Kim Solez Intro to Tech&Future of Medicine course 5 Sept 2013
Kim Solez, MD
• Founded by Linda Avey
and Anne Wojcicki
• Aims to teach people
about themselves: carrier
status to inheritable
disease, health risks, and
• Offers genetic testing of
conditions and traits.
• Ancestral composition
testing, DNA relatives,
and the 23andMe family
tree tool.DNA Spit Kit
• Non-mandatory! Participation is
• Completely anonymous! No data is
shared with the course and there
is no pressure to share your
results with anyone.
• 23andMe is offering an academic
discount to anyone who is
interested. We estimate 20% off
the regular $99 price tag.
1. To outline the basic plan of course and its
expectations, due dates, evaluation criteria, and
the feedback mechanisms.
2. To begin to introduce the basic concepts of the
course including the technological
singularity, exponential change, existential risk.
3. To outline procedures for the student presentation
evenings November 5th and December 3rd.
4. To outline expectations for 600-1000 word past
lecture critique due October 15th, the mentor and
topic selection by November 14th, and the 3,000-
4,000 word final paper due November 26th.
1. Each 80-minute class period on Tuesdays and Thursdays will
be divided up into 60-minute lecture, and 20-minute whole
class discussion. Each student will take on a special project
of their own with guidance by the faculty and present the
results of that special project in the latter portion of the
2. To avoid consuming regular class time with student
presentations, the presentations are mostly given in special
student presentation evenings scheduled at a time
convenient for the students and mixed with
food, entertainment, and social events. One such evening is
scheduled approximately midway in the semester November
5th so students who wish can give their presentation early.
3. The second student presentation evening is on the last day
of class December 3rd.
1. Students will be evaluated on their presentation on their
chosen project in the course (30%), a paper on that project
(40%), a critique and analysis of strengths and weaknesses of
a previous lecture in the course (20%) and class participation
(10%). The critique is due October 15th and should be 2-3
pages in length (600-1000 words).
2. Students should pick a mentor and final paper topic by
The technological singularity occurs as artificial
intelligences surpass human beings as the smartest
and most capable life forms on the Earth.
Technological development is taken over by the
machines, who can think, act and communicate so
quickly that normal humans cannot even comprehend
what is going on. The machines enter into a "runaway
reaction" of self-improvement cycles, with each new
generation of A.I.s appearing faster and faster. From
this point onwards, technological advancement is
explosive, under the control of the machines, and
thus cannot be accurately predicted (hence the term
"Singularity"). – Ray Kurzweil
Course conceptualized in
March 2011, tested with
focus groups in
May for its suitability as a
course for both
Ten minute introduction
Fifty minute lecture
Twenty minute discussion
In the course we talk about
machines replacing many of the
functions of human beings. This
picture was taken by a machine
without human intervention, as
were many of the best still
images from the course. The
video camera is constantly
comparing the scene to
algorithms and takes still
pictures when the requirements
of the interesting picture
algorithm are satisfied.
First teaching session 2011 Recent teaching session 2012
Hot-linked tables of contents in YouTube video descriptions allow one
to jump right to content of interest.
Heather Graves, from Department
of English and Film Studies, in
Faculty of Arts.
CCIS is on the other
side of campus for
many of us, but it is
good exercise to go
there and one often
has excellent company
making the trip!
We endeavor to shoot broadcast quality video of
each lecture and discussion.
Previous lectures on YouTube.com at
/user/KimSolez and /user/avoca99 . Students
are asked to critique one past lecture, and
suggest improvements in presentation and hot-
linked table of contents (20% of grade).
Students write one 3,000 word paper (40%) and
give 20 min. presentation on same subject
(30%). Also graded on class participation (10%).
No required reading. Suggested reading list
distributed by Email, is constantly updated.
The technological Singularity.
Existential risks, AI, genomics, and nanotech.
Ways to optimize a positive outcome for
humanity in the co-evolution of humans and
The influence of these considerations on
medicine of the future.
