Events/Conferences

Consciousness Simulation and our Cyber-Immortality Project

Friday, May 13, 2016   at  7pm - 10pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

We will review how to build a computer simulation system capable of simulating rational self-consciousness, including simulated "free will" and human-like capacities to emerge as new properties in the virtual reality. Traditional approaches to concept formation, thereby undermine the whole idea of a simulated consciousness that is more independent of human control than state of the art technology allows.

I would recommend you to watch cyber-immortality play "Be Right Back" is the first episode of the second series of Black Mirror. It starred Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson,

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

 

Heidegger’s Concept of Time

May 13 · 4:30 PM              
Suite  402
594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012


This seminar will explore the extent to which Heidegger promises a new understanding of the concept of time. Heidegger believes that the tradition of philosophy was mistaken in interpreting time as a "moving image of eternity"(Plato). We are told that this definition of time is intelligible only if we have eternity as a point of departure to understand the meaning of time. Yet, Heidegger believes that we are barred from such a viewpoint. We can only understand the phenomenon of time from our mortal or finite vantage point. Contrary to the tradition of philosophy, Heidegger argues that time does not find its meaning in eternity, time finds its meaning in death. However, death — like eternity — is never at our disposal to understand the phenomenon of time. Heidegger is aware that death is never an event in our life, he nonetheless claims that it is the awareness of our finitude that informs our understanding of time.

 

Superintelligence vs. Superconsciousness

Friday, April 29, 2016   at  7pm - 10pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

Nick Bostrom defines superintelligence as "an intellect that is much smarter than the best human brains in practically every field, including scientific creativity, general wisdom and social skills." Advanced AI would be able to reprogram and improve itself – a feature called "recursive self-improvement". It would then be even better at improving itself, and could continue doing so in a rapidly increasing cycle, leading to a super-intelligence. This scenario is known as an intelligence explosion. Such an intelligence would not have the limitations of human intellect, and may be able to invent or discover almost anything. Will it be possible to construct a seed AI or otherwise to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?

A human-like reasoner that could think millions of times faster than current humans would have a dominant advantage in most reasoning tasks, particularly ones that require haste or long strings of actions. However, it's definitely not clear if super-intelligence will come with super-consciousness, because at some point they might split and develop itself in their own way?

As usual, free wine cheese and plenty of intellectual pleasure. Please RSVP free

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/superintelligence-vs-superconsciousness-talk-tickets-24766853325

 


Martin Heidegger's Magical Philosophy

Friday, April 29, 2016   at  4:30pm - 7pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

We will have an introductoty talk and then a discussion about the philosophy of one of the foremost thinkers of the 20th Century, Martin Heidegger. Through an investigation into the seminal themes of his text, Being and Time, we will look at Heidegger’s descriptions of ourselves as “Dasein,” (Being There”) in terms of his analyses of “possibility,” “facticity,” “authenticity,” “dread,”, “fallenness,” and “Being-Toward-Death.” Seminar will initially concentrate on two introductory concerns: the early influences upon Heidegger’s thinking (Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Holderlin) and Husserl’s method of pure phenomenology.


As usual, free wine, cheese and plenty of intellectual pleasure.

 


Seminar/Talk: Solutions for Fermi Paradox

Friday, April 15, 2016   at  7pm - 10pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

 

This event was devoted to the "eerie silence" of the Universe.

Enrico Fermi was Italian physicist, who created the world's first nuclear reactor and was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics. In response to a lunch time discussion about extraterrestrials, he asked the question “Where is Everybody?” (i.e. where are extraterrestrials).  This became known as the Fermi Paradox (1950). The basic points of the arguments are:

  • If there is nothing special about Earth or humanity, then whatever is true here should be true elsewhere in the galaxy.

  • There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun and some of these stars will have Earth-like planets. Some of them might develop intelligent life.

  • Following this reasoning, Frank Drake predicted the existence of tens of thousands of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations (ETC) and Carl Sagan likewise predicted perhaps a million ETC. 

  • At least some of these ETC’s must be millions or even billions of years more advanced than us. Some of these civilizations might develop interstellar travel, thus they should have already reached Earth and we should have detected their existence by now.

Something must be wrong with this chain of reasoning so, we will review about 30 solutions to the Fermi Paradox and even create our own solution.

Our gust Seth Shostak will lead part of the talk. Dr. Shostak is the Senior Astronomer and Director, Center for SETI research. Shostak earned his B.S. in physics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology. Since 2001, he has been Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to “explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe”. Dr Shostak is an active participant in the Institute’s observation programs and has been hosting SETI's weekly radio show Big Picture Science since 2002

 

There will be free wine, cheese, and plenty of intellectual pleasure. Contact for any questions vb@cosmism.com

 

 


 

 

Seminar/Talk:  "Phenomenology of Edmund Husserl"

Friday, April 15, 2016   at  4pm - 7 pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

 

Edmund Husserl  believed that phenomenology is the science of the essence of consciousness, the philosophical science of consciousness qua intentionality. We will review "the reflective study of the essence of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view”. Then we will return "to the things themselves" rigorous science of all conceivable transcendental phenomena, esp. meaning. Will touch a method of the critique of knowledge (the phenomenological method), and define phenomenology is the universal doctrine of essences, in which takes place the science of the essence of knowledge.
Our research has to be held in the pure seeing, but not for this reason has to be limited to the real immanent: it is research in the sphere of pure evidence and hence research of essences. We also say that its field is the apriori within the absolutely given in itself.

