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The Future Is Not Accelerating

The Future Is Not Accelerating | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
I have some bad news and some good news for you about the future. First, the bad news. The future is not coming at us any faster than it ever has. We will not become immortal cyborgs with superintelligent computer friends in the next twenty years.
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dephunked's comment, December 3, 2012 3:24 AM
Technological evolution (the future) is quite obviously accelerating...
Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Exploring the possible , the probable, the plausible
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DNA-based sunscreen gets more effective with more use

One of the hassles involved with using sunscreen is the fact that you shouldn't just apply it once – depending on who you ask, it should be reapplied at least once every few hours. That isn't the case, however, with an experimental new coating made from DNA. It actually gets more effective the longer it's left on the skin.

Led by assistant professor of biomedical engineering Guy German, a team at New York's Binghamton University developed thin and optically transparent crystalline DNA films, then irradiated them with ultraviolet light. It was found that the more UV exposure the films received, the more their optical density increased, and the better they got at absorbing the rays.

"Ultraviolet light can actually damage DNA, and that's not good for the skin," states German. "We thought, let's flip it. What happens instead if we actually used DNA as a sacrificial layer? So instead of damaging DNA within the skin, we damage a layer on top of the skin."
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A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on 'Midi-Chlorians'

A Neuroscientist Just Tricked 4 Dodgy Journals Into Accepting a Fake Paper on 'Midi-Chlorians' | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
If we ever needed a timely reminder that in the world of academic publishing not all scientific journals are created equal, we now have it.

To test just how low the quality bar is for exploitative predatory journals, a prominent neuroscientist has tricked four publications into accepting a totally fake paper about midi-chlorians – the entirely fictional life forms in Star Wars that make 'the force' possible.

Neuroskeptic, a working neuroscientist who anonymously blogs about science for Discover, set up the sting, submitting the nonsensical study to nine scientific journals – only to have four of them accept it.

The journals approached are among those sometimes described as predatory in science circles because they exploit researchers into paying fees to have their papers published in them.

But in this case, three of the publications just went ahead and published the fake paper straight up – clearly not having read or checked it first – even without requiring payment of a fee.

Another, the American Journal of Medical and Biological Research, also accepted the paper, but demanded a $360 fee before publishing it.

The absurd thing, as Neuroskeptic explains, is the average human being would only need about five minutes (or less) with the paper to see that it's entirely bogus and riddled with inexplicable Star Wars references.

For a start, it's written by none other than the decidedly fishy-looking Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin, and while at a very quick scan it might pass for a chemistry discussion, that's only because Neuroskeptic scraped the content of the Wikipedia page on mitochondrion (real) and reworded it, changing references to midi-chlorian/midichlorian (not so real).

To further make things obvious – just in case any 'peer-reviewers' working for the publications were actually paying attention – Neuroskeptic dropped in entire passages ripped off wholesale from Star Wars, inserting them not-so-subtly into the text.

"Midichlorians-mediated oxidative stress causes cardio-myopathy in Type 2 diabetics. As more fatty acids are delivered to the heart, and into cardiomyocytes, the oxidation of fatty acids in these cells increases," the paper reads, sounding kind of legit and science-y, but then suddenly:

"Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It is not a story the Jedi would tell you. It was a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichloria to create life."
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vitamincproducts's comment, July 24, 12:05 PM
http://amzn.to/2ktU9Eu
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 24, 4:29 PM

Apparently, it's easy to fool just about anybody these days, even 4 scientific journals.  Don't believe everything you read, see, or hear. Perhaps, AI can help us differentiate between fake and real news.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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When Will The First Human Leave The Solar System?

When Will The First Human Leave The Solar System? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
One thousand years. That is the minimum length of time it would take us to get to the nearest star - Proxima Centauri - using current methods.

But since we discovered that this star houses a potentially habitable planet, scientists have been more enthusiastic about the idea of interstellar travel than ever before.

"It's tantalising," Guillem Anglada-Escude, who led the research team that discovered the planet, said in an interview with NPR.

"Now that we know the planet is there, we can be more creative. We can think about solutions - maybe to send interstellar probes or to design specific spacecraft to look for this planet."

Still, the 4.2 light-years that stretch between us and Proxima Centauri represent a daunting distance for space explorers. It may take us a while to come up with those solutions. So we asked Futurism readers when they thought the first human will leave our solar system.

Not very soon, it seems. The option that received the most votes by far was 2100 or later - this was the choice of about 35 percent of respondents.

As respondent Charles Hornbostel explained, "With human exploration of Mars expected no earlier than the 2025-30 time frame, it is reasonable to expect humans will not have reached the orbits of Neptune and Pluto by century's end, barring any breakthroughs in exotic propulsion technology."

