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Virtual self

January 25, 2011

A still image of a Project LifeLike avatar conversing with a person. Project LifeLike is a collaboration between the Intelligent Systems Laboratory (ISL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) that aims to create visualizations of people, or avatars, that are as realistic as possible. While their current results are far from perfect replications of a specific person, their work has advanced the field forward and opens up a host of possible applications in the not-too-distant future.  (University of Chicago/University of Central Florida)

Your avatar may be just a virtual identity, but it can also affect how you are in the real world.

“In this world of new media, people spend a lot of time interacting with digital versions of one another.” — Jeremy Bailenson

If you spend a lot of time online, you may even have an electronic alter ego–an avatar. An avatar is a movable image that people design… read more

Video conferencing with cardboard cutouts and random images on the walls

December 3, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

mingleroom

Hey, here’s an idea: How about creating an avatar by copying a face from a photo and pasting it onto a randomly generated avatar? Then a video conferencing service could put your brand new (or old) face, along with those of your friends, into one of several rooms, where you could all chat by voice. You could even display live video from your webcam or computer on the walls.… read more

V2V: Department of Transportation’s new communication system helps cars avoid crashes by talking to each other

June 11, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

vehicle2vehicle

The University of Michigan is conducting a pilot program to test a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications device that could help drivers avoid accidents, CNET reports.

This technology could prevent up to 81 percent of all vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The school’s Transportation and Research Institute is seeking 3,000 drivers in the Ann Arbor, Mich., area, and will equip their vehicles with wireless… read more

USC engineers build synthetic synapse with carbon nanotubes

May 2, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Field effect transistor using carbon nanotubes to create synthetic synapse (credit: USC Viterbi School of Engineering)

Engineering researchers at the University of Southern California have built a carbon nanotube circuit that reproduces the function of a neural synapse.

“This is a necessary first step in the process,” said Professor Alice Parker, who began the complex project of looking at the possibility of developing a synthetic brain in 2006.

“We wanted to answer the question: Can you build a circuit that… 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

UPDATE | The buzzer factor: did Watson have an unfair advantage?

February 18, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Watson mechanical buzzer

Does Watson have an unfair advantage over humans because it can signal its response instantly? It seemed that way in the three “Jeopardy!” TV shows this week, especially Wednesday night, as Watson proceeded to totally own the humans.

ADDED FEBRUARY 24, 2011:

From Final Jeopardy: Man vs Machine and the Quest to Know Everything by Stephen Baker:

“After the match, Jennings and Rutter stressed that… read more

UPDATE | Kurzweil to ‘grind into smithereens’ Colbert’s understanding of world tonight, says Comedy Central

April 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

colbert

Tuesday night April 12, “Ray Kurzweil — inventor and subject of the documentary Transcendent Man — stops by to take everything that Stephen thinks he understands about the world and grind it into unrecognizable smithereens before his forlorn and tearful eyes,” Comedy Central’s Indecision reports.

11:00 p.m. EDT update: In related news, at #30, Kurzweil has edged out Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert… read more

Txting makes u stupid

February 20, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Yeah, you knew that already. How else to explain the zombies who text while driving or randomly jaywalking in traffic, AGKWE*?

But now there’s a reason: they have a tiny vocabulary.

Textisms

Or so says says University of Calgary linguistics researcher Joan Lee, who interviewed texters in research for her master’s thesis. Texting is associated with rigid linguistic constraints that caused students to reject many… read more

Transhumanist Science, Futurist Art, Telepresence and Cosmic Visions of the Future at TransVision 2010

November 2, 2010 by Giulio Prisco

tv10max1

The transhumanist conference and community convention TransVision 2010, which took place in Milan October 22 to October 24, 2010, was very intense, informative, and scientific, as well as an entertaining tour de force in contemporary transhumanist thinking, activism, science, technology,  and innovation, and grand visionary dreams.

Over 40 talks over the three days explored the scientific, technological, cultural, artistic and social trends that could change our world… read more

Transhumanist religion 2.0

July 13, 2012 by Giulio Prisco

The_material_around_SN_1987A_900

Cosmism, an emerging “religion 2.0” that is part of a radical futurist conception of the future development of humanity, can give us the positive optimism and “strenuous mood” to overcome our current problems and embark on our cosmic journey.

So say contemporary cosmists, who believe that the “manifest destiny” of our species is colonizing the universe and developing spacetime engineering and scientific “future magic” much beyond our current understanding… read more

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality

April 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: Center for Consciousness Studies)

Toward a Science of Consciousness: Brain, Mind, Reality will be held May 3–7, 2011 at Stockholm University, Stockholm Sweden, keynoted by Sir Roger Penrose, speaking on “Consciousness and Physical Law.”

I attended the 2010 conference in Tucson; it was one of the most interesting and mind-expanding events I’ve ever experienced. This one should be even better.

It will feature sessions like Brain Electromagnetic Fields andread more

Yorkshire Evening Post | Title track from Foals’ new album, Total Life Forever, inspired by futurist Ray Kurzweil

April 29, 2010

foals album

Source: Yorkshire Evening Post — April 29, 2010 | Duncan Seaman

“I don’t think it was a conscious decision to change any of our sounds, more that we have progressed as a band,” explains bass player Walter Gervers of Foals’ new album Total Life Forever. “Our tastes have changed. What we were trying to create was a record with more space and more freedom than the first time.”

The album’s title track was inspired by Raymond Kurzweil, the… read more

Tiny bugs are controlling your mind!

August 30, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

probiotic

Before you take another probiotic cap, you may want to read this. Yet another study at McMaster University in Canada suggests that gut bacteria might be able to alter your brain chemistry and change your mood and behavior, reports Science NOW.

We reported on earlier research on gut bacteria at McMaster University and at Ohio State University. We also mentionedread more

Tinkerers

November 8, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

tinkerers

What if America lost its knack for making things?

Manufacturing is the root that all other projects sprout from … even the arts, says famed author David Brin.

His TINKERERS graphic novel, set in the year 2024, combines art with history and tech, exploring where we went wrong, and how to win back the knack.

(Hardcopies will be on sale in January.)… read more

Timothy Leary — transhumanism with a SMI2LE

June 9, 2013 by R.U. Sirius

TimothyLeary

Most people know Timothy Leary as the “LSD guru” who encouraged people to “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out” in the 1960s. But a surprising number of transhumanist types don’t know that he was one of them.

In fact, Leary may have been the first to signal a memeplex for the transhuman future — SMI2LE (Space Migration Intelligence Increase and Life Extension) — back in the mid-1970s.

My… read more

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