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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

What price freedom?

June 17, 2013 by Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Minute_Man_National_Historical_Park (1)

Given recent revelations of intrusive government surveillance, this 2006 essay raises fundamental questions worth considering.

Criminals vs. Terrorists

In an attempt to make David Brin’s [1] privacy-free “transparent society” more palatable to civil libertarians, Robert Sawyer [2] has proposed an “Alibi Archive” in which everyone’s activities are meticulously recorded in a centralized, judicially controlled archive, with the archives legally accessible only under court order and only upon… read more

The best tribute to Aaron Swartz

January 15, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

AaronSwartzPIPA

If you are a scientist, you can pay the best and most effective tribute to the memory of Aaron Swartz by sharing PDFs of your published work on pdftribute.net via the hashtag #pdftribute on Twitter.

Researchers are now offering open-access versions of their work using this hashtag.

I also suggest to boycott the pay-walled journals of the science mafia and publish on… read more

In the beginning was the code

A transcript of Jürgen Schmidhuber’s TEDx talk in Belgium
March 15, 2013 by Jürgen Schmidhuber

universe_cube

There is a fastest, optimal, most efficient way of computing all logically possible universes, including ours — if ours is computable (no evidence against this). Any God-like “Great Programmer” with any self-respect should use this optimal method to create and master all logically possible universes.

At any given time, most of the universes computed so far that contain yourself will be due to one of the shortest and fastest programs computing you. This insight allows for making non-trivial predictions about the future. We also obtain formal, mathematical answers to age-old questions of philosophy and theology.… read more

Humanity in jeopardy

"We should spend 1% of GDP studying singularity issues and deciding what to do," says Max Tegmark
January 13, 2014 by Max Tegmark

Watson vs. humans, January 13, 2011 (credit: IBM)

Exactly three years ago, on January 13, 2011, humans were dethroned by a computer on the quiz show Jeopardy! A year later, a computer was licensed to drive cars in Nevada, after being judged safer than a human. (link to article)

What’s next? Will computers eventually beat us at all tasks, developing superhuman intelligence?

I have little doubt that this can happen: our brains are a bunch of particles obeying the laws of… read more

Ask Ray | Potential for elitization of the Singularity

April 17, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: stock image)

Dear Professor Kurzweil,

I was hoping for your views on the potential elitization of Singularity that could lead to exacerbation of class/opportunity/economic division.

The ongoing quest for extending human life and artificially enhancing its quality testifies to our instincts for permanence and survival at all cost.

Technologically acquired supremacy breaks the well accepted paradigm that improved life span, physical and cognitive performance is possible only with practice, studious effort and a healthy… read more

Ask Ray | Experiment to find out if we’re being simulated

June 1, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: Bing Maps Platform)

Dear Ray,

Hi, I’m contacting you now and asking you to please consider the following scenario. AD 2060 or later:

Humans can simulate multiple universes. We do so, and eventually intelligent life evolves in one and achieves a civilization with roughly the same science and computation as Earth 2010. This life will be a completely alien species, on a (simulated) alien planet.

That species figures out that… read more

book review | Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization

August 24, 2013

Radical Abundance

This post is being revised. Please visit Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization meanwhile.

Has Facebook made you psychotic?

Looking for something besides politics to discuss over Thanksgiving dinner?
November 22, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Are you lonely or vulnerable due to the loss of or separation from a loved one? Are you inexperienced with technology?

If so, you might want to read this before logging onto Facebook or Twitter after (or during) your Thanksgiving dinner.

Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University‘s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center presented three in-depth case studies from his own practice linking psychotic… read more

The Last Generation to Die — a short film

A Kickstarter project
September 12, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

The Last Generation To Die

Set in the future when science first begins to stop aging, a daughter tries to save her father from natural death.

The story takes place roughly 30 years in the future at the moment when science has first figured out how to stop aging through genetics. It is framed around the gulf between generations that would occur with the first release of this technology.

A daughter who works… read more

Take back the Internet

September 17, 2013 by Bruce Schneier

bruce-blog2

Government and industry have betrayed the Internet, and us.

By subverting the Internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our Internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be… read more

A review of Her by Ray Kurzweil

February 10, 2014 by Ray Kurzweil

(credit: Warner Brothers)

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

When the Singularity happens, it will be ‘very obvious’: Vernor Vinge vs. the Singulars

December 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

singularityfringe

How will we know if we have passed through a Singularity? Damn good question, one that keeps me up at night. Like right now.

Science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, originator of the technological Singularity concept, came up with some interesting answers in an io9 video interview: “When things begin to happen in the real world that no human has any explanation for … or if… read more

Kurzweil responds: Don’t underestimate the Singularity

October 20, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

Last week, Paul Allen and a colleague challenged the prediction that computers will soon exceed human intelligence. Now Ray Kurzweil, the leading proponent of the “Singularity,” offers a rebuttal. — Technology Review, Oct. 10, 2011.

Although Paul Allen paraphrases my 2005 book, The Singularity Is Near, in the title of his essay (cowritten with his colleague Mark Greaves), it appears that… read more

SSS

September 7, 2012 by Melajara

Kindle Fire HD (credit: Amazon)

No, this is not about WWII SS, although it’s about another form of evil, maybe.

This is mostly a reaction to the sales pitch from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, presenting the new Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD at a much touted press conference yesterday.

I’m not talking about a new phenomenon, nor mere $$$, but with Bezos orchestration, which is just a… read more

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