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Ask Ray | A little thought experiment on cognitive functions

August 15, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

Image created with the Connectome Mapping Toolkit (credit: University of Lausanne and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Dear Ray,

After finishing reading The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind I have a few questions about some higher level cognitive functions in regards to your theory of pattern recognizer construction of the brain.

First, you believe that all forms of organized information systems have some form of consciousness albeit at varying degrees of magnitude.

More importantly there seems to be a positive… 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

Reflections on Avatar by Ray Kurzweil

March 7, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

3D information visualization displays and interactive multi-touch screens as featured in this scene from Avatar already exist and are in use today.

I recently watched James Cameron’s Avatar in 3D. It was an enjoyable experience in some ways, but overall I left dismayed on a number of levels.

It was enjoyable to watch the lush three-dimensional animation and motion capture controlled graphics. I’m not sure that 3D will take over – as many now expect – until we get rid of the glasses (and there are emerging technologies to do that… read more

Are copyrighted works only by and for humans?

The copyright Planet of the Apes and robots
August 20, 2014 by Mark A. Fischer

Macaca nigra self-portrait (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Why should humans own all the world’s copyrights? The question is prompted by a photograph that’s made worldwide news. In Indonesia, a female crested black macaque monkey picked up a camera owned by photographer David Slater.

I won’t focus much on the story of the monkey and her selfie because that topic has already been well-discussed in the media. Yet the story sets the table for more… read more

How bio-inspired deep learning keeps winning competitions

An interview with Dr. Juergen Schmidhuber on the future of neural networks
November 28, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica, Jürgen Schmidhuber

nn

Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber is Director of the Swiss Artificial Intelligence Lab, IDSIA. His research team’s artificial neural networks (NNs) have won many international awards, and recently were the first to achieve human-competitive performance on various benchmark data sets. I asked him about their secrets of success.… read more

No methane on Mars? Say it isn’t so!

Cat astronauts? Snake robots on rockets? What the ....
September 20, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

persian cat

“In findings that are as scientifically significant as they are crushing to the popular imagination, NASA reported Thursday that its Curiosity Mars rover has deflated hopes that life could be thriving on Mars today.”

So say the kill-joys at The New York Times.

Deftly side-stepping the blow, Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientist for Mars exploration, explained: “This important result will help direct our efforts to examine the… read more

Giant mutant rats invade Google servers, take over Internet, replace ‘tweets’ with ‘squeaks’

April 1, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

"Endorse me or else" (credit: .wikia.nocookie.net)

OK, it’s April 1 again, so let’s see who’s been paying attention over the past year. Which of these are:

a. An actual KurzweilAI news or blog post, based on facts.
b. An actual KurzweilAI news or blog post, but based on speculation.
c.  Fake news.

1. Rats can communicate with other rats 1000s of miles away, helping other rats navigate mazes.

2. Reality is created by… read more

Meet Stompy: the giant, rideable walking robot

August 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Wanna take a ride? Sorry, you'll have to pledge first. Stompy is a work in progress. (Credit: Hexapod)

It’s an open-source, 18 ft. wide, 4,000 pound, 6-legged hydraulic robot. So yet another quirky Kickstarter project? Well, not exactly, read on….

“We dream of a world where imagination becomes reality simply because enough passionate people decide that an idea has merit.” So say the folks at Project Hexapod, based out of a makerspace in Somerville, Massachusetts called Artisan’s Asylum.

OK, but what’s the purpose of… read more

Accelerated returns in food production

August 19, 2012 by Sam Ghandchi

Average daily calorie consumption in countries (credit: Interchange88/Wikimedia Commons)

Ray Kurzweil’s “law of accelerating returns” is a very viable economic theory that can be used to address many of the issues that economists are facing in our times, but unfortunately most university departments of economics pay very little attention to it, whereas the old economic theories are not able to answer issues that global economy has been facing since the inception of computer revolution of the last thirty

read more

Google I/O 2014 | video: Ray Kurzweil presents “Biologically Inspired Models of Intelligence”

Dates: June 25 – 26, 2014
Location: San Francisco, California

IO 2014

Google I/O 2014 | Ray Kurzweil: “Biologically Inspired Models of Intelligence,” filmed June 25, 2014

Google | For decades Ray Kurzweil has explored how artificial intelligence can enrich and expand human capabilities. In his latest book How to Create a Mind, he takes this exploration to the next step: reverse-engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works, then applying that knowledge to create intelligent machines.

In… read more

Why immersive virtual reality is the next generation of gaming: part 1

DIY real virtual reality on your smartphone or iPad 3 is here
July 14, 2012 by James Iliff

FOV2GO

It’s now obvious that immersive virtual reality is finally back in the consumer market — with a vengeance.

Especially with the recent advent of FOV2GO, a free DIY portable fold-out iPhone and Android viewer that turns the smartphone screen into a 3-D VR system.

You can create one with foamboard and 2 cheap plastic lenses, and downloadable software lets you create your own virtual worlds or environments to display.… read more

Smart glasses from Evena Medical detect patient veins for precise IV placement

December 26, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Eyes-On Glasses (credit: Evena Medical)

Ever had a nurse stick you multiple times, trying to locate a vein to draw blood? That pain is about to be history.

The new Eyes-On “smart glasses” from Evena Medical now allow nurses to see through a patient’s skin to the vasculature beneath.

The device adds multispectral 3D imaging to Epson Moverio glasses. Nurses can share images remotely via Bluetooth,… read more

Infinite storage in the cloud: NOT RECOMMEDED

February 14, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

bitcasa

Bitcasa has created a new cloud service that promises “infinite storage” in the cloud for Windows and Mac.

Once you install Bitcasa it prompts you to choose which of your folders to “cloudify.” Cloudified folders are uploaded to Bitcasa’s cloud right away and get a Bitcasa logo added to the system tray or Finder.

Any time you save, copy, or paste new files… read more

A miniature humanoid robot lives on your shoulder and wants to be your friend

May 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

mh2_shoulder_robot

OK, this one pushes me over the “Onion threshold,” to coin a term.

A wearable miniature humanoid lives on your shoulder and can be remotely inhabited by your friends from anywhere in the world.

Hey, I’m not making this stuff up — it comes from IEEE Spectrum, a credible source, and it’s not April 1!

Anyway, it turns out Yamagata University researchers are developing a robot to make… read more

Kinect tracks bionic rescue roaches

Trapped in an earthquake? Don't panic. Hissing roaches with backpack WiFi, microphones, and speakers are coming for you. OK, that might make you panic.
June 27, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

(credit: Alper Bozkurt/NC State University)

When we last visited our “RoboRoach” bionic cockroach, it was being remotely controlled by a mobile phone that triggered hallucinations of an invisible wall (for educational purposes only, mind you).

Seriously.

Now Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at  North Carolina State University, and his team want to take it a step further. They plan to use their Madagascar hissing roaches (dubbed… read more

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