Author Archives: Sunny Xu

Posts by Sunny Xu

Artificial General Intelligence

This article talks about numerous transhumanist. One that captured my attention was the one about artificial general intelligence, AGI. This is the ability to achieve complex goals in complex environment usint limited computational resources. Thinking, feeling, imagining, communicating thoughtful synthetic intelligence with conscious experience. It is similar to robots or computers. A lot of computrrs and advanced technology right now can help achieve this goal. Present day computers are fast enough to computing the power of the human brain.

There is already a machine out there called Kludge Al. It is programed to function similar as humans. Its can be mediocre at some tasks and be super human at some. Although it is kind of slow, it it possible to improve its performance by adding more hardware. There are many tests such as the coffee robot test, the student robot test, and the employment test. These tests tests if the robot is capable of normal to intelligent human functions.

I personally think it is possible in the future for us to have these types of robots and AGIs. Although it may be hard, with our advancing technology anything is possible.

Thing one, thing two, thing three..

For my picture, I envisioned a future that will allow you to duplicate yourself. There will be a machine or some sort and you are able to go in and it’ll scan your entire body, from how you look to how your personality is, and duplicate it. You can pick specific functions for each clone, such as one would do homework and study, while another one will sleep and catch up on rest, and another one works out your body to ensure that you’re healthy and the last one can be making money by going to work. While all that’s being done, you can do whatever you want. This will not only save time, but allow us to multi task and be more productive.

To burn or not to burn?

Many companies nowadays are figuring out new and eco-friendly ways to remove waste. However, some people, as mentioned in the article, “Incinerators vs Zero Waste: Energy and the Climate,” thinks that this is called “greenwashing.” They believe that incinerator and landfill industries are making a profit from the climate crisis by making renewable energy by “greenwashing” trash. Incinerating, instead of recycling, is bad for the environment even though companies like KiOR, in the article, “Alternative Fuels’ Long-Delayed Promise Might Be Near Fruition,” states that it’s good for the environment. They have developed a way to mix shredded wood waste to generate fuel.

KiOR states that their fuel made from burning the waste will release one-sixth the amount of carbon dioxide than the other fuels burned. However, GAIA states that by just burning these materials, it releases high levels of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and wastes energy too.

Companies like Ineos, a European oil and chemical company, is making a plant in Florida that would burn wood and woody garbage that breaks into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. These molecules will be turned and used to make ethanol. The company spent about $130 million on the pant and it’s supposed to make eight million gallons a year, which is only about 1 percent of Florida’s demand.

So the question is, do you think that it incinerating is a good thing or bad for the environment? Do you think companies really are trying to help the environment or just put money in their pockets? Do you think that these companies are profitable or useful considering the amount of money that are used in making it and the amount of energy they produce?

Comments by Sunny Xu

"I think that yes, we should prepare for the future in case we do run out of energy or we over exhausted our resources, but also at least try to prevent it from happening. If we don't inform the public or attempt to lower energy consumption, energy usage will increase at an even faster rate. Although it may be hard for us to make a drastic change and have everyone use less energy at once, but if we allow more time, lets say a decade or so, we will be able to at least have new technology that may allow us to use energy more efficiently. Since technology is increasing at a rapid place, people should invent new ways to produce cost efficient energy."
--( posted on Feb 24, 2014, commenting on the post Is time better spent on preparing for energy consumption versus attempting to lower it? )
"Although it's not immediate, I'm sure in a decade or so, we will be using more energy efficient ways to generate energy. Nowadays with programs like PlaNYC, they are finding more ways inform the public and to find alternative ways to harvest and store energy. There already has been many plans to move toward a greener future, such as green buildings, improving regulations to increase sustainability of buildings, provide energy efficiency financing and information, and so on. According to PlaNYC, just within 4 years from 2006 to 2010, energy use decreased almost 60 kBtu/sf. People are slowly aware of the importance of saving energy because they know that eventually we will run out of it one day if we don't find alternative ways to make and save energy."
--( posted on Feb 24, 2014, commenting on the post Energy Race or Pure Optimism? )