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How to preserve competing memories by zapping your brain

July 12, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Attention, mind-control victims: mad scientists want to zap your brain. But you knew that.

It’s a problem every student has when cramming for an exam: some of the information is usually forgotten. The common belief is that your brain simply doesn’t have the capacity necessary to process both memories in quick succession. But is that true?

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) decided… read more

MIT panel discussion on Steven Spielberg’s AI film with Raymond Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Sherry Turkle and Cynthia Breazeal

May 7, 2001

Steven Spielberg’s film “A.I.” was previewed at MIT on April 20, 2001 at an event that seemed geared more toward humans than futuristic robots.… read more

comic | And then nothing turned itself inside-out

October 31, 2010

1777

Source: Questionable Content — October 20, 2010

Reverse-engineering Hollywood

How to bypass Netflix and create your own custom search genres
January 6, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

sliders

If you’re a combo Netflix/Internet-text-algorithm-obsessed geek like me, you will totally love this amazing article in The Atlantic.

Turns out Netflix has created a database of 76,897 micro-genres that offer a peek into the American psyche, The Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal has discovered, using a program called UBot Studio to scrape every single one of them and then deconstruct the system.

Hidden syntax revealed

“As the… read more

BOOK REVIEW | Almost Human: Making Robots Think

March 19, 2007

almost_human

Source: Los Angeles Times — Mar 18, 2007

“Making Robots Think” is an entertaining peek behind the scenes at engineers of the groundbreaking Robotics Institute, much of whose research is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Defense Department.

The book, however, is more about frustration than achievement. Despite the round-the-clock efforts of the best and the brightest, today’s real-life robots are a dim, lumbering lot, a far cry from the wise, nimble models… read more

Medieval tech support

January 21, 2010

medieval-tech-support

Source: "Øystein og jeg" on Norwegian Broadcasting — 2001

From the show “Øystein og jeg” on Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) in 2001. With Øystein Backe (helper) and Rune Gokstad (desperate monk). Written by Knut Nærum.

Health Tips | Boosting your brain, living longer

December 3, 2010 by David Despain

Quit smoking; feel better (Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University)

LIVING LONGER

Check your BMI (Body Mass Index). A healthy BMI between 20 and 24.9 is generally best for avoiding disease and living longer (calculate your BMI) [NEJM]. 

Eat dark green and orange vegetables daily. They contain alpha-carotene (a cousin to vitamin A), an antioxidant compound that protects your cells and your health by lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer… 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

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

Ask Ray | The Blind Driver Challenge

December 19, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

blind driver challenge

Hi Ray,

I will be attending a gathering of National Federation of the Blind leaders in Daytona, Florida, on the evening before the Blind Driver Challenge event early on Saturday, Jan. 29 before the start of the Rolex 24 Race. [more information]

This high-profile event will be the first public demonstration of a blind person driving a vehicle without any form of guidance provided… read more

New supercomputer on a chip ‘sees’ well enough to drive a car someday

September 16, 2010 by Amara D. Angelica

Convolutional neural networks or ConvNets are a multi-stage neural network that can model the way brain visual processing area V1, V2, V4, IT create invariance to size and position to identify objects. Each stage is composed of three layers: a filter bank layer, a non-linearity layer, and a feature pooling layer. A typical ConvNet is composed of one, two or three such 3-layer stages, followed by a classification module. (Yale University)

Eugenio Culurciello of Yale’s School of Engineering & Applied Science has developed a supercomputer based on the ventral pathway of the mammalian visual system. Dubbed NeuFlow, the system mimicks the visual system’s neural network to quickly interpret the world around it.

The system uses complex vision algorithms developed by Yann LeCun at New York University to run large neural networks for synthetic vision applications. One idea — the… read more

Seattle International Film Festival | Documentary Plug and Pray explores the promise, problems and ethics of robotics

December 8, 2010

SIFF poster

Source: Seattle International Film Festival — June 5, 2010

Ray Kurzweil was interviewed in the recent documentary, Plug and Pray, exploring the promise and peril of advanced AI and the coming age of robotics.

Summary from the Seattle International Film Festival | The creation of artificial intelligence was a fantastical idea that captured the minds of scientists (and science fiction writers) from the very start of the computer age. But the breathtaking pace of technology has moved… read more

Time: Techland | The top 5 underrated sci-fi movie masterpieces

February 22, 2011

techland logo

Time: Techland | Steven James Snyder, Techland’s resident movie geek, outlines the top 5 most underrated sci-fi movies of all time.

Related:
Time: Techland

Decoupling art and affluence

February 20, 2002 by Harold Cohen

Harold Cohen’s AARON has grown immensely as an artist in its own right. In this talk presented at the Thirteenth Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-2001), Harold Cohen explores AARON’s remarkable journey as a cyberartist.… read more

Activism in the age of viral reality

February 1, 2011 by John Postill

(Al Jazeera)

On the subject of Egypt’s and other countries’ protests, I’m currently doing anthropological research into social media and activism in Barcelona. I’m wondering whether we’re entering an era in which political reality is framed by re-sent SMS messages, retweets, YouTube videos, viral campaigns, and so on — an age of “viral reality.”

Even those who rightly reject the hyperbole surrounding these events would appear to be shaped in their… read more

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