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The Sex Singularity: When Machines Surpass Human Hotness

January 2, 2008

A Paul Spinrad short story explores the future of sexbots.

The Shape of Computer Chips to Come

May 2, 2002

As chips continue to shrink, researchers are combining the amazing properties of silicon with communications network research.

News tip: Walter Purvis

The Shape of Robots to Come

March 16, 2006

As robots increasingly migrate from heavy industrial tasks, like welding automobile chassis on assembly lines, to home uses as restless toys and venturesome vacuum cleaners, a fetching personality and appealing appearance become critically important.

The shortest artificial light burst in history

July 2, 2012

Attosecond laser pulse (credit: Imperial College London)

An advanced experimental system that can generate attosecond bursts of extreme ultraviolet light — the shortest controllable light pulses available to science — has been developed by researchers at Imperial College in London.

An attosecond is 10-18 second, or a billionth of a billionth of a second. With these pulses, it’s possible to measure the dynamics of electrons in matter in real-time.

Advances in attosecond science may enable scientists to… read more

The Shuttle’s successors

July 22, 2011

Boeing's CST-100 could serve as a taxi to the International Space Station Boeing's vehicle and also take paying passengers into space (credit: Boeing)

NASA is looking to the private sector to provide a new generation of space vehicles to take on the work of delivering crew and cargo to the International Space Station and low-Earth orbit.

Five of the possible successors: Boeing’s CST-100, SpaceX’s Dragon, Sierra Nevada Corp’s Dream Chaser, NASA/Lockheed Martin’s MPCV, and Blue Origin’s Space vehicle.


The signature of aging in the brain

Cognitive decline may be related to one's "immunological age"
October 7, 2014

Immunofluorescence microscope image of the choroid plexus. Epithelial cells are in green and chemokine proteins (CXCL10) are in red (credit: Weizmann Institute of Science)

Weizmann Institute of Science researchers have found evidence of a unique “signature” that may be the “missing link” between cognitive decline and aging and that may in the future lead to treatments that can slow or reverse cognitive decline in older people, according to Prof. Michal Schwartz of the Department of Neurobiology and Ido Amit of the Department of Immunology.

Until a decade ago, scientific dogma held that the blood-brain… read more

The Singularity and schools: an interview with Vernor Vinge

July 24, 2012

(Credit: Vernor Vinge)

John Moravec of Education Futures interviewed mathematician and science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge, noted for his foundational 1993 essay, “The Coming Technological Singularity.

“I’m still where I was in my 1993 essay that I gave at a NASA meeting, and that is that I define the Technological Singularity as being our developing, through technology, superhuman intelligence — or becoming, ourselves, superhuman intelligent through technology,” said Vinge.

“And,… read more

The Singularity and the Fixed Point

September 4, 2009

If one is trying to build an intelligent machine capable of devising more intelligent machines, a few guidelines are essential, says MIT professor Edward Boyden:

- Find a way to build in motivation, and also motivation amplification–the continued desire to build in self-sustaining motivation, as intelligence amplifies.

- Avoid paralysis of decision making from too many choices and a “societal fixed point” outcome that self-reinforces, remaining in the… read more

‘The Singularity Is Near’ now #14 on Amazon

October 2, 2005

Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near is now ranked #14 in sales among all books, #5 among all Non-Fiction books, #1 in Science, #1 in Technology, #1 in Evolution, #1 in Science History and Philosophy, and #1 in Computers and Internet, as of Sunday Oct. 2.

New media coverage of the book includes a review, “Here It Comes,” in the Wall Street Journal, and “Rayread more

The Singularity Is Near ranks in top-selling science and tech books in 2005

December 17, 2005

After an extended run as #1 on the science, technology, and philosophy lists since its publication, Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology ends 2005 as the fourth best-selling science book in 2005, even though published late in the year (September 26).

The book was also selected by the Amazon editors as #6 on their “Best Books of 2005: Science” list.… read more

The Singularity: A Talk With Ray Kurzweil

March 26, 2002

“We are entering a new era. I call it ‘the Singularity,’” says Ray Kurzweil in an interview just published on the Edge Web site.

The interview is available as a video, RealAudio file, and text transcript.

Excerpts from interview

The Singularity: Humanity’s Last Invention?

January 12, 2011

NPR interviewed Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Microsoft Research AI researchers for  Tuesday’s “All Things Considered.” (Audio)

The Singularity: Playing on Thursday Nights

June 16, 2010

The television show “Fringe” explores a number of Singularity-like concepts.

“There’s the idea that science will inevitably reach a point where it’s accelerating so fast that it would be out of control and mankind will either move to a higher state of consciousness or we will become destroyed,” said Joel Wyman, one of the executive producers on “Fringe.” “We don’t name this as the Singularity, but it definitely drives… read more

The sinister powers of crowdsourcing

December 23, 2009

Crowdsourcing’s power to compartmentalize and abstract away the true meaning of tasks could potentially entice people into participating in a covert project that they otherwise wouldn’t support, using a tool such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, says Harvard University law professor Jonathan Zittrain.

The Skinny on Fat: You’re Not Always What You Eat

June 4, 2008

University of California, San Francisco researchers have found that the neurotransmitter serotonin controls feeding rate (how much to eat) and fat storage (what is done with calories in the body) independently.

The research results, based on studies of the worm C. elegans, suggest that weight-loss drugs that increase serotonin levels could work by either suppressing the appetite or increasing metabolism.

The results may explain why two individuals with… read more

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