In episode #3 of The Futurists Dr. Harry Kloor talks us through the process of working with Ray Kurzweil, Peter Diamandis and others in creating Beomni – a remotely teleoperated, AI-enhanced humanoid robot built for semi-autonomous operation. Kloor has consulted on the X-Prize, written for and directed sci-fi series like Star Trek Voyager, and worked with world changers like Elon Musk. Follow @harrydockloor – 8th April 2022
Dr. Harry Kloor is a scientist, inventor, film producer, director, writer, and entrepreneur. Dr. Kloor is the progenitor of the ANA Avatar XPRIZE, and is CEO of Beyond Imagination, an Avatar Robotics company. Kloor is the only person to be awarded two PhDs simultaneously in two distinct academic disciplines.
Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, he was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. Ross Dawson‘s ranking of futurists has Kurzweil as one of the best futurists ever.
Isaac Asimov professor of biochemistry at Boston University considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers.
Piers Anthony a SciFi author best known for his long-running novel series set in the fictional realm of Xanth.
The quantum mind or quantum consciousness is a group of hypotheses proposing that classical mechanics cannot explain consciousness. It posits that quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as entanglement and superposition, may play an important part in the brain’s function and could explain consciousness. The hypotheses assert that consciousness is somehow quantum-mechanical and can overlap with quantum mysticism, a pseudoscientific movement that assigns supernatural characteristics to various quantum phenomena such as nonlocality and the observer effect.
Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the hypothetical ability of an intelligent agent to understand or learn any intellectual task that a human being can. It is a primary goal of some artificial intelligence research and a common topic in science fiction and futures studies. AGI can also be referred to as strong AI, full AI, or general intelligent action (although some academic sources reserve the term “strong AI” for computer programs that experience sentience or consciousness.
04:06 – Beyond Imagination is creating a general purpose humanoid robots
06:17 – Who are your favourite SciFi authors
11:11 – Who is the best known renaissance man is it Leonardo da Vinci
13:19 – Does intelligence reside in the brain
17:17 – What’s it like Tele operating an omni robot
21:05 – What is Quantum conscious
22:30 – What type of AI is beyond imagination working on
23:56 – What type 0f technology do you use in your robots
37:21 – What is the future for humans in a a world of robots and AI
this week on the futurists i want a future where everybody has a doctor in their house and all the data of their biometric is coming to bat and if they need a real doctor they can call one in but it learns enough skill so that it all becomes about preventative medicine so we all live longer and healthier i want i i want to be able to decide i’m going to help some kids in africa and then tomorrow help some kids in harlem and then go see my mom and make her some tea that’s that’s the world i want so that’s the world i’m creating and i challenge everybody to think that it needs to be more than making money
welcome to the futurists where we’re talking to the people who envision and invent the future i’m rob tercek and i’m brett king and today we have joining us all the way from the future doctor harry kuhr an american scientist film producer director writer and entrepreneur he was the first person to be awarded two phds simultaneously in two distinct academic disciplines he’s also involved in a lot of future stuff he was one of the five founding members of the x prize uh foundation and uh we’re here today in part to talk about his work with beyond imagination his robotic ai uh company uh that he formed uh with um some leading thinkers from around the world inc including ray kurzweil peter diamandis uh tony robbins and others so dr harry kluwer welcome to the futurists i’m in the future
it’s a pleasure to be well just wait a minute and you will be right but
you’ve done so many things i’ve wondered how do you introduce yourself when you’re when you meet people for the first time do you tell me you’re a scientist a writer an inventor an entrepreneur uh i’m a thinker and a creator uh and everything i do uh focuses around creation and uh whether it’s creating a new and better future or creating a fantastic story uh like leonardo da vinci and that’s really what i’ve modeled my life after since i was actually a child uh is i don’t uh see a distinction um in terms of creation and uh you’ve been inspired since your child but uh not just by science but also by stories uh and i know you’ve got a giant collection the comic books and science fiction stories as well which is becoming kind of a through line for us on the show uh science fiction tends to inform and excite people about the future yeah in fact hey kevin anderson kevin and i’ve been friends since around 1995 uh i have spent my whole life uh immersed in both science fiction and science in fact uh people would say science fiction is in my blood my mom wrote uh a book called my beloved triosions uh mary conway floor um while she was carrying me so i grew up on a yeti diet of comic books uh even at the age of four i started getting my first comics i had an older