James Newton-Thomas

James Newton-Thomas
James Newton-Thomas

James is Director at Second Tree Pty Ltd and Director at Gestalt Australia Pty Ltd. He is an independent consultant on field robotics and has team managed and deployed several mining and military systems. His company was fully acquired by Caterpillar in 2005. He was a speaker at the Singularity Summit Australia 2010.

James was an early developer of AI systems in Australia developing loan officer systems used in the major banks in Australia in the 80s using neural networks and adaptive expert systems. This work was extended through the 90s into high energy laser development including phased array lasers and adaptive vision systems.

His later interests and area of work is in the engineering of machine consciousness, specifically the phenomenology of consciousness, and the development of quantum Turing architectures.

James earned his M.AppSci at RMIT University, Australia. He currently works in Melbourne and is working towards his Ph.D. Read his LinkedIn profile.

He is an independent consultant on field robotics and has team managed and deployed several mining and military systems. His company was fully acquired by Caterpillar in 2005. He was an early developer of AI systems in Australia developing loan officer systems used in the major banks in Australia in the 80s using neural networks and adaptive expert systems. This work was extended through the 90s into high energy laser development including phased array lasers James Newton-Thomas Second Treeand adaptive vision systems. His later interests and area of work is in the engineering of machine consciousness, specifically the phenomenology of consciousness, and the development of quantum Turing architectures.

He currently works in Melbourne and is (slowly) giving himself time to work towards his PhD.

Convergences

James presented at the Singularity Summit AU in 2010. The presentation was entitled “Convergences”.

Abstract: The Singularity is a clear and present danger. The problem with developing Strong AI is what goes into its seed, its initial conditions. It could prove very problematic if the Singularity sprouts from a Strong AI created by someone who’s ideology includes enslaving the world, or for some other completely selfish reasons.

James Newton-Thomas “Convergences” – Singularity Summit AU 2010 from Adam A. Ford on Vimeo.

James Newton-Thomas “Convergences” – Singularity Summit AU 2010 from Adam A. Ford on Vimeo.

James was also on a panel:

 

Panel – Longevity – Singularity Summit AU 2010 from Adam A. Ford on Vimeo.

Panel – Longevity – Singularity Summit AU 2010 from Adam A. Ford on Vimeo.

I’m just going to back-up my brain – Article in local MX newspaper

I'm just going to backup by brain
Click for larger picture
Another media appearance for techno-progressive related ideas. “I’m just going to back-up my brain” was the title of the article found in the mX newspaper, which reaches over 310,000* people in Sydney*, 307,000 people in Melbourne and 112,000* people in Brisbane every afternoon. * Panorama National Survey (July 2009 – june 2010) Survey 5

People will be able to back-up the human brain, including all the memories it contains, within the next two decades, a leading scientist has claimed. Award-winning futurist Raymond Kurzweil, 62, told 500 guests at a sponsored ‘‘future talk’’ event in Vienna, Austria, the human brain back-up was already technically possible.
‘‘I believe that within the next 20 years we will have thousands of nanobot computer machines in our blood that will heal our bodies, improve our performance, and even be able to back-up all the contents of our brains, just as you back-up your files on a computer,’’ he said.
‘‘That means they would back-up every thought, every experience, everything that makes us an individual.
‘‘It may sound far-fetched, but in the early 1980s, people thought I was crazy for predicting the emergence of the world-wide web by the middle of the 1990s. But it happened, and on the schedule I predicted.’’

At the age of 15, Kurzweil created a program that could re-create music in the style of the great composers, which earned him a visit to the White House and an interview with then US President Lyndon B. Johnson. He also built the first machine that could read written speech for the blind for musician Stevie Wonder – for whom he also later made a revolutionary musical synthesizer capable of re-creating real instruments. Kurzweil has 19 honorary doctorates and advises governments, scientists, military and business people across the world and is currently working with Google on a project about how to solve the world’s energy problems.

*Thanks to Stuart Dobson for the heads up!

P.s. if anyone knows of any other media coverage on related subjects, please let us know!

60 Minutes Mini Documentary on the Singularity University

Spend the next 15 minutes watching a 60 Minutes documentary with reporter reporter Rod Vaughan who visits the Singularity University,” a university unlike any other”. It is a great introduction to future possibilities. And it is great to watch these concepts weave their way into mainstream.

 

Singularity University on 60 Minutes New Zealand from Luke Hutchison on Vimeo.

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, the main aim of the curriculum is to develop the technology of the future, which includes a way to download the contents of an individual’s brain to a computer.

For the last two years the university has nurtured a carefully hand-picked group of graduates. And among those brightest minds are two brothers from Auckland – Luke and David Hutchison.

I really like the animations. Looking at creating a documentary myself, and have approached a few people about doing some medical/scientific style animations, but costs are prohibitive.