Abstract – Nanotech and Femtotech, there’s lots of room at the bottom – Hugo de Garis

Prof. Dr. Hugo de Garis
Abstract – Nanotech and Femtotech

Everyone has heard of nanotech. Nano means a billionth. Nanotech is short for nanometer scale technology, i.e. molecular scale engineering, or mechanical chemistry, where molecular sized robots could pick up a single atom and put it anywhere to build molecular machines, e.g. nanosized computers that could be programmed to detect viruses or cancer cells and kill them, hence ridding humanity of disease, or to repair aging cells, hence creating immortality. Progress is being made monthly in nanotech. This leads to the question, “what’s next?” Nature provides no substance at the picometer scale, so the next step must be femtotech (i.e. femtometer scale technology). A femtometer is a million times smaller than a nanometer, i.e. the scale of quarks and nuclei. I am now researching the possibility of using elementary particle physics, nuclear physics, topological quantum field theory, etc to try to find phenomena in physics that might serve as the basis for a femtotech, which if successful would outperform nanotech by a factor or a trillion trillion. Artilects (artificial intellects, i.e. massively intelligent machines) based on femtotech would be truly godlike, making the notion of a universe designing and building deity much more scientifically respectable.

See my article “Fermitech : Searching for Phenomena in Physics That May Serve as Bases for a Femtometer Scale Technology”


Abstract – “Topological Quantum Computing” – Much more than Moore’s Law – Hugo de Garis

Prof. Dr. Hugo de Garis

Abstract -Topological Quantum Computing (TQC)

Quantum computers are 2expN times more powerful than classical computers (where N is the number of (qu)bits in the quantum register.) Once they become scalable and robust, our century’s science and technology will never be the same, because quantum computers will be able to simulate nature, which is quantum based. Today’s quantum computers, have N = 8 or so, which is useless. The biggest problem is the enormous fragility of the qubits. For example, if you store a bit of information on the spin of an electron, then the slightest interaction of that electron with a local particle or field will disturb it and destroy the information. Topological quantum computing introduces a new idea by suggesting that qubits can be stored using topological states of matter, which is a hot research topic in “condensed matter physics” nowadays. There is a phenomenon called the “fractional quantum Hall effect”, which is explained theoretically using topological quantum fields which allow information to be stored topologically, and hence robustly, allowing quantum computers to scale up. A race is on to find so called “anyons” which have these properties. Anyon chips have been proposed that would compute quantum mechanically using anyons. Nobel Prizes would then be won.

The teaching of TQC in computer science departments will mean that CS will become much more math and physics based, revolutionizing the subject, e.g. see my article “Topological Quantum Computing ” The “TQC Shock Wave”, and Its Impact on University Computer Science Teaching”


Abstract – What makes a good AI project? – Binh Nguyen

There are many AI projects going on all over the world. Which ones should we pay attention to? It depends on what we’re looking for. In my case, I’m looking for AI projects that have the potential for open-ended adaptation, as well as human-like behaviour and knowledge.

I believe that the world should not have to be the way that it is and that we have to do better. I envision a world where robots can do the jobs that people should not have to do, that are ready to provide a helping hand, and that are able to work in areas we often dare not even consider.

In this regard, I look for AI projects that have non-narrow, evolutionary and human-like embodiment characteristics. I will discuss these characteristics and how they relate to well known projects such as Blue Brain, China Brain, OpenCog, Cyc, and NELL, as well as my own work.

Abstract – Rationalism, Transhumanism and the Technological Singularity – Meredith Doig

At first reading, these concepts sound far-fetched and somewhat ‘out of this world’.  But as rationalists, we have an obligation to keep an open mind to new ideas and to evaluate them on their merits.  Are these ideas just wacky or are they the extrapolation of a particular line of scientific research?  And if the latter, what moral implications are there?
The Rationalist Society is in favour of science and evidence, as opposed to superstition and bigotry. When Transhumanism hits the general public, what sort of moral support and moral opposition might be encountered?  If it looks as though the Singularity is really about to happen, what sort of public mood is likely to be encountered?

This discussion will raise issues of rational evaluation of Transhumanism and the Technological Singularity, and the implications for those in the H+ and Singularity ‘communities of interest’ if these ideas really hit the public consciousness.

Jonathan Oxer

Jonathan Oxer
Fig 1. Jonathan Oxer

I’m author of How To Build A Website And Stay Sane (Oft Press, 2004), Ubuntu Hacks (O’Reilly, 2006), and Quickstart Guide to Google AdWords (Lulu Press, 2008). I also write occasionally for a variety of newspapers and magazines including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, and my articles have been translated into French, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, and Spanish and appeared in dozens of publications.

