"The Good Life is one inspired by Love and guided by Knowledge" - Bertrand Russell

Self Portrait

And me, over the years...

Peter Voss

(310) 822-4533
Email: peter@optimal.org


My main occupation is research in high-level, general (domain independent, autonomous) Artificial Intelligence – "Adaptive A.I. Inc."

I believe that integrating insights from the following areas of cognitive science are crucial for rapid progress in this field:

  • Philosophy/ epistemology - understanding the true nature of knowledge
  • Cognitive psychology (incl. developmental & psychometric) for analysis of cognition - and especially - general conceptual intelligence.
  • Computer science - self-modifying systems, combining new connectionist pattern manipulation techniques with 'traditional' AI engineering.

Anyone who shares my passion - and/ or concerns - for this field is welcome to contact me for brainstorming and possible collaboration.

My other big passion is for exploring what I call Optimal Living: Maximizing both the quantity & quality of life. I see personal responsibility and optimizing knowledge acquisition as key. Specific interests include:

  • Rationality, as a means for knowledge. I'm largely sympathetic to the philosophy of Objectivism, and have done quite a bit of work on developing a rational approach to (personal & social) ethics.
  • Health (quality): physical, financial, cognitive, and emotional (passions, meaningful relationships, appreciation of art, etc.). Psychology: IQ & EQ.
  • Longevity (quantity): general research, CRON (calorie restriction), cryonics
  • Environment: economic, social, political systems conducive to Optimal Living.

These interests logically lead to an interest in Futurism , in technology for improving life - overcoming limits to personal growth & improvement. The transhumanist philosophy of Extropianism best embodies this quest. Specific technologies that seem to hold most promise include AI, Nanotechnology, & various health & longevity approaches mentioned above.

I always enjoy meeting new people to explore ideas, and to have my views critiqued. To this end I am involved in a number of discussion groups and salons (e.g. 'Kifune' futurist dinner/discussion group). Along the way I'm trying to develop and learn the complex art of constructive dialog.

Rationality, give me the Strength to Change the things I can,
the Serenity to Accept those that I can't, and
the Wisdom to Know the difference.

Essays & Discussion Notes

Longevity -
CRON - Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition
Longevity - Major Factors Determining Life-Span
Ethics -
Extropy Now!
Rational Personal Ethic : Principles for Optimal Living
Children as Objective Value
De-scription versus Pre-scription - and other Ethical Confusions
Ethics for Transhumans - A reply to Josh Hall's Ethics for Machines
Comments on Michael Schermer's The Secular Sphinx
Philosophy -
Compatibilism - The Nature of Freewill
Metaphysics – It's simpler than you think
AI -
Advanced Intelligence: SI, IA, and the Global Brain
Why Machines will become Hyper-Intelligent before Humans do
Comments on SIAI's Guidelines for building 'Friendly' AI'

Favorite Sites & Organizations I Support

Futurism - Extropy Institute and KurzweilAI.net and Singularity Watch
Longevity - Calorie Restriction FAQ and Immortality Institute
Cryonics - Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Social, Political & Economic Justice - Institute for Justice
Free Minds & Markets - Reason Foundation
Objectivism - The Objectivist Center
Nano- and other extreme technology - Foresight Institute
Politics - Libertarian Party
Rational Thought & Action - Skeptics Society - Center for Inquiry-West
Religion - Atheists United

One Degree