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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 | 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 | 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

How to access TV news on any topic for the last three years

September 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

internet_archive_news

This is fantastic news for journalists and voters: the Internet Archive has launched the free TV News Search & Borrow service.

The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C.  The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired.  Older materials are also being added.… read more

Ask Ray | Supporting women in the sciences and technology

April 28, 2014

(credit: iStock)

Dear readers,

There is a major push in Silicon Valley to recruit more women into software engineering. The overall issue of the lack of women in this field is a national issue.

I strongly encourage and support women in the sciences and in technology.

A recent article I found interesting, and wanted to share:
The New York Times | “Technology’s man problem”

Here is… read more

Beyond texting: augmented-reality windshields — what could go wrong?

January 16, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

ar_car

What? You thought distracted drivers texting on cell phones and swerving erratically is a problem? That’s so 2011.

Imagine a future in which icons flash on your car windshield, hologram-style, as your car approaches restaurants, stores, historic landmarks or the homes of friends, effuses CNN.

Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built,… read more

Getting ‘hallucinating’ robots to arrange your room for you

June 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

A robot populates a room with imaginary human stick figures in order to decide where objects should go to suit the needs of humans (credit: Personal Robotics Lab, Cornell)

When we last (virtually) visited the Personal Robotics Lab of Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell assistant professor of computer science, we learned that they’ve taught robots to pick up after you, while you sit around and watch Futurama.

But why stop there in your search for the ultimate slave robot? Now they’ve taught robots where in a room you might stand, sit, or work,read more

When The Speed Of Light Is Too Slow: Trading at the Edge

November 11, 2010 by Thomas McCabe

optimaltradinglocations

Modern stock market trading computers have become so fast that the speed of light is now their key limiting factor. A new paper by a physicist and a mathematician explains how traders can take advantage of this ultimate speed limit.

Computers were originally introduced in trading because they are faster than us in responding to market signals. A human trader might buy up a million shares of Microsoft for… read more

I’ve seen the future of electronics and it’s … vacuum tubes!

July 12, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

back_to_the_vacuum

Huh? Yep, you read it right.

We are bumping into a limit to increasing transistor speed, determined by the “electron transit time” — the time it takes an electron to travel, says Hong Koo Kim, a professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering.

It’s back to the vacuum, folks.

Kim explains: electrons traveling inside a semiconductor device frequently experience collisions or scattering… read more

Evidence of extraterrestrial life?

March 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Ivuna CI1 meteorite filament. partially encased in thin carbon-rich sheath. Image: Richard B. Hoover

Richard B. Hoover, Ph.D. NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center has discovered evidence of microfossils similar to terrestrial cyanobacteria in freshly fractured slices of the interior surfaces of two meteorites. He found that similar to trichomic cyanobacteria and other trichomic prokaryotes such as filamentous sulfur bacteria.

“The filaments have been observed to be embedded in freshly fractured internal surfaces of the stones,” said. “They exhibit features (eg, the size and size… read more

How to remote-control a robot on another planet

July 4, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

justin_the_robot

Meet Justin, an android on Earth who will soon be controlled remotely by an astronaut in the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory on the International Space Station. The astronaut will don an exoskeleton to remotely control Justin.

The long-range goal: explore the Moon and planets with tele-operated robots.

How to learn things automatically

December 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Decoded Neurofeedback

OK, this one’s right out of The Matrix and The Manchurian Candidate.

Imagine watching a computer screen while lying down in a brain imaging machine and automatically learning how to play the guitar or lay up hoops like Shaq O’Neal, or even how to recuperate from a disease — without any conscious knowledge.

Researchers at Boston University (BU) and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan… read more

Social networks, surveillance, and terrorism

January 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

“We are creating systems of comprehensive surveillance in which a billion people are involved and those people’s lives are being lived under a kind of scrutiny which no secret police service is the 20th century could ever have aspired to achieve,” claims militant digital privacy advocate Eben Moglen, Betabeat reports.

“And all of that data is being collected and sold by people whose goal it is to… read more

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