UPDATE | Kurzweil to ‘grind into smithereens’ Colbert’s understanding of world tonight, says Comedy Central
April 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
Tuesday night April 12, “Ray Kurzweil — inventor and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man — stops by to take everything that Stephen thinks he understands about the world and grind it into unrecognizable smithereens before his forlorn and tearful eyes,” Comedy Central’s Indecision reports.
A disturbing thought occurred to me recently: given that we are on the cusp of personal immortality and the entrance into the age of conscious information (for lack of a better term), it seems that there will eventually become a real resource shortage at the most fundamental level.
What I’m suggesting (and you’ve probably already considered) is that as individuals make the transition to electronic… read more
Film Preview | Source Code movie combines mind-uploading, parallel universes, time travel, simulated reality
April 1, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
In the science-fiction movie Source Code (April 1 release), a secret program called “Source Code” sends a pilot back in time to cross over into another man’s identity and relive the last eight minutes of the passenger’s life on a train.
“People… read more
Limitless | Director: Neil Burger. Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish
The moment I saw the film title — Limitless — I knew I was in for an oversimplified Hollywood-styled dramatization of transhuman themes, and set my expectations to a moderately amusing piece of crap.
Surprise! This is a tightly constructed and reasonably clever piece of entertainment with some… read more
March 30, 2011
Source: Brian Malow blog & Time — March 15, 2011 | Brian Malow
Time | The Adjustment Bureau is just the latest film to be based on a short story or novel by Philip K. Dick. Science Comedian Brian Malow is a Dick aficionado.
Brian Malow | My newest video for Time is about Philip K. Dick and all the movie adaptations of his books and stories, the latest of which is The Adjustment Bureau, based on the story “Adjustment Team” written in 1953. … read more
March 29, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found levels in filters in 12 of their radiation-monitoring stations “slightly higher” than those found by EPA monitors last week and a Department of Energy monitor the week before. But they are “still far below levels of public health concern,” the agency states.
EPA’s samples were captured by monitors in Alaska, Alabama, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada,
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands and… read more
About a year ago, on Wednesday April 14th, I was on the way to London from JFK, when the pilot announced a slight delay into Heathrow in order to avoid the ash cloud coming out of the Icelandic volcano eruption. This was the first time I paid any attention to the subject. But once in London that is the only subject anybody talked about for a week.… read more
March 28, 2011 by Sarah Black
The new short film Blinky, by Irish film writer/director Ruairi Robinson, takes place in the not-so-distant future, where robotic household helpers are everywhere.
In the broken home of a couple who are constantly fighting, their emotionally distraught young son takes his rage and frustration out on an AI robot companion toy named Blinky.
He urged his parents to buy him the factory-fresh bot after seeing the TV ad promising that Blinky can “bring families… read more
Ruairi Robinson official website
Radiation levels at Japan nuclear plant reach new highs: Leaked water sampled from one unit Sunday had 100,000 times the radioactivity of normal background levels…. airborne radioactivity in the unit 2 turbine building still remained so high — 1,000 millisieverts per hour — that a worker there would reach his yearly occupational exposure limit in 15 minutes. A dose of 4,000 to 5,000 millisieverts absorbed fairly rapidly will… read more
March 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
The Likely Radiation Distribution in Japan (March 19)
Iodine from plant detected in Tokyo: .046 µSv/hr. (438 µSv per year — about 4 chest x-rays); Fukushima Pref.: 21.9 µSv/hr. (191,844 µSv per year or 1918 chest x-rays).
Dealing with radiation fears, potassium iodide requests: side effects include nausea, diarrhea, allergy, interference with the body’s normal production of… read more
March 21, 2011
I noticed in one of your recent essays (on IBM’s Watson) you say “I, for one, would then regard it (an AI) as human.” I, for one, find that to be your most controversial statement in that article. Apparently, Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings did you one better the next day when he wrote on his screen (as part of his final written wager) before being defeated by Watson: “I,… read more
March 21, 2011
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.