The future in which robots are a normal part of everyday life, present in your car, your home, your office, is here. Technologies that were once only the subject of university research are now making their way to market.
Brian Christian is the author of The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, Gizmodo, and The Guardian.
Interxion today unveiled "sleeping pods" at its London data center campus, allowing staff to sleep amongst the racks to ensure that the facility will be fully staffed throughout the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
It is now easy to love our selves as cyborgs, cyborg love is here, embrace it. The essential notion of Cyborg love is constructive transgression, a spreading out of our sense perception, into new domains of feeling. More than stimulating, less than exciting, slightly uncomfortable, the cyborg symbiosis we are moving into is an opportunity to expand our humanness. According to Amber Case who studies Cyborg Anthropology:
“It’s not that machines are taking over – it’s just that they are helping us be more human”
Mobile computing tools for urban and construction planning have developed dramatically over the past few years. Even by global standards, the progress made at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has been remarkable. Augmented Reality technology developed by VTT has enabled the placement of office and residential construction in the appropriate environment and the study of the overall concept on-site, even at the planning stage, for example on a smart phone display.
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.
More than 30% of the one million heart attack victims in the United States each year die before seeking medical attention. Although widespread education campaigns describe the warning signs of a heart attack, the average time from the onset of symptoms to arrival at the hospital has remained at 3 hours for more than 10 years. In their upcoming Ergonomics in Design article, "'This is your heart speaking. Call 911,'" authors Mary Carol Day and Christopher Young study the benefits of the AngelMed Guardian®, an implantable medical device currently undergoing clinical trials that alerts users about a potential heart attack through a combination of vibrations, audible tones, and visual warnings.
A deeply fascinating and, by measures, terrifying milestone on the path to truly ubiquitous networked computation... The BBC notes that security firm, McAfee, was able to remotely compromise a wireless, implantable insulin pump, thereby propelling the conversation about medical implants into the realm of cyberwarfare. Another McAfee researcher claims to have "captured the signal" of an implanted heart defibrillator, only to have thrown the signal right back at the device causing it to shut off mercilessly. As a class, such devices are increasingly being implanted into us fragile apes in order to contain the threats of heart disease, diabetes, and other slow-moving but potentially fatal conditions that might thwart our god-like ascent into techno-superiority. But grok this, ye mighty, and despair:
My first three titles could probably come under the ‘sub-genre’ of R&D scifi … along with others. Why? Because R&D plays such a pivotal role in the narratives.
What is R&D scifi/SF? Google doesn’t come up with much to help us out on this one, although the answer is probably a bit obvious. Anyway…
1) R&D scifi is any scifi that has R&D as a central or pivotal focus throughout the text or at least at crucial points, which then has a significant impact on the outcome of the narrative. Something like this…