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Ask Ray | Asimov’s ‘The Last Question’

November 27, 2012 by Ray Kurzweil

Asimov The Last Question

Dear Ray,

About Asimov’s “The Last Question” — I was captivated by Asimov’s story as a child, and again some 50 years later in reading Ray’s version of the answer in The Singularity Is Near.

Looking forward to getting his new book!

Thank you,
Ron Eckhardt

Dear Ronald,

Thanks. Yes, the evolution of intelligence runs counter to the second law.… read more

How to read a mouse’s mind

Could be a useful tool for studying new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's
February 21, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

A tiny microscope<br />
equipped with a microendoscope images cells expressing GCaMP3 (credit: Yaniv Ziv et al./Nature Neuroscience)

Want to read a mouse’s mind — observing hundreds of neurons firing in the brain of a live mouse in real time — to see how it creates memories as it explores an environment?

You’ll just need some fluorescent protein and a tiny digital microscope implanted in the rodent’s head, Stanford University scientists say.

Here’s how:

1. First, you catch your mouse.

2. Light… read more

Ask Ray | Computer-based intelligence will become equivalent to that of human intelligence

June 1, 2013 by Ray Kurzweil

people with cloud gears

Dear Ray,

If the development of computer-based intelligence will become equivalent to that of human intelligence within the next twenty or thirty years, this computer-based intelligence will be able to build even better computers.

Such computer intelligence will, no doubt, find a way to enhance the thought process of the human mind.

No doubt it will supersede the capacity of the human mind. This leads me to… read more

Wild ride ahead: glimpse at humanity’s long range future

July 23, 2014 by Richard (Dick) Pelletier

A Type III civilization can harness all the energy of a galaxy (credit: ESA)

Imagine if you could take an exotic vacation billions of light years from Earth, peek in on the dinosaurs’ first-hand, or jump into a parallel universe where another you is living a more exciting life than yours — and you could swap places if you like.

For years, scientists have bandied about radical ideas that future humans will one day harness wormholes to zip across the universe at faster-than-light… read more

Wait six years to buy your next car

July 23, 2014 by Randal O'Toole

A demonstrator car with two Lidar laser sensors hanging on the front bumper, five radar sensors hiding behind the fenders, and two optical sensors with 360-degree fields of view on the roof. Click image for a larger view. (Credit: Harbrick)

You’ll be able to buy a car that can drive itself under most conditions, with an option for override by a human driver, in 2020, according to the median estimate in a survey of 217 attendees of the 2014 Automated Vehicles Symposium. By 2030, the group estimated, you’ll be able to buy a car that is so fully automated it won’t even have the option for a human driver.… read more

Warning: the writer of this post may be nuts!

October 17, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." --- Salvador Dali (credit: Wikipedia)

Well, this might explain some of my wackier blog posts.

People in creative professions are treated more often for mental illness than the general population, especially writers, according to researchers at Karolinska Institute, whose large-scale Swedish registry study is the most comprehensive ever in its field.

Either that, or Swedes are crazier. Hey, I’m kidding!

Last year, researchers showed that artists and scientists were more… 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

Extend your life span without dieting!

October 18, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: McDonald's)

Woo hoo! 

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that a starvation hormone markedly extends life span in mice without the need for calorie restriction.

Yes! I am sooo ready. I’ve waited years to have  fries!

Restricting food intake has been shown to extend lifespan in several different kinds of animals. But in the UT study, the researchers found transgenic mice that produced… read more

Steal This Singularity: Entry #1

Hijacking the engineer’s Singularity
October 18, 2012 by R.U. Sirius

(Credit: 20th Century Fox)

I’ve been sort of playing around with the concept — “Steal This Singularity” — for several months now. Prior to attending Singularity Summit 2012, I was thinking about it in political terms.

Letting “Singularity” represent, essentially, a buzz word for a future radically transformed by technology, my “Steal This Singularity” notion was simply that the transhuman future should not be dominated by big capital and/or authoritarian government; and that —… read more

Singularitarians and musicians stage Madrid gathering

September 21, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

book_voz_de_la_ciencia

A spectre is haunting the world — the Singularity. All the powers of the old world have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre — the Pope and the ayatollahs, the banks and the political parties, and “bioethicists” of both the right and the left. …

So says KurzweilAI transhumanist editor Giulio Prisco, who will give a talk Saturday (Sept. 22) at the La Voz De Laread more

Ask Ray | Jewish scholar says robots will achieve human level intelligence

July 16, 2014

(credit: iStock)

Dear readers,

I recently saw this article by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and wanted to share it with you.

I have an ongoing interest in the Turing test — a competition that gauges whether an artificial intelligence is capable of human level conversation.

There was a recent test of a chatbot named Eugene Goostman, and I’ve written my reaction to its test results.

This article is… read more

We Are the World: inviting everyone onboard the 100YSS is practical and will help to ensure its success

February 13, 2013 by Martine Rothblatt

wearetheworld_slide13a

Dr. Martine Rothblatt suggests inviting the entire world’s population on-board the 100YSS by uploading, at no cost, their mindfiles — a 1 TB (or less) digital file of an individual’s mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values — into a central database that will be carried onboard the starship. Presented at the 100 Year Starship (100YSS) 2012 Public Symposium Sept. 13–16, 2012 in Houston.

In… read more

Your future smartphone and tablet will have 48 cores: Intel

But will more power-efficient intelligent neurosynaptic chips replace them?
November 2, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

Single-chip cloud computer (credit: Intel)

Intel researchers are working on a 48-core processor for smartphones and tablets — making them many times more powerful than today’s desktop computers within the next five to ten years, reports Computerworld.

Intel is distributing 100 of the experimental 48-core chips so researchers can work on the advanced parallel-computing programming models and software need to support these cores.

Intel says it’s using a prototype of a ”single-chip cloud computer” to… 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

Bypass the Internet!

January 30, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

meshnetwork

I’m sick of hearing about how we need to cave in to repressive governments and throttle back Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other information services and accept Web censorship and limits on free expression. Get the hell off my cloud.

“If a full-surveillance world prevents us from speaking, then we need to make another platform where freedom of speech and freedom of thought can be maintained,”… read more

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