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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?

The artificial bones created from an inkjet

April 19, 2007

Scientists are creating artificial bones using a modified version of an inkjet printer.

The technology creates perfect replicas of bones that have been damaged and these can then be inserted in the body to help it to heal.

The process will revolutionize bone graft surgery, which currently relies on either bits of bone taken from other parts of the body or ceramic-like substitutes.

The artificial finger

July 20, 2012

artificial_finger

European researchers have developed the first sensitive artificial finger.

The NanoBioTact and NanoBioTouch projects seek to radically improve understanding of the human mechano-transduction system and tissue engineered nanobiosensors.

“There are many potential applications of biometric tactile sensoring, for example in prosthetic limbs where you´ve got neuro-coupling which allows the limb to sense objects and also to feed back to the brain, to control the limb.

Another area would… read more

The Ascent of the Robotic Attack Jet

February 7, 2005

The first working models of networked autonomous attack jets have recently been tested. The U.S. Department of Defense would like to start building them by 2010.

They’ll tackle jobs such as attacking enemy air defenses, identifying new targets, and releasing precision bombs.

One major challenge: constructing what amounts to a mobile Internet in the sky, with data communication handoffs from planes travelling at high speeds.

The Atkinson-Phoenix Nanotech Debate

July 21, 2003

William Atkinson wrote a book, Nanocosm, critical of Eric Drexler’s approach to nanotech and of Drexler himself. Chris Phoenix (CRN) wrote a review of the book, critical of Bill’s understanding of the topic. Bill responded. This touched off an email discussion.

The audacity of nano-hope

February 26, 2009

There has been a flurry of interest in nanobots over the past week, casting quite a wide net that ranges from Nadrian Seeman’s experimental lab work to Ray Kurzweil’s hopeful dreams for the far future, says Foresight Institute president J. Storrs Hall.

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