Singularity University GSP10 (2011): Blurb Publishing
Singularity University GSP10 (The Unofficial Yearbook)
Sarah Jane Pell
A ehot housef for the super intelligent and highly effective, the GSP10 encouraged wide ranging analysis and far-fetched debates. Issues and solutions of past, present and proposed futures were each examined in relation to the exponential curve of Moorefs Law. What pathways transform linear progression into exponential advancement and how could new or improved ideas solve current grand challenges? Arguments for and against the salvation of humanity via biological, technological, political and spiritual means became the natural extension of futurist thinking on many topics. Some inspired by military or state doctrines, others by finance and entrepreneurship and equally, those motivated by faith, societal, ecological and humanitarian drivers, ventilated these issues in a neutral territory and with peaceful purpose. It was important to think big and keep it real. There were those who rehearsed, defended and re-examined the holy grail of eSingularityf: the quest for artificial general intelligence in a campus dotted with asbestos warnings, where the water and coffee machines regularly failed, and wireless Internet was unreliable. Some students knew of life in real extremes, of harsh environments, over-population, disempowerment, war and relentless poverty. Some had made or used their success or fortune surrounded by vast wealth, with ample access to information, technology, freedom and human resource or, by contrast, in spite of it.
The frequent critical moments of stimulation and revelation were a direct result of the mix of diverse cultures, backgrounds and expertise. The class of 80 GSP10 students came from 35 countries to share the implications, expectations, conditions and enterprises that are relevant and current to our global situation and its future. Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, fortune 500 company CEOs and an extraordinary caliber of faculty and speakers amplified the current state of the art, the scope of our challenge, the possibility and the break-through thinking that is needed for us to succeed. As a point of departure, we recognise the privileged opportunity that we have been given and the well-spring from which we draw. Nurtured by the Silicon Valley garage mindset for example, two businessmen, a biotechnologist, a bioinformatics expert, an historian and a computer scientist, team with NASA to demonstrate a prototype aeroponic garden as a first-step solution to aid world hunger. As do hackers, engineers, entrepreneurs and artists work on technologies to boldly stay in space. We are all contributing to the stone-soup build of our collective future. In 2020, let us reflect on our humble beginnings, to acknowledge and thank our peers and community, and to remember those precious 'moments' at SU that became the starting point for the critically advanced solutions that positively impact the lives of one billion people. - Sarah Jane Pell