Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mormons Embrace Artificial Intelligence, Science

I haven't posted much to this blog anymore, mostly because I feel like I've already covered the key issues,and don't have much more to add.

However, on occasion, something crops up that seems to relate to this discussion.

One concept that transhumanists like is the idea that computers will develop human-like capabilities.

Recently, at LDS Church-funded and owned Brigham Young University, came this article: Student turning computers into composers.  We're still a ways off of a computer Beethoven in terms of the quality and creativity, but it's still pretty interesting for artificial intelligence.

Also, BYU students beat teams from Harvard and Duke to advance to world finals at the U.S. International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Regional Jamboree sponsored by MIT.  In this competition:
"Teams participating in iGEM are given a kit of biological parts at the beginning of the summer. Then they use those and new parts that they design themselves to build biological systems and operate them in living cells."

Other BYU scientific research awards include an electric vehicle land speed record, and an award for computer hacking.

These efforts are not just created by people who happen to be members of the Church, they are officially funded by LDS Church tithing dollars, then promoted as public examples of excellent work.

When I read things like this, I struggle to see any elements of Church culture or practices that oppose the development and adoption of new technologies.  Yet, encouragement to embrace technology seems to underscore the need for "Mormon Transhumanism."

Mormons already love and proactively support technology, biotech, artificial intelligence, curing  disease, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Vblogger, when mainstream Mormons acknowledge that technology is among the means ordained of God for transfiguration and resurrection to immortality, there will be no need for Mormon Transhumanism. In the mean time, I'll still join you in celebrating the substantial extent to which mainstream Mormons embrace technology.