to learn to deal with new DOMAINS, not just new games within a domain for which their system has already been tuned and tweaked and human-configured….

One thing this demo does show is that, since their acquisition by Google, DeepMind is pushing ahead with AGI-oriented R&D according to their own tastes and directions, rather than simply applying their brainpower to Google’s search and ads products and so forth. That’s very nice to see ;)

New subscription page for AGI, Singularity email lists

In 2004 I started two email lists, one for AGI discussion and the other for Singularity discussion.   These are still rolling along, but the subscribe/unsubscribe page for them was on another website that went offline years ago.   I have finally put a new subscribe/unsubscribe page for the lists online, see http://wp.goertzel.org/email-lists/

The AGI list is co-administered and moderated by John Rose; the Singularity list is co-administered and moderated by Giulio Prisco and Amara Angelica from Kurzweilai.net

Mailing lists aren’t as important in the Internet ecosystem as they once were, given the explosion of social networks of various forms; but IMO they still fill a useful role.   Social network sites come and go but email has been around a while and probably isn’t going anywhere, though it may adopt various forms….

Ten Years to the Singularity If We Really Really Try (edited book release…)

Happy Newtonmas fellow humans…

I have gathered together some of my old (2008-2011) essays from H+ Magazine and elsewhere, into a book released via Humanity+ Press, titled Ten Years to the Singularity If We Really Really Try, and Other Essays on AGI and its Implications. See

Most of the essays have some new introductory  material, putting them in the context of stuff that’s happened between the time they were written and late 2014.   The future is rapidly unfolding –

BICA conference @ MIT, Nov 7-9

Hey all — I’ll be at MIT at the BICA-2014 conference from Nov 7-9 … if anyone is around MIT and wants to chat about AGI or other interesting issues, send me an email and then come by BICA and join me and my OpenCog chums for a lunch or dinner or whatever….

THE ELEVENTY-TWELVE LAWS OF MADNESS

At last I have made a truly major scientific discovery.  It came to me while I was sleeping last night.

Due to interacting with a large number of “not traditionally sane” people recently, I have managed to induce the precise mathematical laws governing their internal and external operations.

(Or, OK, maybe it’s just a poem of sorts – whatever — )

Anyhow, hereby I present to you … THE ELEVENTY-TWELVE LAWS OF MADNESS:

(feel free to suggest additions in the comments!)