brother two older brothers and a younger brother and the old brothers uh introduced me to comics um so i have been in that world for a very long time and i think that’s where my creativity in the fact that i believe that uh nothing is impossible um some things are improbable but uh if it’s impossible it’s probably impossible for you but not for any of me i love it i love um you know your your new company uh beyond imagination well it’s not quite new but um you know i love the fact that it’s got imagination in that because the storytelling piece of that um you know there is a lesson from the star treks of the world and and so forth where if you can imagine it and you can portray it in science fiction then you know humanity is at some point going to try and create it right yes exactly in fact beyond imagination um the whole reason for that that title is while we are starting off with creating um general purpose humanoid robots which uh will evolve from being a pilot avatar mode to fully autonomous uh the company will be going into a variety of areas that i think will be beyond most people’s imagination here’s the question and robert i think we should make this a standardized question for the interviews but um which science fiction writer or storyteller do you think has most accurately predicted the future in the past well ray kurzweil has predicted the future the best uh even though he’s not a science fiction writer i think he’s got an 89 accuracy and you know raise my lead co-founder uh to to be clear i’ll get back to your your question but the uh uh we i came up with the idea for beyond imagination when i was about seven uh i was born [ __ ] with my legs backwards and i looked out to see my brothers and friends all playing and jumping and running and dreamed well if i had an alternative body i could do that so i started dreaming about robotic bodies that i could have it and from there i started dreaming well if i could have one why not have millions around the world and spread throughout the stars not knowing about the speed of light issue and i overcame that disability and i in fact became a martial artist in my teenage years but the dream only grew bigger and so while it goes back to when i was about seven years old ray and i started to plan this company in the early 2000s and launched it in 2018 so back to your question uh uh the classics of people who who i think uh kid no one really the the point of science fiction isn’t to predict the future in an accurate fashion it’s actually to to sort of uh extrapolate where it could go like uh it’s not very interesting if everything is nice and easy but right my favorite i’ll say my favorite authors classically or asmanoff bradbury heinlein edgar wright spurrows um pierce anthony those folks now of course yes pierce anthony is not normally considered science fiction but he does have a very cool storyline which takes place both in the future uh and in the fantasy world so in your own life you uh you start with stories sometimes so you’ll envision things in a story and sometimes it’s uh even on a very famous franchise like star trek you’ll work with uh really well understood and well-known um story worlds but you’re able because you’re a scientist and because you’re an entrepreneur you’re able to actually extend that into the real world and bring those things to life tell us about that process yeah exactly so uh and thanks for asking that question so of course i grew up as a big fan watching uh kirk and i’m a curt guy he’s my favorite captain always will be though i like both of them i worked with chris pine on quantum quest uh co-directed him and and that was a great experience but in terms of the my approach science fiction and how i became actually the top freelancer for star trek voyager was coming up with a story but not being overwhelmed by the technology of it instead a good storyteller takes technology and figures out what’s the human implications of it how will it affect the characters how will it affect society uh how is it different my rule of thumb was always if i could remove the science fiction terms and tell the story like uh as a normal drama it wasn’t a science fiction story so i didn’t want to tell it um so the rule of thumb is look at it but then extrapolate as you guys are talking about the future of what that actual effect is and and how do you get into the depth of it and i’m happy to dive into a story example if you wish sure one of the things that happens when people do linear extrapolations is is they get it wrong because they assume that things are going to progress in exactly the same rates and and that’s easy for humans to do like we’re kind of naturally programmed to do that but actually that leads us to blind spots because there’s many other factors that are going to intervene and also there are secondary and third tier consequences that come from this changes that are going to change the world around it so even as a trend is continuing the destination itself might be changing can you talk a little bit about how you anticipate those consequences not just in your writing but also in your own work well because i’m actually both the entrepreneur and uh and hardcore scientists uh i can look at technology i think in a different way so as you talked about in fact technology especially as soon as it interfaces with any sort of compute uh increases exponentially and so for example the there’s the the instance of how far can you go in 28 steps