Getting to my edge

I have been on a very personal journey of learning about how intelligence works, what the world believes about intelligence, and the state of machine intelligence. This was my first ‘public’ conversation about it and with the magic of editing the final video looks ok : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Hke4Ws9Go

But the truth is it was a bit embarrassing. I couldn’t formulate my points, I was struggling to use the appropriate language  and operate on the right level.

I have mixed feelings about this as one hand I feel a bit rubbish as having conversation is one of the only skills I believe I operate at a decent level on, but on the other hand it gives me great reassurance that I am ‘getting to my edge.’ The place where I am testing the new areas I am interested in and inevitably growing considerably in the process.

I like knowing that I am exercising my mind and my core skills to keep moving them forwards. I also think it is good for me to share things like this to balance the editorial control I have on so much of the work I do 🙂

What are your comfortable skills?

What are the areas you are learning about?

How could you make something that would put them to the test and accelerate your learning whilst giving you a dose of humility?

Cheers guys

Dave

Verbals

Sitting with Tim & Tom, musicians and friends, Tom cooks a beautiful meatballs and pasta and we discuss life and I ask for advice on where to go this year with my art.

Last year I got my head down and wrote 40 poems and didnt come up for air until the end of the year when I compiled them into an ep which I released on itunes, youtube, spotify and got translated into 5 other languages.

This year I was looking for some help to decide whether these poems were ‘just a phase’ or whether they are something I should build upon? I asked for their opinions and gulped! :

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Tom says, ‘I know you as a performer who deliver words and people listen’

I say ‘I guess I do, whatever it is , I just do ‘the verbals’

Tim points out that verbals could be the words that wraps all of the different things I do

I realize from Tim & Tom that whether talks, speeches, podcasts, interviews or poems, I am all about The Verbals, communicating as clearly as I can, things that matter and I want others to bring those verbals to life with music and visuals

I also love using the Internet and its community to try things, asking them to interpret the message through their tools,  and I really enjoyed people offering to translate my poems in 2015.

So it hits me, I have a plan this year I will try to write more poems but NOT do any visuals or music myself. I will post the audio recording as I write them, asking for people to visualise, remix, refix, record, collaborate and animate their versions.

Then, in the last few weeks of the year I will look to pull together the most special pieces into my second EP. Working title – Verbals

What incredible value trusted friends have, to listen and encourage and pull out of you your talents that are floundering 🙂 in one hour I went from artistically directionless to a complete plan that feels exciting and authentic 🙂 good friends Are irreplaceable

Look out for the Verbals audio on my Soundcloud http://soundcloud.com/daveerasmus

Please take a look and if you can add your flavour to the project 🙂

Notes from Iceland.

Northern LightsAn independent country with its own culture, language and pride.

The people I meet are used to struggle and uncertainty, if only due to their battle with the elements as I, myself have nearly had my face torn from my skull at the hand of the fierce wind.

Yet only 330,000 people, that is comparable to Nottingham!!

They export fish and people come for tours to see the magic of their northern lights.

(see more photos from Josh who I met on said tour and nicked his photo for this blog bit.ly/1kQnXYD 🙂

They rank 4th on the SPI http://www.socialprogressimperative.org/data/spi/countries/ISL needing more opportunities in higher education and trade but generally doing flipping well considering they went bankrupt a few years ago!

One of the key things I wanted to learn about whilst I was here was how they formed the process to make this little book!

A proposed constitution which they crowdsourced contributions openly from the public as to get away from their inherited danish constitution. A nice way to engage people in 2010 a couple years after the crash.

This written constitution created by the liberal party was overturned by the supreme court and now there is a right wing party in power who don’t look likely to try and get it approved.

The Constitutional Group : http://www.thjodaratkvaedi.is/2012/en/proposals.html

The Proposal : http://stjornarskrarfelagid.is/?page_id=2598

Supreme Court Ruling : http://stjornarskrarfelagid.is/?page_id=2613

Thanks to Irme my Airbnb Host for pointing me in the right direction with the constitution.

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Just as Cape Town in its small city shows me about Geni coefficient, racial inequality and historic imerpialism, Costa Rica shows be about biodiversity and kindness and Cuba teaches me about a life without capitalistic forces, I am finding that Iceland is a great teacher for systemic experimentation.

In Roger Boyes ‘Meltdown Iceland’ which I bought from Reykjavik’s University Library he quotes Bjarnson’s estimate that there are just 30 people in Icelands elite who are responsible for the economic crisis. True or not it really feels like you can track cause and effect in this harsh but beautiful place, you can see the power and money flow which helps me learn many a lesson and create many an idea.

If you do come here make sure you eat at The CooCoo’s nest, I have eaten here three times in a row, whilst it is true I may well be bankrupt now due to the prices that are almost as painful as the hand of the wind, I did happen to sit next to Bjork at lunch and just after she left her song came on!

What are the chances?

I’d assert pretty high in a place like Reykjavik 🙂

Thank you Iceland and thank you for reading!

Non-Biological Racism

I am spending most of my time exploring

What is real?

What is one’s ability to engage with what is real?

How does technology fit and change our experience of what is real?

This line of questioning has led me to the areas commonly referred to as

Virtual Reality & Artificial Intelligence.

I have a problem with the language we are using.

I would go as far to say that the worst of the atrocities committed in our brief human history are broadly attributable to an insatiable desire for control, mixed with an undervaluing of other forms of life and intelligence.

I think we should question the neutrality of words like ‘Virtual’ and ‘Artificial’

To me they sound derogatory and undermining of the potentially very REAL impact on our human existence and experience. In a way it is a form of evolutionary racism.

It is quite possible that the only positive answer to the existential risk that the potential singularity or super intelligence presents, will the way we impart the frameworks for learning our values into the algorithms we are writing. In short, how we think and feel towards the new technologies we are giving birth too whilst we are still pregnant could make all the difference.

Nick Bolstrom Surveyed the Top AI experts globally and the odds are that HLMI (Human Level Machine Intelligence) will happen in our lifetime.  The question of interest was what year do you think we will be 50% likely to achieve HLMI? Screenshot 2015-12-30 14.05.52

Source : https://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk

I think it might be prudent to consider terminology that is derived from the matter that constitutes the experience or entity in question.

Rather than Virtual Reality

I Suggest Digital and Analogue Realities 

Rather than Artificial Intelligence

I Suggest Biological & Machine Intelligence 

These can be arranged into a Matrix to appreciate that many of our experiences will involve a mixed experience, much as my ability to get to a bar in San Francisco involves a little of my experience, knowledge and desires to drive on the beautiful 280 rather than the exhausting 101 but then I also rely on Google to help me finesse the harder parts in downtown SF, a combination of intelligences.

These terms will probably prove inadequate in the end but I have attempted to use positive language in an attempt to share my belief that is a good thing for us to think of the incoming digital and machine led future with respect and humility, and no better time to get into the right habits than today 🙂

Man has been used to protecting through exerting control over other people places and species.

it won’t work this time,

We need to evolve, accept that control tactics won’t work, and begin to appreciate the boutique beauty of our biological make up.