  • FIRST LAW OF MADNESS: WAHAHAHAHAHAHRRRRGGGGGHHHH !!!
  • INVISIBLE LAW OF  OF MADNESS :
  • WORST LAW OF OF MADNESS: FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!
  • THIRD LAW OF MADNESS: FOR EVERY ACTION THERE IS AN EIGHTY-TWELVE TIMES OR MORE WILDLY EXAGGERATED AND OPPOSITE OR RANDOMLY DIRECTED REACTION
  • BEST LAW OF  OF MADNESS: aaaawwwwwww….
  • KURZWEILIAN/MAYAN LAW OF MADNESS ; 20XY
  • FUCKING LAW OF MADNESS; FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
  • FINNEGAN’S LAW OF MADNESS: BABABADALGHARAGHTAKAMMIN ARRONNKONNBRONNTONNERRONNTUONNTHUNNTROVARRHOUNAWNSKAWNTOOHOOHOORDENENTHURNUK
  • LOVELY LAW OF MADNESS: i love u, i love u, i love u ;)
  • OTHER LOVELY LAW OF MADNESS: I LOVE EVERYTHING SO MUCH, IT FUCKING OVERWHELMS ME AND MAKES ME SPLIT MY BOUNDARIES AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO
  • HORNY LAW  OF MADNESS: IT’S TIME TO EJACULATE THE WHOLE GODDAMNED COSMOS — YEEAAHHHH  !!!!
  • SOCIAL LAW OF MADNESS: WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY SO MANY TOTAL FUCKING ASSHOLES? WHY ARE THEY TRYING TO PROGRAM MY BRAIN WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?   RRRRARWWGGGRRRR!!!
  • INFINITY LAW OF MADNESS: This page intentionally left blank.
  • ELEVENTY-TEENTH PERCEPTUAL LAW OF MADNESS: what i see is what u get, hahaha 8-D
  • ELEVENTY-TEENTH FUCKING SHIT PERCEPTUAL LAW OF CRAP MADNESS: WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT I GET, MOTHERFUCKER, AND THAT’S WHY I HAVE TO EAT YOUR FLESH !!!
  • MATHEMATICAL LAW OF MADNESS: I could  prove that mathematically but i don’t have the time — time is an illusion anyway — and how can anyone “have” anything since none of us exist ? In fact (there are no facts) sooo —
  • CONFUSED LAW OF MADNESS: I just have no fucking clue about any of this … including myself (whatever that may be); I mean …
  • SECOND LAW OF MADNESS-DYNAMICS : The amount of madness in a closed, open, opzed, clopen or any other kind of system or non systematic entity or nonentity is always going to fucking increase, subject only to the nonexistent constraint that time doesn’t exist anyway —
  • LAW OF MAXIMUM MADNESS PRODUCTION; something about madness increasing along trajectories? someone will work it out eventually…
  • OM LAW OF MADNESS : some crazy lady says my clit is a transcendent machine for turning physical movement into cosmogonic WHHHAAAAA???!!!!!
  • SEVENTY-TENTH LAW OF MADNESS ; I WANT U, I WANT U, I WANT U !!  WELL ACTUALLY I WANT TO EAT YOUR FLESH !!!  OR MAYBE I DON’T, I DON’T KNOW –
  • ANTI-KORZYBSKIAN LAW OF MADNESS: THE MAP SURE IS THE FUCKING TERRITORY IF I FUCKING SAY IT IS, MOTHERFUCKER!!! DON’T TRY TO TELL ME IT ISN’T OR I’LL FUCKING SMASH YOUR FUCKING FACE !!!
  • NAMELESS LAW OF MADNESS: blah blah blah blah blah blah
  • QUANTUM LAW OF MADNESS: I can’t understand quantum mechanics and i can’t understand you, therefore you are quantum mechanics !!!
  • RELATIVISTIC LAW OF MADNESS: EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE, THEREFORE YOU ARE MY RELATIVE, THEREFORE ALL MY PROBLEMS ARE YOUR FAULT AND I NEED TO FUCKING KILL YOU !!!
  • JEWISH LAW OF MADNESS:  i know it’s all my fault somehow ;-(
  • MCKENNA’S LAW OF MADNESS: THEY REALLY ARE ALIENS!!! REALLY!!!!!
  • STONED LAW OF MADNESS: Whoa…..  I mean, like — whooaaa…..  I mean… –
  • SENILE LAW OF MADNESS: Uhhhh……
  • LITERARY LAW OF MADNESS : WORDS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO MEANING, BUT I HAVE TO PRODUCE A FUCKING LOT OF THEM ANYWAY !!!
  • TYPOGRAPHICAL LAW OF MADNESS: ALWAYS WRITE IN ALL CAPS!!! JUST BECAUSE !!!
  • WONDERFUL LAW OF MADNESS: IT’S JUST SO FUCKING GREAT TO BE ALIVE !!!
  • CONTEXTUAL LAW OF MADNESS:
  • TRANSPARENT LAW OF MADNESS: I CAN SEE EVERYTHING SO FUCKING CLEARLY NOW!!  WHY CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND??!!
  • PROPHETIC LAW OF MADNESS: I CAN SEE THE FUTURE AND YOU CAN’T !!!   WHY DON’T YOU BELIEVE ME, GODDAMNIT ?!?!
  • MANIC LAW OF MADNESS: WHY IS EVERYTHING GOING SO SLOWLY?
  • MANIC LAW OF MADNESS: WHY IS EVERYTHING GOING SO QUICKLY??
  • CRACKPOT’S LAW OF MADNESS:  I AM SO RIGHT!  THEY ARE SO WRONG!  AND THIS REALLY  MATTERS A LOT !!!!
  • HAMEROFF’S LAW OF MADNESS: MICROTUBULES! MICROTUBULES! MICROTUBULES!
  • PSYCHIC LAW  OF MADNESS; Trans-quantum morphic resonance voodoo, eight billion and twelve fuckingteen; objective reality, zero …
  • DEPRESSIVE LAW OF MADNESS: Everything is bad and annoying and upsetting , and whatever may happen, it certainly always will be….  There is no fucking hope at all; probably not for anything , definitely not for me …
  • BORING LAW  OF MADNESS: EVERYTHING IS SO FUCKING UTTERLY BORING!!! … ESPECIALLY MY STUPID FUCKING BORING MIND THAT THINKS EVERYTHING IS SO FUCKING BORING AND WANTS TO KEEP TYPING BORING THINGS IN ALL FUCKING CAPS
  • VOLATILE LAW  OF MADNESS: I LOVE YOU! I HATE YOU!  I LOVE YOU!  I HATE YOU!  I WAAAAAHHHHUUAAGGHHH!!!!
  • SUIDICAL LAW OF MADNESS:  … life is so fucking pointless and painful; i really have to kill myself; i can’t bear one more fucking minute of this — but killing myself seems really fucking annoying and painful too — fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck …
  • EMPTY LAW OF MADNESS: [         ]
  • FUCKING LAW OF MADNESS AGAIN: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK
  • BLISSFUL LAW OF MADNESS: ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)   ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)
  • EXTRA LAW OF MADNESS

Jose’ Cordeiro on the Technological Singularity @ Hong Kong Poly U

Acclaimed futurist Dr. Jose’ Cordeiro will be speaking at Hong Kong Poly U at 7PM on September 4, in room V1101 in the Jockey Club Innovation Tower (11th floor), on the topic of the Technological Singularity.    His lecture is open to the public.

