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Mar 30, 2015

The buzz of something new

Posted by in category: drones

The Economist -


THIS year, some predict, will be the year of the microdrone. Small, pilotless aircraft—most of them helicopters with four or more sets of rotors and a payload slung between them—are moving out of the laboratory and into practical use. They are already employed for aerial photography and surveillance, particularly in Europe. In Paris, earlier this month, drones flying around the Eiffel tower caused a security scare. And in America, on March 19th, Amazon, a retailer, was given permission to test a drone designed to deliver its goods.

These drones, though, rely on an operator on the ground. Indeed, this is often a legal requirement. But it is also a constraint. If a world of microdrones really is to come about, then the craft will need to be able to cut the surly bonds of Earth and fly unsupervised. For that, they are going to have to get a lot more intelligent.Read more

Mar 30, 2015

Transnationalism to Transhumanism: the Mont Order Club’s video discussion

Posted by in categories: education, robotics/AI, science, transhumanism, transparency

The Mont Order Club hosted its first video conference in February 2015, as shown below.

Suggested topics included transhumanism, antistatism, world events, movements, collaboration, and alternative media. The Mont Order is an affiliation of dissident writers and groups who share similar views on transnationalism and transhumanism as positive and inevitable developments.

Participants:

Continue reading “Transnationalism to Transhumanism: the Mont Order Club's video discussion” »


Mar 30, 2015

Space Privatization, Tourism And Morals

Posted by in categories: ethics, space, space travel
By: Leigh Cooper — Inside Science
Novel technologies, innovative engineering and breathtaking discoveries could be the story of the next 100 years of space exploration. But space travel involves more than math, telescopes and rovers according to the speakers at a session at last month’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California. Modern space exploration mixes together governments and private companies, science and ethics, promise and possibilities.

Chris Impey, an astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson, thinks that the desire to explore, which has pushed humans to cross oceans and conquer mountains, will continue to propel humans into space.

“I think what is happening now is as profound as the transition that took place among hunter gatherers when they left Africa 50 or 60 thousand years ago,” said Impey. “It took an amazing short time – just a couple hundred generations – for simple tribal units of 50 or 100 to spread essentially across the Earth.“Read more

Mar 29, 2015

Intelligent robots must uphold human rights

Posted by in categories: human trajectories, law, robotics/AI, security

Hutan Ashrafian — nature.comhttp://images.sequart.org/images/i-robot-510ea6801c50a.jpg

There is a strong possibility that in the not-too-distant future, artificial intelligences (AIs), perhaps in the form of robots, will become capable of sentient thought. Whatever form it takes, this dawning of machine consciousness is likely to have a substantial impact on human society.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and physicist Stephen Hawking have in recent months warned of the dangers of intelligent robots becoming too powerful for humans to control. The ethical conundrum of intelligent machines and how they relate to humans has long been a theme of science fiction, and has been vividly portrayed in films such as 1982’s Blade Runner and this year’s Ex Machina.Read more

Mar 29, 2015

It’s Time For Robot Pilots

Posted by in categories: automation, human trajectories, robotics/AI, security, transportation

Jason Koebler — MotherBoard

http://motherboard-images.vice.com/content-images/article/20326/1427390573566811.png?crop=1xw:0.8160465116279069xh;*,*&resize=2300:*&output-format=jpeg&output-quality=90
It’s increasingly looking like the plane that crashed Monday in France, killing 150 people, went down because one of the pilots ​turned off the autopilot and intentionally crashed it into the ground. Why are we still letting humans fly passenger planes?

The short answer is, we’re not really. It’s no secret that planes are already highly automated, and, with technology that’s available today (but that isn’t installed on the Airbus A320 operated by Germanwings that crashed), it would have been possible for someone in a ground station somewhere to have wrested control of the plane from those on board and reestablished autopilot (or to have piloted the plane from the ground)Read more

Mar 28, 2015

Out of the box thinking fostered at unique school founded by tech giants

Posted by in categories: education, singularity

The University of British Columbiahttp://news.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/SU770.jpgOne year ago, Tamara Etmannski became the first Canadian Global Impact Competition winner. The award earned her a scholarship to take part in a 10-week program at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University — a non-accredited institution that aims to solve the world’s greatest challenges through technology. The university was founded by tech legends Peter Diamandis, of the X PRIZE Foundation, and Ray Kurzweil, of Google.

