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Reflections on Avatar by Ray Kurzweil

March 7, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

3D information visualization displays and interactive multi-touch screens as featured in this scene from Avatar already exist and are in use today.

I recently watched James Cameron’s Avatar in 3D. It was an enjoyable experience in some ways, but overall I left dismayed on a number of levels.

It was enjoyable to watch the lush three-dimensional animation and motion capture controlled graphics. I’m not sure that 3D will take over – as many now expect – until we get rid of the glasses (and there are emerging technologies to do that… read more

Ray Kurzweil responds to “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain”

August 20, 2010 by Ray Kurzweil

While most of PZ Myers’ comments (in his blog post entitled “Ray Kurzweil does not understand the brain” posted on Pharyngula on August 17, 2010) do not deserve a response, I do want to set the record straight, as he completely mischaracterizes my thesis.

For starters, I said that we would be able to reverse-engineer the brain sufficiently to understand its basic principles of operation within tworead more

Providing Low-cost Clean Water for a Billion People

September 6, 2010 by William Bing

A possible implementation of our Naishio solution.  The pressure from the water volume is sufficient to propel fresh water across the membrane (A), and photovoltaics (D) generate all the energy needed to pump water from the repository (C) to the water tank and circulator (E).  Sensors (B) communicate between the solar pump and membrane to regulate the water level and ensure it doesn’t become contaminated. (Image credit: Sarah Jane Pell)

This summer I attended Singularity University’s graduate studies program. Alongside 79 extraordinary entrepreneurs and scientists from around the globe, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the world about a variety of rapidly advancing areas of technology. The context of these discussions was how we might use these technologies to implement solutions capable of affecting the lives of more than a… read more

Preserving the self for later emulation: what brain features do we need?

October 30, 2012 by John Smart

(Credit: iStockphoto)

Let me propose to you four interesting statements about the future:

1. As I argue in this video, chemical brain preservation is a technology that may soon be validated to inexpensively preserve the key features of our memories and identity at our biological death.

2. If either chemical or cryogenic brain preservation can be validated to reliably store retrievable and useful individual mental information, these medical… read more

PopTech | Graphical expression of human emotion — video shows surprising consistencies: A new kind of Turing test?

February 15, 2011

poptech logo

PopTech | Designer Orlagh O’Brien asks, “What if we try to visually represent the emotions that are running through our body?” She gave a simple emotion-specific quiz to a group of 250 people. Asking respondents to describe five emotions — anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love — in drawings, colors, and words, O’Brien ended up with a set of media she used to create Emotionally}Vague, an online graphic interpretation

read more

Related:
PopTech | Orlagh O'Brien
PopTech | Orlagh O’Brien helps us get in touch with our emotions
Emotionally}Vague

‘Pig’ movie: question reality

September 28, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

"I can't remember what I remembered."

Pig is a trippy indy film that starts weird and gets weirder, with hints of MementoTotal Recall, Groundhog Day, The Truman Show, Vanilla Sky, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Starring Rudolf Martin (Vlad Dracula in The Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula and Ari Haswari in NCIS), the film engaged my mind right up to the reveal at the end,  and pushed my paranoia up… read more

Paul Dempsey song ‘Ramona Was a Waitress’ from Everything is True inspired by Kurzweil’s AI femme ‘Ramona’

January 15, 2011

Paul Dempsey Everything is True

Singer/Songwriter Paul Dempsey describes the inspiration for his track “Ramona Was a Waitress,” off his album Everything is True:

“It’s an unusual song, ‘Ramona Was a Waitress.’ It’s about a guy arguing with an artificial-intelligent robot waitress about mortality,” says Dempsey. ”Sort of an unusual subject for a pop song but that’s just what I was thinking about as I scrawled the lyrics. Artificial intelligence and conscious robots arguing about… read more

Passing of the typewriter

April 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

(Credit: iStockhphoto)

Sadly, one of the world’s last remaining typewriter factories, Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai, India, is closing down its typewriter production line, survived only by Moonachie, N.J.-based Swintec.

We may not know what we’ve lost. Despite its limitations, with a typewriter, you are pressed to think out the entirety of what you are trying to say in your head to avoid endless retyping (or using… read more

Panoramic hi-res augmented reality glasses: most radical CES intro so far?

January 7, 2014 by Amara D. Angelica

Innovega Inc. is demonstrating at CES prototypes of what looks like the most radical augmented-reality eyewear yet.

Intrigued, I called Innovega CEO Steve Willey Monday night. He ran down the specs of their iOptik design: binocular 720 x 1280 pixels, 3D (depth) vision, and a humungous field of view of 90 degrees, as shown in the image above. That’s six times the number of… read more

Our Lady Peace album Spiritual Machines inspired by Kurzweil’s vision of the future

January 14, 2011

Our Lady Peace Spiritual Machines album

Wikipedia | Spiritual Machines is the fourth studio album by Canadian alternative rock band Our Lady Peace, initially released by Columbia Records in December 2000. The album was a conceptual interpretation of Raymond Kurzweil’s 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines and featured spoken dialog from Kurzweil himself.

Album history

While touring in mid-2000, Mike Turner came across the book The Age of Spiritual Machines by… read more

‘Orca ears’ inspire researchers to develop ultrasensitive undersea microphone

June 27, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

A miniature underwater microphone (credit:  L.A. Cicero)

Imagine a miniature microphone that responds to ocean sounds from 1 to 100kHz (a deep inaudible rumble to ultrasonic sounds) with a dynamic range of 160 dB (a whisper in a quiet library to the sound from 1 ton of TNT exploding 60 feet away) and operates at any depth.

An amazing microphone that does all that — modeled after the extraordinarily acute hearing of orcas — has been… read more

Nuclear radiation paranoid’s handy reference [UPDATED 3/22]

March 21, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

RadNet

The Likely Radiation Distribution in Japan (March 19)
Added 3/22:
Iodine from plant detected in Tokyo: .046 µSv/hr. (438 µSv per year — about 4 chest x-rays); Fukushima Pref.: 21.9 µSv/hr. (191,844 µSv per year or 1918 chest x-rays).

Dealing with radiation fears, potassium iodide requests: side effects include nausea, diarrhea, allergy, interference with the body’s normal production of… read more

No methane on Mars? Say it isn’t so!

Cat astronauts? Snake robots on rockets? What the ....
September 20, 2013 by Amara D. Angelica

persian cat

“In findings that are as scientifically significant as they are crushing to the popular imagination, NASA reported Thursday that its Curiosity Mars rover has deflated hopes that life could be thriving on Mars today.”

So say the kill-joys at The New York Times.

Deftly side-stepping the blow, Michael Meyer, NASA’s lead scientist for Mars exploration, explained: “This important result will help direct our efforts to examine the… read more

Nine years to the Singularity

March 21, 2006

blade running

Source: Avram Grumer's Journal — March 20, 2006

Someone at The Economist with a bit of extra time on his hands was looking at the recent proliferation of many-bladed razors, and noticed that the time gap between blade increments seems to be shrinking: 70 years before someone added the second blade, a couple of decades to the third, only two or three years between the four-bladed Schick Quattro and the five-bladed Gillette Fusion. Might there be a Moore’s… 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

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