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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

Film Review | Smart drug thriller is pretty smart

March 31, 2011 by R.U. Sirius

limitless-thumb


Limitless | Director: Neil Burger. Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish

The moment I saw the film title — Limitless — I knew I was in for an oversimplified Hollywood-styled dramatization of transhuman themes, and set my expectations to a moderately amusing piece of crap.

Surprise! This is a tightly constructed and reasonably clever piece of entertainment with some… read more

The physics of Jackson Pollock

June 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Jackson-Pollock

Can you tell the difference between a painting by an elephant and Jackson Pollack? (Take this test before reading further.)

A mathematician at Harvard University and a physicist-art historian at Boston College think they can. Pollock was an “intuitive master” of laws that govern the flow of liquids under gravity, they believe.

The researchers examined the black and red painting “Untitled… 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… read more

How to Prevent a Global Aging Crisis

July 17, 2010 by David Despain

Chronic diseases and aging. The incidence of major chronic diseases rises exponentially with age, as shown: cardiovascular disease (blue squares) [data from (32) , cancer (red diamonds) [data from (32) , AD (gray squares) [data from (33) , and influenza-associated hospitalization (green triangles)"]. Incidence rates are normalized to the first data point. (Illustration: AAAS)

A handful of forward-thinking biogerontologists has joined together to offer a new direction for aging intervention. Their commentary, published July 14 in Science Translational Medicine, presents the case for preventing what the scientists call an “unprecedented global aging crisis”—a sharp rise in the numbers of retired elderly in developing and industrialized nations across the world.

From both a humane and economic standpoint, a world with too many sick… read more

How your memories can be twisted under social pressure

July 4, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

False memories show a strong co-activation and connectivity between two brain areas: the hippocampus and the amygdala (credit: Weizmann Institute)

Listen up, Facebook and Twitter groupies: how easily can social pressure affect your memory?

Very easily, researchers at the Weizmann Institute and University College London have proved, and they think they even know what part of the brain is responsible.

The participants conformed to the group on these “planted” responses, giving incorrect answers nearly 70% of the time.

Volunteers watched a… read more

Molecular cut and paste

July 28, 2011 by William Mcewan

Future Science book cover

A combination of cheap DNA synthesis, freely accessible databases, and our ever-expanding knowledge of protein science is conspiring to permit a revolution in creating powerful molecular tools, suggests William McEwan, Ph.D., a virologist at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, U.K., in this excerpt from the new book Future Science: Essays From The Cutting Edge, edited by Max Brockman.

This afternoon I received… read more

UPDATE | Kurzweil to ‘grind into smithereens’ Colbert’s understanding of world tonight, says Comedy Central

April 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

colbert

Tuesday night April 12, “Ray Kurzweil — inventor and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man — stops by to take everything that Stephen thinks he understands about the world and grind it into unrecognizable smithereens before his forlorn and tearful eyes,” Comedy Central’s Indecision reports.

11:00 p.m. EDT update: In related news, at #30, Kurzweil has edged out Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert… read more

Beyond GPS: your phone in 2015

November 1, 2011 by Giulio Prisco

Galileo GNSS

Attention smartphone users: the recent launch of the first two satellites for Europe’s Galileo global navigation satellite system (GNSS) could make things a lot more interesting in about four years.

Galileo will deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to one meter range, compared to 10 meters for GPS, the European Space Agency (ESA) states, and it plans to give non-European… read more

Nine years to the Singularity

March 21, 2006

blade running

Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006

Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… read more

Surrogates vs. avatars

February 18, 2010 by L. Stephen Coles

mannequin

“Surrogates” scenario: FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves—fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles—enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes.… read more

Social Times | 3D projection mapping taking the advertising world by storm

February 8, 2011

3D-Projection-Mapping

Source: Social Times — June 11th, 2010 | Megan O'Neill

3D projection mapping has recently emerged as one of the coolest forms of advertising, with big companies like Nokia, Samsung and BMW projecting beautiful 3D video displays on buildings around the world and sharing their campaigns on the web. 3D projection mapping has become something of a recent obsession for me, as well as for the advertising world. Read more about this technique and how it’s being used by brands… read more

Stoner alert: McDonald’s gets you legally high

July 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: McDonald's)

Fats in foods like potato chips and french fries make them nearly irresistible because they trigger natural marijuana-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, have found.

The researchers discovered that when rats tasted something fatty, cells in their upper gut started producing endocannabinoids, while sugars and proteins did not have this effect.

How fats create,read more

Ask Ray | There are already many cyborgs among us

July 15, 2014

(credit: iStock)

Dear readers,

Check out this article on NBC News. I discussed this topic at Time’s 2003 The Future of Life Summit, during the session “The next frontier.” My full dialog is below. My point was “there are already many cyborgs among us.”

Ray Kurzweil

NBC | “Cyborgs among us: human biohackers embed chips in their bodies”

related viewing from NBC:read more

Schrödinger’s cat

April 18, 2011

Schrodinger cat cartoon

Noted physicists Schrödinger and Heisenberg are driving around in a car, and Heisenberg says,”I think we just ran over a cat.”

“Is it dead?” asks Schrödinger.

“I can’t be certain,” says Heisenberg.

Heisenberg and Schrödinger are driving in a car and they get pulled over. The police officer asks, “Do you know how fast you were going?” and Heisenberg says, “Well, not really, but I… read more

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