Humanity+ @ CalTech, Dec 4-5 2010: Redefining the Future of Humanity

Humanity+ @ CalTech Redefining the Future of Humanity is a conference on December 4-5

Humanity Plus conference registration is here.

* Real-Time World Building — Performance Art for the 21st Century

It’s not so often that someone introduces a brand new art form to the world, but that’s exactly what polymathic performer/designer/filmmaker/artist/composer J-Walt will demonstrate at the Humanity+ Summit: real-time world building as a novel form of performance art

* Robot Einstein, and his creator David Hanson will be there

* Currently the RepRap team is at work on building a new RepRap called Huxley, which will complement their current “Mendel” version via providing more rapid desktop manufacturing. Bryan Bishop will announce in his talk at the Humany+ @ CalTech conference that Humanity+ is to host the Gada Prize, aiming to stimulate personal manufacturing R&D. A cash prize will reward the first individual or group to make a RepRap satisfying certain technical requirements.

* Growing human tissues and organs on robotic scaffolds is an accepted medical practice by now, but CalTech researcher Adrian Stoica wants to take it to the next level. In his approach the scaffolds become more than just simple frameworks to hang organs and tissues on; they become intelligent systems themselves, with capability for movement, sensation, reconfiguration and ultimately perhaps even some forms of adaptive cognition.

* Humanity+ @ CalTech will feature a number of speakers associated with Genescient, including

• UC Irvine professor and Genescient co-founder Michael Rose, who had the vision to begin evolving the long-lived flies back in 1980 — and has made a host of other contributions to the evolutionary genomics of aging and other related areas

• Renowned science fiction author and Genescient co-founder Gregory Benford, giving his unique perspective on the prospects for indefinite human lifespan and its multifold implications

• Ben Goertzel briefly discussing recent work applying AI to analyze the genomes of long-lived flies, and also presenting a vision for the future of biomedical science (crafted together with Michael Rose), focused on the synergies between genomics, experimental evolution and artificial intelligence

Could humans one day live 500 years instead of a mere 100?

Genescient’s work with long-lived fruit flies gives some cause for optimism: painstakingly bred for longevity over a 30 year period, they now live 4x as long as normal flies of the same species. If flies can do it, why not humans? After all, a majority of fly genes have close matches in the human genome, including many of the key genes underlying age-associated disease.

Genescient sequenced the genomes of these long-lived flies for the first time this year, and Humanity+ @ CalTech will be the first unveiling of some of the dramatic lessons the long-lived fly genome has to teach us about human longevity.

Ryan Bethencourt, Director of Business Development at Paraxel, will also give a related talk, discussing the changes that the pharma industry is currently undergoing, and how they impact the practical rollout of radically innovative biomedical work like Genescient’s.

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