I’m one of the few people in the world to have been surgically implanted with an RFID chip, which I’m using to experiment with technical issues such as authentication techniques and exploits as well as philosophical issues related to privacy and identity.

I’m also Founder and Technical Director of Internet Vision Technologies.

Commencing trading in 1994 as Mission Internet, IVT was one of the first businesses in the world to focus on managing dynamic website content using databases. It was also one of the first companies ever to do real-time event coverage via the Internet when I ran a live feed from the floor of the national Bicycle Industry Trade Show in Sydney, Australia in 1995. IVT has since developed hundreds of websites, intranets, extranets and custom web applications for clients ranging from backyard businesses to multinational corporations.

I have been a Debian GNU/Linux developer since 2002, and have convened the Debian Miniconf in a different city every year since 2003. I have presented more than 70 tutorials, papers and keynotes on various technology and business topics at both corporate and government seminars and at conferences around the world including LinuxTag, linux.conf.au, Open Source Developers Conference, and Debian Miniconf, and at usergroups including Melbourne PHP User Group (of which I am a past committee member) and Linux Users Victoria. I have also appeared on a number of top-rated television shows including Sunrise with Kochie and Mel, been the butt of Paul McDermott’s jokes on Good News Week, and done dozens of radio interviews in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

I previously sat on the Advisory Group of Swinburne University’s Centre for Collaborative Business Innovation, responsible for researching and formulating IT-related post-graduate curriculum strategies, and on the Australian Federal government’s e-Research Coordinating Committee Reference Group. I also spent three years as President of Linux Australia, the national organisation for Linux users and developers and one of the largest FOSS organisations in the world.

In late 2008 I was Technical Supervisor for the first season of The Phone, a reality-TV show produced by Beyond Productions for Fox-8. I designed and built custom hardware and software used by show contestants.

I live in Melbourne, Australia with my wife, daughter and son, and you can contact me on jon@oxer.com.au.


The Maker Revolution/Movement PDF

Abstract – “LOGICS” – By Colin Kline

A link to the paper can be found here.

This presentation aims to be a super-condensed summarial survey of :
Boolean Logic, Fuzzy Logic, Probability Logic, Pascalian Logic, Deduction, Induction, Hypothesis selection.

It will be assumed most of the audience will have undertaken secondary schooling to at least Y12 level, and that some may have had tertiary schooling, including a little of: psychology, science, maths, physics, statistics. Or instead, be well read citizens.

In any of these cases, the audience will at least know the word, “Logic”, and hopefully have met Boolean Logic (using Yes / No, True / False), together with varieties of the 3part Syllogism, and those contradictions that are to be avoided.

But how many of this audience knows that there exist many other kinds of logic, each of them with their respective merits, each of them applicable (or not applicable) in various kinds of situations ?

Colin Kline’s Bio

Colin Kline

Biography for Colin KLINE

Retired since 1997.

C.E.O. of Elektronikline (Electronic Design and Fabrication);

Occasional Lecturer & Tutor at : UoM, UoB, since retirement;

40 years as academic (various Universities) in :

Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Communication Engineering, Software Engineering and
… 18 yrs delivering modules titled “Artificial Intelligence” to 4th year Engg undergrads;

2 years lecturer at Swinburne Uni, Electrical Engineering and Electronics; tutor in Maths;

3 yrs Secondary Maths & Science teacher;

2 yrs Industry – Cable Industry & Welding Industry;

6 months (accumulated) intern positions, Nuclear Research & Development (Lucas Heights, NSW);

3 months as petrol pump jockey at Malvern, SE4;

1 year as storeman at Nylex products, Frankston;

Youth was delightfully wasted as a :
– Huckleberry Finn avatar, and
– Julius Sumner MILLER devotee.

Patrick Robotham

Patrick is a final year undergraduate Maths student at Melbourne University. He is planning to do his Masters degree and Phd in either Maths/Computer Science. He is an active Member of the Melbourne University Secular society, the Mathematics society, and Reading group in computational complexity theory.

Patrick has been a passionate video blogger since high school when he started addressing the irrational basis of fundamentalist theology and then quickly branched into logic and atheism as alternative mindsets. He has a love of public speaking and presenting on topics that debunk fallacious thinking and promote a rationalist view of the world.

Patrick has been an avid follower of the rationalist community blog “less wrong” and initiated their monthly melbourne meet-ups. He has been working on projects relating to Maths such as a graph library and a theorem prover in common lisp and has recently presented on topics such as interactive proofs.