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Virtual Eve: first in human computer interaction

November 20, 2007
(Massey University)

A near-human virtual teacher called Eve can tell if a child is frustrated, angry or confused by an on-screen teaching session and can adapt the tutoring session appropriately.

With a human-sounding voice, Eve can ask questions, give feedback, discuss questions and solutions and show emotion. To develop the software, the Massey University researchers observed children and their interactions with teachers and captured them on thousands of images.… read more

Computer generates verifiable mathematics proof

April 20, 2005

Mathematicians have employed logic-checking software to help develop a proof of the Four Color Theorem. The method could be used to develop a similar system for checking the logic used in computer programs, which could pre-empt some unforeseen bugs that cause programs to crash.

The Four Color Theorem states that any four colors are the minimum needed to fill in a flat map without any two regions of the… read more

Microbots made to twist and turn as they swim

February 17, 2011

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a way to propel and rotate microbots in water.

Their microbot, which is 3 millimeters long, is essentially a diode, which they control by applying electrical fields. The development may some day allow microbots to perform remote diagnosis and drug delivery in the body, “Fantastic Voyage” style.

Senate to debate ban on cloning

February 21, 2002

The Senate is preparing to debate the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (S.790), which would ban all forms of human cloning as well as the importation of therapies developed from cloned human embryos.”Such a ban could be passed without much public comment, so if you have strong views on this, get them in immediately,” Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson suggest in the Feb. 2002 Foresight Senior Associate Letter. “See… read more

New nucleotide could revolutionize epigenetics

April 17, 2009

The discovery of a sixth nucleotide (DNA code character) by Rockefeller University researchers suggests a new mechanism for regulation of gene expression and nuclear structure.

NEC develops real-time Japanese-to-English mobile translation software

December 3, 2007

NEC has developed a system that can understand around 50,000 Japanese words and translate them to English text on the mobile’s display in just a second or two.

Video conferencing gets quantum security

May 3, 2005

Quantum cryptography has been sped up to the point that it can be used to secure video conferencing, currently over a distance of about 120 kilometers.

Scientists from Toshiba’s Cambridge Research Laboratory have invented a system capable of generating 100 quantum keys every second, each consisting of 128 bits. This is fast enough for every individual frame of video to be protected by its own encryption.

Kurzweil to debate Stock on ‘BioFuture vs. MachineFuture’

April 2, 2002

Ray Kurzweil will debate Gregory Stock, Director, UCLA Program on Medicine, Technology and Society, on “BioFuture vs. MachineFuture” at the “Exploring the Edges” Foresight Senior Associate Gathering this month, April 26-28, 2002 in Palo Alto, California.
Stock foresees “widespread reworking of human biology via genetic engineering: neither governments nor religious groups will be able to stop this” in the next few decades, says Foresight president Christine Peterson. “Greg sees computer… read more

Singularity 101 with Vernor Vinge

April 27, 2009

Signs that the Singularity is near might include “larger and larger software debacles” and “whether or not the effects of Moore’s Law are continuing on track,” suggests legendary science- fiction writer Vernor Vinge.

Adult Cells, Reprogrammed To Embryonic Stem Cell Like State, Treat Sickle-cell Anemia In Mice

December 10, 2007

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research scientists have successfully treated mice with a human sickle-cell anemia disease trait in a process that begins by directly reprogramming their own cells to an embryonic-stem-cell-like state, without the use of eggs.

This is the first proof-of-principle of therapeutic application in mice of directly reprogrammed “induced pluripotent stem” (IPS) cells, which recently have been derived in mice as well as humans.

Real big diamonds made real fast

May 17, 2005

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory have learned to produce 10-carat, half-inch thick single-crystal diamonds at rapid growth rates (100 micrometers per hour) using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.

iPhone brain training app for research into aging minds

March 4, 2011

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are taking the first step towards discovering the true effectiveness of brain training exercises with the release of their own app aimed at those over 50.

The Brain Jog application is available to download free for iPhone, iPod or iPad. It is the product of 18 months of work by researchers at Queen’s School of Music and Sonic Arts to… read more

Automatic Networks

April 19, 2002

Self-organizing networks of devices, connecting to one another wirelessly and automatically, are becoming commercially available for industrial uses and later for offices and homes.

Touch Screens with Pop-up Buttons

April 30, 2009

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed buttons that pop out from a touch-screen surface to produce tactile buttons for certain functions, such as in-car navigation.

Desktop device generates and traps rare ultracold molecules

December 13, 2007

University of Rochester physicists have combined an atom-chiller with a molecule trap, creating for the first time a device that can generate and trap huge numbers of elusive-yet-valuable ultracold polar molecules.

Scientists believe ultracold polar molecules will allow them to create exotic artificial crystals and stable quantum computers. Quantum computer scientists are attracted to ultracold particles because their temperatures reduce decoherence, a phenomenon where a system decays from the… read more

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