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BOOK REVIEW | Radical Evolution

May 23, 2005

radical_evolution

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

BOOK REVIEW | Augmented Animals

May 4, 2005

augmented_animals

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.

BOOK REVIEW | Dark Hero of the Information Age

March 21, 2005

dark_hero

Source: New York Times — Mar 20, 2005 | Clive Thompson

Norbert Wiener, the inventor of cybernetics, is profiled in a new book, Dark Hero of the Information Age, by journalists Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman.

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 loses its way: Reflections on The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded

May 19, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Matrix Reloaded poster

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

GLITCHES IN THE MATRIX . . . AND HOW TO FIX THEM

March 2, 2003 by Peter B. Lloyd

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

THE HUMAN MACHINE MERGER: ARE WE HEADED FOR THE MATRIX?

March 2, 2003 by Ray Kurzweil

Most viewers of The Matrix consider the more fanciful elements–intelligent computers, downloading information into the human brain, virtual reality indistinguishable from real life–to be fun as science fiction, but quite remote from real life. Most viewers would be wrong. As renowned computer scientist and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil explains, these elements are very feasible and are quite likely to be a reality within our lifetimes.… 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.… read more

Synthespianism and anthropomorphization of computer graphics

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

Encompassing education: immersive interfaces improve learning environments

September 17, 2002 by Diana Walczak

Image converted using ifftoany

Originally published in “2020 Visions: Transforming Education and Training Through Advanced Technologies,” U.S. Department of Commerce Sept. 17, 2002.

Broad dynamic content will feed future education technologies. We will integrate motion and haptic interfaces, display and sound sciences, computer simulation breakthroughs, and next-level communication and information technologies. The vast possibilities created by these merging technologies make it crucial to bring together great minds from every discipline to begin… 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

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

Intuitive music

February 26, 2002 by Amara D. Angelica

bob moog 1976

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

Decoupling art and affluence

February 20, 2002 by Harold Cohen

Harold Cohen’s AARON has grown immensely as an artist in its own right. In this talk presented at the Thirteenth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-2001), Harold Cohen explores AARON’s remarkable journey as a cyberartist.… 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

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