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The Right to Human Enhancement

June 6, 2006

The recent Human Enhancement Technologies and Human Rights conference examined the right to use enhancing technologies, such as making inheritable changes to the human genome, controlling our own brain, and uploading human consciousness into a computer.

  • Martine Rothblatt, Terasem Foundation: “Bemes” — units of beingness — could eventually be captured, perhaps by wearable recording systems and neuron-sensing nanowires, and uploaded into computers.
  • Richard Glen Boire, Center
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    The Rise of Crowdsourcing

    May 26, 2006

    Technological advances in everything from product design software to digital video cameras are breaking down the cost barriers that once separated amateurs from professionals. Hobbyists, part-timers, and dabblers suddenly have a market for their efforts, as smart companies in industries as disparate as pharmaceuticals and television discover ways to tap the latent talent of the crowd. The labor isn’t always free, but it costs a lot less than paying traditional… read more

    The rise of ‘Digital People’

    July 15, 2004

    Tales about artificial beings have sparked fascination and fear for centuries; now the tales are turning into reality.

    The Rise of India

    December 17, 2003

    India’s technological success is challenging the definitions of globalization and Corporate America is becoming concerned. “There’s just no place left to squeeze” costs in the U.S., says Chris Disher, a Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. outsourcing specialist.

    “That’s why every CEO is looking at India, and every board is asking about it.” neoIT, a consultant advising U.S. clients on how to set up shop in India, says it has been… read more

    The Rise of the 3-D Printers

    September 30, 2010

    This year, the talk in online discussions, at conferences and among the nerdosphere is all about 3-D printing.

    One of the fascinating aspects of this technology is that it is so diverse. There are open-source products, like 3-D printers that cost as little as $650 from MakerBot, based in the Brooklyn. And there are high-end 3-D printer options from companies like Dimension Printing, which begin at around $20,000. And… read more

    The Rise of the Answerbots

    May 6, 2009

    IBM’s new DeepQA project, aimed at creating a program that can beat humans at the question-answering game of Jeopardy, and the European Large Knowledge Collider project could mean that these projects are on the path to creating a human-level AI.

    The Rise of the Body Bots

    October 10, 2005

    The most advanced exoskeleton projects are at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Sarcos Research Corp., in Salt Lake City. Both are funded under a $50 million, five-year program begun by DARPA in 2001. During the past several months, each group has been working on a second-generation exoskeleton that is a huge improvement over its predecessor.

    The rise of the emotional robot

    April 7, 2008

    Figuring out just how far humans are willing to go in shifting the boundaries towards accepting robots as partners rather than mere machines will help designers decide what tasks and functions are appropriate for robots.

    To work out which kinds of robots are more likely to coax social responses from humans, researchers led by Frank Heger at Bielefeld University in Germany are scanning the brains of people as they… read more

    The rise of the machines

    December 5, 2003

    She’s young, beautiful, and fluent in several languages. Sakura Sanae, one of the newest entrants to the Japanese diplomatic corps, and Tokyo’s goodwill ambassador to the ASEAN nations, is also entirely computer generated….

    The Rise of the Machines

    October 13, 2008

    “Somehow the genius quants — the best and brightest geeks Wall Street firms could buy — fed $1 trillion in subprime mortgage debt into their supercomputers, added some derivatives, massaged the arrangements with computer algorithms and — poof! — created $62 trillion in imaginary wealth,” says Richard Dooling.

    “It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that all of that imaginary wealth is locked up somewhere inside the computers,… read more

    The rise of the new groupthink

    January 16, 2012


    We need to move beyond the New Groupthink, which has overtaken our workplaces, our schools, and our religious institutions, suggests Susan Cain, author of the forthcoming book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

    “Studies show that open-plan offices make workers hostile, insecure and distracted,” she says. “They’re also more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stress, the flu and exhaustion. And people whose… read more

    The RoboRoach: control a living insect from your smartphone

    June 11, 2013


    The RoboRoach, a Kickstarter project, is the “world’s first commercially available cyborg” — part cockroach and part machine.

    The backpack communicates directly to the roach’s neurons in its antennas via small electrical pulses.

    The cockroach undergoes a short surgery (under anesthesia) in which wires are placed inside the antenna. Once it recovers, a backpack is temporarily placed on its back.

    When you send a command… read more

    The Robot Ate My Homework

    February 20, 2003

    Robots are helping kids who are hospitalized for long periods by trauma or chronic illness keep up with school.

    One goes to school in the absent child’s place. Another in the hospital transmits an image of the child’s face to the classroom. The child can direct the school robot to raise its hand to ask a question or swivel its head to follow the teacher.

    The Robot Evolution

    November 14, 2002

    MIT’s Rodney A. Brooks is among researchers leading the charge to develop a smarter and more useful artificial creature.

    “What we need is low-cost dexterous manipulation,” Brooks says. “Right now we don’t even have high- cost dexterous manipulation.”

    The robot gets connected

    February 5, 2003

    Mitsubishi has developed a robot on wheels that will become a house-sitter, caretaker, nurse and friend for the family.

    It has cameras and voice and face recognition capabilities that allow the machine to search for and follow voices, faces and movements. It links to the Internet and can send its camera images to mobile phones and computers away from the home. It can also be programmed to send e-mail… read more

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