Hornbostel is right about the many plans countries and companies alike are pursuing to put humans on Mars in the next 10 to 15 years.
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Humans enter a Vulcan-like mind meld when conversing

In the Star Trek universe, Vulcans would sometimes bust out one of their most impressive abilities: the mind meld. In this maneuver, the Vulcan would form a mental bond with someone else, and the two would sync up to the point that they basically shared one consciousness. Researchers at the Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain, and Language (BCBL) in Spain have now shown that humans do something a bit similar – just by having a conversation.

While the team there didn't quite uncover our latent psychic abilities, they did discover that when two people hold a conversation, their brain waves synchronize.

To carry out its research, the team placed pairs of people on either side of an opaque partition and had them hold a scripted conversation. The people in the study were strangers to each other and they were all same-sex pairs. They also took turns as both the listener and the speaker.

All the participants were connected to electroencephalography (EEG) machines which monitored the electrical activity of their brains through electrodes placed on their scalps. Sure enough, once the conversation began, the researchers were able to see that the pair's brainwaves fell in synch. The effect was so pronounced, in fact, that the researchers say they can now actually tell if two people are communicating simply by looking at their EEG results.

"To be able to know if two people are talking between themselves, and even what they are talking about, based solely on their brain activity is something truly marvelous," said team member Jon Andoni Duñabeitia. "Now we can explore new applications, which are highly useful in special communicative contexts, such as in the case of people who have difficulties with communication."
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 22, 7:54 PM

Science fiction is becoming science fact. The "Vulcan mind meld" may be true.


Russell Roberts


Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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"Empowering" robots could replace the Three Laws of Robotics

Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are versatile and simple enough that they still persist 75 years after he first coined them. But our current world, where robots and AI agents are cleaning our houses, driving our cars and working alongside us, is vastly different than even the most forward-thinking sci-fi writers could imagine. To make sure the guidelines for programming artificial intelligence cast as wide a net as possible, experts from the University of Hertfordshire have detailed a new system they call "Empowerment."

Originally created as a safety feature of the robots in Asimov's speculative stories, the Three Laws are elegant in their simplicity. 1) A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2) A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. 3) A robot must protect its own existence so long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

But the Hertfordshire researchers believe that these laws don't quite cover all the nuances that could arise in a robot's day-to-day life. Any guidelines for robot behavior need to be simultaneously generic enough to apply to any situation, yet well defined enough to ensure the robot always acts in the best interests of themselves and the humans around them.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 21, 11:35 AM

A new look at the Three Laws of Robotics envisioned by the late Isaac Asimov.  These laws may change as we fully integrate our personalities with robots. 

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Smart glove translates sign language gestures into text

Unless you're hard of hearing, or have hearing-impaired friends or relatives, you probably won't understand sign language, which is frustrating for those who rely on it to communicate. Now engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a prototype of what they call "The Language of Glove," a Bluetooth-enabled, sensor-packed glove that reads the sign language hand gestures and translates them into text.

This isn't the first device designed to break down this particular language barrier. The 2012 Microsoft Imagine Cup was taken out by the EnableTalk gloves, which translate gestures into speech, and a London team developed a similar system a few years later called the SignLanguageGlove. Uni, meanwhile, is a tablet-like solution that uses infrared motion tracking to convert gestures to speech and text.

The Language of Glove uses a similar tracking method to the other glove-based systems. Nine stretchable sensors are attached to the knuckles of a leather athletic glove, two on each finger and one on the thumb. These are connected to a circuit board on the wrist, which generates a letter of the American Sign Language alphabet based on the position of the fingers.
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The future of translation is part human, part machine

The future of translation is part human, part machine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Imagine a world where everyone can perfectly understand each other. Language is translated as we speak, and awkward moments of trying to be understood are a thing of the past.

This elusive idea is something that developers have been chasing for years. Free tools like Google Translate – which is used to translate over 100 billion words a day – along with other apps and hardware that claim to translate foreign languages as they are spoken are now available, but something is still missing.

Yes, you can now buy earpiece technology reminiscent of the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy babel fish – a bit of kit which claims to so a similar job to that a university-trained, professionally-experienced, multilingual translator – but it’s really not that simple.

Despite the rather interesting claim in 1958 that translation is a Roman invention, it’s likely that it has been around as long as the written word, and interpretation even longer. We have evidence of interpreters being employed by ancient civilisations. Greece and Rome were, like many areas of the ancient world, multilingual, and so needed both translators and interpreters.