The Singularity: The Future of Technology and the Technology of the Future

Change is not constant. In fact, change is accelerating very fast. Some technologies are radically changing humanity, in general, and also changing human beings, in particular. Many experts now talk about the four sciences and technologies of the future, which they refer to as NBIC: Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno. Furthermore, the NBIC fields are rapidly converging at an accelerating rate and they will help to transcend many human limitations in order to improve human lives all around the world, and beyond our tiny planet. We are truly moving rapidly towards a new world led by scientific discoveries and technological innovations. Humanity is fast approaching what some people call the “Singularity,” the moment when artificial intelligence will reach human intelligence levels, and then quickly overtake it. Perhaps then some humans might become transhumans and posthumans, forever changing life on Earth and the universe.

Advances toward the Singularity are being made all around the world, including at Hong Kong Poly U where Professor Gino Yu’s lab is working on Artificial General Intelligence as part of the OpenCog project, in collaboration with Dr. Ben Goertzel and with David Hanson of Hanson Robotics.

Professor Jose Cordeiro from Singularity University will touch on all these themes and more, in his talk on The Singularity: The Future of Technology and the Technology of the Future.

About Dr. Jose’ Cordeiro

Dr. Cordeiro is chair of the Venezuela Node of The Millennium Project, founding faculty and energy advisor for Singularity University, founder of the World Future Society’s Venezuela Chapter, co-founder of the IberoAmerican Transhumanist Association, and former director of the Club of Rome (Venezuela Chapter), World Transhumanist Association (Humanity+) and the Extropy Institute.

For more information about Prof. Jose Cordeiro: www.cordeiro.org

At the End of the World…

… At the end of the world, there will be only two people left … me and some Hongkongese guy.  He will be walking very slowly, right in front of me, unaware of my existence, staring at his phone and desperately sending text messages to himself….

New book: Between Ape and Artilect

A book version of the various interviews I did for H+ Magazine over the last few years (with me mainly as the interviewer) …

http://www.amazon.com/Best-H-Magazine-Vol-1-2008-2010/dp/1496073312

For purchase in hardcopy, or free online as PDF … ;)

Lead guitarist of Devo bites the dust… ;o

Sadly, it seems the second-Mongoloid-in-command, Bob Casale, has left us…

http://eprotoeu.mtiny.com/article.ftl?id=512200&cc=ND

It will be imperative to resurrect him post-Singularity so he can do this again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2tZqXWa7no

Given that Devo foresaw the devo-lution of humanity well before “Idiocracy”, it will be ironic to see “Are we Not Men — We are Devo!” performed by robots containing the uploaded minds of the members of Devo ;) …  (Followed up perhaps by Post Post Modern Man ?)

Really though — It’s a weird feeling to see the musicians I enjoyed in my teen years, who seemed so young and robust, bite the dust one after the other….  Such a ridiculous loss of talent, knowledge, soul….

Fortunately, we are moving toward radical life extension now, in a serious way.   Unfortunately, we are moving in that direction far more slowly than we could be, due to our society prioritizing various things like warfare, lingerie, shiny cars, plastic Jesuses and chocolatier chocolate over working toward the end of the suffering that aging and death bring.

And so it goes at this time in this plane of being.

But of course, as my beloved comrade Gino says, “Right here, right now it’s good to be alive.”

Which unfortunately Bob Casale is no more.

And let us admire the poetry once again ;-)

MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
HAPPIER THAN YOU AND ME
MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
AND IT DETERMINED WHAT HE COULD SEE
MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
ONE CHROMOSOME TOO MANY
MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
AND IT DETERMINED WHAT HE COULD SEE
AND HE WORE A HAT
AND HE HAD A JOB
AND HE BROUGHT HOME THE BACON
SO THAT NO ONE KNEW
MONGOLOID, MONGOLOID
HIS FRIENDS WERE UNAWARE
MONGOLOID, MONGOLOID
NOBODY EVEN CARED
MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
ONE CHROMOSOME TOO MANY
MONGOLOID HE WAS A MONGOLOID
AND IT DETERMINED WHAT HE COULD SEE
AND HE WORE A HAT
AND HE HAD A JOB
AND HE BROUGHT HOME THE BACON
SO THAT NO ONE KNEW

And of course that classic of 20th century philosophy, Freedom of Choice:

In ancient Rome, there was a poem
About a dog, who found two bones
He licked the one, he licked the other,
He went in circles until he dropped dead

Freedom of choice is what you’ve got
Freedom from choice is what you want…

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