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Boing Boing | A beautiful, synapse-by-synapse tour of a brain

January 31, 2014

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Source: Boing Boing — January 31, 2014 | Maggie Koerth-Baker

The video is lovely, with some great shots of lab work and an animated tour of the mouse brain slices.

The animation looks like driving down a highway and watching buildings on the roadside appearing, becoming larger, and then shrinking in the rearview. It also underlines a bit why I’m pretty skeptical of Ray Kurzweil’s singularity.

Or, at least, his estimations of how long it will take… read more

PR Newswire | Stratecast predictions 2014 the year ahead and a look back

January 31, 2014

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Source: PR Newswire — January 13, 2014

With the acceleration of change, the uncertainty that once characterized the far future is coming to characterize the near future.

Some futurists, including Ray Kurzweil, are convinced that, by the year 2020, the rate of change will be so great that human minds will be incapable of encompassing or understanding it. It is true that this accelerating change dynamic continues to influence the telecommunications market in ways that… read more

Elle | The musical stylings of Janelle Monae

January 30, 2014

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Source: Elle — February 2013 | Kathryn Hudson

“I have a responsibility to my community,” she says at the next. “I have a responsibility to tell the universe a story in an unforgettable way,” she says again. The ArchAndroid certainly told a mesmerizing story.

Inspired by far-out theorists like Ray Kurzweil, Monae used sci-fi imagery as a metaphor for the African-American experience and created a trippy, captivating musical message of “coming together and creating something that… read more

The Press of Atlantic City | R&B star Janelle Monae brings new album and androids to Borgata

January 30, 2014

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Source: The Press of Atlantic City — January 30, 2014 | Robert DiGiacomo

Janelle Monae plans to make a memorable first impression for her Atlantic City debut.

The androids serve as a vehicle through which Monae, whose work is influenced by futurist Ray Kurzweil and director Spike Jonze (Her), can explore societal issues, such as the marginalization of people of color, the poor and other oppressed minorities. [...]

Daily Mail | Google sets up artificial intelligence ethics board to curb the rise of the robots

January 30, 2014

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Source: Daily Mail — January 29, 2014 | Mark Prigg

Google also hired futurist Ray Kurzweil as Engineering Director in 2012.

Kurzweil has famously claimed that in just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal, an event called singularity. He also claimed the biological parts of our body will be replaced with mechanical parts and this could happen as early as 2100. [...]

TechEye | Google needs British intelligence

January 30, 2014

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Source: TechEye — January 27, 2014 | Nick Farrell

It looks like DeepMind’s founders will join futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was hired in 2012 as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.

Kurzweil is working on a search engine so advanced that it could act like a “cybernetic friend.” So far though there has not been much in print about what exactly DeepMind’s AI tech does. [...]

Reuters | Google to buy artificial intelligence company DeepMind

January 30, 2014

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Source: Reuters — January 27, 2014 | Alexei Oreskovic, Greg Roumeliotis

Google, which is working on projects including self-driving cars and robots, has become increasingly focused on artificial intelligence in recent years.

In 2012, it hired Ray Kurzweil, considered one of the leading minds in the field, and in May it announced a partnership with NASA and several universities to launch the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab. [...]

Latin Post | Google buys artificial intelligence startup DeepMind for $400 million, is the search engine trying to take over the world?

January 30, 2014

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Source: Latin Post — January 27, 2014 | Bernadette R. Giacomazzo

TechCrunch is also saying that this move is the latest by Google to build up its roster of artificial intelligence companies and experts in order to become dominant in the field.

“If all three of DeepMind’s founders work for Google, they will join inventor, entrepreneur, author, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who was hired in 2012 as a director of engineering focused on machine learning and language processing.… read more

MIT Technology Review | Is Google cornering the market on deep learning?

January 30, 2014

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Source: MIT Technology Review — January 29, 2014 | Antonio Regalado

As advanced machine learning transitions from a primarily scientific pursuit to one with high industrial importance, Google’s bench is probably deepest.

Names it has lured from academia into full-time or part-time roles include Sebastian Thrun (who has worked on the company’s autonomous car project); Fernando Pereira, a onetime University of Pennsylvania computer scientist; Stanford’s Andrew Ng; and Singularity University boss Ray Kurzweil. [...]

Business Day | Techno file Google’s robotic ventures could make our sci-fi dreams reality

January 29, 2014

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Source: Business Day — January 29, 2014 | Kevin O'Grady

It’s impossible to know at this stage exactly what Google is planning. In 2012, it hired the US inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil to “work on new projects involving machine learning and language processing.”

Larry Page and Kurzweil agreed on a one-sentence job description: “To bring natural language understanding to Google.” It’s a safe bet that Kurzweil is the brain behind Google’s plans for the Internet of Things.… read more

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