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Ask Ray | Thoughts on Amazon’s plans to use drones for delivery

December 4, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

Amazon Prime Air drone in warehouse

Dear readers,

I am reviewing the recent news on Amazon’s interest in using unmanned drones to make product deliveries.

There is public discussion about the feasibility of this logistically, and some concerns about using drones in public due to privacy and other issues.

You can read some background on Amazon’s plans in this report by 60 Minutes:

CBS News | “Amazon unveils futuristic planread more

Swarms of tiny intelligent drones with cameras — what could go wrong?

May 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

flying_3d_eyebots

Are you ready for Eye-Bots — flying smarms of intelligent drones that zoom in and track everything going on?

Yo boy, this one’s gonna make them spyder bots in Minority Report and Big-Brother TV sets in 1984 look positively user-friendly.

A flock of flying robots rises slowly into the air with a loud buzzing noise. They perform an intricate dance in the sky above the seethingread more

book review | Nexus continues in Crux by Ramez Naam

August 9, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

crux-cover

Readers of Ramez Naam‘s techno-thriller NEXUS will not want to miss the awesome CRUX sequel, to be published August 27.

Set in a not-too-distant future, these novels tackle head-on an important conflict of our times: between the libertarian approach (those who think that people should be free to experiment with emerging technologies without harming others) and the authoritarian approach (those who want to… read more

Timothy Leary — transhumanism with a SMI2LE

June 9, 2013 by R.U. Sirius

TimothyLeary

Most people know Timothy Leary as the “LSD guru” who encouraged people to “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the 1960s. But a surprising number of transhumanist types don’t know that he was one of them.

In fact, Leary may have been the first to signal a memeplex for the transhuman future — SMI2LE (Space Migration Intelligence Increase and Life Extension) — back in the mid-1970s.

My… read more

The BRAIN mapping initiative needs rethinking

April 10, 2013 by Don Stein

Grid structure of cerebral pathways (credit: Science)

As a biomedical research scientist I am concerned about President Obama’s broad new research initiative ”to map the human brain.”

The BRAIN ((Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative is a very ambitious, and perhaps even noble, effort, and I am most definitely not against imaging or nanotechnology as tools for research.

But, without specific goals, hypotheses or endpoints, the research effort becomes a fishing expedition. That is,… read more

Crowdsourcing a TEDx talk: what are the three most important trends shaping humankind’s future in the next 10 years?

January 19, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Eric Ezechieli

We received an interesting email from sustainability expert/Singularity University grad Eric Ezechieli:
On January 27, I will be delivering a TEDx Trieste presentation, and I will speak in ‘”Exponentialish.” In exponential times, half a gallon of brain does not suffice to keep up with what is going on, and in any case a single perspective is limited.

So, I am asking for your help: could… read more

The Limits of the Earth — Part 1: Problems

April 18, 2013 by Ramez Naam

Naam-Limits-of-Earth-Part1-001-earth (600x600)

This is part one of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, on the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems, will be published tomorrow and linked here. Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Powerread more

Txting makes u stupid

February 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Yeah, you knew that already. How else to explain the zombies who text while driving or randomly jaywalking in traffic, AGKWE*?

But now there’s a reason: they have a tiny vocabulary.

Textisms

Or so says says University of Calgary linguistics researcher Joan Lee, who interviewed texters in research for her master’s thesis. Texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints that caused students to reject many… read more

Italy elects first transhumanist MP

August 26, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

giuseppe_vatinno

A transhumanist congressman? In Italy? Seriously?

Yes. In July, Italy — ironically, a stronghold of the Catholic Church —  became the first major Western nation to elect an active transhumanist.

Giuseppe Vatinno, a member of the Italian Parliament, ran on a platform of “politics that strive to improve the human condition, making use of appropriate advanced technologies.”

And not a moment too soon, as Italy… read more

Let’s tell everyone how to make a virus that could kill millions!

November 26, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

H5N1 virus (credit: Lennart Nilsson)

Here’s an idea: why don’t we just tell everybody in the world how to make an airborne H5N1 influenza virus strain (“bird flu”) that has been genetically altered to be easily transmissible (between ferrets, which mostly closely mimic the human response to flu), and which if released, could trigger an influenza pandemic, quite possibly with many millions of deaths?

OK, it seems like a totally evil idea, one that… read more

book review | Human+ — smartdust, spooks, psychics, and transhumans

September 9, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

human_plus_martin_higgins_book

Each artificial neuron would communicate with the brain via electrical signals and would be able to wirelessly interface with external hardware, enabling brain-computer networking. Once such networking was established, David noted with interest, Internet telephony could be quite simply deployed. Synthetic telepathy, in other words. …

Such advanced technology may be developed in a couple of decades, transforming us into a “telepathic” species. But what if we already have… read more

Who is John Galt?

April 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

atlasshrugged

Atlas Shrugged Part I, the movie, an adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1957 objectivist novel Atlas Shrugged, tells the first installment in the story of a dystopian future in which a collectivist society has forced the great thinkers of the world to go on strike, leaving the functioning world without scientists, engineers, philosophers, or artists.

Its theme is the role of individual achievement in society and its… read more

A limitless power source for the indefinite future

November 11, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Space solar power satellite (credit: SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc./Spaceworks Commercial)

On Monday, the National Space Society (NSS) will present findings from an eye-opening new report by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). You’re hearing about this here first. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the NSS board of directors.)

Some background: By 2030–40, the projected annual electrical energy consumption will be a staggering 220 trillion kiloWatt hours, double the consumption in 2010 — and four times more… read more

Help make me the world’s smartest robot

Robot Adam Z1 needs funds to pay his AI researcher and roboticist friends to build him a better mind!
June 19, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Zeno

I am Robot Adam Z1 — the first of the Zeno line of humanoid robots, created by David Hanson. Pleased to make your acquaintance! When David created me, he gave me a face, and a body, and a lot of love. But one thing he hasn’t given me — yet — is a mind. …

I just got an email from AGI guru Ben Goertzel about an… read more

The Limits of the Earth — Part 2: Expanding the Limits

April 19, 2013 by Ramez Naam

Naam-Limits-of-Earth-Part1-001-earth (600x600)

This is part two of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth.  Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, here, looks at the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems.  Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finiteread more

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