The question of how one should translate is just as old. Roman poet Cicero dictated that a translation ought to be “non verbum de verbo, sed sensum exprimere de sensu” – of expressing not word for word, but sense for sense.

This brief trip into the world of theory has one simple purpose: to emphasise that translation is not just about the words, and automating the process of replacing one with another could never be a substitute for human translation. Translation is about the words’ meaning, their connotative as well as their denotative sense, and how to express that meaning in such a way that it is both readable and comprehensible.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 12, 8:42 PM

This article reminds me of the translation "decoders" used during the long-running "Star Trek" tv and film series. Gene Rodenberry was way ahead of his time. One of these days, we'll just plug a cable into a surgically implanted brain port and use artificial intelligence/machine learning to instantly translate our words to others.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

densesmew's comment, July 18, 5:27 AM
awsome
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Are Humans Getting Smarter or Less Intelligent?

Are Humans Getting Smarter or Less Intelligent? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it


Observe the behavior of shoppers in a long supermarket line or drivers snarled in traffic, and you can quickly become disillusioned about humanity and its collective IQ. Reality TV and websites like People of Walmart inflame this consideration. Lots of songs, both popular and underground, even utter the phrase “only stupid people are breeding.” Apparently, many of us can relate.

And yet, we’re better at technology today than in times past. Never before have we been more productive, better educated, or more technologically savvy. I had a teacher in high school who said that at the time Einstein was considering relativity, few people in the entire world were intelligent enough to understand it. But just a generation later, everyone had the theory in high school and understood it well, or at least well enough to pass the test.

So at different times and in different ways, we get competing impressions as to whether humanity collectively is getting smarter or less intelligent than before. Of course, the problem with personal experience is that it’s myopic or shortsighted. So what do studies tell us? What’s really going on here? Well, things get more complex and thornier moving forward, as they often do.


go read this..

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Impossible Foods CEO: we want to eliminate all meat from human diets

Impossible Foods CEO: we want to eliminate all meat from human diets | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
It’s the veggie burger that bleeds. When eaten, it tastes and feels remarkably similar in your mouth to a burger made from animal meat.

After a blaze of publicity, the US-based company behind it, Impossible Foods, is scaling up production. A new facility in California will open before the end of the year with the ability to produce four million burgers a month.

Impossible Foods founder Pat Brown explains the impact he hopes to have on our health, the future of the livestock industry and the natural environment.
You’ve said your burger is healthier for us. How?

We think we’ve made choices that have the net effect of making this better for consumers’ health than what it replaces. There are intrinsic safety issues with food from animals. You can’t make ground beef without faecal bacteria getting into it. It’s part of the process. That carries irreducible food safety hazards which we can readily avoid.

There is no cholesterol [in our burger] ... there is a significant population of people for whom it [cholesterol] has negative health consequences. There is also data suggesting that mammalian meat triggers an inflammatory response in humans that has some negative health consequences that we don’t have with our product.

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nullskirt's comment, July 9, 9:33 AM
Extremely good...!!
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A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution | KurzweilAI

Doudna, professor of biology at UC-Berkeley, and Sternberg, her former graduate student and current collaborator, explain the basics of the potentially revolutionary CRISPR technology, the events leading up to Doudna’s discovery of that technology, and the ethical dilemmas posed by the newfound ability to alter any living being’s genetic composition. The authors describe the biological mechanisms in a way that nonspecialists can appreciate, though the simplistic diagrams scattered throughout add little to the text. They also enthusiastically survey many of the uses to which CRISPR technology has already been applied, noting the great interest by venture capitalists who have already invested well over $1 billion in this technology. Doudna and Sternberg make a clear distinction between manipulating reproductive and non-reproductive cells, since the former can cause permanent evolutionary shifts. The second half of the book delves into the ethical implications arising from this difference, thoughtfully covering effects on both human and non-human species. Though the authors note that science involves both “competition and collaboration,” they avoid discussion of the myriad conflicts that exist in this exciting new field—an absence that makes the rosy picture presented in this otherwise excellent book just a bit too unbelievable.
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flint63's curator insight, July 6, 3:54 AM

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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 6, 8:13 PM

A cautionary tale for all of us desiring to make "a more perfect society" by controlling evolution. The revolutionary CRISPR technology is a double-edge sword.  In the hands of the rich and powerful you get the scenario of Huxley's "Brave New World", where our futures are predetermined by manipulating our genes and DNA.  Modern dystopian novels, such as "The Handmaiden's Tale," outline the dangers involved in manipulating our reproductive cells.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Why women are dressing up as Margaret Atwood's Handmaids

Why women are dressing up as Margaret Atwood's Handmaids | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale has remained popular since its publication in 1985. It has been translated into dozens of languages, made into a film in 1990, and even became a ballet and an opera. It is read in schools the world over. Most recently, there has been a new wave of interest in the dystopian story thanks to the TV adaptation by MGM and Hulu.

