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Ask Ray | Future battle for resource storage as a substrate for sentience

April 7, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil



A disturbing thought occurred to me recently: given that we are on the cusp of personal immortality and the entrance into the age of conscious information (for lack of a better term), it seems that there will eventually become a real resource shortage at the most fundamental level.

What I’m suggesting (and you’ve probably already considered) is that as individuals make the transition to electronic… read more

The questionable observer detector

January 25, 2011 by Lakshmi Sandhana

University of Notre Dame

Exclusive | Kevin W. Bowyer, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana is out to create a tool to reliably identify criminals who may be hanging out at the crime scene after the event.

Their Questionable Observer Detector (QuOD) can process any available video clips of groups of people present at the scene of event, spanning different times… read more

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

March 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica


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

Carboncopies–Realistic Routes to Substrate-Independent Minds

August 9, 2010 by Randal Koene, Suzanne Gildert


What might brains and minds look like in the future? It can be difficult to manage and organize ideas from many highly specialized fields of expertise that must necessarily converge to answer this intriguing question. Not only must one consider the areas of brain imaging, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, but also artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational hardware architectures, and philosophy.

In the past, the transferal of minds into computer-based… read more

Mask-bot: A talking video humanoid robot

November 8, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica


Welcome to the creepiest uncanny-valley experience yet: a talking robot face called Mask-botdeveloped by a team at the Institute for Cognitive Systems (ICS) at TU München and AIST, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan.

What sets Mask-bot apart is that it can instantly construct and project a static video image of anyone’s face (from a photo) on a 3D surface,… read more

By 2018, supercomputers could operate 100 times faster than the human brain

December 2, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica


The breakthrough (see Breakthrough Chip Technology Lights the Path to Exascale Computing) announced Wednesday by IBM researchers has been long sought: a way to use pulses of light in waveguides instead of electrons in wires for chip connections. Electrons generate heat, which limits has fast chips can work and requires a lot of power for cooling. Light has no such… read more

Watson and the future of AI

January 31, 2011 by Hans Moravec

binary head

Radical roboticist Hans Moravec, former director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University,  expanded our imagination with his vision of future robots as our “mind children.” Now he’s revolutionizing industry with his enhanced-vision mobile robots. We asked him to help us put Watson in perspective. Full disclosure: Ray Kurzweil is on the board of directors of Seegrid Corporation. — Ed.

Let’s take a moment to lift our… read more

Video conferencing with cardboard cutouts and random images on the walls

December 3, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica


Hey, here’s an idea: How about creating an avatar by copying a face from a photo and pasting it onto a randomly generated avatar? Then a video conferencing service could put your brand new (or old) face, along with those of your friends, into one of several rooms, where you could all chat by voice. You could even display live video from your webcam or computer on the walls.… read more

Ask Ray | My middle school supported my interest in Ray Kurzweil’s work and teen trip to Singularity University

July 25, 2015

Arduino is an open source electronics platform based on easy to use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects. -- credit | Arduino

Dear Dr. Kurzweil,

My middle school was supportive of my interest in your work and my visit to your school Singularity University, as a teenager, to see the program you founded for exploring the future.

Thank you for inviting me, and for the opportunity to audit two days there. I had a fantastic time. Everyone at Singularity University was very nice and welcoming.

My favorite presentation was… read more

Transhumanist Science, Futurist Art, Telepresence and Cosmic Visions of the Future at TransVision 2010

November 2, 2010 by Giulio Prisco


The transhumanist conference and community convention TransVision 2010, which took place in Milan October 22 to October 24, 2010, was very intense, informative, and scientific, as well as an entertaining tour de force in contemporary transhumanist thinking, activism, science, technology,  and innovation, and grand visionary dreams.

Over 40 talks over the three days explored the scientific, technological, cultural, artistic and social trends that could change our world… read more

Ads for monkeys: sign of the end times?

June 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Monkey trades a coin for grapes, picking the better deal (credit: Laurie Santos/Yale University)

This is not an Onion story. No, really.

Turns out Laurie Santos gave a TED talk last year on “monkeynomics” — the realization that monkeys understood an abstract idea like currency. Unfortunately, two advertising executives happened to be in the audience, New Scientist reports today.

The result: a monkey ad campaign (shown at the Cannes Lions Festival) to see if they can change the monkeys’… read more

The future of the newsletter and e-mail

December 31, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Oculus Rift: millions sold in 2015? (credit: Samsung)

In “The return of the newsletter,” Wired notes today that with better spam filters and other tools, non-stop overload from Facebook and Twitter, and the death of RSS, newsletters are “making something of a comeback.”

The article mentions KurzweilAI News and nine other newsletters, including mini-AIR, the newsletter of the hilarious Annals of Improbable Research magazine, noted for its annual Ig Nobel Prizes (such as one earlier this… read more

A new blueprint for artificial general intelligence

August 12, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Demis Hassabis, a research fellow at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience UnitUniversity College London, is out to create a radical new kind of artficial brain.

A former well-known UK videogame designer and programmer, he has produced a number of amazing games, including the legendary Evil Genius — which he denies selling to Microsoft, thus ruining a perfectly good joke. He also won the World Games Championships a record five times.

But… read more

Are you ready for robots with sensitive skin?

June 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Robots have just taken another (slightly weird) step toward becoming our overlords.

Technische Universität München (TUM) scientists are developing an artificial skin for robots that will provide tactile information to the robot to supplement information from cameras, infrared scanners, and gripping hands.

The idea is to let the robot know when it touches an object so it can then visually search for whatever it… read more

‘Extensive if not complete’ meltdown of three Fukushima reactors just 16 hours after the earthquake: coverup?

May 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

ScienceInsider (published by Science magazine) reported Tuesday May 17 that “over the last week, a combination of robotic and human inspections has led to the conclusion that the fuel assemblies in units 1, 2, and 3 were completely exposed to the air for from over 6 hours to over 14 hours and that melting was extensive if not complete. Much of the fuel is now likely at the… read more

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