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Bringing Second Life To Life: Researchers Create Character With Reasoning Abilities of a Child

March 11, 2008

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers unveiled “Eddie,” a 4-year-old virtual child in Second Life who can reason about his own beliefs to draw conclusions in a manner that matches human children his age.

“Our aim is not to construct a computational theory that explains and predicts actual human behavior, but rather to build artificial agents made more interesting and useful by their ability to ascribe mental states to other agents,… read more

The Millennium Project’s 2006 State of the Future published

August 20, 2006

The Millennium Project–a global participatory think tank–has released its 10th annual State of the Future report.

The report distills the collective intelligence of over 2,000 leading scientists, futurists, scholars, and policy advisors who work for governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and international organizations.

Among its findings:

  • Dramatic increases in collective human-machine intelligence are possible within 25 years. It is also possible that within the
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    Japanese robots await call to action

    April 25, 2011

    Japanese Robot

    Japanese robots designed for heavy lifting and data collection are ready for deployment at damaged reactor buildings of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power station.

    U.S.-made iRobot PackBots have already done radiation and temperature readings and acquired visual images there.

    Tmsuk Co. designed its T-53 Enryu (rescue dragon) remote-controlled rescue robots to engage in rescue work. They have two arms that can lift objects weighing up to 100 kg.

    First Close Look At Stimulated Brain

    August 31, 2009

    Neurons fired by electrical stimulation are seen here in bright red (Harvard Medical School)

    Electrical stimulation of neurons activates a widely distributed set of neurons (via axons), not just those being stimulated, Harvard Medical School neurobiologists have found, using optical imaging of mice neurons.

    They used sensitive two-photon microscopy to track light emitted by a chemical triggered by increased calcium levels (which spike when a neuron fires) in the neurons as they were being exposed to electrical stimulation.

    The researchers hope the… read more

    The Future of Intelligent Technology and Its Impact on Disabilities

    October 16, 2003

    We will have pocket reading machines for the blind within a few years that read text ubiquitously — from signs, packages, menus, electronic displays, etc., says Ray Kurzweil.

    “By 2010, these devices will be very tiny. You will be able to wear one on your lapel and scan in all directions. These devices probably will be used by sighted people as well, because they will allow us to get… read more

    America’s Robot Army: Are Unmanned Fighters Ready for Combat?

    March 17, 2008
    Three unmanned ground vehicles

    Popular Mechanics has reviewed the state of unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) development in the U.S. military, where already there are 6,000 robots in use by the Army and Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    While unarmed UGVs are common, armed UGVs are not yet considered ready for combat without significant human guidance.

    Google’s Cool Free Book Downloads

    August 31, 2006

    Google’s project to scan the world’s books new features free PDF downloads of classic public-domain books, via the Google Book Search site.

    NanoPen: Low-Power, and Light-Actuated Patterning of Nanoparticles

    September 7, 2009

    Nanopen patterning of silicon nanowires

    The NanoPen could provide a quick, convenient way of laying down large-scale light-actuated patterns of nanoparticles — from wires to circuits — for making electronic devices, medical diagnostic tests, and other applications.

    Silicon May Have Been The Key To Start Of Life On Earth

    October 27, 2003

    A scientist at the University of Sheffield has discovered that silicon may have been the key to the establishment of life on earth.

    In a paper, due to be published in the International Journal of Astrobiology, Dr Wainwright outlines his team’s discovery that silicon stimulates bacterial growth when food is in short supply, even in the absence of oxygen.

    Stanford researchers developing 3-D camera with 12,616 lenses

    March 19, 2008

    Stanford electronics researchers are building a camera with thousands of tiny lenses that could make a 3D electronic “depth map” containing the distance from the camera to every object in the picture.

    The “multi-aperture image sensor” has 0.7-microns pixels grouped in arrays of 256 pixels each, with a lens on top of each array, resulting in 12,616 “cameras” on the chip.

    A depth-information camera could be used for… read more

    Tracing the limits of quantum weirdness

    September 13, 2006

    The uncertainty principle is being harnessed to see if it is possible to identify a point at which matter begins to exhibit weird quantum behavior by detecting quantum superposition.

    UCB students’ solar vehicle to compete in world’s premier solar car race

    May 9, 2011

    Solar Car

    Impulse, a sleek solar-powered vehicle, has been unveiled by the student-run CalSol solar vehicle team at the University of California, Berkeley and is on track to compete in the world’s premier solar car race this October.

    Equipped with sophisticated electronics and six square meters of solar cells, Impulse resembles a three-wheeled spaceship. Its 16-foot-long shell is made of carbon fiber, honeycomb material, and other strong but lightweight… read more

    Wall Street’s Math Wizards Forgot a Few Variables

    September 14, 2009

    In the wake of the meltdown of 2008, researchers are now incorporating human behavior into finance, looking at whether the mechanisms and models being developed to explore collective behavior on the Web, for example, can be applied to financial markets.

    The risk models of Wall Street’s quants proved myopic, they say, because they were too simple-minded — they didn’t sufficiently take into account human behavior, specifically the potential for… read more

    Intel Smashes Transistor Limitations

    November 5, 2003

    Intel is trumpeting a technology breakthrough it says will lead to billion-transistor processors by 2007.

    The new technology should enable Intel to keep creating smaller, faster transistors for future chips, and keep pace with Moore’s Law well into the next decade, said Ken David, director of components research for Intel’s Technology and Manufacturing Group.

    The development would overcome power and heat problems that would eventually limit Intel’s capability… read more

    Antarctic ice shelf ‘hanging by a thread’

    March 26, 2008

    A thin strip of ice, just 6 kilometres wide, is all that is holding back the collapse of the Wilkins ice shelf in Antarctica, according to glaciologists.

    Although researchers agree the disintegration of the Wilkins ice shelf will not contribute to rising sea levels, they say it may help them understand what triggers such events in order to predict when they are likely to happen again.

    They now… read more

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