July 25-26, Chicago—On Wednesday at Transvision 2007, Marvin Minsky, the artificial intelligence guru who heads up MIT’s Media Lab, puckishly suggested we could solve any population problem by uploading the minds of 10 billion people and running them on a computer that occupies a few cubic meters and costs only a few hundred dollars to run. Minsky was one of the scientific stars speaking at the World Transhumanist Association’s annual meeting. Other celebrities included Star Trek’s Captain Kirk (perhaps now better known as Denny Crane on ABC TV’s bizarre Boston Legal), William Shatner. I am never starstruck by Hollywood personalities, but I have to admit that Shatner gave a hell of talk at the conference. More on that later. Another Hollywood luminary St. Elsewhere’s Ed Begley, Jr. (now the protagonist in HGTV’s reality series Living with Ed) also dropped by. Techno-celebrities included the X Prize’s Peter Diamandis, the author of The Age of Spiritual Machines, Ray Kurzweil, and Second Life’s Philip Rosedale.
Source: Reason Magazine.