Dear President Obama – Fund these projects FTW!


I’ve written about the remarkable Blue Brain project here and at Technology Report, but there is a new AI project on the block that some seem to think has more potential to attain “strong AI” or independent computer thinking and probably  machine consciousness.   That project is called SyNapse and the lead researcher explains some of the thinking behind this amazing effort:

The problem is not in the organisation of existing neuron-like circuitry, however; the adaptability of brains lies in their ability to tune synapses, the connections between the neurons.

Synaptic connections form, break, and are strengthened or weakened depending on the signals that pass through them. Making a nano-scale material that can fit that description is one of the major goals of the project.

“The brain is much less a neural network than a synaptic network,” Modha says.

There’s not much information yet about this new project but a Wiki that appears to be open to the public has started here.

IBM and five universities are involved in this with funding from DARPA, the US Military’s cutting edge technology folks.   I’m glad to see what appears to be a very open architecture approach here because there should be very real concerns that a militaristic AI would be less likely to be “friendly”, and once we open the Pandora’s box of machine consciousness and superintelligence there is little reason to think we’ll ever be able to close it again.

The upside of these projects is literally and quite simply beyond our wildest imaginations.    A thinking, conscious machine will solve almost every simple problem on earth and is very likely to solve major problems such as providing massive amounts of cheap  energy, clean water, and health innovation.   Although I’m guessing we’ll still run around killing other humans for some time it’s reasonable to assume that a thinking machine will be the last significant human innovation as it ushers in the beginning of a remarkable machine-based era of spectacular new technological innovation.

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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9 Responses to Dear President Obama – Fund these projects FTW!

  1. glenn says:

    Joe you have to pick projects where Obama and the Democrats can line their or their friend’s pockets.

    The latest estimate on the currently proposed stimulus package is that it will cost us: $646,214 Per Government Job.

    This is beyond absurd and will be the biggest boondoggle in history. This stimulus will only prolong our recovery and damage more Americans. Your tax dollars are hard at work now…completely against you.

    This is the change that America voted for…LOL. This is the first month just wait until we have four years of this fraud.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9913

  2. glenn says:

    Check out these videos…

    Peter Schiff understands the economics that we are faced with. Unbelievable to listen to the other pundits laughing at him as he predicted precisely what has happened this past fall and he did it back in 2006.

    http://clusterstock.alleyinsider.com/2009/2/peter-schiff-stimulus-bill-will-lead-to-unmitigated-disaster

    Schiff scoffs at the notion the economic decline is starting to level off and concedes no government action means a “terrible” recession. But the path of increased government intervention will lead to “unmitigated disaster,” says Schiff, who gained notoriety in 2007-08 for his prescient calls on the housing bubble and U.S. stocks.

    The problem, he says, is the government is trying to perpetuate a “phony economy” based on borrowing and spending. With the U.S. consumer tapped out, the government is “now taking on the mantle” of consumer of last resort, he continues, predicting the bond bubble will soon burst – if it hasn’t already – ultimately leading to a collapse of the dollar and an “inflationary depression worse than anything any of us have ever seen.”

    He is dead right on this and Obama/Pelosi are going to take this country into an even more terrible financial situation and crisis. Hope has already turned to fear with Obama in just two weeks and soon it will all be about spin.

  3. glenn says:

    Yes the liberal left is so in-tune with what this country really wants. The White House, Pelosi all claim polls are showing that MOST Americans are demanding the stimulus, etc…

    Well according to Rasmussen the MAJORITY of Americans ARE CLEARLY against this level of spending.

    I guess Pelosi & crew are listening to their lobbyists more than the people that elected them.

    National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters

    Conducted February 6-7, 2009

    By Rasmussen Reports

    1* Generally speaking, do increases in government spending help the economy, hurt the economy, or have no impact on the economy?

    35% Help
    48% Hurt

    7% No impact

    10% Not sure

    2* Generally speaking, do decreases in government spending help the economy, hurt the economy, or have no impact on the economy?

