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Dec 22, 2015

The Robot Cars Quietly Get Closer, The Noise They Make Will Change The World

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

With a reported tie-up between Google’s self-driving car efforts and the automaker Ford, the era of autonomous vehicles is getting closer. The impact is likely to shake up the balance of power in the global auto industry and among the technology elite. At stake is nothing less than trillions of dollars.

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Dec 22, 2015

HappyHolidays: Happy Holidays from Boston Dynamics

Posted by in category: futurism

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Dec 22, 2015

Inside the weird world of cryonics — By Courtney Weaver | Financial Times

Posted by in category: singularity

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“From the US to Russia, companies are freezing people hoping for a second shot at life”

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Dec 22, 2015

X-Ray Vision? New Technology Making It a Reality for $300

Posted by in categories: health, military

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – X-ray vision, a comic book fantasy for decades, is becoming a reality in a lab at MIT.

A group of researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dina Katabi has developed software that uses variations in radio signals to recognize human silhouettes through walls and track their movements.

Researchers say the technology will be able to help health care providers and families keep closer tabs on toddlers and the elderly, and it could be a new strategic tool for law enforcement and the military.

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Dec 22, 2015

Leaving Planet Earth: Zoltan Istvan talks human future

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, transhumanism

I’m excited to announce a 5-part series of short video interviews I did last week in New York City with the Daily Mail. Here’s one of them:


Presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan from the Transhumanist Party speaks to Ellie Zolfagharifard from DailyMail.com.

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Dec 22, 2015

Giant comets may threaten Earth: astronomers

Posted by in category: asteroid/comet impacts

Can there be any doubt any more that colonizing, at minimum, the rest of the solar system is an existential species imperative!?


Most studies of potential Earth-smashers focus on objects in the asteroid belt roughly between Mars, Earth’s outside neighbour, and Jupiter on its other flank, said the researchers.

But they noted that the discovery in the last two decades of hundreds of giant comets dubbed centaurs, albeit with much larger orbits, requires expanding the list of potential hazards.

Continue reading “Giant comets may threaten Earth: astronomers” »

Dec 22, 2015

Unlocking the Brain a Healing Promise for Those Who Suffer

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, science

Controlling the brain, consciousness and the unconscious through artificial means has long been a staple plot of science fiction. Yet history has a way of proving the fictional to end up as possible, and the future of brain-machine interface appears to hold greater promise than ever before.

Image Credit: Society for Neuroscience (SFN)

Image Credit: Society for Neuroscience (SFN)

According to Neuroscience Researcher, Yale University Fellow, and the Director of Yale’s Clinical Neuroscience Imaging Center, Dr. Hal Blumenfeld, we can now therapeutically (and safely) go inside the brain. As he reflected on the recent advances in neuroscience, Blumenfeld cited the progress that’s been made in the last decade in understanding the relationship between brain activity and conscious thought as one of the biggest breakthroughs. The ability to find the switch in the brain that regulates consciousness, and turn it on and off, is a major step toward the treatment of epilepsy, brain injuries and more, and could have a profound effect on mankind, he said.

“I think the exciting advances are really looking in the network approach to understanding the brain, looking at the brain as a network, and understanding that, for something as wide reaching as consciousness to happen, you really need the whole brain network or most of the brain,” Blumenfeld said. “There’s a switch deep in the middle of the brain that can either be turned on or off. When that gets turned on, the whole rest of the brain network, including the cortex, all start to interact and create consciousness. When that switch gets flipped off, consciousness is turned down and we lose consciousness.”

Continue reading “Unlocking the Brain a Healing Promise for Those Who Suffer” »

Dec 22, 2015

SpaceX Finally Manages to Land an Orbital Rocket Back on Earth

Posted by in categories: satellites, space travel

Right on schedule, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster made a beautiful soft landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station moments ago. It’s a huge moment in the history of spaceflight, marking the first time a rocket has ascended into orbit and landed back on Earth.

The prospects for the reusable rocket system SpaceX has been chasing for over a year are that much better.

At 8:29 pm ET, SpaceX launched its upgraded, Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 11 Orbcomm communication satellites into low Earth orbit from Space Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Minutes later, the second stage separated from the first and continued to propel its payload into higher orbit.

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Dec 22, 2015

Pulsed laser light turns whole-brain activity on and off

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, electronics, genetics, neuroscience

Optogenetic laser light stimulation of the thalamus (credit: Jia Liu et al./eLife)

By flashing high-frequency (40 to 100 pulses per second) optogenetic lasers at the brain’s thalamus, scientists were able to wake up sleeping rats and cause widespread brain activity. In contrast, flashing the laser at 10 pulses per second suppressed the activity of the brain’s sensory cortex and caused rats to enter a seizure-like state of unconsciousness.

“We hope to use this knowledge to develop better treatments for brain injuries and other neurological disorders,” said Jin Hyung Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery, and bioengineering at Stanford University, and a senior author of the study, published in the open-access journal eLIFE.

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Dec 21, 2015

What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Makes MAGIC: THE GATHERING Cards

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

The are over 13,000 Magic: The Gathering cards, each of which fits uniquely into an incredibly rich, decades-old world of lore, rules, tokens, and tournaments. It takes years to master the game, and even then a new set of cards comes every few months to shake things up.

That’s why it’s wonderful to see what kinds of innovation and oddity a days old artificial intelligence can come up with.

AIMTG_2I’m sorry…What does morph do again?

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