Accelerating Change Conference 2003

ACC2003 Issues and Speakers Page
Analysis, Speculation, and Action in Regard to Accelerating Change


Analysis of Accelerating Change



Speculations on Accelerating Change



Action Plans for Guiding Accelerating Change

Future Conference Issues


ACC2003 addresses 20 discrete issues (theories, technologies, topics) that, in the opinion of the ASF Conference Committee, are fundamentally important and compelling dialogs in accelerating change. We have endeavored to find the best speakers we can to present each of these issues to our community. Listed below are a range of desired, tentative, confirmed, and presently unavailable speakers for each issue.

Systematic exploration of each of these issues may be critical both to understanding accelerating change at universal and local scales, and to foresighted, optimal management of technological change in ways that champion our greatest human values, including increased intelligence, freedom and interdependence, security, and continued ethical development.

The issues as a group span five different systems perspectives: Universal, Global, National, Cultural, and Individual dimensions of accelerating change. Issues have been assigned to Analysis, Speculation, and Action (business, social, and political proposals), all concerning the phenomenon of accelerating change. Within each group, one issue will be treated as a keynote address, one as a debate or plenary, and the remaining as breakout sessions.

Subject to community feedback and committee judgement, next year's conference (ACC2004 at Cal Tech, UCLA or USC in Los Angeles) will continue with several of the issues in ACC2003. Other potential important and emerging issues will also be covered in future conferences, some more regularly than others. We've listed some potential and future ACC issues below. Please let us know if you have additional topics to suggest.


ACC2003 — Analysis Issues

We've placed an issue in Analysis if there is a sufficient amount of quality data for historical analysis, providing a base for grounded explication and extrapolation. The Analysis issues for ACC2003:

1. Keynote: The Singularity is Near: Multifold Trends in Accelerating Change
Confirmed: Ray Kurzweil, Homepage.
     The Age of Intelligent Machines, 1990; The Age of Spiritual Machines, 2000

2. Debate: Evaluating Kurzweil's 'Law of Accelerating Returns' (20/20/50)
Feasibility of Reverse Engineering and "Organic Design." Continued Acceleration or Plateau?
     Ray Kurzweil in a trialog debate with:
     Confirmed: Michael Denton, Evolution, 1996; Nature's Destiny, 1998. Homepage.
     Tentative: Ilkka Tuomi, "The Lives and Death of Moore's Law", 2002. Homepage.

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
3. Biologically Inspired Computing: Evolutionary Computation, Genetic Algorithms,
     Evolvable Hardware, Cognitive and Neural Modeling
     Confirmed: John Koza, Exec. Board, ISGEC. Homepage.
     (Genetic Programming: On the Programming of Computers by Means of Natural Selection, 1992;
     Genetic Programming II: Automatic Discovery of Reusable Programs, 1994;
     Genetic Programming III: Automatic Programming and Automatic Circuit Synthesis, 1999;
     coming: Genetic Programming IV: Routine Human-Competitive Machine Intelligence, 2003)
4. Nanotechnology and Nanoscience: Short Term Realities and Long Term Futures
 Confirmed: Eric Drexler,
     (Engines of Creation, 1987; Nanosystems, 1992)

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
5. Interface, Information, Communications
     Confirmed: Keith Devlin, Executive Director, CSLI, Stanford University. Homepage.
     (Constructibility, 1984; Logic and Information, 1995; Goodbye, Descartes, 1997;
Mathematics: The Science of Patterns, 1997; Life By the Numbers, 1998; InfoSense, 1999;
     The Language of Mathematics, 2000; The Math Gene, 2000; The Millennium Problems, 2002)
     Article: Does a New Kind of Science Require a New Kind of Scholar or a New Kind of University?
6. Artificial General Intelligence: Current Approaches and Future Prospects
     Confirmed: Ben Goertzel, Founder and CEO, Biomind LLC. Homepage.
(The Structure of Intelligence,1993; The Evolving Mind, 1993; Chaotic Logic, 1994;
     From Complexity to Creativity, 1997; Creating Internet Intelligence, 2002;
     The Path to Posthumanity, 2003; Mind in Time (ed.), 2003; Advances in Artificial General
     Intelligence (ed.)
, 2003)
     Article: "Novamente: An Artificial General Intelligence in the Making," 2002



ACC2003 — Speculation Issues

The Speculation section is ideal for issue topics which may (or may not) turn out to be essential, but which are more abstract, long range or still underdeveloped subjects, some based on circumstantial evidence or scant data, and some currently controversial. The Speculation issues for ACC2003:

1. Keynote: The Selfish Biocosm Hypothesis
     Confirmed: James N. Gardner
     (Biocosm: The Mission of Life in the Universe, 2003)

2. Debate:
An Anthropic Universe: Replication, 'Intelligent Design,' or Ensemble?

     A Convergence of Science and Spirituality?
     How Child-Proof (Friendly to Intelligence Development) is the Universe?
     James N. Gardner in a trialog debate with:
Confirmed: William A. Dembski. Homepage.
     (No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence, 2001)
     Confirmed: Nick Bostrom. Homepage.
     (Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy, 2002)

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
3. Social Symbiosis, Stability, and Foresight:
Updated Cautions on the Superhuman Transition
     Confirmed: William H. Calvin, Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington in Seattle. Homepage.
     (The River That Runs Uphill: A Journey from the Big Bang to the Big Brain, 1986;
     The Cerebral Symphony, 1989; The Ascent of Mind, 1990; Conversations with Neil's Brain, 1994;
     How Brains Think, 1996; The Cerebral Code, 1996; Lingua ex Machina, 2000;
     A Brain for All Seasons, 2002; Article: "Cautions on the Superhuman Transition," 1993)
4. Network Entropy: A Driver of Change
     Confirmed: Greg Papadopoulos, Executive Vice-President and CTO, Sun Microsystems
     ("Rules of the Game: Moore's Law Meets Gilder's Law Meets Metcalfe's Law")

5. Plenary: An Infinity of Singularities: From the Big Bang to the 23rd Century
     Confirmed: A Special Video Presentation and Q&A with Howard Bloom. Homepage.
     (The Lucifer Principle, 1997; Global Brain, 2001; Reinventing_Capitalism, 2003)

Optional NightOwl Session
6. Development and the Singularity: Understanding Accelerating Change
     Confirmed: John Smart, Acceleration Studies Foundation. Homepage.
     ("Interview on the Singularity," 2001; Exploring the Tech Singularity, 2003)


ACC2003 — Action Issues

Action is ideal for technological applications geared towards solving human problems - for economic, social and political policy agendas for creating and managing accelerating change on our planet, in our nation, culture, and ourselves. Action does not imply a simplistic desire to indiscriminately accelerate technological change, but rather to accelerate those transformations that we collectively prefer. Several policy agendas in democratic societies have historically slowed, restricted, and better regulated the growth of certain technologies with negative externalities, while accelerating technologies which increase intelligence, interdependence, and immunity from potential natural or technological catastrophes. Selective catalysis and foresighted inhibition are important strategies in technology innovation, diffusion, assessment, and policy.

1. Keynote: Venture Capital in a World of Accelerating Change
Opportunities and Challenges
     Confirmed: Steve Jurvetson, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, I.T. Venture Capital
     "Transcending Moore's Law," 2001; DFJ NanoConference, 2002

2. Plenary:
Technology and Interdependence: Nonzero Sumness as the Arc of History
     Confirmed: Robert Wright, Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania. Homepage.
     (The Moral Animal: Exploring Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, 1994; Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny, 1999)

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
3. Autonomy, Robotics, and World-Modeling: NASA's Efforts and Plans in Adaptive Diagnostics, Planning, Spacecraft, and Robotics Systems (2003-2010).
     Confirmed: James Crawford, NASA Ames Computational Sciences Division, Autonomy and Robotics

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
5 . Diffusion of New Memes in the Media

Confirmed: Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly & Associates. Homepage.
     Producer: Emerging Technologies Conference.
Article: "Remaking the Peer-to-Peer Meme," 2000
6 . Values and Consciousness Trends:
A Planetary Wisdom Civilization?    
     Confirmed, Paul H. Ray, Executive Vice-President,
(The Cultural Creatives, 2000; Interview, 2002; Understanding the LOHAS Market, 2002)

Break Outs (Attend One. DVD available for missed session.)
7 . Accelerating Change and World Peace
Confirmed: Scott A. Hunt, Peace Scholar and Activist. Homepage.
     (The Future of Peace: On the Front Lines with the World's Great Peacemakers, 2002)
8. Social Software Solutions:
Groupware, Collaboration, Communities, Wikis, and Blogs. Accelerating Social Change, Making Cyberspace a Third Place.    
     Confirmed: Ross Mayfield, CEO, Socialtext. Weblog. Community.
     ("Ecosystem of Networks," 2003; "New Social Network Mapping Tools," 2003)


Come learn about these issues with us this Fall in Palo Alto.


