Monthly Archives: December 2018

Agent Intellects SYMPOSIUM


Sentience, Sapience & Thalience on the Planetary ledger
Saturday, December 8th, 11 AM – 6 PM
Starr Lecture Hall, UL102, 63 Fifth Avenue, NY [corner of 13th St. and 5th Ave]
The New School


This symposium brings together leading AI developers, designers, artists, philosophers, urbanists, musicians, historians, systems thinkers, ecologists, and educators, to discuss the near and long term implications of ubiquitous artificial intelligence as it evolves on a blockchain ecosystem.

The symposium is framed via a set of provocations:
We might begin by questioning the limits of our concepts of intelligence and of mind, considering the range of non-human or non-standard models of intelligence, to better adjust any designed artificial intelligence to a scope of both human and non-human constituents.

Intelligence is frequently linked to models of information processing, feedback loops, thought, and ‘agency’. Sentience and Sapience are gradients of these feedback loops. If we consider forms of mind across radically diverse scales [from the nanometer & nanosecond all the way to the light year and beyond] what kinds of intelligence will we be compelled to recognize? What design options are available across these scales? What is natural or artificial intelligence at each of these scales? How can this way of thinking impact a pragmatic, everyday way of approaching ‘designed AI’?  Are there ‘universals’ of intelligence that can be mapped and extrapolated?

At what level is irreversible data structure necessary for emerging forms of mind and AI? Are there correspondences between key concepts in blockchain architecture [proof of work, proof of stake, proof of history, proof of location, etc.] which we might find mirrored in ‘natural’ systems of complex organization, from atomic structure, to molecular, to
the layerings of DNA, to cities, ecosystems, planetary tectonics, or cosmological structures?

To what degree can we compare the ‘intelligence’ of a bacterial colony, or a microbiome, with the functioning of a single CPU, or a network of millions of computers? Subatomic or scale-free? Patterns and Graphs? Quark or galactic structure? What kinds of ‘mind’ might be already present at these levels, or deployable through ‘artificial’ acts of design? How do these profoundly non-human scales of space and time connect back to the lifeworlds of humans, of cultures, of ecosystems?

Can cities and forests ‘think?’ If so, what kind of intelligence is afforded them, and across what timescales? Does a planet have ‘mind’ or ‘computational capacity?’ If so, what kinds of information processing takes place, what networks are folded into that, and how can we work as designers to access those flows of information and energy?
Is it possible to discover computational or cognitive models at the scale of a solar system or a galaxy? Where do abstract systems of mathematics fit in these scales? Does the Hermetic concept ‘as above, so below’ hold for ‘universal structures’ and scale free models, and if so to what extent can that be leveraged toward a philosophy of design and theory of mind?

Is thought about thought necessary for intelligence? [Watts, Shaviro, Hayles]  If so, how can it be achieved and optimized? What is the role of the human in an ecosystem of artificial thought, and how can we imagine beneficial AI across all scales, from a single human, to a population of humans [or animals, or plants, or autonomous AIs] across multiple lifetimes- up to the future of human civilization and the survival of mind itself?
— Ed Keller

1030 AM    coffee and meet and greet

1100 AM – 1230 PM  Intro and panel ONE
Ed Keller, Diann Bauer, Elliott Sharp, Gary Tomlinson
Ben Goertzel, moderator

1245 PM – 215  PM  panel TWO
Liz Barry, Jillian Crandall, Andrea Morales Coto, Anthony Dunne
Ed Keller, moderator

++Student projects/manifesto

215 PM – 245  PM  break for snacks and coffee [on site]

300 PM – 430  PM  panel THREE
Ben Goertzel, Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, Dan Mellamphy, Dana Martens, Sven Travis
Ed Keller, moderator

430 PM – 600  PM  final panel, all speakers

Please note: speakers order subject to change

The Agent Intellects symposium is part of a Parsons course and workshop series, the fall 2018
‘Hive Minds’ collab, sponsored by SingularityNET and the Center for Transformative Media at The New School.

Liz Barry, Public Laboratory
Diann Bauer,  Laboria Cuboniks
Nandita Biswas Mellamphy, Western
Jillian Crandall,   Parsons
Anthony Dunne, Dunne & Raby
Ben Goertzel, SingularityNET
Ed Keller, Parsons
Dana Martens, Parsons
Dan Mellamphy, Western
Andrea Morales Coto, Consensys
Elliott Sharp, Zoar Music
Gary Tomlinson, Yale
Sven Travis, Parsons


See also:
Hive Minds:
Future of Mind:
Acid Architecture:
Hacking Feminism:
The Signal Path: