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Aug 29, 2017

AI Weapons Campaign Against Lethal Use

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

An international consortium of experts are campaigning for a ban on AI weapons. This comes at a conference in Australia where the latest advances in artificial intelligence and its uses are being explored…

Say the words killer robots and Hollywood franchise Terminator may come to mind. But while artificial intelligence experts say that sort of advancement in autonomous lethal weapons is decades off. Other systems are already being developed including Russia’s robot tank BAE Systems long-range autonomous missile bomber and Samsung sentry gun which can fire at will and is already deployed along South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.

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Aug 29, 2017

Dancing and Fitness Improve Cognitive Function in the Elderly

Posted by in categories: life extension, neuroscience

The old saying “use it or lose it” very much applies to reducing the impact that aging has on the mind and body. Of all the things we can do right now to help stay healthy as we grow older, exercise is probably the most useful.

Supplements have questionable results in humans, and none can really be described as geroprotective due to the lack of data. However, lifestyle and diet are very important in how we age, and caloric restriction has shown some interesting benefits in multiple species, including humans.

However, of all these things, exercise is probably the most important, and staying active can greatly influence our trajectory towards frailty in old age. Many people do not get the exercise they need as they age and, as a result, this can influence how well they age. Certainly, some level of age-related frailty may be a case of neglect and not exercising enough[1].

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Aug 29, 2017

It’s Time to Think Beyond Cloud Computing

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, robotics/AI, transportation, virtual reality

That problem from the frontier of technology is why many tech leaders foresee the need for a new “edge computing” network—one that turns the logic of today’s cloud inside out. Today the $247 billion cloud computing industry funnels everything through massive centralized data centers operated by giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. That’s been a smart model for scaling up web search and social networks, as well as streaming media to billions of users. But it’s not so smart for latency-intolerant applications like autonomous cars or mobile mixed reality.

Cloud computing’s big, distant data centers can’t support VR and self-driving cars—but “edge computing” can.

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Aug 29, 2017

British doctor found way to talk to patients in vegetative state

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

British neuroscientist (file pic) Adrian Owen made it his mission to find a way to communicate with patients in a so-called persistent vegetative state.

Since 1997, I had been using hospital brain scanners to test patients in vegetative states to see if they were in fact still conscious, though trapped in their bodies.

I was working as a research fellow at the University of Cambridge’s Addenbrooke’s Hospital when I scanned my first ‘vegetative’ patient, Kate, while showing her photos of her family as she lay inside a brain-scanning machine.

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Aug 28, 2017

I’m excited to see Mark O’Connell’s book “To Be a Machine” (about #transhumanism) get shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, one the biggest science book prizes in the world

Posted by in categories: geopolitics, life extension, science, transhumanism, transportation

I’m excited to see Mark O’Connell’s book “To Be a Machine” (about # transhumanism ) get shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize, one the biggest science book prizes in the world. The final chapter of “To Be a Machine” is about my Immortality Bus journey and presidential campaign (a version of that chapter appeared in The New York Times Magazine after Mark rode with me on the bus). The book also has a wikipedia page now. Winner to be announced on September 19.

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Aug 28, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Gives Us a Peek At His L.A. Tunnel Project

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, transportation

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk teased his newest endeavor with a picture of a Model S inside a tunnel that he’s digging in Los Angeles.

Like so many of Musk’s projects, this isn’t just any ol’ tunnel. Musk’s startup, The Boring Company, is digging a tunnel that will be used to transport vehicles at high speeds to avoid traffic congestion. The idea is to lower vehicles via an elevator to a tunnel, where it’s then transported—not driven—in a “sled” along magnetic rails at high speeds.

The Boring Company, was inspired by traffic congestion Musk experienced in Los Angeles. The aim is to find a way cost-effectively dig networks of tunnels for vehicles and high-speed trains.

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Aug 28, 2017

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests

Posted by in category: cosmology

A long-standing but unproven assumption about the X-ray spectra of black holes in space has been contradicted by hands-on experiments performed at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine.

Z, the most energetic laboratory X-ray source on Earth, can duplicate the X-rays surrounding black holes that otherwise can be watched only from a great distance and then theorized about.

“Of course, emission directly from black holes cannot be observed,” said Sandia researcher and lead author Guillaume Loisel, lead author for a paper on the experimental results, published in August in Physical Review Letters. “We see emission from surrounding matter just before it is consumed by the black hole. This surrounding matter is forced into the shape of a disk, called an accretion disk.”

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Aug 28, 2017

DARPA Wants Bots To Protect Us From Cyber Adversaries

Posted by in categories: health, military, robotics/AI

The military research unit is looking for technology and software that can identify networks that have been infiltrated—and neutralize them.

The military’s research unit is looking for ways to automate protection against cyber adversaries, preventing incidents like the WannaCry ransomware attack that took down parts of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service networks.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is gathering proposals for software that can automatically neutralize botnets, armies of compromised devices that can be used to carry out attacks, according to a new broad agency announcement.

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Aug 28, 2017

Tubular: A Hyperloop Contest As Musk Inches Toward Creating High-Speed Venture

Posted by in category: transportation

The WARR Hyperloop team, from the Technical University of Munich, claimed the top prize by sending its vehicle through the nearly airless tube at a top speed of 327 kilometers per hour. That was more than triple the speed runner-up Paradigm Hyperloop, a Canadian-U.S. team that attained 102 kph in the lengthy tube.

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Aug 28, 2017

This AI Butler Wants to Roam Your Home

Posted by in categories: habitats, mobile phones, robotics/AI

Say hello to Temi. Wired reports that this sleek, 3-foot robot with a tablet for a face is essentially a kind of travelling AI butler for your home—a Siri or Alexa, only on wheels. It will come rolling when you holler. It can use facial recognition to follow people around, so they can watch TV or Skype as they stroll. And it taps Google’s artificial intelligence to help answer your questions. A run of 1,000 robots will be made available November by its maker, Roboteam, and it’s planned to cost under $1,500 when it launches widely next year. But, as we’ve argued in the past, these kinds of domestic robots are more a source of entertainment than much practical use, and are certainly not the kinds of practical machines that may one day be able to take over some of your household chores. For now, you might be better off carrying your phone around the home—especially if you have stairs.

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