ACC2004, Potential Conference Issues

• The Technological Singularity: I.A. and A.I. paths to Autonomous Intelligence.
     Desired: Richard Coren, Danny Hillis, or Hans Moravec. Unavailable 2003: Vernor Vinge
• Singularities in Complex Adaptive Systems: Predicting Punctuations in Financial Markets, Populations, Earthquakes and other Nonlinear Systems
 Desired: Didier Sornette
• Multiverse Cosmology:
Black Holes, CNS, Computational Closure and Universal Limits
     Desired: Ed Harrison, Martin Harwit, Michio Kaku, or Lee Smolin
• The Transparent Society and EarthGrid: Global Intelligence, Immunity, and Civil Liberties. Privacy vs. Anonymity. Ubiquitous Sensors, Local Positioning Systems, RFID, and Ubiquitous Computing Trends.
     Tentative: Amitai Etzioni. Unavailable 2003: David Brin.
• Ethics in an Accelerating World
: Humanism and Transhumanism in the Transitional Age
      Desired: Jos De Mul, Tyler Emerson, Sally Goerner
• Health, Vitality, and Longevity: The 50-Year Future of Health Care, Public Health, Bio-Enhancement, and Prevention.
     Desired: Steven Burrill
• Technology Transfer:
Lab to Consumer: Idea Banks, Networks, Contests. Prototyping Centers, IP;
     1st to 3rd World: Law, Manufacturing, IT, Weaponry. Case Study: AIDS Therapies and IP Law
     Desired: James Burke, John Gage (Sun), or John Sculley
• Interfaces (Hardware and Software): Linguistic User Interface (NLP, Voice Rec, Prosody,
     Translation, Comp. Lingistics, Affective Comp., Personality Capture), Wearables, Human-Machine and Brain-Machine Interfaces.
     Desired: William Sims Bainbridge (NSF), Edward Newman (Xybernaut).
• Long Boom or Long Pause:
Science, Technology, and Policy Choices in the Coming Decade
 Desired: Peter Schwartz
• Smart World:
The Future of Electronic Community, Democracy, and Collaborative Creativity
 Desired: Howard Rheingold
• A Gale of Creative Destruction:
Business Strategy and Economic Health During Accelerating Change
     Desired: Brian Arthur, Stanley Metcalfe, or Nathan Rosenberg
• Metrics of Accelerating Change: Doubling Rates and Saturation in a Range of 20th Century Technology Paradigms
• History of Technology:
Is Tech Innovation Accelerating? Smoothly or via Punctuated Equilibrium?
• Technology Diffusion Studies:
Rates of Technological Diffusion in the History of Technology. Cultural Dependencies and Independencies.
• A History of Prediction: Performance Records for a Subset of Computationally-Related Predictions
• Singularity-Aware Scenarios: The Spectrum of Risks and Possiblities for Machine-Intelligent Futures
• A History of Artificial Intelligence: The Record of Supervised and Unsupervised Machine Learning, Biologically-Inspired Computation, and Adaptive Robotics—Challenges and Opportunities.
• Uploading, Personality Capture, and Philosophy of Mind: Speculations of the Society of Mind for Human Machine Convergence and Symbiosis.
• Digital Physics: Do We Exist in an Automata Universe? CA's and Evolutionary Development.
• Biogenesis:
Models and Metrics for Protometabolisms and the Origin of Life—Lessons for General Emergence.
• Neuropsychology: Models of Psychopathology in Children and Adults. A Learning-Dependent Paradigm for Human Mental Disease. Issues and Implications for a Biocybernetic Future.
• Future Fiction: Rare Insights from Utopian Studies, Speculative Movies and Literature on A World of Intelligent Technology.
• Accelerating Change in the Third World:
Near Singularity Scenarios
• Evolutionary Psychology in the Virtual Future:
Comfortable Primate Meets Global Brain
How human social psychology changes and how it stays the same in a world of accelerating change.
• The Future of Entertainment: Globalized, Customized, and Digitized—Beyond the TiVo to the Web-Enabled Interface.
• The Future of Education: Institutional Inertia, The Trials of Educational Software, the Promise of the CUI Knowledge Management, and Wearable Computing for Student-Teacher Empowerment.
• The Future of Journalism: Weblogs, Google, Gelernter's LifeStreams, and Gibson's DatAmerica—Swarm-Constructed News in an Increasingly Transparent World.
• The Future of Retail Community Spaces: Promising Promenades, Vacation Gyms, World's Fairs of Food, Moving Beyond the First Generation Big Box Stores
• The Future of Urban Transportation: Personal Electric Vehicles vs. Mass Transport. Issues and Opportunities
