Month: February 2018

Future Day 2018 featuring the new dpr Book Club

Another Future Day is upon us, and this year, Dynamic Patterns Research will celebrate with a new “book club” event hosted online for all of you to participate.

Thursday, March 1, 2018 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm online
RSVP at the dpr Facebook Calendar Event

Future Day is a grass-roots, world-wide celebration of the future and what it holds for humankind. On March 1, we are encouraged to ponder what the future might be like and, more importantly, what we can do now to help make the future become what we want.

In this spirit, I recently discovered the popularized science book written by Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics at MIT, that discusses the possibilities, opportunities, and warnings for the next phase of life as we know it. The first “version” of life, or Life 1.0, evolved in the form of bacteria. The second phase featured humans. Looming on the horizon is Life 3.0–where human intelligence is exponentially and explosively broadened with technology. This new product launch of life will be represented by the development of a super-human artificial intelligence (AI) driven by extreme computational frameworks.

Life 3.0 is our evolution into technological intelligent beings.

Prof. Tegmark offers a thorough and imaginative–yet, scientifically grounded–exploration of the wide implications of a level of AI that is so much more than anything we have witnessed up until today. His ideas and stories include wondrous new opportunities for prosperity and enhancement to apocalyptic scenarios that leave biological humans in the dust, quite literally.

While a super-AI does not exist today, it is likely inevitable. However, exactly when super-AI comes to pass is impossible to predict. Some say within the next couple of decades, others claim in the next millennia, while still others insist it just can’t happen. No matter when the future of AI arrives, it will do so because human beings created it. This means we are in the critical position today to guide its development and implementation. So, the time is now to figure out what we want the future of AI to be for us. Thinking about what we want when super-AI is about to emerge will be much too late because the super-AI may just pass us by and push us under.

I encourage you to grab a copy of this intriguing book–check it out at your local library, download the audio version for your commute, or pick up a copy at your favorite local bookseller, such as Anderson’s Bookshops, or that other big warehouse with a lot of books and things. For our book club discussion, try to get through at least the prologue, which includes a tantalizing fictional account of how a super-AI might develop and lead to world domination, and the first chapter. This includes a broad introduction to the issues, ideas, and terminology as well as an initial review of questions we should answer to determine how we want to guide our fate alongside the inevitability of the future of AI.

On March 1, 2018 (Future Day!) from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, dpr will host an online event (and possibly the addition of a local venue depending on participation). Bring your questions, ideas, thoughts and preferences for the future, and your imagination (and web cam) while we talk through the exciting, scary, wild, and unbelievable possibilities that we might witness when Life 3.0 launches.

To RSVP, please like the dpr Facebook page and mark you will be attending in the calendar event. You may also RSVP by contacting dpr directly, and I’ll be sure to email you with connection details closer to the event date and time.

Happy Future Day!

 

Get Started in Citizen Science with the Great Backyard Bird Count of 2018

If you have been considering getting involved in Citizen Science and just haven’t found the time or the right project, then let this annual opportunity pique your interest! The Great Backyard Bird Count is hosted every February by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, and it takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s also fun, free, and perfect for the entire family to do together. 

During the four-day event (Friday, February 16 through Monday, February 19, 2018), head out into your backyard and count the birds you observe. Next, simply submit your checklist of observations online or through a mobile app, and your data will be used by researchers for the rest of the year to study how birds are getting along in our environment. This is the 21st year for the GBBC and last year more than 210,000 participants provided bird observations of nearly 6,000 species!

Bird populations shift throughout the United States, and observations of these behaviors are a vital window into environmental trends. For more details, check out the 2017 results and the many great photos sent in along with the observations.

Sign up today to get prepared for your backyard observations and download the free mobile eBird app (iOS | Android) for all of your bird observations. 

Let us know if you participate this year and anything interesting you observe, and share your bird photos on our Facebook page!

Last updated April 5, 2020