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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

This is your brain on magic mushrooms

January 24, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

psilocybin

Stoner alert: psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) messes with your brain.

OK, not exactly a news flash. But that’s what researchers in the U.K. and Denmark found when they scanned the brains of 30 people tripping on psilocybin.

But here’s what’s interesting: the researchers did two different types of functional MRI (fMRI) brain scans with two groups of 15 — one scan that measured blood flow throughout the… read more

Thinking quantitatively about technological progress

July 11, 2011 by Anders Sandberg

Production growing exponentially (credit: Béla Nagy, Santa Fe Institute)

I have been thinking about progress a bit recently, mainly because I would like to develop a mathematical model of how brain scanning technology and computational neuroscience might develop.

Experience curves

In general, I think the most solid evidence of technological progress is Wrightean experience curves. These are well documented in economics and found everywhere: typically the cost (or time) of manufacturing… read more

Thinking about the hardware of thinking: Can disruptive technologies help us achieve uploading?

November 30, 2010 by Suzanne Gildert

thinking_about_the_hardware_of_thinking

As we begin to run larger and more brain-like emulations, will our current methods of simulating neural networks, using general-purpose silicon processors, be enough, even in principle? As we wish to run computations faster and more efficiently, we might we need to consider if the design of the hardware that we all take for granted is optimal.

In a presentation (at Teleplace,… read more

The Ubi ubiquitous computer is here

Talk to your wall and your wall will talk back
February 10, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Ubi (credit: Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation)

In the next few days, I expect to receive my Ubi “ubiquitous computer.” I can’t wait.

According to the promo, I’ll be able to plug it into a power outlet and the WiFi-connected, voice-operated Ubi gadget will magically make the environment around it Internet-enabled.

Think an environment-aware version of Siri — with sensors that allow for remote monitoring of temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light,… read more

The Submarines’ song ‘Modern Inventions’

February 11, 2011

declare a new state

The apropos track “Modern Inventions,” from the Submarine’s debut album Declare a New State!, released in 2006. An acoustic version of this track was also used in the closing credits for the documentary The Pixar Story (below).

Related:
The Submarines website

The state of the future

July 14, 2010 by Jerome C. Glenn

sotf2010

As noted in our 2010 State of the Future (the 14th annual report from the Millennium Project, just published), the world is in a race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and scale of global problems.

If current trends in population growth, resource depletion, climate change, terrorism, organized crime, and disease continue and converge over the next… read more

The Singularity is Far: A Neuroscientist’s View

July 21, 2011 by David J. Linden

SingularityIsFar

David J. Linden is the author of a new book, The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good. He is a Professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Chief Editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

It should be noted that many of the criticisms in this blog postread more

The Singularity arrives in Europe, streaming live

March 4, 2011 by David Orban

National Museum of Science and Technology of Milan (licensed Creative Commons Wikipedia/Pietrodn)

On Saturday, March 5, for the first time, a Singularity-related event will be held in Europe — at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Italy.

Produced by Milan-based research institute iLabs (Wikipedia page here), the one-day, free iLabs Singularity Summit (not affiliated with the Singularity Institute’s Singularity Summit) will feature speeches by Ray Kurzweil (“Approaching the Singularity”), Aubrey de Grey… read more

The significance of Watson

February 13, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

IBM WATSON Deep QA program running on IBM Power7 Servers (credit: IBM TJ Watson Research Labs)

In The Age of Intelligent Machines, which I wrote in the mid-1980s, I predicted that a computer would defeat the world chess champion by 1998. My estimate was based on the predictable exponential growth of computing power (an example of what I now call the “law of accelerating returns”) and my estimate of what level of computing was needed to achieve a chess rating of just under 2800… read more

The search for ET continues — in West Virginia

May 15, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the world's largest fully steerable single-aperture antenna (credit: NRAO)

Now that NASA’s Kepler space telescope has identified 1,235 possible planets around stars in our galaxy, astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, are aiming a radio telescope — the 100 meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world — at the most Earth-like of these worlds to see if they can detect signals from an advanced… read more

The rise of the machines: and now the really bad news

September 26, 2012 by Amara D. Angelica

i-robot-2004-42-g1

Vice just posted an update to their “we’re living in a simulation“ interview with Dr. Rich Terrile of NASA JPL.

“I think our machines will wake up and take over our society,” he said. “They will become us, we will become them. We’ll merge with machines.

Take over? Now wait a minute there, rocket man….

“We have to wake the machines up. Humans look like… read more

The real reasons we don’t have AGI yet

A response to David Deutsch’s recent article on AGI
October 8, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

(Credit: iStockphoto)

As we noted in a recent post, physicist David Deutsch said the field of “artificial general intelligence” or AGI has made “no progress whatever during the entire six decades of its existence.” We asked Dr. Ben Goertzel, who introduced the term AGI and founded the AGI conference series, to respond. — Ed.

Like so many others, I’ve been extremely impressed and fascinated by physicist David Deutsch’s work on quantum computation… read more

The questionable observer detector

January 25, 2011 by Lakshmi Sandhana

University of Notre Dame

Exclusive | Kevin W. Bowyer, Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana is out to create a tool to reliably identify criminals who may be hanging out at the crime scene after the event.

Their Questionable Observer Detector (QuOD) can process any available video clips of groups of people present at the scene of event, spanning different times… read more

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