Humanity+ @ San Francisco ‘Writing the Future’

Humanity+ @ San Francisco ‘Writing the Future’

Dates: Dec 1 – 2, 2012

Location: Seven Hills Conference Center at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

“Writing the Future” focuses on how emerging and converging sciences and technologies are the tools for designing our future, based on the advances in robotics, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, human enhancement, brain-computer integration, regenerative medicine, and radical life extension.

Of special significance this year is the theme “Writing the Future.” The conference will explore the world of media and communicating transhumanism. The aim is to encourage refined communication about the future in creative ways, and thereby promote serious attention to the opportunities and risks we are facing.  Speakers and attendees will discuss topics such as: What are we working on?  How are we going about doing it?  What have we learned?

These topics include scholarship in writing, yellow journalism, research rigor, game storylines, documentary narratives, science fiction and science fact, H+ Magazine, and whether or not to self-publish. Related disciplines like graphic design, quantified self, social media apps are also part of the agenda.

How do we write the narratives for the timeframe in which we live? How do we balance between drama and a reasonable portrayal of facts? How do we flavor our ideas with enough enticement without going overboard with hyperbole? Alternatively, how do we carefully detect when an author or an essay hits the market on quality and efficacy while others borrow ideas without adequate referencing or acknowledging where their ideas stem from?  When is a work of art original, or are all ideas open for interpretation?

Historically, transhumanists have a solid set of knowledge and skills for discerning fact from sloppy thinking.  Yet all too often, we all find ourselves in a quandary when attempting to get the most recent information and verify that the details and essentials of our writings are as accurate as possible.

Humanity+ @ San Francisco explores how society might use and profit from creative and innovative thought. Join us for this adventurous journey into the future where you can make a difference. This conference will broaden and enhance your insight into the future and the opportunities it presents.

Speakers include: Adam Ford, Amy Li, Andrea Kuszewski,  Aubrey de grey,  Ben Goertzel,  Brandon Whale, David A. Dalrymple, David Brin, David Orban, David Pearce, Desiree Dudley, Ed Keller, Fred Stitt, Jamais Cascio, James Hughes, Keith Henson, Kevin Fischer, Kim Stanley Robinson, Linda McDonald Glenn, Louie Helm, Max More, Michael Anissimov, Natasha Vita-More, PJ Manney, Ramez Naam, Randal Koene, RU Sirius, Simone Syed, Sonia Arrison. More!

Aubrey de Grey. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 1985 and 2000 respectively. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the accumulating and eventually pathogenic molecular and cellular side-effects of metabolism (“damage”) that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. He has developed a possibly comprehensive plan for such repair, termed Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), which breaks aging down into seven major classes of damage and identifies detailed approaches to addressing each one. A key aspect of SENS is that it can potentially extend healthy lifespan without limit, even though these repair processes will probably never be perfect, as the repair only needs to approach perfection rapidly enough to keep the overall level of damage below pathogenic levels. Dr. de Grey has termed this required rate of improvement of repair therapies “longevity escape velocity”. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.

Ben Goertzel, PhD. Dr. Ben Goertzel is Vice Chairman of Humanity+; Chief Scientist of financial prediction firm Aidyia Holdings; Chairman of AI software company Novamente LLC and bioinformatics company Biomind LLC; Chairman of the Artificial General Intelligence Society and the OpenCog Foundation; Scientific Advisor of biopharma firm Genescient Corp.; Advisor to the Singularity University and Singularity Institute; 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. His research work encompasses artificial general intelligence, natural language processing, cognitive science, data mining, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, virtual worlds and gaming and other areas. He has published a dozen scientific books, 100+ technical papers, and numerous journalistic articles. Before entering the software industry he served as a university faculty in several departments of mathematics, computer science and cognitive science, in the US, Australia and New Zealand. He has three children and too many pets, and in his spare time enjoys creating avant-garde fiction and music, and exploring the outdoors.


Brandon Whale. Brandon Whale is a Stanford student majoring in Science, Technology, and Society, with emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Bioengineering. He runs the Stanford Transhumanist Association, the world’s largest student-ran futurist group. He recently launched Learnist, a social learning product (TIME named it #18 on the 50 best websites of 2012). Now he is building The Transhuman Times, the next generation of news websites.

Sonia Arrison.Sonia Arrison – Author: 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything … (Basic Books)

Ramez Naam.Ramez is the HG Wells Award-winning author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement. His first science fiction novel, Nexus, about a drug that links minds and the struggle to control it, will be released in December 2012. His next non-fiction book,The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite Planet, lays out a path to use innovation to overcome the natural resource and environmental limits that face us, and will be released in March 2013. Naam worked at Microsoft for 13 years, most recently leading artificial intelligence and relevance work on the Bing search engine. He helped develop two of the most widely used pieces of software in the world: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook.

