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Date announced for Jan 2011 H+UK event

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Announcements

See this announcement on a new website which will be used to support the 2011 event.

More details of speakers, when available, will be posted at the new website.


Interim survey results available

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Announcements

The interim results of this survey have been processed and are now available for viewing via Slideshare:

(You can download the file from that location, or you can view it in place.)

Thanks to the 41 people who took the time to provide answers! (more…)

Vanefist neo

Online feedback survey

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Reviews

Everyone who attended Humanity+ UK 2010 – or who thought about attending it – is invited to provide their feedback on the event, via this online survey.

Here’s a copy of the description of the survey:

The purpose of this questionnaire is to gather feedback about the Humanity+ UK 2010 event, with a view to improving the design, planning, and operation of similar events in the future. (more…)


Online reviews of the event

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Reviews

Here are some links to blogposts and reviews about the H+ UK2010 event, written by people who attended it:

opinie o earoptim

Livestream from the event

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Uncategorized

hplusuk on livestream.com.

Unprecedented gathering in London

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Announcements

The following press release (DOCX version here; PDF here) has been issued to the media today, 15th April.

For immediate release:
Unprecedented gathering of futurist and transhumanist thinkers in London

Humanity+ movement comes of age
Record turnout expected for Humanity+ UK2010 conference on 24th April

The UK chapter of Humanity+, an organisation dedicated to promoting understanding, interest and participation in fields of emerging innovation that can radically benefit the human condition, announced today that registrations are on track for record attendance at the Humanity+ UK2010 conference taking place in Conway Hall, Holborn, London, on April 24th.

“Approaching 200 attendees are expected to take part in a full day of thought-provoking lectures, discussions, Q&A, and breakouts, led by a line-up of world class futurist speakers”, said David Wood, H+UK meetings secretary.  “Participants have registered from as far afield as Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, and the USA.  The Humanity+ movement, previously known as the World Transhumanist Association, is coming of age.” (more…)


Conference co-chair: Dean Bubley

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Announcements

DeanBubleyIt’s my pleasure to announce that Dean Bubley will be co-chair of the event Humanity+ UK2010.

In his professional life, Dean runs the telecoms and mobile consultancy company Disruptive Analysis, which analyses technology and business model evolution of networks, handsets and applications. His clients include major operators, equipment and device suppliers, regulators and investors. He is a frequent chair and speaker at mobile industry conferences, and writes a blog, Disruptive Wireless.

Dean Bubley is a regular participant at Humanity+ UK meetings and has long held a personal interest in many areas of technology development, from computing and communications, to genetics, to geoengineering. He has a particular focus on the business, political and financial dimensions involved in creating a “human-centric future”.

As co-chair, Dean will help to ensure that the event runs smoothly, and that Q&A between audience and speakers is productive and illuminating.

Dean has a BA in Physics from Oxford University.


Introduction to Humanity+ UK2010

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Speakers

The following short video provides an introduction to some of the ideas discussed at the conference:

Footnote: This is the second version of this video.  The previous version can still be found on the AuthorSTREAM site.


Humanity’s 3 biggest problems

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Speakers

Humanity+ UK2010 speaker Nick Bostrom gave a TED talk in 2005 on the subject “Humanity’s 3 biggest problems”:

There are lots of interesting connections between points in this presentation and points already covered in this blog. See if you can spot them! (more…)


Epistemology and Future Shock

Written by David Wood. Posted in: Speakers

The following guest article is authored by Amon Twyman.

Part 3: Epistemology and Future Shock

Excerpt from “Shock Level Five: Augmented Perception, Perceptuo-Centrism, and Reality

This is the last of three excerpts from a paper which provides a little theoretical background to the presentation I will be giving at the Humanity+ UK 2010 conference. My presentation will make sense without reading these excerpts of course, but the additional context might provide extra value for those people who have read them. Enjoy!

In the previous two sections, we considered the possibility that perceptual technologies intended for helping people with disabilities, and those originally designed for military or industrial applications, might converge and lead to a general augmentation of perceptual capabilities beyond human limitations. The perceptuo-centrist position is that such a technological development might eventually allow us to demonstrate the existence of a threshold between qualitatively different modes of human and posthuman perception. The identification of such a threshold, based as it would be on differences been unmodified and technologically enhanced persons, would arguably be as valid or real as any distinction between humans and posthumans.

Any such perceptual threshold would be epistemological in nature, because it would demarcate the division between those aspects of physical existence which can be known (i.e. perceived directly) by unmodified human beings, and those which cannot. The equation of direct (personal) perception with knowledge is in this case justified, on the grounds that any unmodified human with true information about the nature of existence beyond the perceptual threshold would have to be inferring it in some way, or simply trusting in the truth of information supplied by others. Although these indirect forms may be considered knowledge with validity, they are qualitatively different to the experiential knowledge held by those able to cross the perceptual threshold themselves.

The idea of an epistemological threshold, beyond which lies a form of knowledge unaccessible to humans, is one with precedent in transhumanist thought. I refer to Vernor Vinge’s (1993) description of the “event horizon” associated with his concept of a technological Singularity, which drew upon earlier forms of the idea considered by Stanislaw Ulam in 1958 (unpublished) and I.J. Good (1965). Although the concept of a technological Singularity (henceforth simply “Singularity”) has since been broadened by thinkers such as Ray Kurzweil (2005), Vinge’s version was intended as a specific illustration of the accelerating availability of computational power, and its implications for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Intelligence Amplification or Augmentation (IA) technologies. Vinge suggested that once such accelerating technological development were to reach a critical pace, it would lead to an event (the Singularity) which is best described by an analogy with the gravitational singularities known to physicists. (more…)