Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

When we cannot predict

March 29, 2011 by John Brockman

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

In short film Blinky AI robot takes fatal cues from its human family

March 28, 2011 by Sarah Black

blinky

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

Related:
Ruairi Robinson official website

Japan radiation levels reach new highs

March 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Counts per minute from gamma radiation (at different ranges of energy) at the EPA's Anaheim RadNet monitoring station.

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

Nuclear radiation paranoid’s handy reference [UPDATED 3/22]

March 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

RadNet

The Likely Radiation Distribution in Japan (March 19)
Added 3/22:
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

Ask Ray | Science and God

March 21, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

sky

Hi Ray,

It was nice to see you again at the Transcendent Man film screening. I enjoyed the movie and the discussion. The way I see it, over time we have been discovering the intelligence that is manifested in nature. This intelligence is much greater than our own —  however, piece by piece, we have been stitching it together.

The point is that we have been making these discoveries… read more

Ask Ray | Welcome, new computer overlords!

March 21, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

hail ants

Ray, 

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

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

A radical alternative to nuclear reactors

March 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

sbsp_flowchart

With deterioration of the nuclear reactor situation in Japan and radiation heading for Tokyo — in one extreme Pentagon scenario, catastrophic meltdowns and megadeaths in Japan, according to a source — many scientists are ramping up the search for alternates to earthquake-vulnerable nuclear power.

“The Japanese Government has dissembled regarding the gravity of the failure of their power plants and the potential for meltdown of their  containment… read more

Large Hadron Collider rap

March 10, 2011

LHC

This is pretty clever. Brought to you courtesy of AlpineKat via YouTube who writes: “Images came from Particle Physics UK, Space.com, the Institute of Physics, NASA, Symmetry, Marvel, Einstein Online, and Physics World. Stock footage is CERN’s. They’ll have a lot of data to sort — 15 million GB per year, actually. Want to get involved and donate your computer’s downtime? Visit

read more

Related:
U.S. at the Large Hadron Collider
LHC at home

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

Has your future been adjusted?

March 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

theadjustmentbureau

The just-released movie The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, is based on a 1954 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, “The Adjustment Team.”

The plot is similar to Dark City, The Truman Show, The Matrix, Fringe, and other works suggesting the idea of a manufactured realitymanipulated future.

“In the film, Damon plays a man who glimpses the future planned… read more

The Singularity arrives in Europe, streaming live

March 4, 2011 by David Orban

National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan (licensed Creative Commons Wikipedia/Pietrodn)

On Saturday, March 5, for the first time, a Singularity-related event will be held in Europe — at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy.

Produced by Milan-based research institute iLabs (Wikipedia page here), the one-day, free iLabs Singularity Summit (not affiliated with the Singularity Institute’s Singularity Summit) will feature speeches by Ray Kurzweil (“Approaching the Singularity”), Aubrey de Grey… read more

book review | Science fiction bots becoming fact

March 3, 2011 by R.U. Sirius

We, Robot book cover

An interview with Mark Stephen Meadows, author of We, Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact.

 With We, Robot (Lyons Press, 2010), Mark Stephen Meadows explores the recent edges of robotic development in the context of some of our favorite fictional narratives.

It’s a smart, edgy read, written in a very hip, almost cyberpunk style (for one example, the author describes himself

read more

Approaching the Singularity…

March 3, 2011

star trek all shes got

I’m giving ‘er all she’s got, Captain! — Scotty, as the Enterprise is being sucked into a black hole (the Singularity) 

All she’s got is not good enough! — Kirk 

  

If you must have this t-shirt then click here.

Time: Techland | The top 5 underrated sci-fi movie masterpieces

February 22, 2011

techland logo

Time: Techland | Steven James Snyder, Techland’s resident movie geek, outlines the top 5 most underrated sci-fi movies of all time.

Related:
Time: Techland

close and return to Home