At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).… read more
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
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
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
August 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
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.
January 6, 2017
by Ariel Conn
Just about everyone found something to dislike about 2016, from wars to politics and celebrity deaths. But hidden within this year’s news feeds were some really exciting news stories. And some of them can even give us hope for the future.
Though concerns about the future of AI still loom, 2016 was a great reminder that, when harnessed for good, AI can… read more
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.
“Since the advent of search engines, we are… read more
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
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.
December 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica
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