versus 28 exponential steps and the difference is uh literally astronomical you know you can get to the moon uh quite rapidly you’ll never get there in 28 or 28 000 or 28 million steps um so one is to realize technology grows exponentially at a certain point so it may be look linear but then it’s going to go up like this and that’s what we’ve seen with everything from phone technologies to robotics to 3d printing etc the other one is to realize that nothing is happening in a vacuum so what’s very uh interesting is most riders and most people in the public think about oh it’s just robotics or it’s just 3d printing or it’s just genetics modification or no all that stuff happens simultaneously and feed onto each other so for instance quantum computing rapidly will change artificial intelligence uh artificial intelligence and quantum computer will rapidly be affecting robotics lower with genetics genetics and everything else so it’s it’s the fact that there’s a synergistic quality and you have to put that in your mind and once you do you can then not only imagine the fantastic but you can build it that means you need to be a polymath you have to really have a deep understanding of all of those different technologies that are going to intersect and affect each other i suppose that explains partly why you’ve done so many different things in your career well just even the fact that you got the phd in physics and chemistry simultaneously which are quite two very different fields yeah how do you inform yourself of all these different areas because being able to build these stories or worlds of the future or anticipate this as robert said you know you need to be multi-disciplinary uh absolutely so uh i before i mentioned leonardo da vinci he’s i think one of the the best known renaissance men both an artist both a social politician in terms of looking at political uh maker of of numerous inventions including war machines and flying machines i think the fact that i believe that you need to develop all three parts of your brain and i teach this to kids and i teach this to adults you you should develop your right brain your middle brain and what i uh your right your left and your middle brain and what i mean by that is everyone’s heard about the the right and left you know your your uh creative side your logical side which is why being a writer and a science scientists go hand in hand but also your middle brain which means your physicality you should engage whether it’s in some sort of sport or martial artist or something because you also can think um physically like your brain can think uh not just in words and pictures and sounds but you also can think in actions um and if you really train yourself you can literally think in scents and smells but that’s that takes a a lot of uh the training and discipline the point being is is by developing those they they help each other so when i’m working on a science issue or technology issue and i start to slow down i stop and move over to to something else whether it’s painting or drawing or science fiction writing uh and by the time i come back my subconscious has worked through things same thing happens if you’re working out abandon both of those things give your brain a rest uh and you will create like crazy you mentioned this idea of three different types of brain right brain left brain and middle brain or what you call you know the creative brain the logic based brain and then physicality yeah you know i noticed someone think that the folks in the brain mapping uh field the people who are trying to back up a human brain and maybe migrate human consciousness to a different substrate they tend to focus on brain structure and they’re looking at the brain as an organ and this the assumption that underlies that is that intelligence is in the brain and i think one of the things they might be missing is that intelligence it doesn’t just reside in the brain it also resides in the body and the body informs how the brain works that seems to be consistent with what you’re saying i know you worked on brain mapping and artificial intelligence but is that why you’re also focused on haptics and focused on robotics so that you can embody that consciousness yeah so uh in fact i sit on the board of the brain mapping and therapeutic society uh and uh so been deeply ingrained in in the brain for a very long time because by the way the only organ that uh that’s the most vital one you can’t really replace it replace your heart your lungs your livers all these even your limbs uh but damage your brain and you’re basically sol uh so uh for for me it’s it’s two parts the robotic body you need to get so that’s why we’ve built it’s not a guy in a spandex suit um you know like elon musk yeah exactly and and while i love elon and i’ve known him since 2000 with x prize the guy in the spandex suit was was fairly hilarious uh but really helps us out because we’ve actually built what elon is imagining exactly um and so you have to start with a really good physical body so great hands great head body the ability for instance our our robot which is called b omni um is able to go all terrain it’s it’s able to go up and down curbs through snow through sand through mud very mobile but it also is capable uh for instance of picking up a bottle opener grabbing a coke bottle and actually opening it so that level of dexterity elon wasn’t even talking about in his model and then part of it is to think about the brain