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Report from the Alcor-40 conference

October 24, 2012 by Ben Goertzel

Ben_at_Alcor

This past weekend I attended the Alcor 40 conference, hosted by the cryonics organization Alcor to celebrate its 40th year of operation, and I was extremely impressed.

(Full disclosure: I am an Alcor member, signed up in 2005 so that in the unfortunate event my body comes to meet the criteria of legal death, they will preserve it in liquid nitrogen until the advance of… read more

Reflections on the movie S1m0ne

August 25, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

Andrew Niccol’s Simone tells the tale of a desperate director, Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino), who saves his career by creating (and transforming himself into) his virtual female alter ego, “Simone,” who has “the voice of the young Jane Fonda, the body of Sophia Loren, the face of Audrey Hepburn combined with an angel, and the grace of Grace Kelly,” as his ex-wife Elaine Christian (Catherine Keener) describes her.… read more

Related:
S1m0ne official movie trailer
S1m0ne webpage at New Line Cinema

Reflections on Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science

May 13, 2002 by Ray Kurzweil

A New Kind of Science

In his remarkable new book, Stephen Wolfram asserts that cellular automata operations underlie much of the real world. He even asserts that the entire Universe itself is a big cellular-automaton computer. But Ray Kurzweil challenges the ability of these ideas to fully explain the complexities of life, intelligence, and physical phenomena.… read more

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

Private spaceflight will survive Virgin tragedy because we choose to dream big

November 4, 2014 by Fredrick Jenet

Spaceship Two (credit: Virgin Galactic)

This week, I can predict with a high degree of accuracy that more than 50,000 car accidents will occur in the U.S., over 500 of which will involve fatalities. Last week was no different. Is social media alive with discussions on the future of the automotive industry due to these incidents? Have the “Big Three” seen major losses in stock prices? Are people now afraid to get into their cars… 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

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