Posts Tagged ‘Joel Pitt’

nerdnite wellington 1: in which we explore past and future, politics and transport modes

UPDATE: videos available here

Nerdnite Wellington 1 – In which we explore past and future, politics and transport modes.

Nerdnite has finally gone Southern Hemisphere, and Wellington’s proud (and not at all terrified, honest) to be its hosting city.

When: Monday 2 August, from 6pm ’til we’re thrown out

Where: Betty’s at 32 Blair Street, Wellington

Sign up: Facebook event or @ us on Twitter if you can make it. Or you can email us.

For our inaugural event, we offer to you, our guests, a heady mix of politics, space, history and futurism.

In a very particular order, then, may we introduce our speakers:

Motorised Vehicle Technology and Trends, 1910 and beyond

Daniel Spector

Though the first so-called “Automobiles” were imported to New Zealand in 1898, it is only in the last few years that self-propelled motor vehicles has truly passed out of the experimental stage and into practical reality.

Freshly back from the motorcar race season of 1912 and the opening of the world’s first “brick track” at Indianapolis in the USA, Mr Spector of Thorndon (Ex San Francisco) will spend a few minutes discussing the current technology regarding motorcars and motorcycles and possible future directions for self propelled vehicles.

Mr Spector also promises to be equipped with pictures to be displayed via a projection scope.

Daniel Spector is an adventurer, raconteur and eccentric gearhead from a previous century.

Achieving orbit with style, verve and imagination

Chelfyn Baxter

Riding atop an enormous, barely controlled explosion is a very brutal, inelegant solution to the problem of achiving orbit. I will be looking at a few more creative ways of getting things into space.

Chelfyn’s career has been a verb, not a noun. He animates, codes, writes and plays music, though usually not all at the same time.

<<a treatise on copyright in New Zealand>>

Matthew Holloway

<<details to come>>

Consciousness, AGI, and the Singularity

Joel Pitt

Can computers think? Can they be conscious? This talk will hopefully convince that yes they can, or at least: if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then debating whether the duck actually exists is mostly pointless.

Artificial General Intelligence is a branch of AI that focuses on creating agents that can reason an act in an uncertain world (a bit like we do). OpenCog is an open source AGI framework that Joel has spent the last several years being a lead developer on. He’ll share some of the stuff he does and explain the ideas of the technological singularity and the challenge of AI friendliness (AKA “how to avoid SkyNet”), as well as share how learning about cognition has shaped the way he lives his life.

Joel Pitt is a crazy mad scientist, software engineer, hacker, DJ and transhumanist. He contributes to a handful of OSS, got his PhD from Lincoln University, and is the board secretary for the worldwide transhumanist association “Humanity+”.


The event’s free, and we urge you to bring your friends, enemies, pets and favourite extraterrestrials. Come drink with us!

Or, in the words of the unofficial nerdnite tagline, “It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer!”