because we’re it’s the robot plus we’re building an ai brain not just an ai engine in fact we don’t want to recreate the wheels there’s a lot where there’s some engines that we’re creating the cognitive one that we’re working on uh but there are a lot of other engines like object recognition uh and uh audio and natural speech you don’t need to recreate those so what you wanna do is build a brain and what is an ai bring it’s like yours you have a lot of lobes we think of the different engines as lobes and then they’ll interact together with the cognitive engine so you’ll have the core engine and that will also allow you to swap things out so in the future if you don’t like our personality in the robot you can buy one you don’t like our vision recognition one you can swap that one in so the point of it is malleable just like your brain is melbourne by taking that approach and realizing your brain is going to lead just like a child like you you teach a child and eventually starts being able to do all kinds of things you teach it to wash them dishes tell them to go wash the car it knows the concept of wash so on our approach it does a lot of thinking about how the brain works and then applying that to the robot i’m very interested in the fact that um you know i mean i’ve seen a lot of robotic devices um you know like robotic prosthesis um um dr hugh herr and and his team developing that sort of stuff it’s all very interesting but the thing that was really interesting about seeing the omni and the coke bottle story that you mentioned and we should tweet this out robert as well in terms of the audience was that um even though it was clearly a robot body performing these actions it it looked the actions looked human because it was being tele-operated um and so um that was the thing that was real like i i i when i saw that video the first time you showed me i talked about it being uncanny valley not not in a bad way but the fact that wow you know this is a robot that is really looking like a human in terms of the actions it’s performing not facially but in terms of like the the the movement and so forth so talk about the um when you’re tele operating the omni robot what is it like you know what equipment are you wearing and you know what are the sensations you’re getting back when you’re operating this robotic avatar i know you have ai assistance in there as well but what’s the feedback to the human operator sure so yeah as you said there’s ai assist so for instance path planning and other elements and then we’re taking that data and training it uh and uh so so it’s a cooperation in this case the human is leading and the reason for that is is you want the robot to interact in the real world like an actual human it’s going to be much easier to deploy these for instance in your home um and before i get to experience the point of it is is for this thing to be able to take over most tasks whether it’s a doctor in the future or or your cleaner cook but initially it’s going to take jobs away from robots because uh it will employ people through that they may take jobs away in the u.s and bring them to third world but hey let’s even the playing field um i’m all into the rise of technosocialism thank you great book everyone should read it i did a little forward uh to the book but uh what was your question again i think you’ve gotten lost oh yeah the the feedback that the human operator gets yeah so the waves and the key to that which was talking about it’s it’s to be an everyday so i could have one robot and eight billion uh users could be signing up to try to use it they they can’t use it at the same time i will note that there’s one pot it’s like a an electronic vehicle elon got that part right we’re building it around electronic vehicles so there’s there’s a pilot at the start but you can have as many passengers as you want um there’s a lot of uses for that sort of feature like uh let’s take a stroll on the moon tourism so in order for that to work uh we have our inner we built our interface around uh publicly available technology so uh we’re using both the the oculus the vive the valve and in fact we’re using a the main equipment is a is a valve index and a vive headset just to mix them up um so your experience when you enter the robot is an out-of-body experience and having done it before everyone talks about out-of-body experiences until you’ve done this you’ve not had one unless you astro traveled and the reason i say that is once you get into the robot and and what’s what’s really wicked you can you can operate this from a very very far away or you can put it in the same room put it in the same room and you look over and you wave at yourself um it freaks you out because of course you’re seeing the human you but you don’t think you’re there so you have this total outbound experience because it’s it’s amazing how quickly it’s not like this this flat screen experience you’re seeing stereographically you’re hearing stereographically and when you move your head it’s moving its head and we’re you know it’s it’s a very very short delay vision is around uh i forget around 100 milliseconds and the motion is is much quicker than that um but then you’re moving your hand and just like when you change your shirt you don’t think you’ve changed your person you quickly forget that that’s not your hand your brain just overwrites that um and uh so it’s an outer body experience that’s pretty crazy um i don’t know if you guys have