The New Zealand Herald | A taste of what’s to come from smartphones

December 28, 2013

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The New Zealand Herald — December 28, 2013 | Rhodri Marsden

Few of us can conceive of the pace with which technological power is developing.

Ray Kurzweil (author, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google) predicts that by 2025 we’ll have a computer which has the processing power of the human brain, and by 2045 it’ll have the processing power of six billion brains — i.e., everyone on the planet. [...]

Daily Tech | Google wins DARPA challenge to produce terminator-like robot

December 27, 2013

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Daily Tech — December 27, 2013 | Jason Mick

Google also has been acquiring talented roboticists in similar fashion. It picked up machine learning expert Professor Geoffrey Hinton, who coinvented the backpropagation and contrastive divergence training algorithms for neural networks.

Ray Kurzweil is among Google’s recent robotics-aimed additions. Ray Kurzweil, a famed proponent of a coming converged of artificial intelligence and humanity, was hired as a “Director of Engineering” at Google. [...]

Golden Globe Awards The Dailies | Nominee profile: Joaquin Phoenix Her

December 24, 2013

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Golden Globe Awards The Dailies — December 24, 2013 | Luca Celada

Now the 40 year-old actor has made it four with a well-deserved nomination as Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy for his performance in Spike Jonze’s science fiction romance Her.

The film imagines the imminent advent of artificial intelligence and “emotional machines,” the so-called “singularity,” first postulated by futurist Ray Kurzweil and that many technology experts consider to be an inevitable coming development.

It’s a technological prospect… read more

The Motley Fool | The shape of the future: how to help tomorrow’s children cope with a world of accelerating change

December 23, 2013

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The Motley Fool — December 23, 2013 | Alex Planes

Inventor, entrepreneur, and eminent futurist Ray Kurzweil, whose books The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity Is Near are perhaps the most well-known texts on the outcome of accelerating change.

Kurzweil has been one of the world’s leading futurists for over two decades, and also boasts a long record of technological achievement and business success dating back to his childhood.

Kurzweil became Google’s director of engineering at the end of 2012,… read more

Forbes | This drug company CEO just named her new drug after herself

December 23, 2013

Forbes — December 23, 2013 | Matthew Herper

Which is what makes the name of Orenitram, the new drug approved by United Therapeutics, all the more impressive.

Martine launched United Therapeutics in 1996. United Therapeutics became one of biotech’s great success stories.

United, which has futurist Raymond Kurzweil on its board, has continued to march to the beat of its own rock opera. [...]

Guardian Liberty Voice | Robots are coming and Google owns them

December 22, 2013

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Guardian Liberty Voice — December 22, 2013 | Anthony Clark

Why is Google suddenly showing up in the robotics frontier, and how deep into the technology are they? This year Google has purchased 8 robotics companies. Google has also acquired 2 start-up companies: Bot & Dolly and AutoFuss. Also of interest is who Google is hiring into their robotic ranks.

This year, they hired machine learning expert Geoffrey Hinton and, last year, they hired famed inventor and artificial intelligence… read more

Reel Change | The radical, reassuring message of Her

December 22, 2013

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Reel Change — December 22, 2013 | Noah Gittell

Key to any discussion about science-fiction movies, including Spike Jonze’s new film Her, is the concept of “singularity,” the predicted moment when human beings will create true artificial intelligence.

Writers like Vernon Vinge and Ray Kurzweil have predicted when this moment will occur (Vinge says 2030, while Kurzweil thinks it will be closer to 2045), but both agree that predicting the course of history after the singularity is impossible… read more

Daily Mail | Johnny Depp undergoes radical cyber transformation in his quest to become immortal in paranoid teaser for Transcendence

December 21, 2013

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Daily Mail — December 21, 2013

The same day three other clips for the film were released, highlighting the futurist angle of the film, which appears to have been modeled after the thoughts of singularity theorist Ray Kurzweil.

Freeman in one of the accompanying trailers states: “For two million years human beings have evolved more than any other species in existence.

“But what if all our knowledge and all our achievements could beread more

Express | Johnny Depp undergoes terrifying transformation for new eerie science fiction film, Transcendence

December 21, 2013

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Express — December 21, 2013 | Nicole Morley

The exciting trailer for new sci-fi flick Transcendence has been released. Playing scientist Will Caster in the movie, Depp’s character is desperate to reach immortality.

Caster attempts to transfer his knowledge, memories and emotions into an advanced computer programme to live on as artificial intelligence.

After the radiation claims Caster’s body, he survives as a virtual person — but his colleagues soon discover that they’re playing a… read more

Dish Magazine | Spike Jonze on getting to know Her

December 21, 2013

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Dish Magazine — December 2013 | Fred Topel

Though Jonze did some research on some of the science of Her, he ultimately went with his heart. “Obviously, I love science fiction too,” he explained.

“I definitely was interested in things that Ray Kurzweil — American author, inventor, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google — writes about, and things like that.

“I made a lot of notes about artificial intelligence and watched a lot… read more

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