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Diverse views of ‘artificial worlds’ at PopTech conference

October 21, 2002
Kurzweil: "bio-inspired superintelligent<br />
machines by 2029"

PopTech brought together more than 400 big thinkers in Camden, Maine this past weekend to explore artificial worlds. “The real and the artificial are converging, becoming more intimate,” said co-producer Bob Metcalfe.

Speakers described wildly diverse visions of this convergence ….Animator Alvy Ray Smith predicted that within his lifetime, feature-length movies will be made by computer avatars, with 100 million polygons per frame. Prof. Lauren… read more

Tiny optical disc could store five movies

October 18, 2002

Philips has been secretly developing the world’s smallest optical disc, which will record, play back and erase data using the same precision blue lasers that are being developed for the next generation of high-definition video recorders.

The first versions of the three-centimeter disc (with the same thickness as a DVD) will store one gigabyte on each side, but the dual-layer coating already used for DVDs will double the capacity… read more

Step-by-Step Prompts Put the Blind on Track

October 18, 2002

A voice-controlled interactive personal navigation system could someday guide blind people. It communicates wirelessly with databases of detailed geographic information that can quickly be updated to reflect changing conditions.

Developed by University of Florida students, the Drishti (vision in Sanskrit) system can be configured to work in cities, in airports and on other campuses. It uses a wearable computer running I.B.M.’s ViaVoice software, connected to a GPS receiver and… read more

DNA as Destiny

October 17, 2002

Personalized medicine current being developed prefigures a day when everyone’s genome will be deposited on a chip or stored on a gene card tucked into a wallet.

Physicians will forecast illnesses and prescribe preventive drugs custom-fitted to a patient’s DNA, rather than the one-size-fits-all pharmaceuticals that people take today. Gene cards might also be used to find that best-suited career, or a DNA-compatible mate, or, more darkly, to deny… read more

Inventors forecast 21st century innovations at Patent & Trademarks Office bicentennial

October 16, 2002

Oct. 16 – What do inventors expect to see in the 21st century? That was the key question today in a round table discussion with National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and Richard Russell, Associate Director of Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington DC.

The inductees, some of the world’s greatest living inventors, gathered… read more

Deep Fritz fights back in chess challenge

October 15, 2002

Deep Fritz defeated world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik on Sunday in game five of a million-dollar contest. The world champion still leads by three points to two in the eight-game series.

What to Wear: Why Not a Computer?

October 15, 2002

Wearable computers are especially well suited for disabled people. Under development: a universal control interface that would allow cell phones, PDAs and wearable control systems read simple hand gestures to control a wide variety of devices; small head-mounted visual displays to provide on-the-fly captioning to manage a variety of devices with wireless connections; tele-health systems for monitoring real-time vital signs in patients; and “way-finding systems,” which use a global positioning… read more

How High Tech Is Operating on Medicine

October 14, 2002

Doctors and machines that move as one, pacemakers that collect and transmit data, seamless treatment-support systems…

Race for the $1000 genome is on

October 14, 2002

In less than a decade, people will be able to get their own genomes sequenced for about $1000, leading to a whole new industry of personal genomics.

Software predicts user behavior to stop attacks

October 14, 2002

New computer-monitoring software designed to second-guess the intentions of individual system users could be 94 per cent reliable in preventing security breaches, say researchers.

The software generates a profile for each individual on a network by analyzing the specific commands they enter at their terminal. It then monitors their activity and sounds the alarm on detecting suspicious behavior.

China poised to take over world’s manufacturing

October 13, 2002

China is poised to take over the world’s manufacturing; individuals outside of China will be displaced on a large scale, according to the Oct. 11 Gilder Friday Letter from Gilder Publishing.

Reasons: some 18 million people enter the work force each year, typical wages are 60 cents a day, 700,000 engineers a year are trained and paid $4,800 to $8,800 a year, and there’s a “high-pitched level… read more

Darwin’s Theory May Explain Ill Health

October 11, 2002

Professor Randolph Nesse believes that conditions like heart disease, obesity and drug abuse can all be explained by the fact that the human body was not designed for the 21st Century. Nesse, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, is one of the leading proponents of evolutionary or Darwinian medicine. Evolutionary medicine examines why some diseases still exist. According to Nesse, our bodies are designed to like things that… read more

20/20 Vision Awards honor Kurzweil, other innovative leaders

October 11, 2002

Ray Kurzweil has been included in CIO magazine’s 20/20 Vision Awards, which “honor outstanding individuals…20 creators and marketers of technology, and 20 practitioners who use IT to make great things happen.”
Kurzweil “created various artificial intelligence technologies, including speech recognition software used by doctors to dictate medical reports into a computer. Showing his range of vision, Kurzweil is currently at work on a book about reversing the aging process.… read more

Pentagon gives university $35.5 million to combat cyberterrorism

October 11, 2002

The Defense Department is giving Carnegie Mellon University $35.5 million to develop tools and tactics for fighting cyberterrorism.

The center is researching ways to build AI into hardware so that components such as disk drives could take countermeasures in a hacker attack, shutting down or automatically reporting an incident to network administrators.

CMU researchers are also studying how to use signatures, fingerprints, iris patterns, face recognition technology and… read more

Bugs trained to build circuit

October 11, 2002

Researchers are developing bacteria to form nanoscale microbial machines that could eventually repair wounds or build microscopic electrical circuits.

Researchers at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute in Ibaraki, Japan trained the bacterium Acetobacter xylinum to exude ribbons of cellulose, a biological building material, laying down strips at a rate of 4,000ths of a millimetre per minute.

They are also exploring the use of genetically modified bacteria… read more

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