Most Recently Added Most commentedBy Title | A-Z

Activism in the age of viral reality

February 1, 2011 by John Postill

(Al Jazeera)

On the subject of Egypt’s and other countries’ protests, I’m currently doing anthropological research into social media and activism in Barcelona. I’m wondering whether we’re entering an era in which political reality is framed by re-sent SMS messages, retweets, YouTube videos, viral campaigns, and so on — an age of “viral reality.”

Even those who rightly reject the hyperbole surrounding these events would appear to be shaped in their… 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

How Watson works: a conversation with Eric Brown, IBM Research Manager

January 31, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

IBM Watson

For nearly two years IBM scientists have been working on a highly advanced Question Answering (QA) system, codenamed “Watson.” The scientists believe that the computing system will be able to understand complex questions and answer with enough precision, confidence, and speed to compete in the first-ever man vs. machine Jeopardy! competition, which will air on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011.

We had some questions, so we spoke… 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

Virtual self

January 25, 2011

A still image of a Project LifeLike avatar conversing with a person. Project LifeLike is a collaboration between the Intelligent Systems Laboratory (ISL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) that aims to create visualizations of people, or avatars, that are as realistic as possible. While their current results are far from perfect replications of a specific person, their work has advanced the field forward and opens up a host of possible applications in the not-too-distant future.  (University of Chicago/University of Central Florida)

Your avatar may be just a virtual identity, but it can also affect how you are in the real world.

“In this world of new media, people spend a lot of time interacting with digital versions of one another.” — Jeremy Bailenson

If you spend a lot of time online, you may even have an electronic alter ego–an avatar. An avatar is a movable image that people design… read more

book review | Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

January 24, 2011 by R.U. Sirius

In 1938, existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre wrote “Hell is other people.” Sartre may never have cobbled together his existential philosophy that viewed human individuals as utterly alone — alienated, atomized beings in a vast meaningless universe — if he had grown up playing with social robots and holding others at a discreet psychological distance by communicating with them nearly exclusively via instant messaging.

According to Wikipedia, one… read more

Dr. Steel’s ‘Singularity’ from People of Earth

January 15, 2011

Dr. Steel logo

Dr. Steel’s track “The Singularity,” from his 2002 album People of Earth, below.

Wikipedia | Doctor Steel is an American musician located in Southern California, popular in the Steampunk, Goth, and Rivethead scenes. He has performed on rare occasions with a “backup band”, claiming that a fictitious robot band had malfunctioned. Shows have incorporated puppetry, multimedia and performances by his streetread more

Paul Dempsey song ‘Ramona Was a Waitress’ from Everything is True inspired by Kurzweil’s AI femme ‘Ramona’

January 15, 2011

Paul Dempsey Everything is True

Singer/Songwriter Paul Dempsey describes the inspiration for his track “Ramona Was a Waitress,” off his album Everything is True:

“It’s an unusual song, ‘Ramona Was a Waitress.’ It’s about a guy arguing with an artificial-intelligent robot waitress about mortality,” says Dempsey. ”Sort of an unusual subject for a pop song but that’s just what I was thinking about as I scrawled the lyrics. Artificial intelligence and conscious robots arguing about… read more

Our Lady Peace album Spiritual Machines inspired by Kurzweil’s vision of the future

January 14, 2011

Our Lady Peace Spiritual Machines album

Wikipedia | Spiritual Machines is the fourth studio album by Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace, initially released by Columbia Records in December 2000. The album was a conceptual interpretation of Raymond Kurzweil’s 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines and featured spoken dialog from Kurzweil himself.

Album history

While touring in mid-2000, Mike Turner came across the book The Age of Spiritual Machines by… read more

Alcor update from Max More, new CEO

January 13, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Max More CEO

“It’s not every day that you start a new job and immediately become responsible for over a thousand lives,” says Max More, who took over the reins as CEO of Alcor on January 1. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Alcor has 102 patients in cryopreservation (freezing with minimal tissue damage in liquid nitrogen) in hopes of revival by future scientists; the rest are members signed up for the process.

A… 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

Health Tips | Surviving the holidays

December 24, 2010 by David Despain

Diet and exercise

Keep the holiday bulge off by exercising, controlling cravings, and paying attention to weight and eating [J Consult Clin Psychol].

Eat right to keep weight off and live longer. You can lower risk your risk of an early death from chronic disease by making healthier food choices more frequently. Eat more frequent amounts of low-fat dairy products, poultry, fruits and vegetables, and fish;… read more

How to create a startup country

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Seasteading artist's concept (credit: András Gyorfi)

At Peter Thiel’s invitation-only “Breakthrough Philanthropy” event in San Francisco on December 7, which brought together Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurs with eight of the most visionary non-profits, Patri Friedman, grandson of legendary economist Milton Friedman, presented one of the most radical, imaginative concepts I’ve heard in some time. Here’s the text of his four-minute talk (video below — other Breakthrough Philanthropy speaker videos here).read more

Are ‘net neutrality’ rules a fed takeover of the Internet or a sell-out?

December 23, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

internet_map

“The Federal Communications Commission’s new ‘net neutrality’ rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote [Monday, Dec. 20], represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations,” says Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund. “The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.

“There’s little evidence… read more

Spinner | Bright Eyes album The People’s Key inspired by Kurzweil and Singularity themes

December 21, 2010

The People's Key album

Source: Spinner — December 21, 2010 | Dan Reilly

Conor Oberst, of the band Bright Eyes, discusses inspirations behind their album, The People’s Key, on AOL’s Spinner music magazine:

Spinner | Are there any books or authors in particular that influenced the album?

Conor Oberst: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the theory of Singularity. This guy, Ray Kurzweil, who was the inventor of early synthesizers, he has this theory — a few… read more

close and return to Home