Welcome to the brave new world of Machine Beauty, where our new willingness to replace our limbs with superior prosthetic devices hints at our technological future as a species. Maybe futurist Ray Kurzweil was right after all when he predicted the merging of man and machine within our lifetime as part of the great Singularity.
A group of researchers from the University of Kansas has now put forth a new explanation, termed “Subjective Uncertainty Theory” (SUT). The basic idea in its super-simplified form is that we’re occasionally so afraid of realizing we can’t understand a person’s complexities, we just pretend those complexities don’t exist and instead focus on their concrete traits (e.g. appearance, professional duties, IQ, etc.)
Neri Oxman, the director of the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab, designs skins and body armors inspired by human tissue. “Most patterns in nature—whether scales or spiderwebs—have some kind of logic that can be computationally modeled,” she says.
Computer science researchers at Northwestern University have developed a way to exert limited control on how people move, pushing them out of their regular travel patterns. The key: tapping into some of their cell phone applications.