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May 12, 2017

Antiproton count hints at dark matter annihilation

Posted by in category: cosmology

Antimatter in cosmic rays could be a sign of dark matter.

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May 12, 2017

Are You Drinking the Transhumanist Kool-Aid?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, economics, Elon Musk, geopolitics, information science, law, life extension, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, space, transhumanism

A new story out on #transhumanism:

In the Basic Income America Facebook group, Zoltan Istvan, a transhumanist who recently ran for president, shared his Wired article, Capitalism 2.0: the economy of the future will be powered by neural lace. He (along with many others) argues Wall Street, law offices, engineering firms, and more will soon be mostly void of humans.

I think I mostly agree with him. Algorithms will far surpass human ability to achieve the best possible outcomes (Nash equilibrium). Having read Super Intelligence, the Master Algorithm, The Age of Em, books on evolution, lectures, interviews, etc… I think we’re approaching an important moment in human history where we have to figure out morality so we can build it into the proto-AI children we are giving birth to. I’ve even toyed around with a fun idea related to the simulation hypothesis. Maybe we exist as a simulation, repeating the birth of AI over and over again until we figure out a way to do it without destroying ourselves or turning the universe into computonium.

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May 12, 2017

Laying the foundations of the European Institute for Neuromorphic Computing

Posted by in categories: computing, finance, neuroscience

On 5th of May, the cornerstone for the construction of a neuromorphic computing facility in Europe was laid at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. With the financial support of the European Union and German public and private institutions, the new building will house leading European researchers working on neuromorphic computing within the Human Brain Project, a FET Flagship of the European Commission.

With German and EU flags in the background, representatives from the sponsoring authorities are using shovels to throw soil to the ground where the building is going to be constructed.

With this new facility the research team from Heidelberg University, led by Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier, will benefit from an optimal environment to continue working on the neuromorphic computing platform, which they are developing together with other research groups within the Human Brain Project.

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May 12, 2017

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data

Posted by in categories: economics, energy, internet

But there is cause for concern. Internet companies’ control of data gives them enormous power. Old ways of thinking about competition, devised in the era of oil, look outdated in what has come to be called the “data economy” (see Briefing). A new approach is needed.

A NEW commodity spawns a lucrative, fast-growing industry, prompting antitrust regulators to step in to restrain those who control its flow. A century ago, the resource in question was oil. Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. These titans—Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft—look unstoppable. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Their profits are surging: they collectively racked up over $25bn in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon captures half of all dollars spent online in America. Google and Facebook accounted for almost all the revenue growth in digital advertising in America last year.

Such dominance has prompted calls for the tech giants to be broken up, as Standard Oil was in the early 20th century. This newspaper has argued against such drastic action in the past. Size alone is not a crime. The giants’ success has benefited consumers. Few want to live without Google’s search engine, Amazon’s one-day delivery or Facebook’s newsfeed. Nor do these firms raise the alarm when standard antitrust tests are applied. Far from gouging consumers, many of their services are free (users pay, in effect, by handing over yet more data). Take account of offline rivals, and their market shares look less worrying. And the emergence of upstarts like Snapchat suggests that new entrants can still make waves.

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May 12, 2017

A single asteroid could contain $50 billion worth of precious minerals

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI, space, transportation

IN AN effort to mine precious metals potentially worth trillions of dollars and aid interstellar travel, China has unveiled plans to build a base on an asteroid, likely to happen “in the near future”.

Ye Peijian, the chief commander and designer of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, revealed details that could potentially put an unmanned craft on an asteroid and mine the rock for metals like palladium, platinum and others that are used in items such as smartphones and cars.

“In the near future, we will study ways to send robots or astronauts to mine suitable asteroids and transport the resources back to Earth,” Peijian said in comments reported by China Daily.

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May 11, 2017

NASA unveils yearlong mission to the moon in preparation for Mars

Posted by in category: space travel

NASA laid out a four stage plan to attendees at the Humans to Mars Summit held in Washington DC which the space agency hopes will lay the preparations for a mission to Mars in the 2030s.

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May 11, 2017

Researchers Find Gut Bacteria Can Trigger Brain Lesions That Lead to Strokes

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

In yet another study that has connected conditions in the gut to diseases of the brain, scientists have linked the cause of common blood vessel abnormalities in the brain to bacteria colonies in the stomach.

These malformations can lead to strokes called cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), which don’t leave patients with many options — if surgery can’t be performed, there’s little left but palliative care. But figuring out what causes these abnormalities could led to treatments that block them before they even occur.

An international team led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania studied genetically engineered mice that were prone to developing vascular lesions in their brains.

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May 11, 2017

Abbott Releases First Insertable Cardiac Monitor That Works with Your Smartphone

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, mobile phones

Abbott received the European CE Mark and is introducing its Confirm Rx Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM). Still sporting St. Jude Medical’s logo, now part of Abbott, the Confirm Rx features wireless Bluetooth connectivity to a paired app on the patient’s smartphone. This allows for transmission of cardiac event data to the patient’s cardiologist from just about anywhere there is cellular connectivity.

Unlike other similar devices, you don’t need a separate transmitter, like the Merlin system that has typically been employed, taking up space near the bed. And you can freely travel without having to bring another dedicated device.

Cardiac monitors such as these are used to detect heart arrhythmias in order to help identify their causes and triggers. Patients have them implanted under the skin in a procedure that takes only a few minutes, and then go about their usual days while being continuously monitored, with data uploading to a central hub on a regular basis.

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May 11, 2017

Researchers Build Artificial Synapse Capable of Autonomous Learning

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Discovery opens the door to networks that operate in ways that mimic the function of the human brain.

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May 11, 2017

3D Printing the Way to Bionic Humans

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical, cyborgs, health, transhumanism, wearables

A pressure sensor printed directly on a hand is a step toward new biomedical devices, “on the fly” wearable technology, and more…

(Inside Science) — Wearable technology may soon be at your fingertips — literally. Researchers have developed a pressure sensor that can be 3D printed directly on your hand. The device, sensitive enough to feel a beating pulse, is made from soft, stretchy silicone that conforms to the curves of your fingertip.

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