Episode Summary: Today we have a guest who has interviewed more futurists than anyone else I know. While at TechEmergence a lot of our interviews focus on executives in AI, Nikola Danaylov has had the pleasure of interviewing some of the finest futurists and forward-thinking minds in the world, including Ray Kurzweil, Verner Vinge, Marvin Minsky, and many others. We speak today about the trends he’s seen aggregated (if any) amongst futurists, and about how technology may be dragging us farther into a transhuman future, whether that be closer to a utopia or a dystopia.

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Recognition in Brief: Nikola Danaylov runs Singularity Weblog, featuring interviews with a range of futurists and thinkers in Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism. Nikola completed an HBA in Political Science, Philosophy & Economics at the University of Toronto, followed by an MA in Political Science at York University. He then went to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California and completed the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University. Nikola has spoken at public events on topics ranging from technology, transhumanism and the technological singularity to new media, blogging and podcasting. He has been ranked within the top 10 people the AI Elite follow on Twitter, profiled in Next Stage Rising Stars Magazine, and has been interviewed himself for numerous documentary films, blogs, podcasts, magazines and newspapers.

Current Affiliations: Founder of the Singularity Weblog and Singularity 1 on 1 Podcast
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Interview Questions:

(2:00) Have there been particular branches of technology that seem like more viable short-term bridges to a big transition in how we live and experience life or not?

(11:17) Who are the people that come to mind in AI that got you thinking about that as a more viable path (‘soft’ takeoff of AI) than others, or has it really been just a gelling of all the various notions and their time scales?

(18:42) I know that you often do bring societal and ethical questions to bear with folks…in terms of how we might develop these technologies in a way that makes for an aggregately beneficial, liberating future as opposed to destroying ourselves, has anyone shed light on that?

(23:50) Are you mentioning that you’ll oft consider what’s beyond it (the singularity)?

(28:06) So this (the singularity) is just alternative lenses of the farther future…might this imply some lower level of augmentation, might this imply none at all, or just better collaboration?

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