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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

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

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

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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

Reflections on Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science

May 13, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

A New Kind of Science

In his remarkable new book, Stephen Wolfram asserts that cellular automata operations underlie much of the real world. He even asserts that the entire Universe itself is a big cellular-automaton computer. But Ray Kurzweil challenges the ability of these ideas to fully explain the complexities of life, intelligence, and physical phenomena.… read more

What just happened? Why some of us seem totally spaced out

October 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

fMRI of individual without a paracingulate sulcus (credit: Jon Simons)

Ever wonder why uncle Louie seems to imagine stuff that didn’t happen, and calls you crazy? Well now’s there’s an explanation.

Half of you won’t like it, I warn you.

A new study of the brain by University of Cambridge scientists explains why some people can’t tell the difference between what they saw and what they imagined or were told about — such as whether they or another… read more

Am I bot or not?

Deconstructing the "uncanny valley"
January 27, 2016

turk ft

By Gregg Murray

Before IBM’s Deep Blue made it cool, there was a chess-playing computer. In the late 18th century and into the 19th, it wowed incredulous audiences who couldn’t tell, though many suspected, that a human was somehow behind it. For these Western European spectators, the machine’s Turkish-inspired dress added to their perverse questioning of its humanness. History refers to this false automaton as the… read more

A super-memory smart drug?

December 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Suppression of PKR

Could this be the “Limitless” breakthrough we’ve been looking for?

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine  (BCM) have discovered that when the activity of PKR — a molecule normally elevated during viral infections — is inhibited in the brain, mice learn and remember dramatically better.

“The molecule PKR (the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase) was originally described as a sensor of viral infections,… 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

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