What if there was a central place for all of humanity to text, tweet, email, blog and click in the essence of their mood in the moment? This gigantic feelings aggregator would provide a massive emotional pulse check on the planet that runs continually. Represented as a color wheel inspired by the mood rings of the 1970s, blue and violet would signify people being in cooler, calmer… read more
Can you tell the difference between a painting by an elephant and Jackson Pollack? (Take this test before reading further.)
A mathematician at Harvard University and a physicist-art historian at Boston College think they can. Pollock was an “intuitive master” of laws that govern the flow of liquids under gravity, they believe.
The researchers examined the black and red painting “Untitled… read more
The new iPad, introduced today, has a 264 pixels/inch “retina” display with 2048 x 1536 pixels (3.1 million), compared to 1920 x 1080 with HDTV; 5 megapixels camera with 1080P HD video (and new version of iMovie) with autofocus and face detection in still images; new A5X quad-core processor that is “four times as fast as the nearest competition”; and next-gen 4G (up to LTE) connection. Unbelievable.… read more
At the Singularity Summit in San Francisco at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 14, Ray Kurzweil will present an overview of “arguably the most important project in the history of the human-machine civilization”: to model and reverse-engineer the brain, with the goal of creating intelligent machines to address the grand challenges of humanity. He prepared the following statement on his talk at the conference.
What does it… read more
April 19, 2013 by Ramez Naam
This is part two of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, here, looks at the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems. Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power of Ideas on a Finite… read more
This is part one of a two-part series on the limits of human economic growth on planet Earth. Part one details some of the environmental and natural resource challenges we’re up against. Part two, on the ultimate size of the resource pool and solutions to our problems, will be published tomorrow and linked here. Both parts are based on Ramez Naam’s new book, The Infinite Resource: The Power… read more
As a biomedical research scientist I am concerned about President Obama’s broad new research initiative ”to map the human brain.”
The BRAIN ((Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative is a very ambitious, and perhaps even noble, effort, and I am most definitely not against imaging or nanotechnology as tools for research.
But, without specific goals, hypotheses or endpoints, the research effort becomes a fishing expedition. That is,… read more
TED | Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue, wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut, is the key to what humanity has become.
Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.… read more
Why can’t a robot be like a servant (to paraphrase My Fair Lady)? You know, one who would anticipate your every need — even before you asked?
The folks at the Personal Robotics Lab of Ashutosh Saxena, Cornell assistant professor of computer science have gone and done just that.
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