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Critique of ‘Against Naive Uploadism’

May 10, 2011 by Randal A. Koene

(Credit: iStockPhoto)

In “Against Naive Uploadism: Memory, Consciousness and Synaptic Homeostasis,” neuroscientist Seth Weisberg challenges the comparison of a neuron to a digital computer and the idea that an action potential (spike) fired by one neuron equals one calculation at each synapse. He also challenges the assumption that we are approaching computing power comparable to the human brain.

Overall, Seth Weisberg’s article is refreshing and clearly spoken, in that… read more

A universe of self-replicating code

March 27, 2012 by John Brockman

georgedyson

What we’re missing now, on another level, is not just biology, but cosmology. People treat the digital universe as some sort of metaphor, just a cute word for all these products. The universe of Apple, the universe of Google, the universe of Facebook, that these collectively constitute the digital universe, and we can only see it in human terms and what does this do for us?

We’re missing aread more

How to see quantum images and survive (I hope)

March 1, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Sun and Allan test out the Stellerator (credit: Nick Herbert)

Physicists have designed several wild experiments to see if humans can see quantum images.

The latest, just described in the Physics arXiv Blog: Geraldo Barbosa at Northwestern University plans to use a laser beam shaped into an image, such as the letter A.

This laser beam hits a non-linear crystal, generating entangled pairs of photons that retain this image shape and are detected by human eyeballs.

(Hmm,… read more

The search for ET continues — in West Virginia

May 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world's largest fully steerable single-aperture antenna (credit: NRAO)

Now that NASA’s Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope — the 100 meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world — at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced… read more

How to stimulate your brain by shining light through your ears

August 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Valkee NPT-1000 bright-light headset (Valkee Ltd)

Ever want to just like, lie down and shine bright white light at the intensity of the Sun into your ears to see if that will wake you up from your deep depression? Me neither.

But Finnish people are apparently desperate. Especially in Winter, when they get as little as four to six hours of Sun a day. So neuroscientists at the University of Oulu in Finland… read more

How to jam annoying talkers

March 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

speechjammer

Attention, telephone babblers, library whisperers, and hecklers: Japanese researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology want you to shut the bleep up.

They’ve developed the “Speech-jammer” gun, which will reduce you to incoherent stuttering from up to 90 feet away.

It works by recording your words and then sending them back with  a delay of a few hundred milliseconds (it’s more effective… read more

DIY BioPrinter

January 28, 2013

DIY BioPrinter (credit: BioCurious/Instructables)

Bioprinting is printing with biological materials.

There’s a lot of work being done at research labs and big companies like Organovo on print human tissues and human organs, with an eye towards drug testing, and transplantation into humans.

Check out these amazing TED talks by Anthony Atala, for example:

Anthony Atala: Growing new organs
Anthony Atala: Printing a humanread more

Aokify America Charity for brain research — VOTE NOW!

November 10, 2013 by John Smart

Aoki Charity

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

Google is destroying your memory

July 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

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.

So says Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow, co-author of an article in Science Express.

“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more

Teaching a robot to anticipate human actions

May 30, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

A robot that anticipates your actions (credit

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.

When we last (virtually) visited the lab, we learned that the roboticists taught  “hallucinating” robots to arrange your room… read more

Singularity Summit 2011 roundup

October 19, 2011 by Giulio Prisco

Stephen Wolfram

The tone of the Singularity Summit 2011 in New York was set by Ray Kurzweil, who presented many examples of accelerating developments, countering the arguments presented by Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen in a recent article, The Singularity Isn’t Near.

Robots vs. humans

James McLurkin introduced the concept of swarms of small, light, and cheap robots that communicate with each other, solve… read more

Album MEEMS and track “The Singularity” by acoustic rock band Miracles of Modern Science

February 5, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

meems

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.

Younger explained:

“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

Will the Kinect 2 read your lips? Open the pod bay door, HAL

December 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

3D Video Capture with Kinect (YouTube)

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

Navigating the seas of Titan in a boat

Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies...
October 5, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

talise_paddles

NASA landed a rover on Mars. So what’s the next step? Right: land a boat on Titan!

Hey, come on, it’s gotta be the ultimate travel destiny:

  • A magical moon that’s actually more like a planet.
  • One of the most Earth-like bodies in the Solar System.
  • Has an atmosphere (OK, mostly nitrogen — so bring your own oxygen, stop kvetching).
  • A vast network of

read more

Ask Ray | The essential self and the continuity of pattern

March 21, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

science of consciousness

Ray,

Congratulations!  I saw you yesterday on PBS NewsHour. I had no idea that teaching a computer to win at Jeopardy was so much harder than teaching it to play chess. You explained it well. The computer has to appreciate jokes and irony, which is much harder than making logical deductions.

The Time magazine cover mentions immortality. I am convinced that through your work,… read more

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