Even if you accept this (and it’s worth noting that only the tiniest sliver of our universe is hospitable to our kind of intelligent life), it just pushes the question back one level. If our universe was created, then whoever created it must have also grown up in a universe that could spawn intelligent life. Would that universe need to have had its variables tuned as well?
This is just a repackaging of a standard argument that adds complexity while explaining nothing.
-- Richard Feynman
After all, the only way in which we can simulate physical phenomena well is by actually running the experiment. Sure, computer software is very helpful when building a plane, but we still need wind tunnels. I'm convinced that we will create more powerful computers, but I'm not aware of any claims that a particle can be used to accurately simulate two particles... or even one millionth of a particle. (Note that reality doesn't seem to have accumulated any rounding errors even after running for a couple billion of years.)
I'm someone skeptical about this claim, certainly it's a while since I worked in AI research, but from what I recall after the AI Winter researchers were generally pretty guarded about making claims for there being any clear route to building general intelligences.
I'm slightly skeptical towards the opening part, are there really "thousands of AI scientists" in the English-speaking parts of the world? I'm surprised, but I have really no insight into the world of AI science.
Unless that creator with a brain that makes yours look like that of a mouse's cares about the welfare of you. Made sure all those wars and killing occurred in just the right way just so that you could be here writing this article. If your brain is just a tiny mouse brain how could you possibly know?
To summarize, I do not see why the "mathematical principle" has to be postulated separately from the "anthropic principle," which we all know has an alternative deity-free explanation mentioned by Kurtzweil himself: there could be "a zillion universes, each with a different set of physical laws, and we just happen to live in one that is compatible with life."
How about: Our mathematics is a reflection of the universe we can perceive.
Well, in your mind. :) I didn't mean that in support of a relativistic viewpoint. Perhaps I should have said that we can comprehend. Perception just determines our starting point.
No, it would not. If science could "play in that arena," science will have solved the halting problem.
And have defined an algorithm for determining any possible busy beaver number. Which, of course, is related to the previous.
Um...where exactly are these artilects? Haven't heard of any recently. Pretty sure we would have noticed. Unless of course he's saying that they will arise in the next few decades, in which case - more of the same old gee-whiz-the-singularity wankage.
Ok, from the talk,
21 Century A.I.-enabling technologies
a) Moore's Law
b) 1bit/atom by 2020
c) Femto-Second Switching
d) Reversible Computing
f) Artyficial Embryology
g) (Topological) Quantum Computing
h) Nanotech Impact on Brain Science
j) Artificial Brains
There's a disconnect there, and I've seen it for a long time. The reason theism is called ridiculous is that the author imagines what their millions/billions/trillions/more-times intelligent entity would do in our universe, looks out and observes this is not what is happening, then declares that there is no Theity (to coin a word). But there's a major fault in the logic, which is that one can be so confident about what that entity would do that the imagination step has any meaning. Researchers like Kurzweil who otherwise would never dream of claiming they can read the Theity's mind will, on this one point, declare that they can.
I can't prove the conclusion false any more than the next guy, but I can say this argument is fallacious.
I also remind you I'm not defending any particular Theity; consider the Riverworld scenario, for instance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverworld Perhaps the Theity only cares about the eventual creation of achilects and is indeed interested in us, but only to the extent that we eventually produce one. Maybe archilects inevitably resurrect  their creator races and the pain and suffering to get to this point is but a passing dream, and perhaps that pain and suffering itself has further impacts on the ultimate form of the archilect in some important way (a being with no concept of the perils of "evil", for lack of a better word, should probably not be trusted to build Utopia). Perhaps there's a theity that is interested in silicon-based life and doesn't care about us, but still cares about other individuals in exactly the way that Kurzweil declares impossible. Any number of possible scenarios. My point is simply that you do not have exceptional insight into these being's minds on this particular point; you are uniformly ignorant about them.
I really don't know what the truth is, even as I've put my markers down, but I am increasingly sure that it is weirder than any of us really can imagine. I only hope it is for the better.
: Which in this context isn't mystical, either; "resurrection" is "merely" somehow obtaining a copy of the mental state of a being with sufficient detail to once again begin simulating or embodying that being again. If we're seriously talking creating universes, there's a number of possible avenues for this to take; an as-yet unknown way of reading the past state of the universe directly, simulation of the race up to that point with this level of detail (which need not be atomically accurate, just human-scale accurate), or most likely some approach we can't even imagine.
The Problem of Evil, philosophically, has never been a refutation of the existence of God. It's a refutation of the existence of a particular kind of God.
As an aside, one of the most common answers to the Problem of Evil is that God's justice is beyond human comprehension. I think it's interesting that this dovetails the debate of philosophy into semantics. That is, if God is just, but not in a way recognizable to humans, is it even semantically meaningful to call Him just?
You do not and can not know how what I was calling a Theity cares. It is itself a very primitive idea that the caring must manifest as heavyweight, visibly-obvious intervention into everyday life. I do not deny that this is certainly how many or most conceive of it but it should be pointed out that not all religions that contain Theities have this idea actually deeply embedded into them (as opposed to deeply embedded into the minds of the bulk of practitioners), but actually can still work with a relatively subtle Theity using the power of incomprehensibly vast intelligence to accomplish their goals through the smallest of possible changes, an elegant approach.
(Actually Kurzweil's characterization of religion is rather paper-thin, too: "Presumably, millions of those killed were theists, believing that their “theity” would “look out” for their welfare." I know that's not intended as an explanation of The Totality of Religion in one sentence, but I still shouldn't even have to describe how this does not match up with the contents of many religions, particularly including Christianity which promises persecution, explicitly, several times. I think many religions and many actual expressions of religious are rather more subtle than he is willing to give credit for.)
It turns out my aside does address this. If a theity is said to "care about the welfare of individual humans", the caring must actually be something that humans would actually recognize as caring. Otherwise, you're using the word to connote something that it doesn't, in order to piggyback on the emotional resonance of what it actually does.
Saying God may be caring but we don't know what that looks like is exactly equivalent to saying we don't know anything about God. The entire point of theism is to claim that you do know something about God.
Your side point I actually deliberately left addressed because it goes down a rabbit hole. A fun one, but not one I was trying to go down. :)
It is not a new idea in theology that we don't really know the mind of God and that the words and concepts we use are merely approximations. It does rapidly deteriorate into something unprovable. Unfortunately, where in science we can discard the unprovable and justifiably consider ourselves wise, I think the undisprovability and/or unprovability of all these questions is actually fundamental and unavoidable, inasmuch that observing that certain statements are unprovable doesn't affect their truth value.
You could define a concept of "human justice as the considered timespan approaches infinity", for instance, which may still be vague but is at least getting somewhere, sort of.
de Garis' works are well worth reading, though like many AI-focused futurists - such as those associated with the Singularity Insitute - I think he gives too little weight to comparative advantage when projecting future interactions between beings of vastly different capabilities.
It's easy for the income level guaranteed by comparitive advantage to fall below subsistence income; it happened to most horses a century ago.