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Mar 24, 2015

The ‘Oculus Rift’ and the Courtroom

Posted by in category: augmented reality

Laura Bliss — City Lab
Image Flickr/wikileakstruck, Wikimedia Commons/Paethon, Laura Bliss
Immersive virtual reality and its ground-shaking potential was the belle of the ball at South by Southwest’s “Interactive” portion, which wrapped up Tuesday. Virtual reality (VR) headsets like the Oculus Rift fascinated and delighted festival-goers, with promises of changing the very landscapes of film, travel, journalism, and of course gaming—where VR’s journey into mainstream discourse began with the Oculus’ 2012 Kickstarter.

But there’s another area that the Oculus Rift—or whatever immersive VR headset gets commercialized first—is likely to enter: The courtroom. (And no, we don’t mean the current patent lawsuit against the Oculus Rift’s makers.) It might not sound sexy, but the implications could be pretty big.

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Mar 23, 2015

Virtual Reality Advertisements Get in Your Face

Posted by in category: augmented reality

By Rachel Metz — MIT Technology Review
illustration of ad addled man wearing VR headgearI’m sitting in a desk chair in an office in Mountain View, California. But with a virtual-reality headset strapped to my head and headphones over my ears, it looks and sounds like I’m standing in the belly of a blimp, flying high above silent city blocks dotted with billboards for a Despicable Me theme-park ride.

The blimp ride is part of a demo built by MediaSpike, a startup that’s making ads for virtual reality. Even the blimp itself is an ad: before boarding it, I can see its exterior is covered with a larger-than-life version of one of the film’s short, yellow characters.

For now, augmented reality and virtual reality are not widely used. But as new headsets hit the market, advertisers will surely try to stake out virtual ground.

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Mar 23, 2015

IQ-Test for the Planet

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

There are scientific publications starting in 2008 all remaining unchallenged in the literature which prove that the attempt to produce black holes down on earth is maximally dangerous for the planet.

Nevertheless all visible media and all politicians of the world refuse to say a word in response to the tomorrow to be doubled attempt at CERN.

Lifeboat is too small and unassuming to have a wide distribution, but it is an honor to say that in the Middle West of the United States the kindest and most caring and rational people on the planet live because they support Lifeboat.

Lifeboat is a planet’s lifeboat.

Mar 23, 2015

DARPA thinks it has a solution to Ebola (and all other infectious diseases)

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

by Alexis C. Madrigal — Fusion

http://i0.wp.com/fusiondotnet.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/fusion_ebolaantibodies.gif?resize=1400%2C788&quality=80&strip=all

Saving the world from Ebola suddenly sounds so simple, as the solution spills from Colonel Dan Wattendorf’s mouth, up on the stage in the windowless banquet hall of this Marriott hotel south of San Francisco.

“We’re going to take the genetic code and put it into a format where you go to your drug store or doctor and get a shot in the arm,” Wattendorf told a room full of medical researchers and technologists. “There’s a low-cost of goods, no cold chain, and we would produce the correct antibody in [any] individual directly.”Read more

Mar 22, 2015

Artificial Intelligence Is Almost Ready for Business

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

by Brad Power — Harvard Business Review
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an idea that has oscillated through many hype cycles over many years, as scientists and sci-fi visionaries have declared the imminent arrival of thinking machines. But it seems we’re now at an actual tipping point. AI, expert systems, and business intelligence have been with us for decades, but this time the reality almost matches the rhetoric, driven by the exponential growth in technology capabilities (e.g., Moore’s Law), smarter analytics engines, and the surge in data.

Most people know the Big Data story by now: the proliferation of sensors (the “Internet of Things”) is accelerating exponential growth in “structured” data. And now on top of that explosion, we can also analyze “unstructured” data, such as text and video, to pick up information on customer sentiment. Companies have been using analytics to mine insights within this newly available data to drive efficiency and effectiveness. For example, companies can now use analytics to decide which sales representatives should get which leads, what time of day to contact a customer, and whether they should e-mail them, text them, or call them.

