January 10, 2008
Source: YouTube — February 15, 2007
Source: American Scientist — February 2008
In Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Margaret A. Boden’s goal, she says, is to show how cognitive scientists have tried to find computational or informational answers to frequently asked questions about the mind — “what it is, what it does, how it works, how it evolved, and how it’s even possible.”
How do our brains generate consciousness? Are animals or newborn babies conscious? Can machines… read more
Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007
“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.
The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more
Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006
Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… read more
Source: Fourmilog: None Dare Call It Reason — March 12, 2006
Surprisingly, Autodesk founder John Walker sides with intelligent design, but not by a deity — by post-Singularity intelligences creating a reality simulation: “What would we expect to see if we inhabited a simulation? Well, there would probably be a discrete time step and granularity in position fixed by the time and position… read more
Source: Post-Gazette — October 30, 2005
The book was written by roboticist Daniel H. Wilson, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. Paramount has bought movie rights.
What makes the book cool — and unlike some other survival books — is that Wilson is an actual roboticist, who got his Ph.D. from… read more
Source: New York Times — Oct 23, 2005
Randall argues that without any experimental feedback, string theorists may never reach their goal. She prefers a different strategy, called model building. Rather than seeking to create an all-encompassing theory, she develops models — mini-theories that… read more
Source: The Onion — August 31, 2005
Executives at Google announced Monday Google Purge, the latest step in their expansion effort: a far-reaching plan to destroy all the information it is unable to index.
“A year ago, Google offered to scan every book on the planet for its Google Print project. Now, they are promising to burn the rest,” John Battelle wrote in his widely read “Searchblog.” “Thanks to Google Purge, you’ll never have to worry… read more
Source: BookReporter — May 2005 | Curtis Edmonds
Joel Garreau’s provocative new book, Radical Evolution, is divided into different scenarios. One that he calls “Heaven” is largely the vision of Ray Kurzweil, one of the founders of modern assistive technology.
Kurzweil imagines a future where the positive aspects of the new technology are available freely to everyone, allowing each of us to customize our own selves to the point where immortality — or complete spiritual freedom… read more
Source: Wired News — May 3, 2005
James Auger in his controversial new book, Augmented Animals, envisions animals, birds, reptiles and even fish using specially engineered gadgets to help them overcome their evolutionary shortcomings.
He imagines rodents zooming around with night-vision survival goggles, squirrels hoarding nuts using GPS locators and fish armed with metal detectors to avoid the angler’s hook.
Source: New York Times — Mar 20, 2005 | Clive Thompson
Cybernetics is the science of feedback — how information can help self-regulate a system. That includes everything from biological mechanisms (like the human immune system) to artificial ones, like thermostats that regulate a building’s temperature. Even in the early 20th century, when Wiener… read more
The Matrix Reloaded is crippled by senseless fighting and chase scenes, weak plot and character development, tepid acting, and sophomoric dialogues. It shares the dystopian, Luddite perspective of the original movie, but loses the elegance, style, originality, and evocative philosophical musings of the original.… read more