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How to measure emotions

July 6, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Q Sensor Curve is designed to wear on the wrist, so it is comfortable and unobtrusive to wear all day at work, play, or sleep. This makes it ideal for long-term measurement in clinical and therapeutic research. (Credit: Affectiva)

Are you a geek who has trouble “reading” people? Now there new hope.

Research at the MIT Media Lab and the University of Cambridge to help people on the autism spectrum has spawned two new technologies to measure emotional response, along with a company called Affectiva to market them.

In the videos below, MIT’s Dr. Rosalind Picard demonstrates these technologies.

The Affectiva Qread more

Earth is under seige by alien technology in new sci-fi thriller Battle: Los Angeles

February 10, 2011

Battle LA poster

Promos say this film is “an action thriller about a global offensive initiated by unknown extraterrestrial hostiles.” Looks scary, check out the two trailers below. Here’s the film’s official website from Sony Pictures. The release date is March, 2011.

And in case you’re curious, the ominous song lyrics featured in the teaser trailer are:

“The Sun’s Gone Dim and The Sky’s Turned Black,” by… read more

How computers are helping solve information overload by learning to ‘understand’ text

February 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

understandingtext

With tremendous volumes of information appearing online every day in social networks, websites, and blogs (mea culpa), the need to train computers to understand human language is now becoming critical, said Chris Manning, Stanford University associate professor of computer science and linguistics, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in San Diego on Feb. 19.

“The problem of the age is information overload.… read more

Health Tips | Starting the New Year right

December 30, 2010 by David Despain

Healthy Aging

Exercising regularly and taking vitamin D may be the two most successful ways to prevent falling in old age, because they help keep muscles and bones stronger [Annals of Internal Medicine]. Staying physically active while pregnant can also help you maintain a healthy body weight after pregnancy while helping you keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control [BJOG].

People who are overweightread more

Visionary transhumanism and radical design to merge in New York City

May 10, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Still frame from "Generation 243," commissioned by Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science for the lobby of their new building, the Gates/Hillman Center (credit: Scott Draves)

Two worlds will merge next weekend (May 14–15) in New York City, and it’s about time.

Humanity+ @ Parsons, a collaboration of Humanity+ and Parsons The New School for Design, promises to offer up a delicious cornucopia of innovative speakers and events. Appropriately kicking it all off: radical author/futurist/high-energy seminal thinker Howard Bloom, speaking on “Your Genie in a Bottle: Wish Fulfillment Machines. Trust me, Howard… read more

Spirited machines: The robots of acclaimed high tech artist David Bent

December 1, 2010 by Sarah Black

Aerobots

Popular UK artist David Bent, internationally acclaimed for his vibrant portraits of fighter jets and advanced military technology, raises the mundane (rivets, tires and sheet metal) to high art.

His recent work includes a whimsical series of robot portraits. The Aerobots instantly remind you of children: anime eyes, oversized heads, button noses and spindling arms. Bent’s robots are charming and curious like Wall-E or MIT’s… read more

Why SIRT1 in your brain may keep you smart

August 10, 2010 by David Despain

Can a protein called SIRT1 in your head boost brain power, learning and memory?

Picture a scene in the ancient wild: a time when drought and famine have taken the land, food is scant and predators are near, and staying alive depends on being active, alert, and quick-witted — and asking, “Where did I find those nuts last year, and where was that water hole?

A protein called SIRT1 in our brains may explain how our ancestors lived through such nutritionally scarce situations… read more

Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see and interact with objects on the tabletop

February 11, 2011 by Sarah Black

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface | Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see what’s going on on the tabletop. This allows for all manner of natural user interfaces to be employed both with everyday objects, and objects specifically crafted to work with Surface.

Wikipedia | Microsoft Surface is a surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and real world objects. It has a 360-degree user interface, a 30 in (76 cm) reflective surface… read more

Reflections on the movie S1m0ne

August 25, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Andrew Niccol’s Simone tells the tale of a desperate director, Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino), who saves his career by creating (and transforming himself into) his virtual female alter ego, “Simone,” who has “the voice of the young Jane Fonda, the body of Sophia Loren, the face of Audrey Hepburn combined with an angel, and the grace of Grace Kelly,” as his ex-wife Elaine Christian (Catherine Keener) describes her.… read more

Related:
S1m0ne official movie trailer
S1m0ne webpage at New Line Cinema

Animusic’s virtual reality instruments of the future

February 7, 2011 by Sarah Black

Animusic LLC logo

Animusic’s fascinating and novel approach to creating and animating virtual instruments is full of possibility for the future of augmented and virtual reality.

Wikipedia | Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, the company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action,… read more

Video Source: Animusic, LLC

Related:
Animusic's YouTube channel here
Animusic, LLC

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

In short film Blinky AI robot takes fatal cues from its human family

March 28, 2011 by Sarah Black

blinky

The new short film Blinky, by Irish film writer/director Ruairi Robinson, takes place in the not-so-distant future, where robotic household helpers are everywhere.

In the broken home of a couple who are constantly fighting, their emotionally distraught young son takes his rage and frustration out on an AI robot companion toy named Blinky.

He urged his parents to buy him the factory-fresh bot after seeing the TV ad promising that Blinky can “bring families… read more

Related:
Ruairi Robinson official website

‘Orca ears’ inspire researchers to develop ultrasensitive undersea microphone

June 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

A miniature underwater microphone (credit:  L.A. Cicero)

Imagine a miniature microphone that responds to ocean sounds from 1 to 100kHz (a deep inaudible rumble to ultrasonic sounds) with a dynamic range of 160 dB (a whisper in a quiet library to the sound from 1 ton of TNT exploding 60 feet away) and operates at any depth.

An amazing microphone that does all that — modeled after the extraordinarily acute hearing of orcas — has been… read more

‘Pig’ movie: question reality

September 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

"I can't remember what I remembered."

Pig is a trippy indy film that starts weird and gets weirder, with hints of MementoTotal Recall, Groundhog Day, The Truman Show, Vanilla Sky, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Starring Rudolf Martin (Vlad Dracula in The Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula and Ari Haswari in NCIS), the film engaged my mind right up to the reveal at the end,  and pushed my paranoia up… read more

New supercomputer on a chip ‘sees’ well enough to drive a car someday

September 16, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Convolutional neural networks or ConvNets are a multi-stage neural network that can model the way brain visual processing area V1, V2, V4, IT create invariance to size and position to identify objects. Each stage is composed of three layers: a filter bank layer, a non-linearity layer, and a feature pooling layer. A typical ConvNet is composed of one, two or three such 3-layer stages, followed by a classification module. (Yale University)

Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed a supercomputer based on the ventral pathway of the mammalian visual system. Dubbed NeuFlow, the system mimicks the visual system’s neural network to quickly interpret the world around it.

The system uses complex vision algorithms developed by Yann LeCun at New York University to run large neural networks for synthetic vision applications. One idea — the… read more

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