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Can you design the ultimate augmented-reality system for warfighters?

November 6, 2012

PIXNET

Imagine a single camera that can fuse (integrate) images across a wide spectrum on light, from visible light to near-infrared and far-infrared (thermal) images (for night vision), replacing multiple cameras.

It would be part of a head-up display (HUD) that is helmet-mounted. It would be lightweight, low-cost, easy to use, and draw minimal power. And it would interface wirelessly with an Android-based smart phone for fusing images and networking… read more

Human cycles: history as science

August 7, 2012

800px-Marais-massacre

Advocates of “cliodynamics” say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure, Nature News reports.

To Peter Turchin, who studies population dynamics at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, the appearance of three peaks of political instability at roughly 50-year intervals starting with the U.S. Civil War is not a coincidence. For the past 15 years, Turchin has been taking the… read more

MIT inventor unleashes hundreds of self-assembling cube swarmbots

October 4, 2013

M-Blocks

The experts said it couldn’t be done. But research scientist John Romanishin of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created M-Blocks — cube robots with no external moving parts.

Despite that, they can magically climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, snap together into different shapes, and even move while suspended upside down from metallic surfaces.… read more

Transhumanist Party presidential candidate to drive ‘Immortality Bus’ across the U.S.

"A journey of science activism against aging & death"
July 13, 2015

(credit: Zoltan Istvan)

Don’t freak out if you see a 40-foot bus resembling a coffin sometime soon. It’s the “Immortality Bus” — a “pro-science symbol of resistance against aging and death” to be driven across the U.S. by futurist and 2016 Transhumanist Party presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan, along with scientists and supporters.

“We’re trying to spread a culture that looks positively at indefinite human lifespans,” Istvan told… read more

China’s next-generation Internet is a world-beater

March 12, 2013

Artist rendering of city-sized cloud computing and office complex being built in China (IBM)

An open-access report published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society last week details China’s advances in creating a next-generation Internet that is on a national level and on a larger scale than anything in the West, New Scientist reports.

At the root of the problem are “two major gaps in the architecture of the Internet”, according to a report from the… read more

Ability to ‘think about thinking’ not limited to humans

Another distinction between "humans" and "animals" removed
April 4, 2013

Chimpanzee (credit: Thomas Lersch/Wikimedia Commons)

Humans’ closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, have metacognition — knowing what one knows, according to new research by scientists at Georgia State University and the University at Buffalo.

“The demonstration of metacognition in nonhuman primates has important implications regarding the emergence of self-reflective mind during humans’ cognitive evolution,” the research team noted.

Metacognition is the ability to recognize one’s own cognitive states. For example, a game show… read more

3D printing may put global supply chains out of business: report

October 11, 2012

make_replicator_2

Will 3D printing make global supply chains unnecessary? That’s a real possibility, according to a recent report from Transport Intelligence, Smart Planet reports.

3D printing (or “additive manufacturing,” as it’s called in industrial circles) takes offshore manufacturing and brings it back close to the consumer. It has enormous potential to shift the trade balance. Goods will be cheaper to reproduce within the domestic market, versus manufacturing and then shipping them… read more

How the Internet of everything will change the world

November 8, 2012

Internet-of-Everything

From the Internet of Things (IoT), where we are today, we are just beginning to enter a new realm: the Internet of Everything (IoE), where things will gain context awareness, increased processing power, and greater sensing abilities, says Cisco in their blog.

Add people and information into the mix and you get a network of networks where billions or even trillions of connections create unprecedented opportunities and… read more

AI ‘alarmists’ nominated for 2015 ‘Luddite Award’

December 21, 2015

An 1844 engraving from the Penny magazine, showing a post-1820s Jacquard loom (credit: public domain/Penny Magazine)

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today (Dec. 21) announced 10 nominees for its 2015 Luddite Award. The annual “honor” recognizes the year’s most egregious example of a government, organization, or individual stymieing the progress of technological innovation.

ITIF also opened an online poll and invited the public to help decide the “winner.” The result will be announced in late January.

The nominees include (in no specific order):… read more

First direct brain-to-brain interface between two animals

Remote collaborative brain linking, networks of rat brains solving problems, mind-swapping ... what's going on here?
March 1, 2013

brain_2_brain_rats

Researchers have electronically linked the brains of pairs of rats for the first time, enabling them to communicate directly to solve simple behavioral puzzles.

They even brain-linked two animals thousands of miles apart — one in Durham, North Carolina and one in Natal, Brazil.

The researchers think linking multiple brains could form the first “organic computer.”

“Our previous studies with brain-machine interfaces had convinced us… read more

UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger

May 14, 2013

800px-Insect_food_stall

The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution, BBC News reports.

It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects.

Wasps, beetles and other insects are currently “underutilized” as food for people and livestock, the report says.

The authors point out that insects are nutritious, with… read more

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

December 12, 2012

share of power

The National Intelligence Council has issued Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, “intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories during the next 15-20 years.”

The report sees four megatrends:

Individual empowerment will accelerate substantially during the next 15-20 years owing to poverty reduction and a huge growth of the global middle class, greater educational attainment,… read more

IBM reveals five innovations that will change our lives within five years

The era of cognitive systems: when computers will, in their own way, see, smell, touch, taste and hear
December 18, 2012

IBM announced today the seventh annual “IBM 5 in 5” — a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years, based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s R&D labs. This one is focused on cognitive systems.

Touch

In the next five years, industries… read more

Converting algae to crude oil — a million-year natural process — in minutes

December 20, 2013

Algae slurry

Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a continuous chemical process that produces useful crude oil from harvested algae in minutes, described in the journal Algae Research.

Utah-based Genifuel Corp. has licensed the technology and is working with an industrial partner to build a pilot plant using the technology.

How to create ‘instant oil’

A slurry of… read more

Why evolution may be intelligent, based on deep learning

Like neural networks, evolution appears to "learn" from previous experience, which may explain how natural selection can produce such apparently intelligent designs
January 11, 2016

Moth Orchid (credit: Imgur.com)

A computer scientist and biologist propose to unify the theory of evolution with learning theories to explain the “amazing, apparently intelligent designs that evolution produces.”

The scientists — University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science professor Richard Watson* and Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest) professor of biology Eörs Szathmáry* — say they’ve found that it’s possible for evolution to exhibit some of the same intelligent… read more

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