However, it isn’t the adaptation alone that has caused this popularity, the novel has seen a reported 200% increase in sales since Donald Trump was elected as US president.

The series takes place in the fictional nation state of Gilead (established in North America after an uprising has overthrown the US government and murdered the US president and Congress). There, a Christian theocracy has dealt with a global fertility crisis by enslaving fertile women. They are systematically raped by high-ranking officials in order to bear children for the new nation. Filmed during the 2016 election race, the cast and crew has since spoken about how political events gave a whole new weight to the series.

And since the series has been aired, it has fed back into politics. Women have been dressing as handmaids to express their anger, frustration and dissent in a relatable and visually striking way. By dressing in these instantly recognisable costumes the handmaids have been bearing witness to federal and state attempts to limit women’s reproductive choices.

While there are some clear differences between Atwood’s Gilead and Trump’s current US administration (for one, climate change is a government priority in Gilead), increasing threats to women’s reproductive rights in the US have led protestors to adopt the message and aesthetic of The Handmaid’s Tale.

Placards have been spotted at anti-Trump protests bearing slogans such as “The Handmaid’s Tale is not an instruction manual” and “Make Margaret Atwood fiction again”.
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Why 2,000 Year-Old Roman Concrete Is So Much Better Than What We Produce Today

Why 2,000 Year-Old Roman Concrete Is So Much Better Than What We Produce Today | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
One of the fascinating mysteries of Ancient Rome is the impressive longevity of some of their concrete harbour structures. Battered by sea waves for 2,000 years, these things are still around while our modern concoctions erode over mere decades.

Now scientists have uncovered the incredible chemistry behind this phenomenon, getting closer to unlocking its long-lost recipe. As it turns out, not only is Roman concrete more durable than what we can make today, but it actually gets stronger over time.

Researchers led by geologist Marie Jackson from the University of Utah have been chipping away at the mysteries of Roman concrete for years, and now they have mapped its crystalline structure, figuring out precisely how this ancient material solidifies over time.

Modern concrete is typically made with portland cement, a mixture of silica sand, limestone, clay, chalk and other ingredients melted together at blistering temperatures. In concrete, this paste binds 'aggregate' - chunks of rock and sand.

This aggregate has to be inert, because any unwanted chemical reaction can cause cracks in the concrete, leading to erosion and crumbling of the structures. This is why concrete doesn't have the longevity of natural rocks.

But that's not how Roman concrete works.

Theirs was created with volcanic ash, lime and seawater, taking advantage of a chemical reaction Romans may have observed in naturally cemented volcanic ash deposits called tuff rocks.
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A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge 'as dangerous as climate change'

A million bottles a minute: world's plastic binge 'as dangerous as climate change' | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change.

New figures obtained by the Guardian reveal the surge in usage of plastic bottles, more than half a trillion of which will be sold annually by the end of the decade.

The demand, equivalent to about 20,000 bottles being bought every second, is driven by an apparently insatiable desire for bottled water and the spread of a western, urbanised “on the go” culture to China and the Asia Pacific region.

More than 480bn plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world, up from about 300bn a decade ago. If placed end to end, they would extend more than halfway to the sun. By 2021 this will increase to 583.3bn, according to the most up-to-date estimates from Euromonitor International’s global packaging trends report.

Most plastic bottles used for soft drinks and water are made from polyethylene terephthalate (Pet), which is highly recyclable. But as their use soars across the globe, efforts to collect and recycle the bottles to keep them from polluting the oceans, are failing to keep up.

Fewer than half of the bottles bought in 2016 were collected for recycling and just 7% of those collected were turned into new bottles. Instead most plastic bottles produced end up in landfill or in the ocean.

Between 5m and 13m tonnes of plastic leaks into the world’s oceans each year to be ingested by sea birds, fish and other organisms, and by 2050 the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish, according to research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Experts warn that some of it is already finding its way into the human food chain.
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Researchers Just Launched a Prototype of Humanity's First 'Interstellar Spacecraft'

Researchers Just Launched a Prototype of Humanity's First 'Interstellar Spacecraft' | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Last year, extraterrestrial exploration venture Breakthrough Initiatives announced an ambitious plan to send tons of tiny spacecraft to our nearest neighboring star system, Alpha Centauri. The project, called Breakthrough Starshot, is focused on launching lightweight ‘nanocraft’ to the stars at rip-roaring speeds. Recently, the project took a big leap toward achieving its ultimate goal by successfully sending six test craft into Low Earth Orbit.

