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
August 2, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
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
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
February 19, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil
I was wondering if I could get a comment from Mr. Kurzweil. I know he thinks Watson will win the Jeopardy! match — I agree. Professor Noam Chomsky has told me that Watson is not good AI, though, and I’m curious how Kurzweil would respond to Chomsky’s words, found here.
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
December 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica
“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
November 10, 2013 by John Smart
You get to vote: the American Brain Foundation, U. of Rochester Memory Care Center (both research ways to prevent neurodegenerative diseases); Infusio, a German wellness clinic; or the Brain Preservation Foundation (BPF), a research charity I’m affiliated with seeking evidence that computational neuroscience and automation can revive the memory and minds of chemopreserved and cryopreserved brains in the future.*… read more
Well, OK, maybe not totally destroying it, just making it unnecessary to rely on friends, libraries, books, notes, and other forms of “transactive memory” (external systems), thanks to the rise of Internet search engines, Wikipedia, and other Internet tools.
“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more
Why can’t a robot be like a servant (to paraphrase My Fair Lady)? You know, one who would anticipate your every need — even before you asked?
The folks at the Personal Robotics Lab of Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell assistant professor of computer science have gone and done just that.
February 5, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica
We received a note from Evan Younger, vocalist/bassist for Brooklyn-based Miracles of Modern Science mentioning a song he wrote, “The Singularity,” based distinctly on the ideas of futurist Ray Kurzweil.
“In 2011 I shared a house with our band’s mandolinist. One night I was browsing his bookshelf for bedtime reading, and his copy of The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil caught my eye.… read more
December 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
The next generation of the Kinect (bundled with future Xbox consoles) may be “so accurate it can lip read,” the Technology Review Hello World headline breathlessly reads — evoking HAL 9000 in 2001.
What’s more, says Eurogamer, citing a nameless source, “Kinect 2 will be so powerful it will enable games to detect when players are angry, and determine in which direction they are facing,… read more