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May 15, 2015

First Look: Oculus Rift Shipping in Early 2016 — By Jason Dorrier SingularityHub

Posted by in category: virtual reality

Since the first Oculus Rift virtual reality headset prototype, people have breathlessly asked, “When will a consumer version be ready?” Oculus played coy and stuck to its guns. When we think it’s ready, they said.

Well, evidently, it’s ready. Read more

May 15, 2015

Virtually Human — A Transhumanist Poem by Veronika Lipinska

Posted by in categories: entertainment, fun, robotics/AI

What follows is a work of transhumanist poetry by the Anglo-Polish lawyer, Veronika Lipinska, Lifeboat Foundation advisory board member and Steve Fuller’s co-author of The Proactionary Imperative: A Foundation for Transhumanism (Palgrave, 2014). The Polish sources of transhumanism remain underexplored, but they range across theology and literature. The ‘Polish Brethren’ were a radical 16–17th century Protestant sect who hosted the heretic Fausto Sozzini — the model for Faust — who laid the theological groundwork for such characteristic Enlightenment religious doctrines as Unitarianism and Deism, both of which posited a more immediate connection between the human and the divine than the established churches found comfortable. In more recent times, most transhumanists will be familiar with the science fiction of Stanislaw Lem, but still more recently the 1980 Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Czeslaw Milosz, has penned a poem, ‘After Enduring’, dedicated to cosmologist Frank Tipler’s efforts to infer Christian eschatology from the physics of the Singularity. This poem is a modest follow-up for a new generation.

Virtually human

He played with my head
Got me hardwired
Connected me to the world
And now I can see everything

Continue reading “Virtually Human -- A Transhumanist Poem by Veronika Lipinska” »

May 15, 2015

Walking Like a Human Is a Stroll in the Park — By Jason Dorrier Singularityhub

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Humans evolved over millions of years into today’s upright, bipedal walkers. Now, the evolution of some robots is on a similar track. Only the pace is much faster. In recent decades, we’ve gone from stationary robots performing repetive tasks to wheeled and four-legged robots. And now, bipedal bots are on the rise.

Boston Dynamics has famously engineered some of the most advanced bipedal bots in recent memory (e.g., Petman and Atlas). But they aren’t the only lab working on two-legged robots that can walk like us.

Read more

May 14, 2015

Daimler’s Driverless 18-Wheelers Approved to Cruise Nevada’s Highways — By Jason Dorrier SingularityHub

Posted by in category: driverless cars

This summer, while road tripping through Nevada, you may pull up to the sleek silver cab of an 18-wheeler, and get a shock—the driver isn’t looking at the road, and his hands aren’t on the wheel. Is he…reading?

Nevada, one of the first states to write legislation regulating the testing and operation of driverless vehicles, just okayed Daimler’s futuristic Freightliner Inspiration driverless trucks for the highway. But truck drivers need not fear for their jobs—these trucks won’t replace any humans just yet. They’re here to help. Read more

May 14, 2015

A Quantum Computer Is a Delicate Beast: Video Tour of D-Wave’s Black Box (Part I) — By Jason Dorrier SingularityHub

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

http://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/dwave-quantum-computer-vid-1-1000x400.jpg

Quantum computing is an old idea. But in the practical sense, it’s still very early days. If you actually want your own ready-made quantum computer—you won’t have to do much comparison shopping.

The D-Wave series of quantum computers have been making waves in recent years. USC and Lockheed Martin acquired a D-Wave One in 2011, and Google went in on a D-Wave Two with NASA in 2013. Read more

May 13, 2015

More STEM education won’t protect our jobs from robots — Toby Walsh | The Conversation

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

More STEM education won't protect our jobs from robots

“If robots are going to reduce how much we work, the humanities will help us fill time that we are not working in constructive ways. Wouldn’t that be great? If the 21st century became famous for an explosion in great works of art, paintings that changed the way we see the world, symphonies that make us weep, and plays that touch the soul? Robots might one day be able to help make such art, too.”‘ Read more

May 13, 2015

There’s an Uber for Everything Now — Geoffrey Fowler | The Wall Street Journal

Posted by in categories: business, economics, innovation, internet, mobile phones

“Can tech companies really offer better experiences than the taqueria, flower shop or dry cleaner down the street, while taking a cut for themselves? Not necessarily. Quality control is a challenge when the supervisor is just software.

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May 12, 2015

How digital storytelling revives the ancient art of gossip — Katherine May | AEON

Posted by in category: media & arts

“The internet didn’t create this kind of story: in fact, it’s probably the oldest narrative form of all. This is narrative as a rolling multitude of voices; a story that has no controllable ending, fading instead into a network of other tales told by a network of other people. It is the narrative of everyday life, of friends we know well and not-so-well, and the ways we use their narratives to prop up our own. We know this kind of story as deeply as we know language. This has huge implications for writers. It reveals that we’re not as keen on neat narrative arcs and emotional closure as we thought we were.” Read more

May 12, 2015

Unless Everyone Using Bitcoin Makes This Radical Change, the Currency Will Die — Jordan Pearson | Motherboard

Posted by in category: bitcoin

“But if Bitcoin is ever used by enough people so that blocks are 90 or even 100 percent full, the network could become congested to the point of unusability. The solution, Andresen believes, is to increase the size of each block to 20 megabytes by 2016. How? By changing Bitcoin’s underlying protocol and splitting the blockchain into two different versions—one using 1 megabyte blocks and the other using 20 megabyte blocks.Read more

May 11, 2015

Read This Before You Freak Out Over Gene-Edited Superbabies — Nick Stockton | WIRED

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, DNA

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“The point being, science needs room to figure out exactly what this technology is capable of doing. Right now, researchers have a ton of potential on their hands, but not a lot of agreement about how far that potential reaches.” Read more