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‘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

PopTech | Graphical expression of human emotion — video shows surprising consistencies: A new kind of Turing test?

February 15, 2011

poptech logo

PopTech | Designer Orlagh O’Brien asks, “What if we try to visually represent the emotions that are running through our body?” She gave a simple emotion-specific quiz to a group of 250 people. Asking respondents to describe five emotions — anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love — in drawings, colors, and words, O’Brien ended up with a set of media she used to create Emotionally}Vague, an online graphic interpretation

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Related:
PopTech | Orlagh O'Brien
PopTech | Orlagh O’Brien helps us get in touch with our emotions
Emotionally}Vague

Preserving the self for later emulation: what brain features do we need?

October 30, 2012 by John Smart

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Let me propose to you four interesting statements about the future:

1. As I argue in this video, chemical brain preservation is a technology that may soon be validated to inexpensively preserve the key features of our memories and identity at our biological death.

2. If either chemical or cryogenic brain preservation can be validated to reliably store retrievable and useful individual mental information, these medical… read more

Providing Low-cost Clean Water for a Billion People

September 6, 2010 by William Bing

A possible implementation of our Naishio solution.  The pressure from the water volume is sufficient to propel fresh water across the membrane (A), and photovoltaics (D) generate all the energy needed to pump water from the repository (C) to the water tank and circulator (E).  Sensors (B) communicate between the solar pump and membrane to regulate the water level and ensure it doesn’t become contaminated. (Image credit: Sarah Jane Pell)

This summer I attended Singularity University’s graduate studies program. Alongside 79 extraordinary entrepreneurs and scientists from around the globe, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the world about a variety of rapidly advancing areas of technology. The context of these discussions was how we might use these technologies to implement solutions capable of affecting the lives of more than a… read more

Ray Kurzweil responds to “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain”

August 20, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

While most of PZ Myers’ comments (in his blog post entitled “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain” posted on Pharyngula on August 17, 2010) do not deserve a response, I do want to set the record straight, as he completely mischaracterizes my thesis.

For starters, I said that we would be able to reverse-engineer the brain sufficiently to understand its basic principles of operation within tworead 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

Reflections on Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science

May 13, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

A New Kind of Science

In his remarkable new book, Stephen Wolfram asserts that cellular automata operations underlie much of the real world. He even asserts that the entire Universe itself is a big cellular-automaton computer. But Ray Kurzweil challenges the ability of these ideas to fully explain the complexities of life, intelligence, and physical phenomena.… 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

Report from the Alcor-40 conference

October 24, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

Ben_at_Alcor

This past weekend I attended the Alcor 40 conference, hosted by the cryonics organization Alcor to celebrate its 40th year of operation, and I was extremely impressed.

(Full disclosure: I am an Alcor member, signed up in 2005 so that in the unfortunate event my body comes to meet the criteria of legal death, they will preserve it in liquid nitrogen until the advance of… read more

Report on the fourth conference on artificial general intelligence

September 3, 2011 by Ben Goertzel

The Fourth Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (AGI-11) was held on Google’s campus in Mountain View (Silicon Valley), California, in the first week of August 2011. This was the largest AGI conference yet, with more than 200 people attending, and it had a markedly different tone from the prior conferences in the series.

A number of participants noted that there was less of an out-of-the-mainstream, wild-eyed maverick… read more

Research breakthrough allows paraplegic man to stand on his own

May 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Rob Summers (credit: UCLA)

In a significant medical prothesis breakthrough, Rob Summers, 25, a pitcher for Oregon State University who was completely paralyzed below the chest five years ago after being struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run accident, can now stand on his own for up to four minutes at a time — without support — and up to 25 minutes with assistance provided only for balance.

What’s especially exciting about this… read more

Reverse-engineering Hollywood

How to bypass Netflix and create your own custom search genres
January 6, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

sliders

If you’re a combo Netflix/Internet-text-algorithm-obsessed geek like me, you will totally love this amazing article in The Atlantic.

Turns out Netflix has created a database of 76,897 micro-genres that offer a peek into the American psyche, The Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal has discovered, using a program called UBot Studio to scrape every single one of them and then deconstruct the system.

Hidden syntax revealed

“As the… read more

Review of The Singularity Is Near: The Movie; tickets to Woodstock Film Festival still available

September 22, 2010 by Phil Bowermaster

SiN_91_highres

Per my earlier post, I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of The Singularity Is Near at the Breckenridge Film Festival. Based on Ray Kurzweil’s bestselling book of the same title, The Singularity Is Near is really two movies. First, it’s a documentary, in which Kurzweil lays out his argument that accelerating technological development is rapidly leading us to a… read more

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

August 5, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

rise

At last, a potential worthy successor to Limitless. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, opening Friday August 5, is a prequel to Planet of the Apes — a reality-based cautionary tale and science fiction/science fact blend. Genetic engineering experiments lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.

This addition to the series takes place in the… read more

Robotic space-colony construction, cubesats for Mars, transhumanists on space, and more….

May 22, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Artist's concept of jig factory in space (credit: Anna Nesterova and John Strickland)

The International Space Development Conference (ISDC), produced by the National Space Society (NSS) — the happening place to learn about the future of space — kicks off Thursday May 23 and runs through Monday May 27 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California. ISDC speakers will discuss a wide range of breakthroughs in space development. Here are just two that I find especially interesting. (Full… read more

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