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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

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

I am the very model of a Singularitarian

February 22, 2011

charlie kam

“I Am the Very Model of a Singularitarian” by and featuring Charlie Kam, to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s musical The Pirates of Penzance.

Video Source: Charlie Kam

Detroit to get its RoboCop statue — no kidding

February 21, 2011 by Sarah Black

Peter Weller as RoboCop. (Image: MGM Studios Inc.)

According to Reuters: “From sci-fi cult film, to Twitter phenomenon to Detroit landmark-in-the-making. Plans for a statue honoring RoboCop, the half-man, half-machine crimefighter of the 1987 movie, are moving ahead after a group of artists and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan raised more than $60,000 via Facebook and an online fund-raising site.”

And here’s a quote from a February 21, 2011 interview exclusive from io9 (the article is worth… read more

Related:
RoboCop homepage on MGM, more videos

Drasko Vucevic’s ‘Machine’s Road Toward Singularity’

February 19, 2011

Drasko Singularity

Drasko Vucevic | An audio-visual collaboration between Drasko V, AudioAndroid, Yoko K., Yongsub Song and Yongchan Kim, presenting the idea of Singularity — “Machine’s Road Toward Singularity”: exponential growth in technology, radical changes in society, expectance and acceptance of technology.

The existential threat is yet to be felt, as even a simple smile cannot contain the energy and feel… read more

Related:
Drastic Music website

Ask Ray | How do you respond to Noam Chomsky’s claim that ‘Watson is not good AI’?

February 19, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

brain chip

Hello,

I was wondering if I could get a comment from Mr. Kurzweil. I know he thinks Watson will win the Jeopardy! match — I agree. Professor Noam Chomsky has told me that Watson is not good AI, though, and I’m curious how Kurzweil would respond to Chomsky’s words, found here.

I read your article in PC Magazine, which is what persuaded me to… read more

UPDATE | The buzzer factor: did Watson have an unfair advantage?

February 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Watson mechanical buzzer

Does Watson have an unfair advantage over humans because it can signal its response instantly? It seemed that way in the three “Jeopardy!” TV shows this week, especially Wednesday night, as Watson proceeded to totally own the humans.

ADDED FEBRUARY 24, 2011:

From Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker:

“After the match, Jennings and Rutter stressed that… read more

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