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Bill Clinton Discusses “Moonshots” with Peter Diamandis, Endorses Abundance

“Why are you so optimistic about the future…don’t you read the papers?”

President Bill Clinton recently pitched this playful question to Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, in an on-stage interview at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative last week. A week earlier, the former U.S. president had appeared on CNN to recommend Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think, Diamandis’ book which was co-written with Steven Kotler. Now the two had an opportunity to discuss technology and the world’s problems face to face.

In response, he stated simply that he’s optimistic because of the numbers.

According to Diamandis, the cost of food has dropped thirteen-fold in the last hundred years. The cost of energy is down twenty-fold, transportation a hundred-fold, and communications a thousand-fold.

Technology, he said, is the force that takes what used to be scarce and makes it abundant. It is “the great democratizer.”

h\t to Singularity HUb

Farewell to Adrian Fitipaldes. It’s terrible to know that you’re moving on from Northlane but nonetheless, I respect your decision, and you’ve been an inspiration to us all. I, and your fans I’m sure, wish you the very best in your future endeavours. May you continue to carve your own name into the Earth.

(Please note that I do not own this image.)

This Machine Can Learn About the World Just by Watching It

It’s a possible step on the road to a total surveillance AI like the one in Person of Interest. Researchers from the University of Washington have developed a computer program that teaches itself everything there is to know about any visual concept — without any human supervision.

Open-Source recursive A.I. was once a topic of science fiction and conspiracy, but researchers at the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Seattle have developed just that.

A program that can supposedly “teach itself everything about anything” hold serious implications for AI. LEVAN brings to mind the Pentagon’s effort to develop computers that can teach themselves. Revealingly, the research for LEVAN was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, as well as the National Science Foundation.