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The Translation Challenge

June 11, 2003

Researchers are making progress in software translation today using three basic approaches drawn from natural-language processing: lists of rules, example-based systems, and mathematical models. But accuracy rates are stilll only 70 and 80 percent.

The Translator’s Blues

January 10, 2006

The machine translation industry is now pulling in something like $8 billion a year globally, and growing fast. For clients in national intelligence, MT research now represents a potential magical fix for the shortfall of Arabic translators.

The Trilogy of Webs for Machines: Mashing It All Together

June 21, 2010

What happens when we combine the three different webs that are made for machines: the Web of Data (facts), the Web of Identities (for people data), and
the Web of Services?

The Trouble with Transhumanists

August 1, 2007

“In my opinion, Mother Nature is a psychopathic bitch,* and she is out to get you,” nanotech researcher and engineer Tihamer Toth-Fejel comments offhand during his presentation on the potentials of future technology. “[You have to] adapt, change or die.”

His words are stern, but the audience hardly bats a collective eye. After all, he’s preaching to the choir — this is TransVision 2007, where transhumanists the world over… read more

The Truth About Autism: Scientists Reconsider What They Think They Know

February 27, 2008

Some autistics are leading a nascent civil rights movement, fueled by neuropsychological researchers who are taking a fresh look at the nature of autism.

The condition, the researchers say, shouldn’t be thought of as a disease to be eradicated. The autistic brain may not be defective, but simply different — an example of the variety of human development.

They’ve found that previous measures of autistic intelligence… read more

The Truth About Robots and the Uncanny Valley: Analysis

January 22, 2010

Contributing editor Erik Sofge argues that the “uncanny valley” — where a robot (or animated video of a person) looks and acts nearly but not exactly like a human — is so loosely supported by research, it is nearly useless for roboticists.

The TV that watches you

August 22, 2011

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Soon­­­, the websites you visit while watching TV could adapt in real time to the shows being watched — automatically presenting information relevant to the show, or even tuning their ads in response to what’s on screen.

Flingo, which developed the technology, known as Sync Apps, says the new set is already being mass-produced by one of the top five television brands in the U.S. and will… read more

The Ultimate Gift: 50 Years of Organ Transplants

December 21, 2004

Thursday, December 23, will be the 50th anniversary of the first successful organ transplant.

Over the last five decades, surgeons have learned how to transplant virtually every vital organ in the human body. They have also branched out to transplant an array of nonvital body parts including, most recently, the hand. Advances in surgery, medicine, anesthesia and intensive care have extended patients’ longevity and quality of life: the world’s… read more

The ultimate lifelogging interface?

"Wink, wink, nudge, nudge" --- Monty Python
May 4, 2013

wink

Developer Michael DiGiovanni has revealed on github a beta android app for Google Glass called “Winky” that takes a photo — replacing the wordy “”OK, Glass, take a picture.”

“Users will be able to lifelog with little to no effort. It allows more pictures to be taken easily and to become a timeline of where you have been,” says Roundarch Isobar, where DiGiovanni is Emerging… read more

The ultimate no-brainer

May 3, 2001

In theory, a quantum computer could exploit the principles of quantum mechanics to achieve massively parallel processing. Quantum laws allow for the bizarre phenomenon of “counterfactuality”: one can glean information about a quantum event that did not actually take place.

Two British researchers have described a hypothetical scheme that could achieve just that. It would allow for probing all the possible states of a quantum computer, including that in… read more

The Ultimate Remote Control

June 2, 2004

Imagine what it would be like if we could turn our brains into remote controls, sending wireless commands to computers, robots and other machines.

Researchers hope ultimately to eavesdrop on the brain’s signals with electrodes, transmit them to a computer that can read the brain’s code and then use those signals to control a machine either locally or remotely via wireless or even the Internet.

Imagine a quadriplegic… read more

The Ultimate Running Machine

July 11, 2002

Inside a Soviet-style training camp, corporate scientists are reengineering neuro-mechanics, blood chemistry, and brain waves. Welcome to the Oregon Project, where Nike is rebuilding the US marathon team one high tech step at a time.

The Ultimate Social Persuasion Device

October 8, 2010

In the near future, all citizens will wear a centrally-controlled, super iPhone that tracks your movements and can scan everyone around you to divulge their net worth, their shopping history and their dating potential.

The concept is described by Gary Shteyngart in the satiric novel “Super Sad True Love Story.”

“The RateMe Plus technology is its most important part; the fact that it immediately ranks you,” he says.… read more

The UN fought the Internet — and the Internet won

December 14, 2012

Main Conference room at Day 4, WCIT 2012, Dubai, UAE (credit: ITU)

For the last two weeks some of the planet’s most oppressive regimes have faced off against some of the most powerful Internet advocates in an effort to rewrite a multilateral communications treaty that, if successful, could have changed the nature of the Internet and altered the way it is governed, Forbes reports.

On Thursday night that effort failed, as a U.S.-led block of dissenting countries refused to… read more

The Unconscious Mind: A Great Decision Maker

February 21, 2006

Dutch psychologists found that people struggling to make complex decisions did best when they were distracted and were not able to think consciously about the choice at all.

The research not only backs up the common advice to “sleep on it” when facing difficult choices, but it also suggests that the unconscious brain can actively reason as well as produce weird dreams and Freudian slips.

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