Norvig, Omohundro, Goertzel and Pell Say How They'd Advise Obama's if Appointed U.S. CTO

November 15 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

Live-blogging from Convergence 2008.

Moderator Jonas Lamis just asked the distinguished AI Panel what they would advise the new Obama administration to do if, by chance, each was appointed national CTO?

Google’s Peter Norvig: First advice, “Don’t choose me.” (Audience laughs.) Most important advice is to do what the President-Elect is already doing. #1: Believe in reality. The next thing is to invest in R&D. It’s important to re-establish the United States as a leader there. We’ve slipped over the last 8 years or so interms of funding research.

Steve Omohundro: Imprtant to use tech to make better decisions in our society. This is a huge opportunity for aggregating beliefs and desires of voters. Through semantic consensus we could better express nuances. The bailout is the perfect example – 99 to 1 against bailout, ended up passing it. Morphing as we speak… Potential pathways as we move to the future – now a smattering of diff orgs – better to have country-wide analysis of this future pathway.

Ben Goertzel of SIAI:

Basic message: it’s insane to put a trillion dollars into corrupt banks and auto makers. If we want to inject – put half trillion into ai, nanotech, … invest in private enterprise, with a time scale… large amts in… understanding payoff’s in 20 30 yrs … don’t see obama or anyone thinking in those terms.. .too bad there isn’t singularitarian ethos … governing stimuli injecting in economy

Barney Pell of Powerset: Reestablishing leadership in R&D, education, real challenge with educating future leaders, tremendous opps, transforming nature of discourse, gov is run, people elected with 200 yr old tech… these things should change – ability to transform a lot. Specific r and d, aging, treat these symptoms of aging instead of causes of aging as disease. Energy, nanotech, invest in its apps, cross manufacturing and miniaturization, create more and use less energy.

Comment Thread (5 Responses)

  1. I think Norvig or Goertzel would be a good choice.

    Posted by: Covus   November 16, 2008
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  2. Ray Kurzweil for Obama’s CTO!!!

    Posted by: Rahein   November 16, 2008
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  3. Very interesting. They all agree that R&D is crucial, I imagine everyone in the industry agrees on that—as do I. Personally, I would put energy above research for nanotech, but perhaps the two can be combined some way. Very interesting idea to use technology to improve democracy by quantifying the beliefs of voters. Not 100% sure what I think of that as moods can be fickle, but certainly a good idea to explore.

    Posted by: Mielle Sullivan   November 16, 2008
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  4. Here is a youtube rap vid about OBAMA and the SINGULARITY..(singularity, moore’s law stuff at the end)

    There is a call at the end of the video to make RAY KURZWEIL america’s CTO!!!!

    Singularity Sooner! Kurzweil should be CTO!! Tell obama!

    Posted by: narbal   November 17, 2008
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  5. Ray would be my choice. from Ted Stalets at

    Posted by: virtualted   November 17, 2008
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