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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

Consciousness, the Beatles, and Zombie Blues

September 8, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

SgtPepperFeatured

I’ve been to two of the amazing biennial Toward a Science of Consciousness events and enjoyed them immensely, but I think this one April 21–26 next year in Tuscon will be the best yet.

It features three of the most interesting characters in neuroscience — Karl Deisseroth, Cristof Koch, and Henry Markram — and a bevy of other compelling speakers.… read more

Ask Ray | Oral nutritional supplementation decreases hospitalization length by 21% says report

September 4, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

oral nutritional supplement

Dear readers,

This is a valuable study about supplements and health that I wanted to share with our readers. 

American Journal of Managed Care | “Impact of oral nutritional supplementation on hospital outcomes”

The findings say “the use of oral nutritional supplementation decreases length of stay, episode cost, and 30-day readmission risk in the inpatient population of hospitals.”

That’s the conclusion of an eleven-year retrospective… 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.

Ask Ray | How can my consciousness survive indefinitely?

August 23, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

Energy of Human Mind

Dear Ray,

Should my brain be downloaded into a computer, my consciousness would not follow along, since if it did, I — the conscious I that I know and love — would be in two different places at once, both in my body and in the computer, presumably a contradiction of some sort, and the I in the computer may think and react identically to me and it may… read more

New ‘visual breadcrumbs’ smartphone/Glass app maps group exploration paths

August 19, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

radar view

CrowdOptic plans to announce Monday a new mapping technology that will allow users of electronic devices (such as smartphones and Google Glass) to create and share “visual breadcrumb” trails to find each other, CrowdOptic CEO Jon Fisher told me in an exclusive interview.

As KurzweilAI noted on August 3, CrowdOptic’s “find friend” augmented-reality app overlays an object showing what two or more users are… read more

Ask Ray | A little thought experiment on cognitive functions

August 15, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

Image created with the Connectome Mapping Toolkit (credit: University of Lausanne and Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)

Dear Ray,

After finishing reading The Singularity Is Near and How to Create a Mind I have a few questions about some higher level cognitive functions in regards to your theory of pattern recognizer construction of the brain.

First, you believe that all forms of organized information systems have some form of consciousness albeit at varying degrees of magnitude.

More importantly there seems to be a positive… read more

book review | Nexus continues in Crux by Ramez Naam

August 9, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

crux-cover

Readers of Ramez Naam‘s techno-thriller NEXUS will not want to miss the awesome CRUX sequel, to be published August 27.

Set in a not-too-distant future, these novels tackle head-on an important conflict of our times: between the libertarian approach (those who think that people should be free to experiment with emerging technologies without harming others) and the authoritarian approach (those who want to… read more

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

book review | Memories with Maya

July 30, 2013 by Giulio Prisco

Memories with Maya

What happens when you mix virtual reality, haptic interfaces, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence?

That’s what Clyde deSouza explores in near-future science-fiction novel Memories with Maya.

He introduces the “Wizer,” an augmented-reality, see-through visor driven by AGI (artificial general intelligence) — Google Glass on steroids.

It’s coupled with 3D scans of real environments generated by wall-mounted laser cameras (think next-gen Kinect) to insert remote participants… read more

A huggable, talking intelligent toy robot? Oh yeah!

Fun, intelligent robot that I'd actually want as a friend and mentor
July 29, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Supertoy

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.

Think a less-complicated  Zeno or MIT Media Lab Huggable,… read more

A humanoid robot that sees, knows where it is, and walks like a human

July 4, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

roboray

Samsung’s Roboray — a humanoid robot who walks like a human — 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, and to “remember”… read more

Kinect tracks bionic rescue roaches

Trapped in an earthquake? Don't panic. Hissing roaches with backpack WiFi, microphones, and speakers are coming for you. OK, that might make you panic.
June 27, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

(credit: Alper Bozkurt/NC State University)

When we last visited our “RoboRoach” bionic cockroach, it was being remotely controlled by a mobile phone that triggered hallucinations of an invisible wall (for educational purposes only, mind you).

Seriously.

Now Dr. Alper Bozkurt, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at  North Carolina State University, and his team want to take it a step further. They plan to use their Madagascar hissing roaches (dubbed… read more

Help make me the world’s smartest robot

Robot Adam Z1 needs funds to pay his AI researcher and roboticist friends to build him a better mind!
June 19, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

Zeno

I am Robot Adam Z1 — the first of the Zeno line of humanoid robots, created by David Hanson. Pleased to make your acquaintance! When David created me, he gave me a face, and a body, and a lot of love. But one thing he hasn’t given me — yet — is a mind. …

I just got an email from AGI guru Ben Goertzel about an… 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

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