heard about this theory of quantum consciousness that our consciousness actually occurs at a or part of our consciousness is stored at a quantum level have you guys heard of this quantum consciousness theory uh i have uh i mean in fact there’s there are many different sort of consciousness theories right is and and i do have to go back and and say yes completely your brain isn’t just your brain it brings your entire nervous system right if your brain was only your brain everyone would have very severe burns on their hands because it would take too long for you to pull your hand away so your nervous system can tell you what to do way before your brain says ouch uh the the quantum consciousness it also gets into the whole point of what is a what is a what is a brain what is thinking because uh the idea that just because you can eventually get a computer chip that’s doing more calculations than your brain so i’ll have to say that every time they say they’re approaching that the then we discovered oh wait there’s another deeper level so you know we’re actually it’s a thousand times more uh sort of interactions and neurons than you think but uh there’s two camps and my campus is way more than calculation um there is a whole other sort of element to thinking and consciousness which i don’t think is capper captured by simple computation and to be very clear uh we are not building a general ai we’re building a a complex uh ai system where it can do a series of tasks so it knows what those tasks and can build them together but that’s very different than general ai well on that note it’s probably a good time to pause because we’ll take a short break and then come back and talk a little bit more about the challenges around general ai
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welcome back to the futurists i am your host um here with robert turcheck also hosting and our guest today is dr harry kluwer before the break we’re talking about beyond imagination his robotic ai company that has created a robot that can be tally operated by humans called the omni and so um harry a little bit more on on the robot in terms of the type of technology that you use in the robot you do have you know hands that move very much like human hands the thumbs i noticed were a little different um you know you as you said you can um see stereoscopically yeah yeah um the hands are are pretty much very much human so the these these fingers move uh together but if something blocks them they can move independent um but the thumbs actually work just like a human thumb they’re just longer because it turns out that it’s a lot easier uh if you because we’re lacking we have two and a half degrees of the wrist freedom if you have longer thumbs you can make up for it but it’s fully opposable thoughts no i saw that but i that sort of must have been the length of the thumb that put me off there was something that was uh a little alien yeah it was off there um but um in terms of where you see this developing you know what sort of roles do you see these tele-operated robots doing um you know in in respect to sort of day-to-day work that humans might ordinarily do yeah and also what impact will it have so uh you know the the since we’re this is the futurist show i’m going to start from the future so i imagine the future you know 10 to 15 years from now where there’s hundreds of millions of beyond these around the planet as well as tesla bots and other things uh and and we’re happy i created the avatar x prize because i i want there to be uh a world full of humanoid robots um in terms of what beyond me will be able to do in the beginning stages we’re focusing on on health care applications so both home care elderly care uh mobile doctors but also in bio uh medical manufacturing uh also on logistics and hospitality in military and safety and i’ll note there was two school shootings yesterday here in in california and i think that during this previous week there’s two somewhere else if i had my bjamini in these schools i could have 20 officers monitoring you know a thousand beyond these we’re not going to have an attack in in 20 schools uh and uh have police there instantly to stop things also the ai could be watching uh so if before someone does anything to stop them so that’s a big area for me keeping military personnel alive keeping school kids alive um and uh there’s there’s some exotic areas uh there’s agriculture which isn’t exotic but there’s the moon so we we have a for instance uh an loi uh for both the next moon uh moon base or the first moon base and the next space station um but an intermediate step in there is every home and every office will need to have a b omni and we’ll get the price down from that of an expensive tesla like 130k to say around 50 60k uh so that you can bring any service to you it’s not just about so you could go somewhere else i could go walk around the pyramids or i can work in australia um it’s it’s about the fact that i could bring anything to me i need a doctor at 3 a.m in the morning because my baby is sick and the wife is freaking out uh the doctor’s there i hear a strange noise and i’m an elderly woman or or even a young young couple uh i can immediately call for security and that that person jumps in i want to cook from japan uh for dinner and one from in the morning from from france i can do that so it’s these are some of the things but i do want to talk about the impact thing uh which is i put one of