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The Internet, peer-reviewed

October 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

hypothesis

It could be one of the most important innovations on the Internet since the browser.

Imagine an open-source, crowd-sourced, community-moderated, distributed platform for sentence-level annotation of the Web. In other words, a way to cut through the babble and restore some sanity and trust.

That’s the idea behind Hypothes.is. It will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books,… read more

How to make movies of what the brain sees

September 23, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

brainstorm

Remember the movie Brainstorm? Imagine watching someone’s dream, or tapping directly into the mind of a coma patient. University of California, Berkeley scientists claim they have finally achieved this classic futuristic movie “mind reading” trope. Sorta.

They’re using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models to decode and reconstruct people’s dynamic visual experiences.

So far, the technology can only reconstruct movie clips you’ve… read more

Fed-funded research: magic mushrooms create ‘openness’

September 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Psilocybe cubensis (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” was enough to bring about a measureable and lasting personality change — “openness” — lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study, say Johns Hopkins researchers.

Well, doh, didn’t Timothy Leary discover that in the 60s? Um, OK, controlled experiments….… read more

Why the sponge’s protosynapses never evolved into the real thing

June 25, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

ucsb_sponge

It was a mystery: sponges had evolved a protosynapse — the beginning of a nervous system — but never actually developed a real synapse.

It was the evolutionary period of time when virtually the rest of the entire animal kingdom branched off from a common ancestor it shared with sponges, the oldest known animal group with living representatives.

Ironically, sponges themselves have no nervous system. So what happened to… read more

Why China makes our electronic products (it’s not just cheaper labor)

January 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Apple Inc.)

It’s not just that workers are cheaper abroad, according to an important article in The New York Times Saturday. Most of the components of cellphones, computers, and other electronic products are now manufactured in China (and European and other East-Asia countries), so assembling the device half-a-world away would create huge logistical challenges, the article points out.

China now has a far larger supply of qualified engineers than… read more

The state of the future

July 14, 2010 by Jerome C. Glenn

sotf2010

As noted in our 2010 State of the Future (the 14th annual report from the Millennium Project, just published), the world is in a race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and scale of global problems.

If current trends in population growth, resource depletion, climate change, terrorism, organized crime, and disease continue and converge over the next… read more

Ask Ray | Will future people lose sight of their humanity?

November 30, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

A Nice Place to Visit

Dear Ray:

Have you seen this Twilight Zone episode, “A Nice Place to Visit?” I think it is a good illustration of the likely consequences of our future.

I’m eager for my 12-year-old son to watch Transcendent Man with me. I think it’s important for him to understand the implications of free will.

Resa

Resa,

Thanks. Yes, I’m very familiar… read more

Evi trumps Siri for general knowledge

January 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Evi on iPhone 4

Move over Siri, Evi is the new kid in town.

It’s no Watson, but Evi, created by True Knowledge, a Cambridge, U.K.-based semantic technology startup, like Siri, can answer questions posed by voice (using Nuance software) in a conversational manner or by typing.

But unlike Siri (only available on iPhone 4S), Evi runs on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (with iOS 4.0 or… read more

New plant paradigms from The Human Race to the Future

Genetically engineering exotic foods of the future
April 4, 2014 by Daniel Berleant

Dragonfruit (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Excerpted and adapted from the book The Human Race to the Future: What Could Happen and What to Do.

An exponential change perspective, well-known among futures enthusiasts, was applied to time itself by Freeman Dyson in 1997. He taxonomized the future in terms of different, order of magnitude generations — time horizons of 10 years, 100, 1,000, and so on.

My book The Humanread more

Panoramic hi-res augmented reality glasses: most radical CES intro so far?

January 7, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Innovega Inc. is demonstrating at CES prototypes of what looks like the most radical augmented-reality eyewear yet.

Intrigued, I called Innovega CEO Steve Willey Monday night. He ran down the specs of their iOptik design: binocular 720 x 1280 pixels, 3D (depth) vision, and a humungous field of view of 90 degrees, as shown in the image above. That’s six times the number of… read more

Ask Ray | Will human intelligence amplication widen the divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’?

May 11, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

The face of a robot woman.

Dear Mr. Kurzweil,

My name is David Gonzalez, and I am a high school senior. I have been doing extensive research on the Singularity and the technologies used to bring about these changes and plan to major in bioengineering in college. I have some concerns as to the nature of our technological progression towards the eventual dawning of the Singularity. 

You have mentioned that the exponential growth of technology will… read more

Curiosity rover laser zaps Martian rock

August 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

laser operator

NASA has launched the first interplanetary war by attacking Mars with a high-power laser beam for “target practice.” Some are blaming the “mohawk guy” at JPL, shown in disguise in this NASA photo. No word if Mars plans to return fire….

OK, we admit, it’s a remote spectroscopy experiment to determine the composition of a rock curiously called “Coronation.” The energy from the laser excites atoms in the… read more

book review | Memories with Maya

July 30, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

Memories with Maya

What happens when you mix virtual reality, haptic interfaces, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence?

That’s what Clyde deSouza explores in near-future science-fiction novel Memories with Maya.

He introduces the “Wizer,” an augmented-reality, see-through visor driven by AGI (artificial general intelligence) — Google Glass on steroids.

It’s coupled with 3D scans of real environments generated by wall-mounted laser cameras (think next-gen Kinect) to insert remote participants… read more

The future of autonomous cars … and planes

January 27, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: BMW)

If you’re driving on the Autobahn right now, I advise you keep an eye out for this guy, who is apparently praying his driverless BMW doesn’t crash into something (note: this is a highway without speed limits — not reassuring).

(Videos here.)

Hey, BMW: why not toss in a robot driver to carry groceries and fight off the crowds at Walmart on Black Friday?… read more

Are you a Facebook addict?

May 8, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Are you a Facebook addict? Take the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale test, developed in Norway, and find out.

Do you (1) Very rarely, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, or (5) Very often:

  • Spend a lot of time thinking about Facebook or plan use of Facebook.
  • Feel an urge to use Facebook more and more.
  • Use Facebook to forget about personal problems.
  • Try to cut

read more

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