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Late Night Musings on the Origin of Life

The conventional view of the origin of life is that some combination of simple-enough chemicals was able to catalyze the synthesis of the same chemicals, and that was enough to begin a process of evolution that became more efficient as it became more intricate. One problem with this idea is that no such self-reproducing combination of chemicals is known, or has ever been synthesized or engineered. The simplest known self-replicating systems are enormously complex compared to anything that might plausibly have arisen by chance. Improbable as is the conventional view, the alternatives are far stranger.

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In Conversation: Ron Kaplan of Nuance Communications

I recently got together with Ron Kaplan who is a well known artificial intelligence researcher in the area of natural language processing. The conversation ranges near and far covering AI risks and the recent news about a chatbot passing the Turing Test, whether it is ridiculous to suggest that Siri is a conscious being, reflective computing, NL interfaces and access to knowledge, communicating with wives, the effects of my diet, and the future of human languages when near perfect translation becomes universally available.

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Event: EPHES 2014 July 20-22 Suceava Romania

The EPHES (Engineering Philosophy & Ethics in Society) series of international interdisciplinary conferences intend to be places to debate and share common concerns of researchers from different “hard” and social sciences, engineering, philosophy and other humanities, when trying to capture the high sense for the Human Being in the Age of Surprise / Digital Era / Emergent Technologies Era / Knowledge Society.