R.U. Sirius – R. U. Sirius is an American writer, editor, talk show host, musician and cyberculture celebrity. He is best known as co-founder and original editor-in-chief of Mondo 2000 magazine from 1989 to 1993. Sirius was also chairman and candidate in the 2000 U.S. presidential election for the Revolution Party. He was a regular columnist for Wired News and San Francisco Examiner, and contributing writer for Wired and Artforum International. He’s also written for Rolling Stone, Time, Esquire and other publications. Sirius has written several hundred articles and essays for mainstream and subculture publications. He was editor-in-chief of Axcess magazine in 1998, 1999–2000, and H+ Magazine 2008–2010.

David Brin, PhD – scientist and award-winning author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards.

Jamais Cascio – Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of their Top 100 Global Thinkers, He writes about the intersection of emerging technologies, environmental dilemmas, and cultural transformation, specializing in the design and creation of plausible scenarios of the future.

David A. Dalrymple – looking to completely understand the smallest nervous system Nature has to offer: the 302-neuron roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

Desiree Dudley – Director of Development and Outreach for the Foresight Institute

Adam Ford – Adam organizes futurist conferences and think-tank oriented discussion groups in Melbourne Australia.  He is on the Board of Humanity+, and is a co-chair of Humanity+ @San Francisco conference.

Louie Helm – Singularity Institute executive in charge of strategic development, outreach, online community growth, technical work, fundraising, and volunteer management.

James Hughes, PhD Author: Citizen Cyborg and Writer for ChangeSurfer Radio podcast. Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, is a bioethicist and sociologist at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut where he teaches health policy and serves as Director of Institutional Research and Planning.

Ed Keller  Associate Dean, Parsons The New School for Design.

Randal A. Koene, PhD is a Dutch neuroscientist and neuroengineer, and co-founder of, the outreach and roadmapping organization for Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds (ASIM).

Andrea Kuszewski – an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, works as a researcher with METODO Social Sciences Institute, the US branch of METODO Transdisciplinary Research Group on Social Sciences, based in Bogotá Colombia, investigating the neuro-cognitive factors behind human behavior; this includes topic such as creativity, intelligence, illegal behavior, and disorders on the convergent-divergent thinking spectrum of schizophrenia and autism.

Amy Li – a multidisciplinary creative director and designer, specializing in user experience design, branding, and creative marketing strategy. Amy is on the Board of Humanity+ and a co-chair of Humanity+ @ San Francisco.

PJ Manney Writer: Hercules — The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

David Pearce David is a British-based vegan activist and negative utilitarian. In 1995, he wrote “The Hedonistic Imperative”, an online manifesto advocating the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering throughout the living world. David believes that factory farming should be outlawed, and humans should compassionately intervene in Nature to guarantee the well-being of all sentience. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative details how he believes the abolition of suffering can be accomplished through “paradise engineering”.

Max More, PhD – philosopher and futurist who writes, speaks, and consults on advanced decision-making about emerging technologies

Natasha Vita-More, PhD – Author: The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology and Philosophy of the Human Future (Wiley).  Natasha is known for designing the first human prototype “Primo Posthuman”. She  is Chairman of Humanity+ and a co-chair of Humanity+ @San Francisco.

David Orban – is a Hungarian entrepreneur, visionary, and analyst of the global high technology landscape

Kim Stanley Robinson, PhD – science fiction writer known for his award-winning Mars trilogy. His work delves into ecological and sociological themes regularly, and many of his novels appear to be the direct result of his own scientific fascinations, such as the fifteen years of research and lifelong fascination with the planet Mars. Robinson’s novels have won eleven major science fiction awards, and have been nominated on twenty-nine occasions.

Ernesto Ramirez –  focuses on how to use existing and new technologies to better measure/understand behavioral patterns and then harnesses technology solutions to create effective interventions for individuals.

Simone Syed – Bioprogressive, Builder of Better Futures, Sustainable Emerging Technolust, Occasional Poet, Full-time Ingenue, Gardener Extraordinaire, Expertly Weird, and an EcoGeek.

Michael Anissimov – emphasizes the need for increased research into AI goal systems to develop “Friendly AI” that values human life as it approaches and eventually surpasses human intelligence.

Brandon Whale: Editor Transhuman Times

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