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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

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

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

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

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

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

Ask Ray | Science and God

March 21, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

sky

Hi Ray,

It was nice to see you again at the Transcendent Man film screening. I enjoyed the movie and the discussion. The way I see it, over time we have been discovering the intelligence that is manifested in nature. This intelligence is much greater than our own —  however, piece by piece, we have been stitching it together.

The point is that we have been making these discoveries… 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

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

Eyez without a Facebook — live video lifelogging!

June 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Eyez

This just in from Aussie HIVE45 vidcaster Nathan Waters: “Someone is finally making *normal-looking* tech recording glasses! I have no affiliation with this product, but I would absolutely love if you added it to the news section to encourage more pledges for their Kickstarter funding. Here’s the link: Eyez by ZionEyez HD Video Recording Glasses for Facebook. “The issue so far has been… read more

How to create a startup country

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Seasteading artist's concept (credit: András Gyorfi)

At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).read more

Are you ready for a robot that learns on the Internet?

August 2, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

A robot said to think, learn, and act by itself (credit: Tokyo Institute of Technology)

A humanoid robot that “learns from the Internet and from other robots” and can “think, learn, and act by itself” has been developed by the Hasegawa Lab at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, DigInfo TV reports.

OK, this is freaking me out just a little. I don’t want a bot that learns on the Internet how to make me green tea (see video),… read more

A radical alternative to nuclear reactors

March 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

sbsp_flowchart

With deterioration of the nuclear reactor situation in Japan and radiation heading for Tokyo — in one extreme Pentagon scenario, catastrophic meltdowns and megadeaths in Japan, according to a source — many scientists are ramping up the search for alternates to earthquake-vulnerable nuclear power.

“The Japanese Government has dissembled regarding the gravity of the failure of their power plants and the potential for meltdown of their  containment… read more

A robot that learns how to tidy up after you

May 23, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

A robot places an item in a refrigerator (credit: Saxena Lab)

Finally: a robot I really need. Like right now.

Researchers at Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab have trained a robot to survey a room, identify all the objects, figure out where they belong, and put them away. Bingo!

“This is the first work that places objects in non-trivial places,” said Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science.

“It learns not to put a shoe in the refrigerator,”… read more

How to control music and video on the Web with a wave of your hand

December 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

webcam sees

“We are so excited and pleased to release a new version [of Flutter] that allows you to control music & videos in Google Chrome using gestures — just in time for the holiday season. Flutter now supports YouTube, Pandora, Grooveshark & Netflix. We will be updating AppStore version in early 2013. For now direct download the new version.”… read more

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