• Longevity and Vitality Strategies: Habits and Regimens for Living an Emotionally and Cognitively Healthy, Creative, and Balanced Life.
• Healthy Habits of Mind: Valuable and Affordable Mental Regimens, Attitude, and Empowerment Tools, Programs, and Strategies for an Accelerating World.
• Digital Productivity and the Exponential Economy: Seeing Beyond the Bubble
     Desired: Brad DeLong, Boyan Jovanovic, or Nathan Myhrvold
• Information Overload and Data Mining:
Finding Knowledge in a Sea of Data
Sergey Brin (Googleboxes), Richard Saul Wurman
• Documented Lives, LifeLogs and Virtual Reality Personas:
     Desired: Jim Gemmell (MyLifeBits, Microsoft), Greg Panos (Persona Foundation)
The Future of Finance
     Turbulence and Risk, Increasing Velocity of Money, Personalization, Credit Unions,
     Globalization of Investments and Assets, Deregulation, Fee vs. Commission Based Financial Planning.
• World Security:
Intelligence, Policing, WMD Minimization, and Military Trends (Asymmetric
     Warfare and Intelligence), 'Memetic Warfare:' Media, Propaganda, Social Engineering.
     Desired: John Arquilla, Peter Hayes
• Technology Assessment: How Do We Improve It? Distributed or Centralized?
Desired: Miguel Aznar, KnowledgeContext
     (The Heart of Technology, 2003)
• Science, Engineering and Education: Accelerating Change Through the Biosoma Synthesis.
     Education and a Technologically Literate Culture.
     Desired: George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic U.
     (Ethics, Values and the Promise of Science, 1993; East-West Technology Transfer, 1996;
     "Biology, Society, and Machines," 1998; "The Biosoma," 2000; "Reflections on Tech Literacy," 2000)
• Globalization in Evolution: Cultural Diversity, Human Rights, Appropriate Development
     Desired: Walt Truett Anderson, Meridian Institute
     (Evolution isn't What it Used to Be, 1997; All Connected Now, 2001)
• Resources, Energy, and Sustainability: Accelerating Accessibility and Accountability: Nanosolar, Turbines, Renewables; Nanodesalination, Ecological Responsibility, Takeback, and Remediation
     Desired: Amory Lovins, Doug Mulhall or Lubya Zarsky. Unavailable 2003: Paul Hawken.
• Organizational Structures for Accelerating Change: Organic, Chaotic, Out-of-Control. Lessons in Network Theory, Organizational Structure and Competitive Advantage
     Desired: Ichak Adizes, Arun Maira, Christopher Meyer, or Margaret Wheatley. Unavailable 2003: Kevin Kelly
• Human Agendas Given Accelerating Change: An "Open Singularity" Ideal
     Confirmed: Jamais Cascio, ("May You Live in Interesting Times", Part 1. Part 2.)
Complexity Growth Metrics: Free Energy Rate Density, A New Universal Complexity Measure
     Desired: Eric Chaisson, Ronald Fox, Charles Hall, Daniel McShea, Vaclav Smil.
Consciousness and Postmaterialism in the Coming Era: Spiritual Implications of Accelerating Change
     Desired: Peter Russell,
     (Global Brain Awakens, 1996; Waking Up in Time, 1998)
Miniaturization, STEM Compression, and the Limits of Computation: An Arrow of Scale, Density and Resource Use
     Desired: Gregory Chaitin, Seth Lloyd, John Barrow, or Mark Madou.
Technological Immunity, Interdependence, and Intelligence: Meta Trends in
     Complex Adaptive Systems? Immunity Case Study: Smart Warfare, Global Asymmetric Immunity.
     Desired: Christopher Altman, Dan Fiscus, Stephanie Forrest, or Bruce Sterling
• Evolutionary Development: A Paradigm for Two Fundamental Processes of Change: Ev. vs. Dev.
     Desired: Wallace Arthur, Rudolf Raff, or Stan Salthe
• Cosmological Replication, Astrobiology and SETI:
Convergent Universal Evolutionary Development?
     Desired: Béla Balázs, David Darling, John Gribbin, or Seth Shostak
• Interconnectivity: Optical and Wireless Networks, Data-Driven 2010 Scenarios
     Desired: Cherry Murray (Lucent), Federico Capasso (Lucent), or Larry Smarr (CalIT^2)
• Age of Simulations: Games, CG, Visualization Software, Agents, A-Life, and GIS Systems
     Desired: Jack Dangermond (ESRI), Steve Jobs (Pixar), Rudy Rucker, Jim Rutt (SFI), Steve Grand (Creature Labs). Unavailable 2003: Will Wright (Maxis)

What fundamental issues, trends, forces, or emerging systems relevant to understanding and managing accelerating change are we overlooking? Please send us your suggestions at mail{at}accelerating{dot}org. Thank you.