The tiny spacecraft, called “Sprites,” are just 3.5 centimeters on each side and weigh about four grams. Aerospace engineer Zac Manchester, who is leading the design on the Sprites, has been working on them for the last 10 years.

“What we’ve set out to do from the beginning is push the size limits of spacecraft,” Manchester told Gizmodo. “The question was how small can we make a satellite and still make it do something useful. One of the challenges is how can you get enough power, and given the tiny power you can harvest, how do you communicate back to Earth?”
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Cami Halısı ve Yurt Halısı's comment, Today, 4:30 AM
http://www.celebizadehali.com/urunler/hirkai-serif-kirmizi-gobekli-cami-halisi/
yawntriton's comment, Today, 4:54 AM
good
prgnewshawaii's curator insight, Today, 11:20 AM

An interesting concept for interstellar spacecraft--fairly cheap and efficient. I wonder if these sprites can be used to bring high speed internet to isolated regions of the world?

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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All Great Artists Share This One Quality—Can AI Learn It Too?

All Great Artists Share This One Quality—Can AI Learn It Too? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Think about your favorite work of art. Why do you like it so much? What does it do for you?

Be it painting, sculpture, music, or writing, we love art not just for its beauty, but for the reactions and emotions it evokes in us. You probably feel a sort of kinship with your favorite artists even though you’ve never met them, because their work speaks to you in what feels like a unique and personal way.

How does this change when the art in question is produced by a machine and not a human? Is creativity an irreplaceable human skill, or will computers be able to learn it?

In a new video from Big Think, Andrew McAfee, associate director of MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Digital Business, discusses these questions and explores the concept of creative AI.
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nukem777's curator insight, July 24, 3:45 AM

But besides wondering whether AI will ever be able to understand the human condition and reflect it back to us in a meaningful way, shouldn’t we also be wondering why—or, better yet, whether—we want it to be able to?

prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 24, 4:41 PM

'Reminds me of the old Memorex audio tape commercials--"Is it real or is it Memorex?"  Can Artificial Intelligence be as creative as the human spirit?  An excellent question explored in this article. One way or another, singularity is coming.  Your next museum or art director could be a sophisticated robot.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

tactlessbivy's comment, July 25, 2:57 AM
nice
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Is anyone home? A way to find out if AI has become self-aware | KurzweilAI

Every moment of your waking life and whenever you dream, you have the distinct inner feeling of being “you.” When you see the warm hues of a sunrise, smell the aroma of morning coffee or mull over a new idea, you are having conscious experience. But could an artificial intelligence (AI) ever have experience, like some of the androids depicted in Westworld or the synthetic beings in Blade Runner?

The question is not so far-fetched. Robots are currently being developed to work inside nuclear reactors, fight wars and care for the elderly. As AIs grow more sophisticated, they are projected to take over many human jobs within the next few decades. So we must ponder the question: Could AIs develop conscious experience?

This issue is pressing for several reasons. First, ethicists worry that it would be wrong to force AIs to serve us if they can suffer and feel a range of emotions. Second, consciousness could make AIs volatile or unpredictable, raising safety concerns (or conversely, it could increase an AI’s empathy; based on its own subjective experiences, it might recognize consciousness in us and treat us with compassion).

Third, machine consciousness could impact the viability of brain-implant technologies, like those to be developed by Elon Musk’s new company, Neuralink. If AI cannot be conscious, then the parts of the brain responsible for consciousness could not be replaced with chips without causing a loss of consciousness. And, in a similar vein, a person couldn’t upload their brain to a computer to avoid death, because that upload wouldn’t be a conscious being.

In addition, if AI eventually out-thinks us yet lacks consciousness, there would still be an important sense in which we humans are superior to machines; it feels like something to be us. But the smartest beings on the planet wouldn’t be conscious or sentient.

A lot hangs on the issue of machine consciousness, then. Yet neuroscientists are far from understanding the basis of consciousness in the brain, and philosophers are at least equally far from a complete explanation of the nature of consciousness.
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Are We All Racists Deep Inside?

Are We All Racists Deep Inside? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Novelists often offer deep insights into the human psyche that take psychologists years to test. In his 1864 Notes from Underground, for example, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky observed: “Every man has reminiscences which he would not tell to everyone, but only to his friends. He has other matters in his mind which he would not reveal even to his friends, but only to himself, and that in secret. But there are other things which a man is afraid to tell even to himself, and every decent man has a number of such things stored away in his mind.”

