Why, exactly, do the rebels have to enter the Matrix via the phone system (which after all doesn’t physically exist)? And what really happens when Neo takes the red pill (which also doesn’t really exist)? And how does the Matrix know what fried chicken tastes like? Technologist and philosopher Peter Lloyd answers these questions and more.… read more
book review | Ray Kurzweil’s read on latest AI insights in the book Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us
October 31, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil
This review was originally published in Wired, “Peer Review,” in October 2002.
As one of the world’s leading roboticists, Rodney Brooks (Director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Chairman of the successful iRobot Corporation) is also the consummate teacher.
He has a penchant for clear explanation and in his latest book, Flesh and Machines, How Robots Will Change Us, Brooks lucidly explores a wide range of themes related to his life with robots.
These range from personal anecdotes (e.g., his first encounter with another legendary robot builder, Hans Moravec, who was then living in his Stanford laboratory and musing about exotic topics ranging from sky hooks to tree-like robots), historical vignettes (e.g., Marvin Minsky’s unsuccessful attempt to solve the computer “vision” problem in a single Summer in 1966), algorithmic insights (e.g., how his Genghis robot achieved “animal-like behavior” from a few dozen simple programs operating in parallel), philosophical musings (e.g., what is the true nature of consciousness, “apart from our own personal experience of what it is like to be us?”), and ethical dilemmas (e.g., when will we need to stop treating robots like slaves).
The book ranges far and wide, but maintains a unity around the author’s passion for creating what he calls “situated creatures,” which we can eventually regard as our teachers and companions.
October 2, 2002 by Diana Walczak
The anthropomorphization of computer graphics has been a classiccase of exponential growth powered by technology, art, commerceand culture. Funding for military and aerospace applications likenuclear weapons design, weather prediction and flight simulationpaid for much of the initial heavy lifting required to build thefoundation of the computer graphics industry during the 1960′s andearly 1970′s.
As the sophistication of graphics software marched forward andthe cost of computing slid downward, the annual… read more
May 13, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil
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
Bob Moog changed musical history 37 years ago with the invention of the first electronic music synthesizer. On February 26, 2002, he received the prestigious Technical GRAMMY Award for his achievements. Here, he looks at the next 37 years.… read more
MIT panel discussion on Steven Spielberg’s AI film with Raymond Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Sherry Turkle and Cynthia Breazeal
May 7, 2001
Steven Spielberg’s film “A.I.” was previewed at MIT on April 20, 2001 at an event that seemed geared more toward humans than futuristic robots.… read more