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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

book review | Apocalyptic AI: Visions of heaven in robotics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality

March 31, 2010

Apocalyptic AI

Source: Giulio Prisco's Blog — March 13, 2010 | Giulio Prisco

Geraci defines Apocalyptic AI as a modern cultural and religious trend originating in the popular science press: “Popular science authors in robotics and artificial intelligence have become the most influential spokespeople for apocalyptic theology in the Western world. Apocalyptic AI advocates promise that in the very near future technological progress will allow us to build supremely intelligent machines and to copy our own minds into machines so that we can… read more

Can you trust your memory? Take these two simple tests.

August 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

WAIT! Before you read further (and I totally contaminate your mind), I suggest you take these two simple short tests:

1. Selective Attention Test

2. Test yourself — What do you believe about memory?

OK, what did you (not) see in the video (more info here)? How did you compare to survey respondents?

This surprising (and disturbing) research at the… read more

New brain-computer interface mobilizes patients, opens up new mind-control scenarios

June 20, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

BioBolt brain implant with the thin-film microcircuit and sensor pad

In the Green Lantern movie, a ring takes orders from Jordan’s mind, enabling him to fly, take down multiple bad guys, and create wormholes through which he can travel thousands of light-years in minutes.

University of Michigan Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems professor Euisik Yoon and colleagues are developing a brain-computer interface (BCI) that would handle the mind-to-ring communication part. DARPA is working on the other stuff,… read more

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

Battle of the ‘Fantastic Voyage’ researchers

January 12, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Cap-sule

The 1961 classic science-fiction movie Fantastic Voyage movie is about a team of scientists who are shrunk down and sent in a miniature submarine inside the body to repair a blood clot in an ailing colleague’s brain. How far have today’s scientists come in exploring inside the body?

Pretty far. We’ve reported on 17 research projects since 2003 to develop innovative endoscopes and other devices… read more

New movie Real Steel to pit Hugh Jackman against robot boxers

April 23, 2011

Real Steel poster

Wikipedia | Real Steel is an upcoming feature film inspired by Richard Matheson’s short story Steel. The story was first adapted for television by Matheson as an episode of The Twilight Zone. The film stars Hugh Jackman and is directed by Shawn Levy. Film is a gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up… read more

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

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

A tour with Ray | Sights and sounds of the world famous NAMM 2014 expo with music pioneer Ray Kurzweil

February 19, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: National Association of Music Manufacturers)

NAMM 2014 show and tell — in sights and sounds

Kurzweil Music founder Ray Kurzweil recently attended one of the world’s premier music events, the National Association of Music Merchants trade show (NAMM) 2014.

We hope you enjoy this audio|visual tour of the NAMM 2014 tradeshow floor, review of the new Artis keyboard from Kurzweil Music, insights on accelerating electronic developments in the music world from executive Ray Kurzweil,… read more

book review | William Hertling’s Singularity series continues with The Last Firewall

September 12, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

hertling_last_firewall

William Hertling’s science-fiction collection of Singularity novels about the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) consists (so far) of Avogadro Corp: The Singularity Is Closer Than It Appears, A.I. Apocalypse, and the recently published The Last Firewall.

I think The Last Firewall is the best of the lot: a fast techno-thriller set in a hybrid human/AI world with social tension and dominance conflicts, in where… 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

THE HUMAN MACHINE MERGER: ARE WE HEADED FOR THE MATRIX?

March 2, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Most viewers of The Matrix consider the more fanciful elements–intelligent computers, downloading information into the human brain, virtual reality indistinguishable from real life–to be fun as science fiction, but quite remote from real life. Most viewers would be wrong. As renowned computer scientist and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil explains, these elements are very feasible and are quite likely to be a reality within our lifetimes.… read more

Why do giraffes have long necks?

July 19, 2009 by L. Stephen Coles

ist1_7214210-zoo-animals

An article, “Why Do Dachshunds Have Short Legs? Science Has an Answer,” in R&D, July 17, 2009, reminds me of an observation. In the language of computer programming, a retrogene is a patch on a pre-existing piece of software. Could it be that the entire embryogenic/genomic network that dictates a creature’s morphology is nothing more than a set of onion-skin layers or patches on conserved coded-machinery that has worked before? If so, it’s going to take a lot of industrial-strength gene-insertion genomics to unravel it, since it has no real logic that would help us make sense of it and guide us to a proper reading frame. (This is more evidence that there’s no “intelligence” in the “Intelligent Design” of Darwinian evolution).… read more

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