     

     


 

Seminar/Talk:  "Modern Continental Philosophy"

Friday, April 1, 2016   at  4pm - 7 pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

 

This seminar is dedicated mostly to French Existentialism (Jean-Paul Sartre) and post-structuralism (Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze). According to Sartre, Existentialism is the belief that “existence precedes essence.” That is to say that human creation differs from the production of objects, because objects are manufactured with a pre-determined purpose or “essence” in mind, while humans are created and then determine their own meaning through existence (choices and actions). As Sartre puts it, “Man is nothing other than what he makes of himself.

  
           

            


 

Seminar/Talk:  "Perspective of Mind Uploading"

Friday, April 1, 2016   at  7pm - 10pm

594 Broadway, New York, NY 10012     Suite  402

 

The next talk on Friday, April 1, from 7pm to 10 pm, will be dedicated to "Perspective of Mind Uploading" or possibility of whole brain emulation (WBE) followed by a reception. Neuroscientists have stated that important functions performed by the mind, such as learning, memory, and consciousness, are due to purely physical and electrochemical processes in the brain and are governed by applicable laws. They believe that a consciousness is a product of our neurons network and does not arise from “some magical or otherworldly quality”. We will discuss this topic and if a human brain is just a “way station” or the final destination of the consciousness. Also, will review a current technology approaching to mind uploading. The discussion topics you can download here

Our guest Dr. Randal Koene will lead a part of the talk. He earned his Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience at the Department of Psychology at McGill University, and his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Information Theory at Delft University of Technology. He is a former Professor at the Center for Memory and Brain of Boston University, and is co-founder of the Neural Engineering Corporation of Massachusetts. You can download Dr. Koene presentation here.

Our large classroom with a kitchen, wifi etc. are located in SoHo at 594 Broadway, Suite 402. There will be free wine, cheese, and plenty of intellectual pleasure

7pm - 10 pm   Suite 402

       

    

 


 

Mar 9, 2016   Seminar "correlation between consciousness and existence" 276 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

Our next meeting will be dedicated to discussing "correlation between consciousness and existence".We will review the sameness of Being and Mind proposed by Parmenides then compare it with Aristotelian Being as Essence and Neo-Platonic's intelligent emanation of One. Then we will briefly touch Heidegger's ontological project "Dasein" and connect it with the Anthropic principle of modern Cosmology. Finally, we will discuss the Modern Cosmism's concept of Super Intelligent Life (SIL) as a seed of self evolving Cosmos.

6pm - 7:30 pm   Conference Room 704D

 


 

Oct. 10, 2015   Modern Cosmism Annual Conference in New York

 

Date: Saturday, October 10, 2015, 9am-6pm
Location: New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64 Street, Manhattan, 10023
Director: Vlad Bowen
Contact: Tel: 800-350-0393      vb@cosmism.com
   
Here you can find the article by about the conference in the Harper's Magazine  

Conference Description:                Conference photos and videos             Conference Schedule

Cosmism was originated in Russia more than a hundred years ago. That was an esoteric futuristic philosophy about post-humanity, technological immortality, resurrection and cosmic expansion. Early cosmists proposed the idea of decompaction (lightweighting) of the human body, that eventually wouldn’t need an atmosphere and would be powered directly by solar energy. They call it “radiant humanity” - a perfect society of highly moral and super-conscious beings merging and colonizing the whole Universe.

Modern Cosmism brings to the original doctrine the ontological foundation, a scientific structure and a deeper comprehension of possible technology aims to create in the future a new synthetic reality where the concepts of truth, consciousness, freedom and happiness will be deeply revised.

The conference will review the critical question about a potential contact with advanced extraterrestrial  civilizations and suggest few hypotheses about their “eerie silence”. We will touch some related problems in cosmology and astrophysics such as the shape and future of the Universe, black hole information paradox, anthropic principle, multidimensional space, dark energy and interpretation of quantum mechanics. Are they a separate arrow of time? Are there exceptions to the principle of causality?

Like no other area of philosophy and technology before, Modern Cosmism raises fundamental questions about the post human nature and how it will be connected to the reality. Is the structure of reality included the consciousness? Is a non biological hardware can support the consciousness? How we can define Cosmic Evolution and what is the role of intelligent life?

The conference will address important philosophical issues that arise with the future design of artificial consciousness, mind uploading and cyber-immortality.  How will our concepts of subjectivity, perception, and morality change, if we will live in virtual reality of mega-consciousness environment where individuals can experience multiple presence, personality and have no gender. Will we be able to create super intelligent agents with consciousness and feelings? What are the limits of artificial capacities or functional simulations we should create?  Could we enhance our own humanity by genetically improve our nature?  

