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A Synthetic Biology Conference Lures an Intriguing Audience

A Synthetic Biology Conference Lures an Intriguing Audience | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Both the F.B.I. and Homeland Security were in attendance at talks at M.I.T. about the engineering of organisms and its ability to help and harm.
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The Asymptotic Leap
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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Using Trial and Error, New Robot Can Learn Independently

Using Trial and Error, New Robot Can Learn Independently | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"Researchers at Berkeley have created a robot whose behaviors are similar to a human child's. Through a process known as "deep structured learning," BRETT (Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks) can adapt to its environment independently, but let's hope temper tantrums don't make their way into its programming."

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New Memristors Could Usher in Bionic Brains

New Memristors Could Usher in Bionic Brains | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
One of the world’s first electronic multi-state memory cells mimics the brain’s ability to simultaneously process and store multiple strands of information
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Quantum Computing Is About to Overturn Cybersecurity’s Balance of Power

Quantum Computing Is About to Overturn Cybersecurity’s Balance of Power | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Quantum mechanics is now being used to construct a new generation of computers that can solve the most complex scientific problems—and unlock every digital vault in the world.  These will perform in seconds computations that would have taken conventional computers millions of years. They will enable better weather forecasting, financial analysis, logistical planning, search for Earth-like planets, and drug discovery. And they will compromise every bank record, private communication, and password on every computer in the world — because modern cryptography is based on encoding data in large combinations of numbers, and quantum computers can guess these numbers almost instantaneously.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

On the brink of a game changer 

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The Dawn of Killer Robots

"In the video, INHUMAN KIND, Motherboard gains exclusive access to a small fleet of US Army bomb disposal robots—the same platforms the military has weaponized—and to a pair of DARPA’s six-foot-tall bipedal humanoid robots. We also meet Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, renowned physicist Max Tegmark, and others who grapple with the specter of artificial intelligence, killer robots, and a technological precedent forged in the atomic age. It’s a story about the evolving relationship between humans and robots, and what AI in machines bodes for the future of war and the human race."

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

"There are basically two things which grow in parallel as society evolves: there is the power of our technology and there is the wisdom of us humans for how to manage the technology"

 - Max Tegmark, physicist

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IBM Just Cracked One Of The Biggest Problems Facing Quantum Computing

IBM Just Cracked One Of The Biggest Problems Facing Quantum Computing | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Quantum computing could make complex calculations trivial — but it’s currently fraught with problems. Now, though, IBM has solved one of the biggest, allowing it to detect the internal errors that could otherwise render quantum calculation useless.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

From everything I've seen, should quantum computing become viable and mainstream, it will make current computing look like like what a slide rule is to a modern laptop.

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Jason Silva: Portable Virtual Reality Will Allow You to Climb Into Someone's Mind

How do you typically let other people into your minds? You smile. You laugh. You use language to communicate thoughts and feelings. Jason Silva explains why that's all going to change once virtual reality reaches its full potential.

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Robot endowed with consciousness software is close to becoming ‘self-aware’

Robot endowed with consciousness software is close to becoming ‘self-aware’ | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
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The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence

The AI Revolution: Road to Superintelligence | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. — Vernor Vinge

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Book review: Virtually Human by Martine Rothblatt

Book review: Virtually Human by Martine Rothblatt | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"Virtually Human explores what the not-too-distant future will look like when cyberconsciousness—simulation of the human brain via software and computer technology—becomes part of our daily lives." by Martine Rothblatt Ph.D., MBA, J.D.
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Woman Flies an F-35 Simulator with Her Mind

Woman Flies an F-35 Simulator with Her Mind | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"In doing this work, we've also opened this door," she said. "We can now see a future where we can free the brain from the limitations of the human body and I think we can all imagine amazing good things and amazing potential bad things that are on the other side of that door."
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Peter Diamandis: Exponential Technology Advances and Abundance

http://www.ted.com  Inventor, entrepreneur and X-Prize founder, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism -- that with the exponential rise of many arenas of technology we're rapidly inventing, innovating and creating ways to solve the massive challenges that loom over us.

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

From 2012 but the message is as relevant now as it was then. 

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Scientists Create Virtual 3D Shapes That Can Be Seen and Felt

Scientists Create Virtual 3D Shapes That Can Be Seen and Felt | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Scientists at the University of Bristol have developed a haptic system, with the help of which it is possible to see and touch virtual 3D models.

Haptic technology simulates the sense of touch in virtual reality (creating so-called touch feedback) and is widely used in mobile phones and gaming. It has also found a number of applications in medical training and surgical simulation, and now it has been used by British scientists to create haptic holograms which can be seen and felt.
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

We have officially entered the age where we will have less certainty about what is real and what is not.

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Simulated Worlds Will Soon Be Indistinguishable From Reality

Simulated Worlds Will Soon Be Indistinguishable From Reality | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"The simulation singularity is near. The technological singularity is a hypothetical moment in the future when artificial intelligence becomes indistinguishable from human intelligence—and capable of creating smarter iterations of itself. Apply the same general idea to simulations and you get the "simulation singularity": when a simulated world is indistinguishable from reality."

