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movie review | New science fiction movie Elysium

Now in U.S. theaters and in IMAX
August 5, 2013 by L. Stephen Coles

Elysium2

The science-fiction movie Elysium opens in theaters and IMAX in the U.S. on Friday, August 9. The ostensible bionics (exoskeleton technology) and special effects for this film are mesmerizing.

The folk who live on the space station Elysium appear to have eliminated poverty, war, illness (including cancer), and possibly death.

The unfortunate folk who remain on Earth have all of these problems in spades and worse. Recall the… read more

Ask Ray | Thoughts on the consequences of the elimination of aging

April 8, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

orange heads with DNA

Hello Ray,

I would like to begin by stating that I am a huge fan and supporter of yours. I read your book The Singularity Is Near last year, and I was enchanted by all of your ideas on the exponential development of human technology and science. I am 100% singularitarian.

I understand that you are a very busy man, but I would tremendously appreciate it if you… read more

book review | The Transhumanist Wager

May 15, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

The Transhumanist Wager

Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager is an epic story of radical libertarian ideas, their enemies, and the violent global conflict that ensues, painted in strong saturated colors with little room for intermediate shades and character development.

After reading cover to cover, and then reading it more carefully, I have mixed love/hate feelings about this novel.

It’s a page turner. Istvan — a former journalist… read more

The real reasons we don’t have AGI yet

A response to David Deutsch’s recent article on AGI
October 8, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

(Credit: iStockphoto)

As we noted in a recent post, physicist David Deutsch said the field of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI has made “no progress whatever during the entire six decades of its existence.” We asked Dr. Ben Goertzel, who introduced the term AGI and founded the AGI conference series, to respond. — Ed.

Like so many others, I’ve been extremely impressed and fascinated by physicist David Deutsch’s work on quantum computation… read more

Ask Ray | Death can be erased if humanity makes the right moves

November 26, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

medical doctor with virtual DNA scan of patient

Dear Dr. Kurzweil,

Is it stressful to view life as a sort of race against the clock, in which it’s presumably — at least partly — in your power whether you die like all past humans have, or find a way to survive indefinitely?

It seems like a lot of pressure to live with, no? I’m speaking purely from a personal, psychological/emotional point of view here.… read more

Attention, Kmart shoppers: there’s a robot checker open in aisle six

November 5, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Robot clerk 'attacks' human

Wow, it’s happening already. Cornell robotics researchers are now teaching robots complex tasks such as performing as grocery-store checkout clerks.

Can robot butlers (as in Robot & Frank) be far behind?

This is a big step beyond what Cornell researchers in Prof. Ashutosh Saxena’s lab were teaching their smart robots the last time we (virtually) visited the lab in May.

We saw then… read more

Uploaded e-crews for interstellar missions

December 12, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The bright star Alpha Centauri and its surroundings

The awesome 100 Year Starship (100YSS) initiative by DARPA and NASA proposes to send people to the stars by the year 2100 — a huge challenge that will require bold, visionary, out-of-the-box thinking.

There are major challenges. “Using current propulsion technology, travel to a nearby star (such as our closest star system, Alpha Centauri, at 4.37 light years from the Sun, which also has a a planet with… read more

Let the AIs, not us, formulate a billion-year plan!

Long-term, humanity will be 'left in the dust by the machines,' who will be deciding our next billion years
October 12, 2012 by Robert L. Blum

A celestial object called the Ant Nebula may shed new light on the future demise of our Sun (credit: NASA JPL)

In What our civilization needs is a billion-year plan, posted on KurzweilAI September 23, 2012, Lt Col Peter Garretson calls for a long-term plan to assure humanity’s survival, “moving everyone and everything we value off Earth.”

He cites the coming big extinction events for planet Earth, including asteroid collisions, the Sun engulfing the Earth during its transformation to a red giant, and ultimately, the heat death of the Universe. Human… read more

Welcome to 2035…the Age of Surprise

September 10, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

blue horizons

The U.S. Air Force just released today a jaw-droppingly impressive, fast-paced video on accelerating change, “Welcome to 2035…the Age of Surprise” (see video below).

Produced by the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology at The Air University, the video was based on Blue Horizons, a multi-year future study being conducted for the Air Force Chief of Staff, a “meta-strategy for the age of… read more

Chemical brain preservation: how to live ‘forever’ — a personal view

September 16, 2012 by John Smart

brainpreservation_synapse

Here’s my 45 minute talk on Chemical Brain Preservation at World Future Society 2012. Given the progress we’ve seen in the relevant science and technologies it’s a topic I’m presently very optimistic about. I had a great audience with lots of questions at the end, but in the interest of brevity I’m just uploading the talk. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, thanks!

A number… read more

Google’s self-driving car gathers nearly 1 GB/sec

May 4, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

googlecarsees

“Google’s self-driving car gathers 750 megabytes of sensor data per SECOND! That is just mind-boggling to me. Here is a picture of what the car ‘sees’ while it is driving and about to make a left turn. It is capturing every single thing that it sees moving — cars, trucks, birds, rolling balls, dropped cigarette butts, and fusing all that together to make its decisions while driving. If it sees… read more

Ask Ray | The future of Moore’s law

May 28, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

slide - Moore's law is only one example

Dear readers,

A recent article in EE Times discusses the future of Moore’s law: “Broadcom: Time to prepare for the end of Moore’s Law.” This comes up innumerable times. People assume that Moore’s law is synonymous with my law of accelerating returns, which it is not.

Moore’s law was the fifth, not the first, paradigm to bring exponential growth to the price-performance of computing. The law ofread 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

book review | The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates

August 14, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The God Problem

Howard Bloom‘s forthcoming book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates, is arguably his best book so far, a page-turner with deep thoughts and entertaining bits on every page.

Is The God Problem a book on the history of science? No, more like a philosophical novel. Wait, perhaps an autobiography? Pop culture?

All of the above, and none. The God Problem defies categorization; it’s a cascade… read more

1987 time-capsule predictions for 2012

August 1, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

maglev-vacuum-train-11

Writers of the Future has released the 1987 time capsule predictions from science fiction writers for the year 2012.

They ranged from wildly utopian to prescient.

The utopian predictions included people living in space and on the Moon, an expedition to Mars, much industry located off-planet, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease effectively cured, a network of levitated superconducting trains under construction in Western Europe and in Japan,… read more

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