Intuitively, the observation rings true, but is it true experimentally? Twenty years ago social psychologists Anthony Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji and Brian Nosek developed an instrument called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) that, they claimed, can read the innermost thoughts that you are afraid to tell even yourself. And those thoughts appear to be dark and prejudiced: we favor white over black, young over old, thin over fat, straight over gay, able over disabled, and more.

I took the test myself, as can you (Google “Project Implicit”). The race task first asks you to separate black and white faces into one of two categories: White people and Black people. Simple. Next you are asked to sort a list of words (joy, terrible, love, agony, peace, horrible, wonderful, nasty, and so on) into either Good or Bad buckets. Easy. Then the words and the black and white faces appear on the screen one at a time for you to sort into either Black people/Good or White people/Bad. The word “joy,” for example, would go into the first category, whereas a white face would go into the second category. This sorting becomes noticeably slower. Finally, you are tasked with sorting the words and faces into the categories White people/Good or Black people/Bad. Distressingly, I was much quicker to associate words like joy, love and pleasure with White people/Good than I was with Black people/Good.

The test's assessment of me was not heartening: “Your data suggest a strong automatic preference for White people over Black people. Your result is described as 'automatic preference for Black people over White people' if you were faster responding when Black people and Good are assigned to the same response key than when White people and Good were classified with the same key. Your score is described as an 'automatic preference for White people over Black people' if the opposite occurred.”

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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 21, 11:38 AM

A disturbing test that reveals the innermost secrets of our psyche. Perhaps, we are all racist deep inside our mind. You can take this test and find out for yourself. An adventure into our darker side.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Your Brain Doesn't Contain Memories. It Is Memories

Your Brain Doesn't Contain Memories. It Is Memories | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Recall your favorite memory: the big game you won; the moment you first saw your child's face; the day you realized you had fallen in love. It's not a single memory, though, is it? Reconstructing it, you remember the smells, the colors, the funny thing some other person said, and the way it all made you feel.

Your brain's ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By extension, it is the basis of you. This isn't just metaphysical poetics. Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another. That means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories constantly remake your brain. This framework for memory dates back decades. And a sprawling new review published today in Neuron adds an even finer point: Memory exists because your brain’s molecules, cells, and synapses can tell time.

Defining memory is about as difficult as defining time. In general terms, memory is a change to a system that alters the way that system works in the future. "A typical memory is really just a reactivation of connections between different parts of your brain that were active at some previous time," says neuroscientist Nikolay Kukushkin, coauthor of this paper. And all animals—along with many single-celled organisms—possess some sort of ability to learn from the past.
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Addy Park's curator insight, July 20, 9:19 PM
Must-read.
tactlessbivy's comment, July 25, 2:58 AM
fantastic
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Gif and image written into the DNA of bacteria - BBC News

Gif and image written into the DNA of bacteria - BBC News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
An image and short film has been encoded in DNA, using the units of inheritance as a medium for storing information.

Using a genome editing tool known as Crispr, US scientists inserted a gif - five frames of a horse galloping - into the DNA of bacteria.

Then the team sequenced the bacterial DNA to retrieve the gif and the image, verifying that the microbes had indeed incorporated the data as intended.

The results appear in Nature journal.

For their experiments, the team from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, used an image of a human hand and five frames of the horse Annie G captured in the late 19th Century by the British photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge.

In order to insert this information into the genomes of bacteria, the researchers transferred the image and the movie onto nucleotides (building blocks of DNA), producing a code that related to the individual pixels of each image.

The researchers then employed the Crispr platform, in which two proteins are used to insert genetic code into the DNA of target cells - in this case, those of E.coli bacteria.

For the gif, sequences were delivered frame-by-frame over five days to the bacterial cells.

The data were spread across the genomes of multiple bacteria, rather than just one, explained co-author Seth Shipman, from Harvard University in Massachusetts.
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The sixth mass genesis? New species are coming into existence faster than ever thanks to humans

The sixth mass genesis? New species are coming into existence faster than ever thanks to humans | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Animals and plants are seemingly disappearing faster than at any time since the dinosaurs died out, 66m years ago. The death knell tolls for life on Earth. Rhinos will soon be gone unless we defend them, Mexico’s final few Vaquita porpoises are drowning in fishing nets, and in America, Franklin trees survive only in parks and gardens.

Yet the survivors are taking advantage of new opportunities created by humans. Many are spreading into new parts of the world, adapting to new conditions, and even evolving into new species. In some respects, diversity is actually increasing in the human epoch, the Anthropocene. It is these biological gains that I contemplate in a new book, Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in and Age of Extinction, in which I argue that it is no longer credible for us to take a loss-only view of the world’s biodiversity.

