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Sep 9, 2018

Towards data-driven biotechnology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, robotics/AI

Data centers are the new oil refineries, argues The Economist. Where black sludge and steam once marked the beating heart of the economy, now blinking servers laced with fiber optic cables indicate where the action is.

Biotechnology — like all other industries — must adapt. Synthetic biology teams that embrace modern tools like cloud computing, professionally built software, and laboratory automation will save time, reduce errors, streamline complex workflows, and maintain their agility in the digital economy. Those who fail to adopt new tools will be primed for disruption.

Software is already an integral part of biological research, but most scientific apps lag far behind the rest of the digital frontier. As the software giant Autodesk puts it:

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Sep 9, 2018

PH, Russia finalize outer space pact

Posted by in category: satellites

By Roy Mabasa

The Philippines will soon be able to send equipment and freight to outer space such as micro and nano-satellites, as well as the establishment of a receiving station for the Global Navigation Satellite System, with assistance from the Russian space program.

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Sep 8, 2018

Defense Department pledges billions toward artificial intelligence research

Posted by in categories: military, robotics/AI

The military’s research arm said Friday it will invest up to $2 billion over the next five years toward new programs advancing artificial intelligence, stepping up both a technological arms race with China and an ideological clash with Silicon Valley over the future of powerful machines.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the Defense Department, said it will fund dozens of new research efforts as part of a “Third Wave” campaign aimed at developing machines that can learn and adapt to changing environments.

DARPA director Steven Walker announced the effort Friday to an audience from American academia, private industry and the military at a symposium outside Washington, saying the agency wants to explore “how machines can acquire human-like communication and reasoning capabilities.”

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Sep 8, 2018

Should we live to be 500? Christians and secularists come together over transhumanism

Posted by in categories: education, transhumanism

Locke, though, wasn’t delivering a sermon.

The Texas pastor was moderating a panel at the first-ever Christian Transhumanist Conference, hosted last month by the Christian Transhumanist Association at Lipscomb University, a Church of Christ-affiliated school in Nashville.

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Sep 8, 2018

This transcription of a discussion on Christian Transhumanism FB clarifies that their founder (Revd Benek) is trying to SUBVERT the trans/ posthuman movement, and what he/ they mean by “Transhuman” is not FM-2030’s notion of evolution from human via transitional stage to posthuman, but is set AGAINST progress and wishes to retain the human condition, and convert everybody to Jesus-worship if they can

Posted by in categories: evolution, transhumanism

Christopher Benek “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” — Abraham Kuyper Christopher Benek Steve Nichols May I ask then — why are you in this group? Steve Nichols “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” I suspect Christian transhumanists of trying to infiltrate and subvert the wider radical futurist movement (evidenced by such quotes as above). I am here to provide balance and sanity. Christopher Benek Why Steve you don’t need to suspect it — I’ll affirm it. As a matter of fact it is part of the reason why I co-founded the CTA — to reclaim and redeem that which was what was falsely appropriated to begin with, that which is all of humanity’s divine vocation — not just as some “radical” group’s road to isolationist technological tyranny. In fairness though, I don’t think that Micah or I have ever denied that fact. And hey we welcome any accountability that you want to provide as long as that goes both ways. In short all we ask is that folks here genuinely and lovingly seek to play nice with others. Steve Nichols Christopher Benek having been involved with trans /posthuman movement since the 1980’s, Christians have hardly featured other than times such as when the Pope (no less) and other vocal Christians have condemned trans/ posthumans. You can hardly “reclaim” that of which Christianity was never a part, and in fact has mostly been (and remains on the whole) in opposition to. Since you welcome accountability, what authority do you have (other than tall tales in the bible) to claim determination of “all of humanity’s divine vocation”? I appreciate that I am a guest here, and always try to be polite. Christopher Benek Steve Nichols See assumptions on terminology is where we differ — I have contended — for quite some time now — “that the “trans” part of transhumanim doesn’t mean “post” but instead “across — the scope of what it might mean to be made human” which i think we are on the very front end of understanding. In that regard — all of the historic parts of the church — particularly those elements that were missionary in origin were taking, creating and using tech to help people throughout the world. In fact, the “tall tales” as you put it of the Bible (which by the way obviously weren’t written to be taken literally in all places — when Jesus says “I am the door” he doesn’t mean that literally) constantly talks about how God was instructing humans how to fashion and use tech to protect and improve relationships. I think that is a good guidepost for our future as well. Tech is deep in Christian history and its only since the false narratives of the like of the “New Atheists” (as if an actual atheist even exists) that anyone has questioned that… Yes, Christians don’t put tech (or anything) before God — but that doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge its crucial importance as a hermeneutical and practical device for understanding and actually being human.” Since Benek reposts copies of his own discussions with Zoltan (and maybe others) on CTA list, he can have no objections to me reproducing his comments here.

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Sep 8, 2018

A 50-year-old NASA invention that could kill cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, innovation

This 50-year-old NASA invention could kill cancer (via The Verge)

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Sep 8, 2018

DARPA Plans To Spend $2 Billion Developing New AI Technologies

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

The United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that it plans to spend $2 billion on developing new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies as part of a campaign called “AI Next”. The money will be used to fund new and existing research programs at DARPA.

The US Department of Defense’s innovation agency is focusing on pushing beyond second-wave machine learning techniques towards contextual reasoning capabilities.

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Sep 7, 2018

Tau Zero Foundation

Posted by in category: space travel

Renowned researchers, educators and makers, pioneering bridge building methods, development and inspiration for Interstellar Flight.

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Sep 7, 2018

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk teases major Neuralink update “in a few months”

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI

In a several-hour live interview on September 6–7, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk managed to slip in a few words about Neuralink, a side-project company formed by Musk for the purpose of bridging the gap between potential superhuman AI and the human brain itself.

Although the eccentric CEO/CTO wouldn’t say much more, he did tease a potentially revolutionary update from the fully-stealthed startup “in a few months”.

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Sep 7, 2018

DARPA’s New Brain Chip Enables Telepathic Control of Drone Swarms

Posted by in categories: computing, drones, military, neuroscience

The US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has created a brain-computer interface that enables a person to control everything from a swarm of drones to an advanced fighter jet using nothing but their thoughts and a special brain chip.

Life imitates art, in defense tech no less than in society. In the 1982 techno-thriller film “Firefox,” Clint Eastwood steals a fictional Soviet fighter jet called the “MiG-31 Firefox,” a Mach 6-capable stealth fighter he piloted with his thoughts. But now in 2018, the US military has gone even further: you can control a whole group of drones or fighter jets with your thoughts.

A F-22 Raptor fighter jet of the 95th Fighter Squadron from Tyndall, Florida approaches a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at the Royal Air Force Base in Mildenhall in Britain as they fly over the Baltic Sea towards the newly established NATO airbase of Aemari, Estonia September 4, 2015.

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