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Engineers Create World’s First Transparent Transistor

March 27, 2003

Engineers at Oregon State University have created the world’s first transparent transistor. Transparent transistors could open up a range of applications in consumer electronics, transportation, business and the military. They could improve the quality of liquid crystal displays and could be used in heads-up displays, built into window glass or the windshield of a vehicle.

Fujitsu Labs Applies Neural Networks to Robot Learning

March 26, 2003

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has developed a learning system for humanoid robots that uses a dynamically reconfigurable neural network to enable the efficient learning of movement and motor coordination.

The Droids of Sport

March 26, 2003

Robotic competitions are popping up around the world. A new book, “Gearheads,”
examines their universe.

Synapse chip taps into brain chemistry

March 26, 2003

Stanford University researchers have developed “artificial synapses” on a silicon chip.

When an electric field is applied, the neurotransmitter is pumped through an internal pipeline, and a little of it squeezes out of the hole, stimulating nearby neural cells.

This could open the way to neural prosthetic implants that combine chemical and electrical stimulation in one implant. These could interact with cells in more subtle and precise ways.… read more

Aim to create ‘sensitive’ PCs

March 24, 2003

Computers that can recognize and understand human emotions could be about to move a step nearer.

Arabic In, English Out

March 24, 2003

A new device being tested at the Office of Naval Research promises simultaneous machine translation and interpretation, using a blend of voice recognition, speech synthesis and translation technologies.

Surveillance Nation

March 24, 2003

Webcams, tracking devices, and interlinked databases are leading to the elimination of unmonitored public space. Are we prepared for the consequences of the intelligence- gathering network we’re unintentionally building?

I, Clone

March 24, 2003

The irrational fears people express today about cloning parallel those surrounding robotics half a century ago. The “The Three Laws of Cloning” will protect clones and advance science.

Real World Robots

March 24, 2003

The Age of Robots might finally have arrived. Robots are doing real jobs alongside humans — in homes, hospitals and on the battlefield

Spider silk delivers finest optical fibers

March 24, 2003

Delicate threads of spider’s silk are about to solve a major problem in photonics: how to make hollow optical fibres narrow enough — just two nanometers wide — to carry light beams around the fastest nanoscale optical circuits.

They will also make for a new breed of sensors that can detect single molecules of a particular chemical.

Undercover genes slip into the brain

March 24, 2003

A molecular Trojan horse that can slip past the brain’s defences has proved to be very effective at delivering genes, drugs and other compounds to the brains of primates. It could be used to treat a host of brain disorders, from Parkinson’s to epilepsy.

Recent advances in computer vision

March 24, 2003

Human eye movements to scroll a computer screen up and down, a camera that periodically scans a scene in front of you and turns images into sounds, automatic media interpretation to assist users in searching for specific scenes and shots, and a system that can detect suspicious pedestrian behavior in parking lots are examples of new computer-vision systems.

‘Darwin’s Blind Spot’: Biotech Merger

March 24, 2003

Symbiosis has played an important role in the evolution of complex life-forms than natural selection, argues Frank Ryan in a controversial book, Darwin’s Blind Spot: Evolution Beyond Natural Selection.

Know Your Transhumanists

March 19, 2003

WIRED magazine portrays “two major types of transumanists: “The Extropian” and “The Singularitarian” (“Favorite Tattoo: ‘Everybody Loves Raymond (Kurzweil).’” Kurzweil’s next book, “The Singularity is Near,” is also mentioned.

Real World Robots

March 18, 2003

Robots have arrived. They are doing real jobs alongside humans — in homes, hospitals and on the battlefield.

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