Technology and the experience of what it means to be human are evolving at an exponential rate, entering the steep of an asymptotic curve. If we don't destroy ourselves first, it is likely in a few decades we may not even recognize ourselves as what we are today. Hang on, we're embarking on one helluva ride and the outcome is a real nail biter.
Conventional electronic tongues utilize pattern recognition for analysis using arrays of synthetic materials such as polymers, artificial membranes and semiconductors, for applications in the food and beverage industries.
"The next "space race" might be the race to develop a synthetic model of the human brain - one that Google and Microsoft will participate in, if a report is true.
And instead of trying to beat the Russians, this time the Americans will be racing against the Europeans, who have already announced their plans.
The New York Timesreported Monday that the Obama Administration is close to announcing the Brain Activity Map, which scientists quoted by the paper say could be on the scale of the The Human Genome Project, a $3.8 billion project to map the human genome that, the Times reported, returned $800 billion in jobs and other benefits.
The Brain Activity Map would attempt to document how the brain works, from the tiniest neurons up through how possibly the different regions of the brain communicate with one another. If the project succeeds, the Brain Activity Map might give us an understanding of how the human brain "computes" data through its complex web of neurons."
"Could hackers create a computer virus that infects the human mind and turn victims into electronic zombies? One leading futurist thinks it's a terrifying possibility and is warning against such a thing in the not-too-distant future."
Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative atArizona State University, says in his new book The Eerie Silence that any aliens exploring the universe will be AI-empowered machines. Not only are machines better able to endure extended exposure to the conditions of space, but they have the potential to develop intelligence far beyond the capacity of the human brain.
"Technologies that can simulate a deceased person’s life experience, consciousness, and memories do not exist today, but many experts believe that exponential advances in computers, artificial intelligence, and communications technologies could bring this dream into reality by mid-century or before."
"John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming rancher (and native), a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization which has been protecting the free flow of information on the Internet since 1990."
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
A most relatable narrative about the collective organism of the mind that's rapidly forming via the global brain, the lessening and loosening of reality distrortion fields, and the ramifications of the current ability for a majority of humans anywhere on earth to learn and know about anything.
If engineers at Stanford have their way, biological research may soon be transformed by a new class of light-emitting probes small enough to be injected into individual cells without harm to the host.
Welcome to biophotonics, a discipline at the confluence of engineering, biology and medicine in which light-based devices – lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – are opening up new avenues in the study and influence of living cells.
"How much information about ourselves do we leave behind in public, as we shed saliva, hair, and sweat throughout the day? It’s a question that drives the artwork of Heather Dewey-Hagborg, whose project Stranger Visions reconstructs the faces of the anonymous as 3-D printed sculptures, using genetic detritus found in chewing gum, cigarette butts, and wads of hair around New York City."
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
Even though the information is very high level and the artist projects a lot of how the person might look, it seems it won't be long before a lot more information could be included and an accurate rendering of a person could be had.
Solar-powered Wi-Fi is being installed in the area that will give local people easy access to the internet for the first time. The pilot project – named Mawingu, the Swahili word for "cloud" – is part of an initiative by Microsoft and local telecoms firms to provide affordable, high-speed wireless broadband to rural areas. If and when it is rolled out nationwide, as planned, it will mean that Kenya could lead the way with a model of wireless broadband access that in the West has been tied up in red tape.
Because the village has no power, Microsoft is working with Kenyan telecoms firm Indigo to install solar-powered base stations that supply a wireless signal at a bandwidth that falls into what is called the "white spaces" spectrum.
"Professor Craig Hogan of the University of Chicago and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has embarked on a wildly ambitious project: to demonstrate that a tiny bit of cosmic jiggling proves that the sticks-and-stones universe you see before yourself is a hologram.
To test this question, Hogan has employed two giant interferometers at Fermilab, developed by some researchers at MIT. In a classic laser hologram, a laser beam is split. One portion is reflected off an object - and say, an apple – and the other is reflected by several mirrors. They are then reunited and captured on a piece of photographic film. The result on the plate – which represents the interference pattern of these waves – resembles a strange set of concentric circles.
However, when you shine a light beam from the same kind of laser through the film, what you see is a fully realized, three-dimensional virtual image of the apple. (A perfect example is the image of Princess Leia, generated by R2D2 in Episode 4 first movie of the Stars Wars series)."
"When light hits Barbara Campbell's eyes, it triggers no response in her retinas, and no signals flash up her optic nerves to her brain. A genetic disease killed off her retinas' photoreceptor cells, leaving her completely blind by her 30s. But where her body failed her, technology rescued her. In 2009, at the age of 56, Campbell had an array of electrodes implanted in each eye, and she now makes her way through the world more confidently, aided by bionic vision."
"All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. We are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is a dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves." ~ Bill Hicks
The Asymptotic Leap's insight:
A ten-minute ride through some of the greatest minds of our time in thought about the nature of information, fractals, illusion, and more.
Seth Llyod is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His talk, "Programming the Universe talks about the computational power of atoms, electrons, and elementary particles.
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable.
"A team of Japanese researchers has achieved something incredible: they've captured, for the first time ever, a movie which shows how thoughts form in the brain. OK, so it's a thought forming in the brain of a zebrafish. And OK, its the fish's reaction to seeing food, so it's probably along the lines of "HUNGRY!". But we shouldn't play this down: this is a fundamental leap forward in our understanding of how brains work."
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