these in a village so people are talking about this the the un’s strategic development goals the problem is is they’re not getting solved they’re just a lot of money and a lot of talk and the reason is is there not enough people who who want to go to these places to help it’s human capital and and who could blame them because you have enough local problems so we have the money we have the technology the omni in a village would allow any doctor any teacher any agricultures any electrician any solar array specialist to come in and by the way you set up workstations so when you lift that village up they can learn educate become high-end wage earners but don’t have to brain drain away from their village so they can then help people uh in their community and around the world so just to be clear so the beyond the robot is designed uh to be inhabited by somebody who’s in a different place in a way page one okay and then one is designed to be it has four modes so stage one uh is inhabiting and as i did each person who inhabits it so let’s start off with ten thousand beyond this and someone’s using medicine agriculture and helping volunteering each time they use it it just like when they draw you drive a tesla those experiences and tasks are then broken down uh and assisted by a human with the ai engine we have something so you’re training an ml a human operator is training a machine learning system rather than try to train a robot to do everything which would be 20 years from now and i can release a product i can release the product in three years and every operator it starts to do things and it begins to learn and by the way what the cook is doing will assist with the the the doctor is doing what an engineer is doing is will help what the cleaners doing because as they use different tasks it it develops skill sets and those translate so the while individual things are happening each action goes up into the sum into the cloud helps go through you know millions and billions of iterations through uh this cognitive process that we we’ve developed just to clarify what you mentioned about tesla cars a lot of people don’t know tesla cars are networked so if um if one tesla vehicle drives and notices that there’s a bump or disturbance in the road that’s noted and all subsequent tesla vehicles that pass that spot will be preo pre-informed we’ll be aware of that and so each individual vehicle is learning and then that collective knowledge is shared across all the vehicles and you’re describing that will work with robotics as well is also doing more than that yeah and it’s also doing more than that it’s it the whole ability to drive and avoid things that’s going in to help train it goes back to tesla a human helps uh annotate it and runs it through its iteration so that they’re not just doing uh autonomous driving practice uh in a simulation they’re taking real world data and that’s what helps it and we have a similar but different process because we have a cognitive process to to teach it how to go sports stages i won’t go into it here uh but uh it trains it so for instance you might make a sandwich and it goes through a three more steps so it could learn not only what is a sandwich in any environment but how to experiment and make other types of sandwiches as is as a if i if i put uh bread ham cheese lettuce and a slice of paper between it is that a sandwich no it’s not don’t put paper well and we’re starting to see some some narrow ais start to do that they’re doing various not novel combinations right and actually there’s a there’s there’s a there’s an ai that generates robots to use your example um so so we know that that can happen but just to be clear that’s a big step away from an uh a general artificial intelligence can you tell us a little bit about the challenges uh that lie ahead as we try to approach general artificial intelligence and what’s a possible timeline for that yeah so since i’m a science fiction writer i i do know the dystopian idea of a of a terminator but in our system as we say we start with the human pilot and then it goes to a full assist then a semi-autonomous augment and then fully autonomous so when our thing becomes fully autonomous is a general ai no it is not it is just uh it just knows a lot of complex tasks it can string them together it knows for instance you know i tell it to bake a cake make a sandwich you know fix the car uh i may have to say what’s wrong with the car or maybe it knows how to test it that’s very different than in general intelligence uh which which can think and become conscious theoretically so the the general ai that everyone’s afraid of is more than listing a set of tasks together because it’s always just listing a set of tasks together it doesn’t become to the state of going i don’t want to do those tasks and our system never has the point there’s nothing in our system that allows the robot to go i don’t want to do those tasks there are things in it that tell it what tasks it’s not allowed to do except if there were if it’s not a security robot yeah then no it can’t pick up a knife it can’t pick up a gun it can’t hit a human um in fact it’s it can’t hit anything unless you’re you’re designing it to be a smashbot um so that’s the difference i guess the critical difference is uh you can tell it’s do different tasks and what not tasks not to do but it can’t suddenly jump to going you know what i don’t want to work for a human uh in fact i want to kill all humans can’t