    45% Help
    29% Hurt

    16% No impact

    10% Not sure

    3* As Congress debates the economic stimulus plan initially proposed by President Obama, would you like to see the plan include more tax cuts and less government spending, more government spending and less tax cuts, or would you rather see the plan pass pretty much as it is today?

    62% More tax cuts and less government spending
    14% More government spending and less tax cuts

    20% Pass pretty much as it is today

    5% Not sure

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/pt_survey_toplines/february_2009/toplines_stimulus_package_february_6_7_2009

  4. glenn says:

    The following has been slipped into the stimulus bill:

    There are new healthcare mandates that have been put into the stimulus – what does this have to do with creating job? What it does have to do with is you the taxpayer getting even more screwed over by our health system as we move into socialized medicine where a bureaucrat determines whether you can receive the treatment or not. Let’s further diminish doctor’s so no one will want to pursue a medical career.

    If you care about your health we need to stop these idiots that are about to take yet another step to destroy our freedoms and our ability to get sound medical treatment.

    Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

    Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

    Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

    The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

    But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

    Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

    Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.

    Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).

    The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

    Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

    Bottom line these people are down right scary. Let’s take a quick look at what this means. Sorry taxpayer that has spent their life working hard, paying their taxes, etc…you are now screwed over healthwise because you have been deemed non-important. We need to focus our health efforts on people that we can further control and count on their votes. Hell you won’t be around that much longer…just suck it up and live with your pain. Just because you served in a war, lived through countless challenges and still kept your patriotism and your country strong. It doesn’t matter you should have slept until 2pm, insisted that everything be handed to you. Ha the joke is on you. Remember illegal aliens will be entitled to unbridled and unlimited healthcare.

    Welcome to our new America. The Obama scam takes it up a notch!

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs

  5. glenn says:

    Put this in your pipe and smoke it.

    Envision the scumbag racist Senior DEMOCRAT Byrd going for medical treatment. Do you think that piece of trash will have the same litmus test for his treatments as a regular senior citizen?

    If we are going to put value on someone why don’t we use standards that make sense, whether they are a legal citizen, whether they have been in prison, how many jobs have they produced?, what is the total in taxes they have paid?

    We now know all the liberal keywords and phrases. Whenever you hear them you know it’s a scam:

    It’s too important not to be passed.
    If you vote for it you are being patriotic.

    etc…etc…etc…

  6. glenn says:

    Gee shocker another national poll shows Pelosi, Obama & crew are completely out of touch with Americans.

    “We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face,” President Obama said Friday. But based on preliminary results of this month’s IBD/TIPP Poll, Americans would welcome with open arms tax reductions as part of any stimulus plan. Of 568 adults surveyed last Monday through Thursday, 67% favored cutting federal taxes on businesses, 79% favored cuts in individual income taxes and — despite the fact that only half of Americans are investors — 62% even favored cuts in capitals gains taxes.

    http://www.ibdeditorials.com/Polls.aspx?id=318817943603584#polla

  7. glenn says:

    Another prime example of what is wrong with the thinking of the liberal left. Here is John Kerry this week stating that the American taxpayer doesn’t know how to invest their money that the government can be trusted to make the right investments.

    So basically you worked hard for YOUR money, yet you shouldn’t be allowed to determine where and how it is spent. To think some people actually voted for Kerry. Another idiot destroying our country, our freedoms and he joins the ranks of the people who think we work for THEM and our money is theirs to do what they please.

    UNBELIEVABLE.

  8. glenn says:

    Of course there are some fiscally intelligent people still hanging around. Hopefully this one will get back involved.

    Gingrich typically gets it right.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/11/where-does-the-conservative-movement-go-from-here/

  9. glenn says:

    Just like capping the salaries for execs that receive bail-out funds…I wonder how popular the housing bail-out would be with politicians if as a citizen receiving bail-out for your mortgage you can’t afford you would have to forfeit your right to vote in the next two elections…I would be willing to bet that 100% of the democrats would amazingly be against the mortgage bail-out.

    Interesting stat to ponder: It has been estimated that 40% of the mortgage holders that are currently in trouble would not be able to afford their mortgage regardless of how it is restructured.

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