Technology and human evolution are developing exponentially, entering the steep of an asymptotic curve. Unfortunately, so is the possibility of setting back human evolution hundreds if not millions of years. Which will prevail? It's a nail biter!
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A new 'species' has emerged only in recent decades, says Gaia Vince, yet it is already having a huge effect on life on our planet. What is it? That new creature is us, or more precisely, what humanity is becoming. The entirety of our species, Homo sapiens, is evolving into a superorganism; I’ll call this new life force Homo omnis, or ‘Homni’.
Distributed intelligence is an ability to solve problems and process information that is not localized inside a single person or computer, but that emerges from the coordinated interactions between a large number of people and their technological extensions. The Internet and in particular the World-Wide Web form a nearly ideal substrate for the emergence of a distributed intelligence that spans the planet, integrating the knowledge, skills and intuitions of billions of people supported by billions of information-processing devices. This intelligence becomes increasingly powerful through a process of self-organization in which people and devices selectively reinforce useful links, while rejecting useless ones. This process can be modeled mathematically and computationally by representing individuals and devices as agents, connected by a weighted directed network along which "challenges" propagate. Challenges represent problems, opportunities or questions that must be processed by the agents to extract benefits and avoid penalties. Link weights are increased whenever agents extract benefit from the challenges propagated along it. My research group is developing such a large-scale simulation environment in order to better understand how the web may boost our collective intelligence. The anticipated outcome of that process is a "global brain", i.e. a nervous system for the planet that would be able to tackle both global and personal problems.
" There is a network of different supporting technologies, and that the whole web of all these things I call the technium. The technium is that largest network of all the technologies working together to support each other...there is a sense in which the technium as a whole exhibits life-like behaviors in the same way that your neuron doesn't really think, but the network of neurons in your brain can make an idea.
And so I look at the network of all the technology in the world, past and present, as forming a system that seems to have its own urges and tendencies. Like any kind of a system, it will have certain ways that it's biased to,"
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
This article (really a speech by Kelly) nicely summarizes the remarkable ideas about the relationship between humans and technology that are detailed in his book, "What Technology Wants"
"Greetings. We are from the future. Everything is going to be alright. The future is a beautiful place. But you will need some training in order to get there...
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
Yes! Go Garret John Lo Porto. A marketer (among other things), that is using his talents and resources to communicate that which begs to be communicated more clearly, more widely, more often. I am inspired.
Researchers at Oxford University in England have created nanopixels that measure just 300-by-300 nanometers. Compare this to a modern smartphone with a 400 ppi display, where each pixel is about 150 times larger (about 50 microns across).
Dean Radin shares his extraordinary personal story of synchronicity. Radin is a researcher and author in the field of parapsychology. He has been Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, in Petaluma, California, USA, since 2001.
"If this wasn't good enough for you, Body 2.0 will include artificial eyes, with zoom capabilities and infrared sensors and night vision will be possible," Sosa continues. Prosthetic limbs will be more flexible and powerful than our biological ones. In the future, the blind will see, paralysis will be overcome and the deaf will hear.
Memory implants and recording will also become possible, and according to the examples Sosa provides, we are already in the early stages. Reconstructing images in the brain has already been able to see how the brain processes YouTube videos. These technologies may progress to allow for mind uploading brain-to-brain interfaces and more. Sosa calls this the "brain net."
An international team of researchers was able to use electroencephalography (EEG) to convert the words “hola” and “ciao” from a person's brain waves into binary. That data was transmitted from a subject in India to another subject in France, where the process was successfully reversed. In other words, the researchers say they've created a brain-to-brain communication system.
"Zero Point is a documentary from Danfung Dennis on how virtual reality has, and will, change our lives--and it's being produced entirely for Oculus Rift...
"Yes, it all sounds like a hell of a headtrip, but if you're into technology or film, it's hard not share some of Dennis's excitement in the project. "We know that this is a fundamentally new form of communication, it's this new visual language, and we need to invent the syntax and the grammar for how to effectively communicate a narrative and experience when you have no control over where the user could be looking."
A new technology has the potential to wipe out diseases, turn back evolutionary clocks, and reengineer entire ecosystems, for better or worse.
Today, researchers aren’t just dropping in new genes, they’re deftly adding, subtracting, and rewriting them using a series of tools that have become ever more versatile and easier to use. In the last few years, our ability to edit genomes has improved at a shockingly rapid clip. So rapid, in fact, that one of the easiest and most popular tools, known as CRISPR-Cas9, is just two years old. Researchers once spent months, even years, attempting to rewrite an organism’s DNA. Now they spend days.
Microbiologists have learned that certain strains of bacteria are capable of using energy in its purest form by eating and breathing electrons. It's a discovery that demonstrates an entirely new mode of life on Earth — and possibly beyond.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom's famous Simulation Argument suggests it's highly probable that we live inside a supercomputer. But one philosopher takes this hypothesis to task, arguing in a new paper that there are other post-human scenarios that need to be taken into account.
A team at interactive studio company This Place has announced the development of an app for Google Glass that provides a bridge between the wearable device (via Bluetooth) and a Neurosky EEG biosensor headset—allowing the wearer of both to take a photograph and post it to Facebook or Twitter using ...
Using nanostructured glass, scientists at the University of Southampton have, for the first time, experimentally demonstrated the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional digital data by femtosecond laser writing. The storage allows unprecedented parameters including 360 TB/disc data capacity, thermal stability up to 1000°C and practically unlimited lifetime.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
Wow, I missed this news when it came out a year ago. Wonder how far this technology has progressed since then.