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Aug 8, 2017

Today’s Transformation, Tomorrow’s Transportation

Posted by in categories: driverless cars, futurism, robotics/AI, transportation

A Future Scenario by Shubham Sawant

Las Vegas: February 10, 2027

I woke up with the pleasing sound of alarm followed by a sweet voice came, “Good morning. It’s 7:00 am. You have reached at MGM, Las Vegas.” I was sound asleep for the last 8 hours in my car while it was driving me from San Francisco to Las Vegas. I got out with my luggage and the car zoomed away to pick-up another passenger. Everything has changed in the last 10 years. It is like a dream come true scenario for motorist. The roads are super clean with no honking, no speeding tickets, no angry words or smoke. Every vehicle on the road is communicating with every other vehicle and the traffic is always moving in complete synchronization.
The biggest change happed in last few years is people stopped buying cars. Big companies established their network of taxi services. With the push of a button on cell phone the car arrives wherever you are. The technology is so advanced that the car nearest to you finds your request. You enter the destination and the algorithm works to find the fastest most economical path to your destination and you are on your way.
Most of the parking spaces are gone under restructuring. People have converted their parking garages into recreational rooms or extra bedrooms or what not. The entire look and feel of cities has gone under transformation. The accident rates are almost negligible and car insurance industry is almost brink of extinction. Similarly oil industry stocks are at the bottom and renewable energy is booming. The science fiction has become reality.

Shubham Sawant is a Junior at the University of Houston as a Mechanical Engineering Technology Major. This scenario was part of a project he completed for the course TECH 1313-Impact of Modern Technology on Society.

Shubham says: “I have been very fascinated with the future and how it will be like. Every year, new and new people come up with amazing ideas and products that help us further think about how the future will be. I love to read and I almost always try to read anything that relates to the future. Since I was 4, I have grown to love automotive culture. You will see me talking about cars in a conversation. I love sports like soccer, swimming and cycling. I plan to work in the automotive industry and hopefully get a career to design and manufacture automobiles!”

Aug 8, 2017

‘Alexa, I’m ready to walk’: Robotics company using Amazon’s AI to help control exoskeleton

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI

It’s one thing to be wowed by Amazon’s Alexa and her ability to turn off Katy Perry, or turn on the lights. But what if the voice-activated artificial intelligence could help control a robotic device designed to help people walk?

That’s the hope of Bionik Laboratories, which announced Tuesday that it has integrated Alexa into its ARKE lower body exoskeleton. The product is in clinical development, and the future goal is for individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury or are otherwise severely impaired in their lower body to gain mobility such as standing and walking.

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Aug 8, 2017

Halting Pulmonary Fibrosis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Cellular senescence is widely considered by academia to be one of the causes of aging and one that leads to a number of age-related diseases. There has been a high level of interest in recent years in cellular senescence and approaches that seek to remove senescent cells as a route to delaying or even preventing age-related diseases.

Today we have a new study where researchers focus on pulmonary fibrosis and the role of cellular senescence.

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Aug 8, 2017

Here Are Some New Ideas for Fighting Botnets

Posted by in categories: computing, government

It’s a tricky problem, so solutions have to be carefully thought out.

Federal agencies face a thorny path as they try to step up the government’s fight against armies of infected computers and connected devices known as botnets, responses to a government information request reveal.

Industry, academic and think tank commenters all agreed more should be done to combat the zombie computer armies that digital ne’er-do-wells frequently hire to force adversaries offline.

Continue reading “Here Are Some New Ideas for Fighting Botnets” »

Aug 8, 2017

The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, life extension, robotics/AI, transhumanism

Transhumanists are curiosity addicts. If it’s new, different, untouched, or even despised, we’re probably interested in it. If it involves a revolution or a possible paradigm shift in human experience, you have our full attention. We are obsessed with the mysteries of existence, and we spend our time using the scientific method to explore anything we can find about the evolving universe and our tiny place in it.