Our keynote and plenary speakers are well-known cosmologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, interdisciplinary researchers, international protagonists of Cosmism and Transhumanism. Their lectures will discuss the most important current issues of Modern Cosmism from the point of view of philosophy, cosmology, ethics, technology, robotics and psychology. 

Our speakers:

Video and Abstract

 

Jeremiah P. Ostriker is an astrophysicist and a professor of astronomy at Columbia University. From 2001 to 2003, he was appointed as Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. Dr. Ostriker has been an influential researcher in one of the most exciting areas of modern science, theoretical astrophysics, with primary work in the area of the interstellar medium, galaxies, quasars and cosmology, particularly the aspects that can be approached best by large-scale numerical calculations. He has also played a significant role in formulating and administering scientific projects and policy. He served for six years as Provost of Princeton University and is now serving a second term as Treasurer of the National Academy of Science. Dr. Ostriker, was among the first to show the importance and prevalence of dark matter in the universe and among the first to propose the current model for cosmology in which dark energy has caused the late time acceleration of cosmological expansion. He helped initiate the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which, surveying the sky with a relatively small telescope, produced an enormous and diverse set of astronomical discoveries and provided the data openly to the scientific community. He played leadership roles in several of the influential national decadal reports in astronomy that helped guide this discipline to great advances in the last half century. Dr. Ostriker is a recipient of the National Medal of Science in 2000.

     

Video and Abstract

 

Ben Goertzel Ph.D is the author of "Cosmists Manifesto". He is Chief Scientist of financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings; Chairman of AI software company Novamente LLC, which is a privately held software company, and bioinformatics company Biomind LLC, which is a company that provides advanced AI for bioinformatic data analysis (especially microarray and SNP data); Chairman of the Artificial General Intelligence Society and the OpenCog Foundation; Vice Chairman of futurist nonprofit Humanity+; Scientific Advisor of biopharma firm Genescient Corp.; Advisor to the Singularity University; Research Professor in the Fujian Key Lab for Brain-Like Intelligent Systems at Xiamen University, China; and general Chair of the Artificial General Intelligence conference series.

     

Video and Abstract

 

Giulio Prisco is former senior manager in the European Space Agency, Prisco is a physicist and computer scientist. He served as a member on the board of directors of World Transhumanist Association, of which he was temporarily executive director, and continues to serve as a member on the board of directors of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and of the Associazione Italiana Transumanisti. He is also a founding member of the Order of Cosmic Engineers, and the Turing Church, fledgling organizations which claim that the benefits of a technological singularity, which would come from accelerating change, should or would be viable alternatives to the promises of major religious groups.

     

Video and Abstract

 

James J. Hughes Ph.D served as the executive director of the World Transhumanist Association (which has since changed its name to Humanity+) from 2004 to 2006, and currently serves as the executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, which he founded with Nick Bostrom. He also produces the syndicated weekly public affairs radio talk show program Changesurfer Radio and contributed to the Cyborg Democracy blog. Hughes' book Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future was published by Westview Press in November 2004

     

Video and Abstract

 

Wendell Wallach Ph.D is a consultant, ethicist, and scholar at Yale University's Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. He is also a senior advisor to The Hastings Center, a fellow at the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law (Arizona State University). At Yale Mr. Wallach has chaired the Center's working research group on Technology and Ethics for the past ten years. Dr. Wallach's latest book A Dangerous Master: How to keep technology from slipping beyond our control was published in 2015. He also co-authored (with Colin Allen) Moral Machines: Teaching Robots Right From Wrong, which mapped the then new field of enquiry variously called machine ethics, machine morality, computational morality, or friendly AI.

     

Video and Abstract

 

Jay Friedenberg Ph.D Professor and Chair of Psychology and Director of the Cognitive Science Program, Manhattan College. He is the author of "Artificial psychology: The quest for what it means to be human", " Cognitive science. An introduction to the study of mind" and " Visual attention and consciousness". Dr. Friedenberg is interested in cognitive science, the philosophy of mind and visual perception. He has published several articles on center of mass estimation and symmetry perception. His current research focus is on image statistics and picture perception as well as the perceived aesthetics of geometric forms.

     

Video and Abstract

 

Randal A. Koene Ph.D is a Dutch neuroscientist and neuroengineer, and co-founder of carboncopies.org the outreach and roadmapping organization for advancing Substrate-Independent Minds (SIM). Between 2008 and 2010, Koene was Director of the Department of Neuroengineering at the Fatronik-Tecnalia Institute in Spain, the third largest private research organization in Europe. He is a former Professor at the Center for Memory and Brain of Boston University, and is co-founder of the Neural Engineering Corporation of Massachusetts. Koene established the MindUploading.org website and first proposed the term and specific approach called whole brain emulation, the purpose of which is the technological accomplishment of mind transfer to a different substrate.

     
   

Vlad Bowen is the executive director of the Cosmism Foundation. He is a former professor of Philosophy taught European Philosophy, Existentialism and Philosophy of Science.

 

Video and Abstract

 

 

 

   

 

     
     
 

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