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Mar 22, 2015

Elon Musk: humans driving cars could one day become illegal

Posted by in category: driverless cars

By — Digital Spy
The Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion self-driving car
Tesla founder Elon Musk thinks that once self-driving cars become the primary mode of transport, traditional human-driven vehicles may be banned.

His comments came during a conversation on stage with Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at the company’s annual developers conference.

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Mar 22, 2015

Sawyer: Rethink Robotics Unveils New Robot

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Evan Ackerman and Erico Guizzo — IEEE Spectrum

“Need a hand?”

Earlier this week, we went up to Boston to see something new from Rethink Robotics. They wouldn’t tell us what (not even a hint), but we bought plane tickets anyway, because Rodney Brooks told us that it wasn’t just some slightly different version of Baxter. And it wasn’t: it’s a completely different robot, stuffing all of the adaptive, collaborative technology that makes Baxter unique into a form factor that’s smaller, faster, stronger, and more precise.

This is Sawyer.

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Mar 21, 2015

The Looming Threat of Artificial Unintelligence

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

By Erik Sofge — Popular Science

Brace yourself. In these crucial weeks before the May release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, editors and writers are going to unleash an onslaught of think pieces about the real-life threat of artificial intelligence (AI). Whatever box office records the upcoming movie does or doesn’t break, it will offer yet another vision of AI insurgency, in the form of Ultron. Created to protect humanity from a variety of threats, the embittered, James Spader-voiced peacekeeping software decides to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and just massacre all of us. It’s the latest, but certainly not the last time that Hollywood will turn the concept of AI superintelligence into action movie fodder. And for media outlets, it provides another opportunity to apply light reporting, and deeply furrowed brows, to the greatest problem in AI, that also happens to not be a problem at all.

More likely, the AI that hurts us will be very, very dumb.
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Mar 21, 2015

Machine automatically assembles complex molecules at the microscopic level

Posted by in category: nanotechnology

By — Gizmag
Researchers at the University of Illinois claim to have created a machine that assembles a...
The synthesis of complex small molecules in the laboratory is specialized and intricate work that is both difficult and time-consuming. Even highly-trained chemists can take many years to determine how to build each one, let alone discover and describe its functions. In an attempt to improve this situation, a team of chemists at the University of Illinois claim to have created a machine that is able to assemble a vast range of complex molecules at the push of a button.

A specific class of structures, complex small molecules are readily found in nature and are intrinsic to research in a wide range of scientific fields. In medicine, for example, many of the latest medications have been derived from the manipulation of small molecules. In the biological sciences, small molecules are often used to help reveal the interior mechanisms of tissues and cells. Even non-organic electronic technologies such as semiconductors, including solar cells and LEDs, require the creation and use of these miniature assemblies.
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Mar 20, 2015

Can Ethereum help eliminate corruption and bureaucracy in the developing world? Could Ethereum One Day Transform Law, Finance, and Civil Society?

Posted by in categories: big data, business, complex systems, computing, disruptive technology, economics, futurism, governance, human trajectories, information science

Quoted: “Ethereum’s developers believe their project will lead to the proliferation of programs they call “smart contracts,” in which the terms of an agreement are written in code and enforced by software. These smart contracts could carry out the instructions of a complex algorithm based on data feed—such as a stock ticker. They could facilitate practically any financial transaction, such as holding money in escrow or dispersing micropayments among autonomous machines. They could be used to create a peer-to-peer gambling network, a peer-to-peer stock trading platform, a peer-to-peer social network, a prenuptial agreement, a will, a standard agreement to split a dinner check, or a public registry for keeping track of who owns what land in a city.

Gupta predicts that these smart contracts will be so cheap and versatile that they’ll do “a lot of things that today we do informally,” and take on a lot of the “donkey work of running a society.””

Read the article here > http://reason.com/blog/2015/03/19/here-comes-ethereum-an-information-techn

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