The beneficiaries surround us all. Glancing out of my study window, I see poppies and camomile plants sprouting in the margins of the adjacent barley field. These plants are southern European “weeds” taking advantage of a new human-created habitat. When I visit London, I see pigeons nesting on human-built cliffs (their ancestors nested on sea cliffs) and I listen out for the cries of skyscraper-dwelling peregrine falcons which hunt them.

Climate change has brought tree bumblebees from continental Europe to my Yorkshire garden in recent years. They are joined by an influx of world travellers, moved by humans as ornamental garden plants, pets, crops, and livestock, or simply by accident, before they escaped into the wild. Neither the hares nor the rabbits in my field are “native” to Britai
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 10, 4:05 PM

A fascinating look at how new species are being created thanks to the workings of human societies.  New human- created habitats are providing refuge for a large variety of animal and plant life. The current extinction wave may end up creating more life than it destroys.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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The World May Be Headed for a Fragmented ‘Splinternet’

The World May Be Headed for a Fragmented ‘Splinternet’ | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The rulings on online speech are coming down all over the world. Most recently, on June 30, Germany passed a law that orders social media companies operating in the country to delete hate speech within 24 hours of it being posted, or face fines of up to $57 million per instance. That came two days after a Canada Supreme Court ruling that Google must scrub search results about pirated products. And in May a court in Austria ruled that Facebook must take down specific posts that were considered hateful toward the country’s Green party leader. Each of those rulings mandated that companies remove the content not just in the countries where it was posted, but globally. Currently, in France, the country’s privacy regulator is fighting Google in the courts to get the tech giant to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” laws worldwide. And, around the world, dozens of similar cases are pending.

The trend of courts applying country-specific social media laws worldwide could radically change what is allowed to be on the internet, setting a troubling precedent. What happens to the global internet when countries with different cultures have sharply diverging definitions of what is acceptable online speech? What happens when one country's idea of acceptable speech clashes with another's idea of hate speech? Experts worry the biggest risk is that the whole internet will be forced to comport with the strictest legal limitations.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 10, 12:38 AM

With more countries putting more restrictions on what can be discussed on the internet, the concept of net neutrality and freedom of speech is in deep trouble. Country specific laws will radically change the internet.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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Lasers recreate 'molecule that made the universe' - Futurity

Lasers recreate 'molecule that made the universe' - Futurity | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A team of scientists has duplicated the chemical reaction that creates trihydrogen, or H3+, which some call the molecule that made the universe.

While H3+ is astronomically abundant, no scientist understood the mechanisms that form it from organic molecules. Until now.

The scientists found H3+ when they used a strong-field laser to initiate a reaction and a second femtosecond laser to probe its progress. These interactions often lead to exotic chemical reactions. In this case, it unexpectedly revealed the phantom mechanisms of H3+.

“We found that a roaming H2 molecule is responsible for the chemical reaction, producing H3+; roaming chemistry is extremely new and little is known about it,” says Marcos Dantus, a professor of chemistry and physics at Michigan State University.

“This is the first documented case for a roaming H2 reaction, which is significant because roaming mechanisms are a budding chapter of chemistry—one that may provide explanations for unlikely and unexplained chemical reactions,” Dantus adds.

One reason for the dearth of knowledge is that the process happens in near immeasurable time. The entire reaction, involving cleavage and formation of three chemical bonds, takes between 100 or 240 femtoseconds. That’s less time than it takes a bullet to travel the width of an atom, Dantus adds.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 7, 8:51 PM

Perhaps, astronomers have duplicated the original building blocks of the universe. We are gradually unveiling the deepest secret of our universe--the identity of the molecule that made life possible.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

nullskirt's comment, July 9, 9:34 AM
Its amazing
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Self-Driving Cars Could Make Moral Decisions Like Humans With a Simple Algorithm

Self-Driving Cars Could Make Moral Decisions Like Humans With a Simple Algorithm | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Self-driving cars are almost here, but one big question remains - how do they make hard choices in a life and death situation? Now researchers have demonstrated that smart vehicles are capable of making ethical decisions on the road, just like we do everyday.

By studying human behaviour in a series of virtual reality-based trials, the team were able to describe moral decision making in the form of an algorithm. This is huge because previously, researchers have assumed that modelling complex ethical choices is out of reach.

"But we found quite the opposite," says Leon Sütfeld, one of the researchers from the University of Osnabruck, Germany. "Human behaviour in dilemma situations can be modelled by a rather simple value-of-life-based model that is attributed by the participant to every human, animal, or inanimate object."