Etmannski, now a UBC Faculty of Applied Science lecturer, is helping develop a new Masters of Engineering Leadership program, tied to the Sauder School of Business. As the second Canadian Global Impact Competition heats up — the winner will be announced April 2 — Etmannski explains how her experience at Singularity University transformed her thinking, and what engineering and business can teach each other.

Read More

Mar 28, 2015

The Feel-Good Switch: The Radical Future of Emotion

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/nerve-cells-1000x400.jpg

For most of the last century, the study of emotions was not considered serious science. The problem was subjectivity. Science is objective, rigorously objective. Emotions, though, are internal states, so the only way to study them is through subjective inference (essentially asking people to report how they feel). But — because people lie, because we often misinterpret our emotions and because comparisons between subjects, that is the depth of my anger versus your anger, is impossible to measure—there’s no objective data to be found.

Thus, until recently, the topic was taboo.

Read more

Mar 27, 2015

Tesla’s Model S will add self-driving ‘autopilot’ mode in three months

Posted by in category: driverless cars

By Chris Welch — The Verge

Tesla’s preparing a software update that will bring powerful auto-steering functionality to its Model S fleet. During today’s press call — which mostly focused on curing range anxiety — CEO Elon Musk revealed that Tesla will ship a software update “in about three months” that will turn on auto-steering, or “autopilot” as Musk often refers to it. “We can basically go between San Francisco and Seattle without the driver doing anything,” Musk said of the autonomous system that Tesla has developed. For now, you’ll only be able to engage auto-steering on highways. We got a preview of the autopilot functionality during our initial test drive in the P85D, which you can watch below.
Read more

Mar 27, 2015

The Robotic Double-Edged Sword

Posted by in categories: automation, disruptive technology, economics, futurism, governance, robotics/AI, space, space travel, strategy

One of the things that I’ve always liked about Star Trek, is the concept of a galaxy spanning civilization. I would expect that before we ever get to that point, we will have a civilization that spans our solar system. Having a solar system spanning civilization has many advantages. It would give us access to resources many times greater than what is found here on Earth. It also provides the opportunity for civilization to expand, and in a worst case scenario, help ensure the survival of humanity.

Millions of people living in spacious environmentally controlled cities on planetary surfaces and in rotating cylinders in free space, with industry that extends from Mercury to the comets is to me, a grand vision worthy of an ambitious civilization. But trying to make that vision a reality will be difficult. The International Space Station has the capacity to house just six people and cost approximately $100B to put in place. With a little simple division, that works out to about $17B per inhabitant! If we used that admittedly crude figure, it would cost $17 trillion to build a 1,000 person habitat in Earth orbit. Clearly, the approach we used to build the ISS will not work for building a solar system civilization!

The ISS model relies on building everything on Earth, and launching it into space. A different model championed by Dr. Philip Metzger, would develop industrial capacity in space, using resources close to home, such as from the Moon. This has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of building and maintaining systems in space. But how to develop that industrial capacity? Remember we can’t afford to launch and house thousands of workers from Earth. The answer it would seem, is with advanced robotics and advanced manufacturing.

But is even this possible? The good news is that advanced robotics and advanced manufacturing are already being rapidly developed here on Earth. The driver for this development is economics, not space. These new tools will still have to be modified to work in the harsh environment of space, and with resources that are different from what are commonly used here on Earth. While learning to adapt those technologies to the Moon and elsewhere in the solar system is not trivial, it is certainly better that having to develop them from scratch!

Continue reading “The Robotic Double-Edged Sword” »


Mar 27, 2015

Italian Researchers Expect 3D Printed Eyes by 2027, Providing Enhanced Vision & WiFi Connection

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting, biotech/medical

by — 3Dprint.commain
There’s one thing you may have begun to notice about digital design and 3D printing: whatever you think might happen in the future is probably going to advance far beyond whatever you envisioned or thought might be a cool idea.

And literally, one day you may be envisioning your entire world, and recording it as well, through completely artificially constructed, 3D printed eyeballs. You may be able to say goodbye to prescription glasses and contact lenses — and even your camera, as your original retina is replaced by a new and digital network contained inside your head, and even able to be swapped out for different versions.Read more

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