Author: Mark Sackler

Quantum Impossibilities: A conversation with whurley

The site was a 37th floor suite in the new Fairmont Hotel in Austin, Texas. William Hurley, aka whurley, had just delivered a SXSW keynote speech with the alluring title “The Endless Impossibilities of Quantum Computing” to a packed ballroom in the convention center across the street. When he walked into the room, I got the impression of a friendly, soft-spoken, teddy-bearish sort of man who just happens to be one of the smartest guys in any room. If I’d seen a picture of him without knowing who he was, I might guess he was a Swiss maker of...

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Ending Aging (Part 2)

ENDING AGING Part 2 – Elizabeth Parrish By Mark Sackler It was about ten years ago that I had a telling argument with a work colleague in the pharmaceutical industry. I was talking about the then rather nascent field of research into reversing human aging, and the rather strong likelihood that it might soon emerge from the fringes and become mainstream. He was horrified. He abhorred the idea, and for all the usual reasons. Aging is natural. The world is over-populated. We need youthful reinvigoration of humanity. We lack the resources. Yada yada yada. I look him straight in...

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Can We Create Consciousness In A Machine?

For anyone who has watched the HBO series Westworld, the questions about creating machine consciousness run much deeper than “can we.” These include, should we? How will we treat it? How will it feel about its station as artificial life? Will we be able to control it, and is that ethical? And most profoundly, how will that change what it means to be human? The questions go beyond ethical to existential, and they were all addressed in the SXSW Intelligent Future track in a panel titled Can We Create Consciousness In A Machine? Not surprisingly, there were two techno-philosophers...

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