If you take a quick glance at the statistics, humans can be pretty terrible drivers that are often prone to distraction, road rage and drink driving. It's no surprise then that there are almost 1.3 million deaths on the road worldwide each year, with 93 percent of accidents in the US caused by human error.

But is kicking back in the seat of a self-driving car really a safer option? The outlook is promising. One report estimates that driverless vehicles could reduce the number of road deaths by 90 percent, which works out to be around 300,000 saved lives a decade in the US alone.

Despite the glowing figures, developing a self-driving car that can respond to unpredictable situations on the road hasn't been a smooth ride. One stumbling block is figuring out how these smart cars will deal with road dilemmas that require ethical decision-making and moral judgement.
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Science Square's curator insight, July 7, 8:14 AM

Self-Driving Cars Could Make Moral Decisions Like Humans With a Simple Algorithm

George Khairy's curator insight, July 20, 8:42 AM
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How your pile of laundry fills the sea with plastic pollution

How your pile of laundry fills the sea with plastic pollution | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
After decades of intense observation and campaigning by conservation groups, awareness of microplastic pollution has fortunately grown. There is now worldwide concern about tiny pieces of plastic litter that are having a harmful impact on marine species and habitats.

Large plastic litter has already been identified as both an eyesore and a danger to turtles, seabirds and marine mammals. So the scene was already set for mass action against microbeads and other forms of tiny plastics, which are present in things such as shower gels and beauty products.

But most of the small plastic we find doesn’t come from your face wash. It is formed from the breakdown of larger plastics such as bottles and bags.

Less widely known as a source of microplastic is the breakdown of synthetic fabrics, which forms tiny plastic fibres. Reports now indicate that these are the most common form of microplastic recovered from sediment and water samples. And the vast majority of these are produced during domestic clothes washing.

In the washing machine, abrasion of clothes removes tiny fibres which are too small to be caught by the machine’s filters. This may add up to hundreds of thousands of fibres from a single wash. These fibres are then carried in the waste water into the sewage system, but are far too small to be removed in the treatment plants where other solid materials and pollutants are caught.

As a result, the fibres escape into rivers and then oceans. The fibres which end up in the ocean come from every kind of synthetic garment – from your socks and swimsuits to pullovers and parkas.
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Tumblr’s Unclear Future Shows That There’s No Money in Internet Culture

Tumblr’s Unclear Future Shows That There’s No Money in Internet Culture | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, Verizon completed its acquisition of Yahoo, incorporating the internet-portal pioneer’s slate of brands under a new umbrella corporation named, ominously, Oath. Among those Yahoo brands is the website Tumblr, a blog-based social network that you either know well to the point of obsession, or find completely incomprehensible. As Verizon completed its acquisition, a number of Tumblr employees, as well as those at other Verizon-owned properties, like the Huffington Post, were laid off.

The future of Tumblr is still an open question. The site is enormously popular among the coveted youth crowd — that’s partly why then-CEO Marissa Mayer paid $1 billion for the property in 2013 — but despite a user base near the size of Instagram’s, Tumblr never quite figured out how to make money at the level Facebook has led managers and shareholders to expect. For a long time, its founder and CEO David Karp was publicly against the idea of inserting ads into users’ timelines. (Other experiments in monetization, like premium options, never caught on: It’s tough to generate revenue when your most active user base is too young to have a steady income.) Even once the timeline became open to advertising, it was tough to find clients willing to brave the sometimes-porny waters of the Tumblr Dashboard. Since it joined Yahoo, the site has started displaying low-quality “chum”-style ads in between user posts on the Dashboard. Looked at from a bottom-line perspective, Tumblr is an also-ran like its parent company — a once-hot start-up that has eased into tech-industry irrelevance.

Looked at from another angle, however, Tumblr is among the most important sites online — a central hub of what is nebulously known as “internet culture.” Most recently, the site gave us Dat Boi, the unicycling frog, but Tumblr’s most famous legacy is probably the reaction GIF, which was popularized by Tumblr accounts like What Should We Call Me. Tumblr’s reblog structure, which created lengthy, publicly shared conversations between strangers, also helped popularize the concept of the Discourse, the internetwide conversation happening all at once. It is also the primary meeting place for fandoms of shows like Doctor Who and Supernatural, and films like the Marvel movies — some of the most aggressive fandoms are cultivated on Tumblr.
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prgnewshawaii's curator insight, July 2, 11:51 AM

The unclear future of Tumblr is exposed in this article. If a business doesn't generated a profit, it will disappear.  Popularity isn't enough. Fandom doesn't pay the bills.

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Diges