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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

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

Ask Ray | Living in virtual worlds as an avatar

November 19, 2014

Second Life - 1

Dear Mr. Kurzweil,

I’m in seventh grade, taking a research class called Da Vinci. I have to produce a 10 page annotated paper. I will produce a multimedia presentation on my topic.

My topic is immortality through genetics, nanotechnology and robotics with a special emphasis on artificial intelligence, such as living in a virtual world as an avatar.

Our teacher encouraged us to reach out to experts.… 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

Ask Ray | My trip to Brussels, Zurich, Warsaw, and Vienna

December 14, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

DSC04995

Some recollections from my recent trip on October 11 through October 19, 2010, including a personal exploration of my family history in Vienna.

JFK Airport, October 11

I met my daughter Amy for lunch at our favorite salmon restaurant in JFK Airport. This was the third time I have done this while en route to Europe.

I then flew to Brussels on a red-eye flight.

Brussels, October

read more

Can taking probiotics improve your mental health?

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Gastrointestinal system (credit: iStockphoto)

Professor Mark Lyte and associates at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center have come up with a radical concept: that you may be able to fine-tune your mental and emotional states by the right combination of probiotics!

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that normally reside in your gut and are available OTC in any drug store or health food store. Lyte suggests that they can generate… read more

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

August 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

rise

At last, a potential worthy successor to Limitless. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, opening Friday August 5, is a prequel to Planet of the Apes — a reality-based cautionary tale and science fiction/science fact blend. Genetic engineering experiments lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

This addition to the series takes place in the… read more

Thinking quantitatively about technological progress

July 11, 2011 by Anders Sandberg

Production growing exponentially (credit: Béla Nagy, Santa Fe Institute)

I have been thinking about progress a bit recently, mainly because I would like to develop a mathematical model of how brain scanning technology and computational neuroscience might develop.

Experience curves

In general, I think the most solid evidence of technological progress is Wrightean experience curves. These are well documented in economics and found everywhere: typically the cost (or time) of manufacturing… read more

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