Bay Area Futurists Annual Intelligence Explosion

June 30, 2016

Join us for a talk on smart agents, a tour of select Stanford labs, a meet-and-greet with other futurists, and an after party at a nearby futurist-friendly intentional community.

Come for as much or as little as you’d like. State in the comments if you want to attend the tour or after party. Space is limited.

Invite your futurist friends! Let’s make this *the* annual event for the futurists in the Bay.


  • 4:00pm: Stanford lab tours (confirmed: Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab,, others pending)
  • 6:15pm: Group dinner (on your own)
  • 7:00pm: James Norris Bay Area Futurists introduction
  • 7:15pm: John Smart keynote talk
  • 7:35pm: Q&A
  • 8:00pm: After party
  • 8:30pm: Facilitated meet-and-greet



Free for everything except the after party (chip in $15 at the door if you attend and drink or $10 without drinking)

If you or your organization might want to sponsor this or future events, please contact James.

Talk Title:

Smart Agents, AI, the Good Society

Talk Abstract:

Smart agents are blowing up right now, with the recent release of Viv and bot frameworks from some of the major IT firms (Microsoft and Facebook). AI, and in particular deep learning is also huge in the media, and deservedly so for once (IMO). Let’s apply these two topics to a few questions about the Good Society we all want to see, and are working toward each in our own way. Here are eight questions John would like to discuss in particular:

  • Of all our technologies, only nanotech and infotech continually provide us with “accelerating returns.” Why is this so?
  • How big a force for social change do you think AI will be in the next generation? Will anything be bigger?
  • Is the convergence of neuroscience and computer science (deep learning) the best way to accelerate AI? If not, what is?
  • If we increasingly “grow & garden” our deep learning-based AIs rather than “engineer & program” them, how will we make them safe?
  • What are the benefits and risks of smart agents (software we can talk to, with an always-improving model of the world, itself and us)?
  • Will we need social reforms like basic income to deal with the impacts (tech unemployment, rich-poor divides, etc.) of accelerating AI?
  • If we could offer anyone who wanted it the ability to inexpensively preserve their brain (memories and identity) when they die (which we may be able to do in the next decade, see, would that make for a better society? If so, how?
  • In our accelerating world, what are the most effective strategies to make a “Good” (for example, more empowered, empathic, and evidence-based) Society?

Join us for a freewheeling discussion of these questions, and any others you bring to the conversation. John will also intro his new web book, The Foresight Guide, available free online in a blog form June 30th, at, and his startup,


John Smart is a global futurist, CEO of Foresight University, author of The Foresight Guide, and co-founder of the Brain Preservation Foundation.


John’s Smart Agents Series on Medium
Transcension Hypothesis
John’s Speaker Site

Event Partners:

Alexandria: home to hackers, hustlers, teachers, and travelers dedicated to building a better world, together.

East Bay Futurists: exchanging futurist ideas in the East Bay.

Science Fiction Society of Silicon Valley: events showcasing scientists and businessmen who make science fiction a reality.

Self Spark: the global lifehacking events series.

Speculative Futures San Francisco: group for those interested in using Critical Theory and Design to speculate about alternate futures.

Stanford Transhumanist Association: group for Stanford trashumanists

You? (contact James)

Facebook Event Link:

You’ll also have the chance to meet:

17 Futurists from “East Bay Futurists

A total of 95 people are expected to attend!

—Event Producer