Conference: Singularity Summit, October 3-4, New York

I attended the inaugural Singularity Summit back in 2006 — it was full of ideas, certainly, but I came away mostly skeptical and disillusioned about the quality of thinking on display there.

The event itself seems to be here to stay, however, and it’s growing: It now lasts two days (up from 1), with 26 speakers (up from 13). The scale of the event seems to be doubling every three years. According to the extrapolative logic so familiar to singularity believers, within 30 years the event will last more than a year, causing each Summit to flow into its successor (the “Calendarity”); within 100 years, everyone in the world will be a speaker (the “Popularity”). Except, of course, that by then we’ll all be hyperintelligent machines, and the event will be a historical re-enactment rather than an exercise in projecting the future.

I mention the summit here because of its small but growing anti-aging and longevity components. Of interests to biologists, biogerontologists and advocates of extending (biological) lifespan:

There will also be a totally unbiased talk on “Critics of the singularity” by Ray Kurzweil, who doesn’t have a dog in that fight and will be sure to give equal play to both sides.

The cost has more than doubled: It’s up to $498, from $0 – frustrating any attempt to apply logarithmic extrapolation – though there are a number of opportunities to earn discounts.

The 2009 Summit will be held in New York City. You can find out more at the website.