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Scientists develop atomic-scale computing switch that exhibits "emergent, self-organizing behavior" computing

Scientists develop atomic-scale computing switch that exhibits "emergent, self-organizing behavior" computing | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Experiments demonstrated that the atomic switch network exhibits emergent behavior, in which interactions between the individual atomic switches lead to patterns of electrical activity that cannot be attributed to any individual switch, but only to the network as a whole. The atomic switch network also has an intrinsic capacity for adaptation, since the silver nanowire connections are constantly reconfiguring themselves and the switches are constantly forming and dissolving in different locations in the network.
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Why You See What You See When You're Tripping on Psychedelics

Why You See What You See When You're Tripping on Psychedelics | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Acid, DMT, psilocybin, mescaline, ayahuasca, whatever--it's almost no matter. When you dose your head, why do your eyes pick up certain visual stimuli while blotting out others? Why do some otherwise everyday objects appear stranger or more fragile to you than others? Why do you swear on your life that you see stuff--things, people, the forces of nature--that simply would not be if you weren't nearing peak trip?
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

The fact that it all appears to distill down to math equations is a thought provoking notion. 

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The Transcension Hypothesis - What happens after the singularity & why we haven't found alien life

The Transcension Hypothesis - What happens after the singularity & why we haven't found alien life | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"What happens after the Singularity? Why in our universe of billions of stars and planetary systems have we not found indications of technologically advanced, post-singular civilizations?  The Transcension Hypothesis by Singularity University advisor, John Smart offers an account of what comes after the technological singularity, also accounting for Fermi's Paradox.

Basically after our technological adolescent and expansionist explorations, we turn from outer space to inner space... our journey undergoes S.T.E.M. compression, the compression of Space, Time, Energy and Matter- until non biological minds live inside virtual worlds at the nano and femto scale, further compressing complexity until we create black hole-like conditions and disappear from the visible universe altogether."

The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

Filmmaker Jason Silva has created an ecstatic rant video on Smart's concept: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQOyJUDTKdM

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What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

What happens when our computers get smarter than we are? | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds -- within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as "smart" as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: "Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make." A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we're building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values -- or will
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DARPA Cortical Modem connects brain directly to computer for 'electronic telepathy and telekinesis'

DARPA Cortical Modem connects brain directly to computer for 'electronic telepathy and telekinesis' | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"DARPA's cortical modem implant could restore sight loss and provide eyes with a heads-up display.

 

The "cortical modem" also holds the potential to cure sight loss and enable "electronic telepathy and telekinesis" according to noted futurist Peter Rothman, writing for H+ Magazine.

 

While still a long way from production, the direct neural interface (DNI) chip would be shaped like a coin, around 1cm wide, and could conceivably cost as little as $10."

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Futurist and Filmmaker Jason Silva on How Watching Movies is a Kind of Ecstasy

Futurist and Filmmaker Jason Silva on How Watching Movies is a Kind of Ecstasy | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
"Watching a movie is a technologically-mediated lucid dream. It's like smoking cannabis." - Jason Silva
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

We are nearing a time when we can create any kind of reality we want...and immerse ourselves in it. All forms of media have been an approach to that. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan was right: "The medium IS the message."

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Tiny camera can power itself...potentially forever

Tiny camera can power itself...potentially forever | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"an entirely new generation of cameras that can function for a very long duration—ideally, forever—without being externally powered.


"The camera uses photodiodes for each pixel, creating electric current when exposed to ambient light. Each time the camera takes a picture, the pixels switch between two modes: recording and reading an image, then harvesting energy and charging a power supply."

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Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons — the revolution will not be centralized.

Post-Capitalism: Rise of the Collaborative Commons — the revolution will not be centralized. | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

As the disruptive capacities of technological innovations continue to advance at an exponential rate, it is increasingly clear that the capitalist economic model is unable to effectively manage resources and distribute wealth under the conditions of sustainable abundance now being brought forth. Vast increases in productivity and efficiency will be realized in the years ahead through an integrated network of smart-products (termed theInternet of Things, or IoT), accessible renewable energy harvesting technologies, energy sharing across a distributed smart-grid, the decentralization of manufacturing through 3D printing, open online education, the decentralization of finance, legal contracts and governance through Blockchain applications, and the progressive automation of the workforce.

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LifeNaut "Mindfile" a First Step to Digital Consciousness?

LifeNaut "Mindfile" a First Step to Digital Consciousness? | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it

"A Mindfile is a web-based storage space for organizing and preserving critical information (digital reflections) about one’s unique and essential characteristics for the future, and to share with friends and relatives in the present...The long-term goal is to test whether given a comprehensive database, saturated with the most relevant aspects of an individual’s personality, future intelligent software will be able to replicate an individual’s consciousness."

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How Transparency Will Change The World

How Transparency Will Change The World | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
Daniel Dennett and Deb Roy explain why digital technology will drive organizations into an evolutionary arms race
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:

The video by Daniel Dennett is particularly fascinating.

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First human head transplant could happen in two years

First human head transplant could happen in two years | The Asymptotic Leap | Scoop.it
A radical plan for transplanting a head onto someone else's body is set to be announced. But is such ethically sensitive surgery even feasible?
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