Dean of Science speaking, prominent people
internationally. Most lectures not very
“medical”. Easily understood.
Balanced view provided by incorporating both
technology skeptics and technology advocates.
Student numbers more than
double every six months?
Maximum is 40 .
12-14 people seems ideal.
With more than that all
students cannot hear all
presentations, and there is
not enough time for
2 5 12 27 40 40
Some already know what the technological
Singularity is, others don’t, and are finding out
However, if the people and ideas I present are
genuinely new and interesting I should be able to
satisfy both groups.
The most interesting aspects have to do with the
impact on young people today.
Considerable youth orientation in the course.
Faculty are getting younger and younger.
Run like Autodesk Design Night.
Best. Salon. Ever. March 1, 2014.
Hosted by media professional
Dr. Julielynn Wong of Singularity U.
Analogous to Paris Salon of a
century ago which moved Western
thought and culture forward, music,
art, good conversation, something unique,
innovative, and memorable!
How Inside Outside and Singularity impact young
people, important concepts discussed in course.
Nova program on PBS Television (7 million viewers)
Big Bang Theory (the TV show; 20 million viewers)
Singularity Summit (9,000 views per video)
Kim Solez – Technology and Future of Medicine Course
LABMP 590 (1,700 views per video)
However, Marcus Hutter suggests that there is an element of
human insignificance that makes the whole scenario much
more challenging. Also, Hutter has created a model general AI
which makes the challenge seem more immediate!
Outside the Singularity looking in it will be white
Inside the Singularity if everything speeds up at
the same rate we may not notice anything; it may
seem like normal life to us
Even if initially our biological brains count for
something in our mental processes, very soon the
processing power of the machine implant will
vastly outstrip our biological brains. Our biological
brains become insignificant regardless of the
friendliness or lack thereof of the AI
Extreme risk taking because we can back
ourselves up from backups if something bad
Insignificance, lack of identity. Why wait to create
backups when we have the processing power to
run several lives at once. Can replicate ourselves
endlessly in seconds! No more waiting 9 months!
The world has little incentive to keep identities
straight when biological brains contribute so little
to mental processes. Bigger not better
Aimlessness, lack of sense of purpose
The challenge of producing a friendly AI becomes just a
small part of the much larger challenge of creating a
friendly world in which humans still have lives of
significance, human history is retained and extended
A positive outcome is possible; let’s make it likely
We all need to be engaged in ensuring a positive
outcome for humanity. The future is ours to shape. We
need to get busy doing that!
A simple approach is needed to engage the general
public on these matters!
This course is a beginning attempt at achieving that.
The challenge of friendly AI becomes just a small part of
a much larger challenge of creating a friendly world in
which humans still have lives of significance, human
history is retained and extended.
We all need to be engaged in ensuring a positive
outcome for humanity. The future is ours
to shape. We need to get busy doing that!
Part of the imagined future could be
one where all disease was eliminated
but life was intolerable. Another where the only diseases
are from bioterrorism.
All natural disease may be eliminated, leaving
only man-made diseases. But that may leave
as much for physicians to do as there is today!
Challenging responses to bioterrorism and
stem cell technologies.
Focus of medicine no longer disease but
enhancement, which will extend beyond the
physical to the moral.
Social responsibility an important aspect of
medicine and one of the focuses of the course.
“It is the curse of humanity that it learns to tolerate even
the most horrible situations by habituation. Physicians
are the natural attorneys of the poor, and the social
problems should largely be solved by them.”
It became apparent that the best way to make this
happen was for me to create a novel course of
new design. Thus, this course.
Presently, we know of no similar courses being
Eventually it is our hope that hundreds of similar
courses will begin appearing at Universities all
over the world.
Regulatory oversight that is completely focused
on compliance. Discourages risk-taking and
Health care doesn't have the same financial
reward system. Facebook isn't about to pay $1
billion for the latest hot-ticket item in imaging
Security always trumps information sharing, and
so better, faster linkages are constrained
because of security concerns, most of which are