We asked synthetic biologist/genomic futurist Andrew Hessel to comment on this scenario (his co-authored “The Bio-Crime Prophecy” is the cover story in the current issue of Wired UK).
Q: How realistic is Brown’s… read more
Supertoy Robotics Ltd. has created Supertoy, aka “Teddy” — a cute, talkative robot teddy bear with a New-York-comedian attitude and a surprisingly realistic voice — and just started a Kickstarter campaign for it.
As you can see in the video, he converses fluently and naturally. He should be a huge hit with kids and adults alike.
Samsung’s Roboray — a humanoid robot who actually walks like a human, sort of — just got a brain upgrade: new computer-vision algorithms developed by University of Bristol researchers.
Roboray can now build real-time 3D visual maps, so he can walk around without being spaced out and wandering off.
Roboray has stereo cameras (one in each eye), allowing him to build a mental map of its surroundings,… read more
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
OK, this one pushes me over the “Onion threshold,” to coin a term.
Hey, I’m not making this stuff up — it comes from IEEE Spectrum, a credible source, and it’s not April 1!
Anyway, it turns out Yamagata University researchers are developing a robot to make… read more
A former well-known UK videogame designer and programmer, he has produced a number of amazing games, including the legendary Evil Genius — which he denies selling to Microsoft, thus ruining a perfectly good joke. He also won the World Games Championships a record five times.
But… read more
With deterioration of the nuclear reactor situation in Japan and radiation heading for Tokyo — in one extreme Pentagon scenario, catastrophic meltdowns and megadeaths in Japan, according to a source — many scientists are ramping up the search for alternates to earthquake-vulnerable nuclear power.
“The Japanese Government has dissembled regarding the gravity of the failure of their power plants and the potential for meltdown of their containment… read more
Her, written, directed and produced by Spike Jonze, presents a nuanced love story between a man and his operating system.
Although there are caveats I could (and will) mention about the details of the OS and how the lovers interact, the movie compellingly presents the core idea that a software program (an AI) can — will — be believably human and lovable.
This is a breakthrough concept in cinematic futurism in… read more
Finally: a robot I really need. Like right now.
Researchers at Cornell’s Personal Robotics Lab have trained a robot to survey a room, identify all the objects, figure out where they belong, and put them away. Bingo!
“This is the first work that places objects in non-trivial places,” said Ashutosh Saxena, assistant professor of computer science.
“It learns not to put a shoe in the refrigerator,”… read more
Finally: a brainwave-sensing gadget disguised as a stylish wearable headband that would fit right in with Google Glass … and not make you look like a Fringe experiment run amok.
It’s not clear to me yet how this gadget differs from other EEG… read more
I was recently honored with the American Visionary Art Museum’s Grand Visionary Award at an exciting gala celebration. The event was a lot of fun.
This eclectic museum is located in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) selects its award honorees for their courage as intuitive innovators and in recognition of their life’s creative work to expand the realm of human dignity,… read more
NAMM 2014 show and tell — in sights and sounds
Kurzweil Music founder Ray Kurzweil recently attended one of the world’s premier music events, the National Association of Music Merchants trade show (NAMM) 2014.
We hope you enjoy this audio|visual tour of the NAMM 2014 tradeshow floor, review of the new Artis keyboard from Kurzweil Music, insights on accelerating electronic developments in the music world from executive Ray Kurzweil,… read more
R. U. Sirius launched today his new Acceler8or website, “covering and uncovering accelerating culture from all imaginable vantage points and providing links — complete with snappy, playful headlines — to particularly cool, smart, funny or important stuff.
“Use us as your thoroughfare to all the best transhumanist bits and bytes, with a side order of strangeness and charm,” the website suggests.
R. U. was editor… read more