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Oct 29, 2014

The Most Valiant Attempts to Program Our Five Senses Into Robots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Alexandra Ossola — MotherBoard

http://motherboard-cdn-assets.vice.com/content-images/article/15559/1411674585648544.png?crop=1xw:0.8390449438202247xh;*,*&resize=2300:*&output-format=jpeg&output-quality=90

Ever since humans first envisioned robots, we’ve thought about how to make the machines more like us. Robots compete against us on game shows, and rendezvous with us in the bedroom (or at least, make virtual sex feel real). But part of being human is sensing the world around us in a particular way, and doing it all at the same time.

This is much more complicated than it seems, as scientists haven’t fully unraveled how we’re able to sense what we do; it’s both our hardware and software that contain codes that are difficult to crack. Still, scientists power through, discovering how their own senses work while crafting artificial versions of them. Here are some of the most valiant attempts to get robots to taste, smell, touch, hear, and see in the most human way possible.

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Oct 28, 2014

One of science’s most baffling questions? Why we yawn

Posted by in category: biological

Oct 27, 2014

FUTURISM UPDATE (October 28, 2014)

Posted by in category: futurism

FUTURISM UPDATE (October 28, 2014)

a Amazon and Lifeboat

REUTERS: Wall St. flat after last week’s big gain; energy weighs http://lnkd.in/dZxTeKd

REUTERS: Amazon buys comedy service Rooftop Media to expand digital content http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/27/us-amazon-com-medi.….XW20141027

KAI: How ferroelectrics could replace silicon in computers http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-ferroelectrics-could-replace-silicon-in-computers

Continue reading “FUTURISM UPDATE (October 28, 2014)” »


Oct 27, 2014

3D-printing objects containing multiple metals and alloys

Posted by in category: 3D printing

Kurweil AI

Researchers at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, and Pennsylvania State University have developed a 3D printing process that transitions from one metal or alloy to another in a single object.

For example, they created a prototype of an improved telescope mirror mount. The part at the top near the glass mirror is made of a metal with low thermal expansion, so that it won’t shrink in space as much as most metals do. That prevents stress in the epoxy adhesive between the mirror and the metal. The bottom part of this mount is stronger stainless steel and could be connected to a stainless steel component of a spacecraft.

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Oct 26, 2014

Morphing material could allow robots to switch between hard and soft states

Posted by in category: materials

Kurweil AI

A new Terminator T-1000 robot-style material made of wax and foam — and capable of switching between hard and soft states — could be used to build morphing surgical robots that move through the body to reach a desired location without damaging organs or vessels along the way.

Robots built from the material, described in a new paper in the journal Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, could also be used in search-and-rescue operations to squeeze through rubble looking for survivors, says Anette Hosoi, an MIT professor of mechanical engineering and applied mathematics who led the research team.

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Oct 25, 2014

Nasa approves ‘impossible’ space engine design that apparently violates the laws of physics and could revolutionise space travel

Posted by in category: space travel

James Vincent — The Independent

In a quiet announcement that has sent shockwaves through the scientific world, Nasa has cautiously given its seal of approval to a new type of “impossible” engine that could revolutionize space travel.

In a paper published by the agency’s experimental Eagleworks Laboratories, Nasa engineers confirmed that they had produced tiny amounts of thrust from an engine without propellant – an apparent violation of the conservation of momentum; the law of physics that states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction.

Continue reading “Nasa approves 'impossible' space engine design that apparently violates the laws of physics and could revolutionise space travel” »


Oct 24, 2014

Britons spend more time on tech than asleep, study suggests

Posted by in category: human trajectories

— BBC News

Woman on phone

Communications regulator Ofcom said UK adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night’s sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes.

Almost four hours a day are spent watching TV according to Ofcom’s survey of 2,800 UK adults and children.

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Oct 23, 2014

FUTURISM UPDATE (October 24, 2014)

Posted by in category: futurism

FUTURISM UPDATE (October 24, 2014)

new-2

FORBES: Three Industries Going Through Dramatic Supply Chain Transformations http://lnkd.in/drBaPhW

GEEKWIRE: Google leads $542M Magic Leap deal, betting on augmented reality http://www.geekwire.com/2014/google-leads-542m-magic-leap-in.….d-reality/

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Google Invests Heavily in Magic Leap’s Effort to Blend Illusion and Reality http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/google-invests-in-mag.….lity-firm/

Continue reading “FUTURISM UPDATE (October 24, 2014)” »


Oct 23, 2014

Who is Amit Singhal (at Google)?

Posted by in categories: futurism, lifeboat, science, transhumanism

This archive file was compiled from an interview conducted at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California, 2013.

As late as the 1980s and the 1990s, the common person seeking stored knowledge would likely be faced with using an 18th century technology — the library index card catalogue — in order to find something on the topic he or she was looking for. Fifteen years later, most people would be able to search, at any time and any place, a collection of information that dwarfed that of any library. And unlike the experience with a library card catalogue, this new technology rarely left the user empty-handed.

Information retrieval had been a core technology of humanity since written language — but as an actual area of research it was so niche that before the 1950s, nobody had bothered to give the field a name. From a superficial perspective, the pioneering work in the area during the 1940s and 50s seemed to suggest it would be monumentally important to the future — but only behind the scenes. Information retrieval was to be the secret tool of the nation at war, or of the elite scientist compiling massive amounts of data. Increasingly however, a visionary group of thinkers dreamed of combining information retrieval and the ‘thinking machine’ to create something which would be far more revolutionary for society.

Continue reading “Who is Amit Singhal (at Google)?” »


Oct 23, 2014

Internet: How websites are experimenting on you

Posted by in category: internet

By Chris Baraniuk — BBC Future

(Auraveda/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

The internet is one big experiment, and you’re part of it. Every day, millions of trials are manipulating what you see when you browse online, to find out how to keep your attention, make you click more links – and spend more money. And these experiments are often secret. You’ll probably never know you were part of them.

This is all thanks to something now well-known in the tech industry, called A/B testing. It means that the web pages served to you are not necessarily the same as those shown to the next person – they might have slightly different colours, an alternate headline or, on social networks, you could be shown different personal information about your friends and family.

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