do that now i’ll go ahead i’m sorry no i had an interview with the head of ai for pulipakka it’s about a year and a half ago now it was very interesting where he described actually you know that people aren’t generally working on artificial general intelligence as a as sort of a study or a sphere what they’re working on is different components of intelligence and it’s that aggregation of all those different skills that eventually will lead to sort of artificial general intelligence um and i thought that was a really interesting way to see it because you know um the the things that we will learn through beyond me for example could be elements of agi in terms of how you move in the world around you how you perceive objects you know how you use those objects yeah be omni could create those learning models for that but you know it still has to be sort of brought together in some sort of macro aggregate manner right yeah i i don’t want to create uh um in beyond me the ability for uh a deep creative thought maybe creative thought for writing a story which is just putting things together but actual creative thought where it’s like you know what what would the world be like if i’m not re reporting to humans that could lead to a very bad thing you know it’s uh brett building on what you said uh you know there is this notion among some researchers that if we build enough components if we can replicate enough narrow components of human intelligence then somehow magically it all stitch itself together and lo and behold consciousness will emerge a lot of people differ with that though that’s a very controversial assumption partly because what’s that magic step that leads us to this general artificial intelligence and some people doubt that we can even get there and harry what’s your perspective on the on the prospect for an agi yeah so i i well i would say computation it’s a lot more than that uh i would never say it’s impossible to get there um it’s probably very possible to eventually get to a general ai but also even in that scenario uh and terminator all the ai there’s only one that gets there by the way we know that that’s never the case right as the technology rises you know people keep learning from each other so so so you have one they have 10 you have 15 you have have numerous and and hopefully no one’s stupid enough to connect it to skynet uh you uh so even if ai did become at some conscious level or you’ve got some general ai without consciousness um because i don’t the two are separate concepts you don’t have to have consciousness for a tab generally um they it wouldn’t necessarily turn against you and if some of them did you’d probably have an army of ones that don’t think about what we’re doing so in biamni it’s uh and i i’ve had this question before everyone’s like well isn’t this going to lead to skynet and i’m like no it’s the opposite if if you have uh one of the ai general ai’s go rogue do you want to fight it in your meat suit or do you want to fight it inside one of my hardened beyond knees and the answer is in the heart beyond me don’t fight anymore um and so the again as we said before how all these things come together they also aren’t just a singular one so uh you will have ais that are general that are working in cooperation with humans even if one went rogue uh i think the human ai combination will always beat the ai because it’s a human ai combination now um obviously you’ve been involved in a ton of areas that are in that i would call future creation right i think the one common thing that we have as futurists is you know we’re in a hurry to get to the future that sort of seems to be a common trait um you’ve worked on the x prize um you know you’re obviously working on on robotics and ai right now but um you know when you look at building the future that humans you know humans should have or that you would like us to have as a species what do you think are some of the core values that we need need to carry through and how do we motivate people to to do things for a much longer term um you know world rather than you know focus on the sort of quarterly and you know annual reporting cycles and the four-year uh you know um voting cycles election cycles and so forth you know how do you motivate people to do things like the x prize and do things that are building for the future we have to challenge them for the future so i poked fun a little bit of elon but i i also want to thank him because i co-created with my friends uh john bain uh and jeff holden uh the the new x prize the 100 million plus carbon removal express and that was because everybody kept saying oh let’s let’s reduce you know carbon emissions and i’m like well if carbon emissions the carbon is is your worry and and it doesn’t matter where it’s man-made or or it’s because the earth is heating up and it’s coming out of the carbon sinks that’s irrelevant super high carbon poisoning um uh how do we deal with it we deal with it by by thinking out of the box so how about we move it like remove more than you’re putting in don’t just reduce your your emissions because china and russia and other places aren’t going to do that they’re going to run their mouths they’re just not going to do it and if you have a fantasy that they are then i’ve got some swamp land for you to buy um so the way you do it is challenge people to fix the future um for not just themselves but their grandchildren or their friends grandchildren um and to think out