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The 7th Annual Year In ideas

December 10, 2007

The Times’ 70 best ideas of 2007 include Wireless Energy, Wave Energy, Crowdware, Wikiscanning, and The Best Way to Deflect an Asteroid.

The A.I. Revolution Is On

December 28, 2010

The fruits of the AI revolution are now all around us, but today’s AI bears little resemblance to its initial conception. Once researchers were freed from the burden of building a whole mind, they could construct a rich bestiary of digital fauna, which few would dispute possess something approaching intelligence.

AI is so crucial to some systems—like the financial infrastructure—that getting rid of it would be a lot harder… read more

The Afterlife Is Expensive for Digital Movies

December 25, 2007

Storing digital data for a movie produced using all-electronic processes costs $208,569 a year, vs. the $486 it costs for film, audio recordings, on-set photographs and annotated scripts, according to a study of digital archivng by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In addition, digital media have a limited life and formats are rapidly becoming obsolete.

The Age of Assisted Cognition

August 16, 2002

Researchers are developing AI and pervasive-systems technology that can adapt to elder patients’ changing needs and respond quickly in moments of agitation and distress, based on patient data gathered by sensors placed throughout an eldercare facility.

Examples include a “gesture pendant” that can detect Parkinson’s Disease or side effects from medication; tracking elderly guests’ movements in a pervasive environment that includes electronic badges, infrared detectors and load-sensing beds; a… read more

The age of big data

February 12, 2012

Welcome to the Age of Big Data — advancing trends in technology that open the door to a new approach to understanding the world and making decisions.

Data is doubling every two years, estimates IDC.

The computer tools for gleaning knowledge and insights from the Internet era’s vast trove of unstructured data are fast gaining ground. At the forefront: the rapidly advancing techniques of AI, like natural-language processing,… read more

The age of enhancement

March 5, 2013

amazing-spiderman

Technology is starting to give us superpowers once reserved for comic-book heroes, Slate reports.

Human enhancement is happening all the time, largely through incremental improvements on existing technologies.

Wearable technology is taking off. Muscle suits are starting to look more plausible. The military is working on “Spider-Man suits” that let the wearer scale vertical walls.

Devices that interact directly… read more

The AI Chasers

February 7, 2008

MIT roboticist Rodney Brooks, Adaptive A.I. Inc. founder Peter Voss, Self-Aware Systems founder Steve Omohundro, Powerset CEO Barney Pell, and Google research director Peter Norvig discuss how they see AI developing in the years ahead, when a human-level AI might emerge, and how worried we should be about that whole killer-robot-goes-on-rampage scenario, in these interviews accompaning a cover story in The Futurist.

The AI Report

June 23, 2009

Humanoid robots, passing the Turing test, unsupervised learning, and AI’s used to fight terrorism and a few of the topics in AI, robotics, and intelligence covered in this special section written by 22 experts.

The aliens would win

Five tips about aliens from ET searcher Seth Shostak
June 7, 2012

prometheus

Alien invasion is alive and well in Hollywood this season, given Men in Black III, Battleship, and Prometheus, which opens June 8 in the U.S., IEEE Spectrum Tech Talk reports.

Cue Seth Shostak, senior astronomer with the SETI Institute, who offers five points about aliens that don’t cut it in Hollywood:

1. Your great-great-grandma was probably not from outer space.read more

The Altered Human Is Already Here

April 6, 2004

Technologically altered human beings are making a leap into the posthuman future, using biochemical, proton-pump inhibitors, serotonin boosters and other drugs — a social change on the same order as the advent of computers, but one taking place inside the human body.

There is now almost no bodily system that cannot be adjusted by drugs. Blood, respiration, the nervous system, hormonal regulation, muscles and bones, the cardiovascular system, reproduction,… read more

The amazing trajectories of life-bearing meteorites from Earth

April 12, 2012

Earth_ejecta

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago (10 km in diameter, mass greater than 1 trillion tons) must have ejected billions of tons of life-bearing meteorites into space. Now Kyoto Sangyo University physicists have calculated this could have seeded life in the solar system and even as far as Gliese 581,  Technology Review Physics arXiv Blog reports.

Their results contain a number of surprises:

  • As

read more

The Anonymous threat to ‘erase’ the NYSE

October 5, 2011
Anonymous

Some members of the Anonymous hacktivist collective are disputing the legitimacy of a weekend threat by another apparent Anonymous faction to “‘erase’ the New York Stock Exchange” from the Internet on Oct. 10 as part of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City.

“On Oct. 10, NYSE shall be erased from the Internet. On Oct. 10, expect a day that will… read more

The Answers Are Out There, and New Q. and A. Sites Dig Them Up

February 7, 2011

The rate of start-ups with sites where users ask and answer questions is gathering speed and attracting the eyes and wallets of venture capitalists. The entrepreneurs say there is a big opportunity to be captured in revamping the question-and-answer model.

Quora, the site that is getting the most attention, lets people find and follow the activity of their friends, as on Twitter. … read more

The Army’s Remote-Controlled Beetle

January 30, 2009

A giant flower beetle with implanted electrodes and a radio receiver on its back can be wirelessly controlled, according to research by scientists at the University of California.

Electrical signals delivered via the electrodes command the insect to take off, turn left or right, or hover in midflight. The research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), could one day be used for surveillance purposes or for… read more

The Art of Building a Robot to Love

March 6, 2006

A robot must have human emotions, but do we understand human emotions well enough to formalize them in computers?

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