Future of Mind Symposium

Date: July 20th, 2016
Location: The New School, NYC
66 West 12th Street ‘The Auditorium’ room A106
Sponsors: Center for Transformative Media; The New School; Humanity+; The New Centre
Free and Open to the Public
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1584070041890634/

Leaders: Dr. Ben Goertzel (Humanity+),  Ed Keller (The New School)

What form of cognition will be salient in our corner of the universe 50 years from now?  Our models of mind have been forced to evolve radically in recent years, in the wake of accelerating scientific, mathematical, computational and cultural advancements.  The Extended Mind Hypothesis, the Global Brain, Machine Consciousness, Artificial General Intelligence, Open Ended Intelligence and a host of other cutting-edge concepts are all part of this expanding landscape of cognitive models.

Provocatively- if the Technological Singularity envisioned by scientists like Ray Kurzweil and SF writers like Vernor Vinge arrives mid-century as foreseen- then the concept of intelligence will be expanded even more broadly. We may find ourselves living in a world populated by literally millions of ‘kinds’ of intelligence, distributed across our planet and the local neighborhood of our solar system, occupying the macro, nano and femto scales, and perhaps penetrating aspects of reality we cannot now imagine.

In this workshop we will explore the future possibilities of intelligence in the broadest way possible.   What kinds of minds will future AGIs and robots possess?   What kinds of collective intelligence will emerge among humans, cyborgs, robots, and AIs?  What new types of complex self-organizing dynamics will arise, stretching beyond our current concept of “intelligence”?   What will our current notions of “ethics”, “consciousness” and “creativity” look like from the perspective of 2050 or 2200?   What are the questions we should be asking about the future of mind and the mind of the future?

FUTURE of MIND will feature a series of panels moderated by  Dr. Goertzel and Prof. Keller, combining contributions of expert panelists with those of audience members. Five minute ‘lightning talk’ presentations by panelists will be followed by discussions encouraging  all participants and audience to develop a day long conversation.

The symposium  will take place immediately following a four day [July 16-19], international, Human Level AI conference- HLAI 2016- the full details of which can be found here:  http://agi-conf.org/hlai2016/

The symposium has been organized as a collaboration between Humanity + [Goertzel] and The New School’s Center for Transformative Media [Keller]. The #AGI: Accelerate General Intellect panel has been organized in collaboration with The New Centre [Tony Yanick et. al.]

A parallel summer seminar/residency hosted by The New Centre, ‘#AGI: Accelerate General Intelligence’, will take place in NYC July 18-22. Please see the facebook event page and their site for more information.

Future of Mind proceedings will be video-recorded for online dissemination.




9:30-10 AM: Workshop Introduction


10-11:15 AM: SESSION 1: The Future of the Individual: AGIs, Cyborgs, Uploads, and …
Epistemological horizons of the individual and collective mind. Rethinking the ethics and politics of mind beyond individual or gender.
◦      Panelists: Cosmo Harrigan, Natasha Vita-More, Amy Li, & by videolink Peter Watts


11:30-12:45: SESSION 2: Economies of Intelligence
The economics of intelligence; and the intelligence of economies.  Continuing thoughts on the relation between emerging ‘radical economies’ and the role of cognitive & computational platforms. Infrastructure, complexity, collapse.
◦      Panelists: Ted Goertzel, José Cordeiro


12:45-2 – lunch break


2-3:15: SESSION 3:  Ethics, Ethologies and Ecologies of the Emerging Global Brain
Non-anthropocentric models of cognition and intelligence. Blockchain and tech-ecology as platform for a ‘noosphere’. The absolute limits of the human. Critically unpacking various computational models and a broader definition of life and ecology. Addressing the human/non-human/alien relationship.
◦      Panelists: David Weinbaum, Nick Land, Bill Hibbard


3:30-4:45: SESSION 4:  #AGI: Accelerate General Intellect
[organized with the collaboration of The New Centre]
◦      Panelists [TBC]: Reza Negarestani, Pete Wolfendale, Patricia Reed

Panel Abstract: What does it mean to accelerate the general intellect in the age of artificial intelligence? #AGI begins from the investigation of distributed networks from which thought assembles and into which it disperses. Unlike in the past, general intelligence, algorithms, and networks are together becoming as irreducible to the efforts of “universal” intellectuals as cultural and political movements have become to “universal” leaders. Will the future enable a more radical, integrated, but also more complex mode of cultural and political engagement? One predicated upon what Marx describes as, “the conditions of the process of social life itself… under the control of the general intellect.”*
#AGI explores the new intensifying developments in the field of AI that are making possible subjectless modes of the general intellect, more collective and more general than any single individual or network.
* Karl Marx, Grundrisse (London: Penguin Books, 1973), 706.


5:00-6:15: SESSION 5: Mind Beyond Mind
The relations linking radical invention, aesthetics, biological networks, and cognition. The Stack.
◦      Panelists: Vlad Bowen, Elliott Sharp, Ben Bratton [by videolink]


6:15-6:45 : Workshop Wrap-up