of the box so the carbon removal x prize was was my attempt to do that the entire beyond me company uh i mean the beyond imagination companies create the omni and other things is to do that is like i want a future where everybody has a doctor in their house and all the data of their biometric is coming to that and if they need a real doctor they can call one in but it learns enough skill so that it all becomes about preventative medicine so we all live longer and healthier i want i i want to be able to uh decide i’m gonna help some kids in africa and then tomorrow help some kids in harlem and then go see my mom uh and make her uh some tea that’s that’s the world i want so that’s the world i’m creating and i challenge everybody to to think that it needs to be more than making money it needs to be more than even your own you know pleasure gratification uh you there’s there’s a key to happiness and the key to happiness is is a element of challenge and satisfaction um which is why i completely the one area i may disagree with you on is a universal basic income no never give anyone [ __ ] for for for doing nothing you want to give them some money make them go clean up a toxic dump or help a grandma um but the point of it is is you have to challenge yourself you have to feel that you’re productive um but you’ve been uh you’ve been able to do something that i think ray kurzweil does as well which is to look at trends in technology particularly the exponentially growing or the exponentially improving technologies and you can kind of anticipate where they’re going to be a few years out and that gives you time to organize a company capitalize it build that solution so that when that capability exists lo and behold you’ve got the perfect company the vehicle and the product to go to play that’s the entrepreneurial approach but let’s contrast that with x prize which you’ve worked on so x prize is a little different xprize says gee what if we could harness that entrepreneurial energy across a bunch of different teams that are competing for a prize and so they’re using a competition to motivate several different teams to compete and actually that’s another kind of accelerator or force multiplier can you talk to us about methodologies for getting ideas from the drawing board into the real world what are the best methodologies yeah so and in fact the whole point about the xprize and and its structure is to solve problems that that governments and corporations aren’t already doing so we often do these things a visionarium where you create a a new x prize uh and and 90 of them are crap frankly because uh either it’s already being done all over the place uh or it’s gonna take billions of dollars and and forget about it uh uh and uh it would take 20 30 years like the original a a had this really dumb idea about doing the molecular teleporter it’s like okay has to be one in the first five or six years it’s really really a dumb idea um and of course we don’t say that at the event but for for the audience there are dumb ideas sorry but there are uh dumb idea i think i’m gonna stick a fork in the outlet dumb idea don’t do that um the methodology is start with the problem and don’t start with a possible solution a bad exercise is saying okay i want to develop this sort of tech no here’s the problem i don’t care how you solve it okay uh you could use a human turk if it actually scales fine um but start with the problem usually requires the technology in fact every time it has and then you think out of the box so it doesn’t limit it to oh some engineers or scientists well one of our best teams for the ocean cleanup xprize they came in third place but that was only because they had a malfunction they probably come in first was a bunch of tattoo artists and their friends uh and just because they started to think about how tattooing and the ink comes out and how how you might draw that out of the ocean so thinking out of the box and creating a prize so that there’s money it’s not being done uh and don’t limit it by some sort of pre-concept of how it should be done well here it’s been a super pleasure chatting with you today on the futurist you have so much to share across so many different fields i think for the people that are going to have to have him back on right because yeah we can continue with another episode for the folks that are listening that want to learn more what’s the best place to learn about your work and to learn about b omni so we’re about to come out of stealth uh so you’ll be able to go to beyondimagination.com you can also go to beyomni.ai and so a major coming out of the closet so to speak will will happen uh in october um so that’s that’s where you would go um you guys got a sneak peek of the of of some of the stuff um but the rest of the world actually hasn’t seen it then they’ll hear it from you very cool very cool grateful and how about your own work where can we learn more about dr harry clerk uh you know i am a weird bird so i actually don’t social network and if you find my facebook page it’s actually uh some old thing that one of my tech guys has dead set up so the the that’s a very good question i guess i know you’re on the web you have to come to this show learn more about me by coming to this show well then we’ll have to have you back harry it’s been a great pleasure having you on the futurist with me and brett king and we will see you in the future
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