February 03 2009 / by Jeff Hilford
Category: Technology Year: 2009 Rating: 5 Hot
The Singularity University, which our own Alvis Brigis got an early scoop on, was made official today. The venture has the support of Google, NASA and an All-Star team of the singularity cognoscenti. The announcement received widespread coverage in the media from the likes of Businessweek, AP and Forbes, which demonstrates just how far this meme has come over the years.
I'll never forget a great night owl session at the first Accelerating Change Conference held by John Smart's Accelerating Studies Foundation in 2003 with Ray Kurzweil holding court and about 20 of his most ardent fans (many of whose works I had read) in attendance. Eliezer Yudkowsky, Ben Goertzel, John Smart et al were listening in earnest to what Ray had to say and it was pretty cool. I heard sometime later that it was also a treat for Ray to have been in such an intimate setting with such a knowledgeable and passionate crew.
It was on my way back from that conference that I stopped by to check out the Futures Studies program at the University of Houston and had the good fortune to meet Garry Golden (of MemeBox's The Energy Roadmap) and Jerry Paffendorf (who later introduced me to Alvis). As you can see the Futures field can be a small world so it is interesting to observe its arc as it gains wider popularity. The Singularity University's mission as reflected in its slug is to 'prepare humanity for accelerating technological change.' With the broader public beginning to perceive this phenomenom the timing for this institution couldn't be better. And with the likes of Ray, Peter Diamandis, Nasa and Google behind it, expectations will certainly be high.
Like many others I look forward to seeing what emerges from this new effort and celebrate its potential impact on raising awareness and helping to navigate the treacherous and promising road ahead.