Obsessive curiosity is a strange bedfellow. It stems from a profound sense of wanting something better in life—of not being satisfied. It makes one search, ponder, and strive for just about everything and anything that might improve existence. In the 21st century, that leads one right into transhumanism. That’s where I’ve landed right now: A journalist and activist in the transhumanist movement. I’m also currently a Libertarian candidate for California Governor. I advocate for science and tech-themed policies that give everyone the opportunity to live indefinitely in perfect health and freedom.

Politics aside, transhumanism is the international movement of using science and technology to radically change the human being and experience. Its primary goal is to deliver and embrace a utopian techno-optimistic world—a world that consists of biohackers, cyborgists, roboticists, life extension advocates, cryonicists, Singularitarians, and other science-devoted people.

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Aug 8, 2017

US drones to the Philippines?; Spy planes over the US; AI tool to detect fake video; US bases get OK to down unknown drones; and just a bit more…

Posted by in categories: drones, government, military, robotics/AI, surveillance

Are U.S. killer drones headed to the Philippines? There are already U.S. special operators fighting ISIS there. There could soon be American drones carrying out airstrikes there, too, according to a plan under consideration inside the Pentagon, NBC News reported Monday. “The authority to strike ISIS targets as part of collective self-defense could be granted as part of an official military operation that may be named as early as Tuesday, said the officials. The strikes would likely be conducted by armed drones.”

SecState Rex Tillerson gave the pitch some momentum Monday in Manila when he said the U.S. was providing the Philippine government “some recent transfers of a couple of Cessnas and a couple of UAVs (drones) to allow to them to have better information with which to conduct the fight down there.”

And in a bid to cut off concerns over working even more closely with alleged human rights abuser Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Tillerson said that’s pretty much just not an issue right now: “I see no conflict at all in our helping them with that situation and our views of other human rights concerns we have with respect to how they carry out their counternarcotics activities.” More from NBC News, here.

Continue reading “US drones to the Philippines?; Spy planes over the US; AI tool to detect fake video; US bases get OK to down unknown drones; and just a bit more…” »

Aug 8, 2017

AI Will Make Fake News Video — and Fight It As Well

Posted by in categories: engineering, finance, information science, robotics/AI

Just weeks after one research team appeared to put words in a leader’s mouth, here comes a new tool that can check questionable video for a pulse.

A recent demonstration showing how easy it is to spoof video of a world leader recently made headlines, foretelling a future where robot-created videos cause political and financial havoc. But now comes word of an antidote. On Monday, a group of computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute published new research showing how algorithms can tell whether the person on-screen has a human heartbeat. The technique will help future intelligence analysts, journalists, or just scared television viewers detect the difference between spoofed video and the real thing.

Continue reading “AI Will Make Fake News Video — and Fight It As Well” »

Aug 8, 2017

LEAF President Keith Comito asks whether the CRISPR gene editing system will help cure aging in the near term

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

Dr. Oliver Medvedik, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, and Dr. Alexandra Stolzing discuss.

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Aug 8, 2017

SoftBank is plowing billions into tech companies: Here’s a list of investments so far

Posted by in category: futurism

Japanese tech giant SoftBank has been plowing billions of dollars into tech companies, both public and privately held, in the last year — so much so that one investor has questioned whether SoftBank is fueling a new valuation bubble in tech.

Some of these investments are coming from the gigantic SoftBank Vision Fund, which includes funds from SoftBank as well as Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and tech companies like Apple, Foxconn, Qualcomm and Sharp. The fund announced in May that it had closed $93 billion in capital, and hopes to raise $100 billion by the end of the year.

But SoftBank has also announced many investments that don’t involve the Vision Fund. According to reports and sources familiar, some of these investments will be offered to the Vision Fund, while others will not.

Continue reading “SoftBank is plowing billions into tech companies: Here’s a list of investments so far” »

Aug 7, 2017

Scientists have successfully carried out the first-known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the U.S.

Posted by in categories: futurism, genetics

Are we near a future of “designer babies”?


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