1.1.11


The Humanity+ UK 2011 conference, being held at London’s Conway Hall on Saturday 29th January, is an opportunity to meet some of the most interesting futurist thinkers in the UK -  to listen to their ideas, hear about the progress of their projects, ask them questions, and debate with them.
The principal theme of the conference is “Making a human difference”.
Speakers so far announced are (in alphabetical order by first name):
  • Ajit Jaokar – Meditation as a transhumanist technology;
  • Dr Anders Sandberg – The future of ideas on machine intelligence;
  • Dr Aubrey de Grey – Approaching the human longevity escape velocity;
  • David Pearce – What is empathetic superintelligence?;
  • David Wood – Five key questions for futurists;
  • Dean Bubley – Session chairman;
  • Professor Kevin Warwick – Human Enhancement: A Practical Guide;
  • Luke Robert Mason – Traversing the Transhuman: Bridging the Gap Between Biology and Technology Through Art;
  • Dr Marios Kyriazis – Achieving human biological immortality;
  • Michael A. Woodley – How clever-sillies might thwart the singularity;
  • Rachel Armstrong – Living megacities: the forthcoming habitat of synthetic biologies;
  • Richard Osborne – The next steps to the solar system;
  • Tom Michael – Evidence based cognitive enhancement: a neuropsychological perspective.
See http://humanityplus.org.uk/speakers/ for more details.  The agenda for the day is at http://humanityplus.org.uk/agenda/.
To cover the costs of hiring the main rooms in Conway Hall for an entire day, there will be a small entry fee for attendees.  This is described at the page http://humanityplus.org.uk/registration/ – which links in turn to an EventBrite page.
Note that the ticket prices increase at 10pm on 8th January, so there’s an advantage in registering early.  (And prices will increase again on the day of the event itself.)
There should be more news about the conference soon – including one or two more speakers.
Examples of the kinds of questions that will be explored during the day:
  1. Setting aside hype, what are the realistic scenarios for progress with emerging technologies that have the potential to make us all smarter, stronger, healthier, longer-lived, kinder, more fulfilled, and more sociable?
  2. What are the most serious risks (“existential risks”) facing humanity over the next few decades, and what is the role of technology in addressing these risks?
  3. What are the implications of rapidly changing technology for what it means to be human?
  4. What are the pros and cons of aspiring to a “Humanity+” phase of evolution, with powers and experiences as far above those of present humans as human experience exceeds that of pre-human apes?
  5. If people want to become involved in activism supporting Humanity+, what are the best steps they can take?