We have all become a great cybermind. As long as we are connected to our machines through talk and keystrokes, we can all be part of the biggest, smartest mind ever. It is only when we are trapped for a moment without our Internet link that we return to our own humble little personal minds, tumbling back to earth from our flotation devices in the cloud.
The constant advancements in computing power, machine learning algorithms and breakthroughs in relevant technologies is setting the interaction between humans and computers on a road where sometime in the near future advanced Artificial Intelligences (A.I.) will engage with people in many meaningful ways.
The possibility of a machine with consciousness raises many philosophical, psychological and sociological questions about the nature of consciousness itself and what it really means to be intelligent. The computational modelling of human cognitive abilities can play a significant role in the advancement of cognitive psychology, giving a better understanding of people’s own intelligence. Going from natural to Artificial Intelligence, there are many challenges and risks to be met, but also great opportunities.
Soviet brutalism is not something traditionally thought of as beautiful, but Frédéric Chaubin's stunning photographs, published under the facetious title CCCP: Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed, should go some way to changing this.
Fascinated by the massive scale of Brezhnev-era architecture, the French photographer has toured the former Soviet Union since 2003, in search of dramatic examples of these sculptural buildings. The 1970s-1990s was a strong period for Soviet architecture, especially in the peripheral republics, where outlandish designs were an expression of the striving for independence, an early inkling of the break-up of the USSR.
Architects at this time picked up where they left off following the suppression of the avant-garde by Stalin in the early 1930s, and were able to capitalise on advances made in engineering in the interim period, producing buildings with enormous internal spaces and dramatic cantilevered protrusions. These were the final emphatic declarations of the solidity of communism before it cracked up.
In a conversation this afternoon with Ben Fullerton, the “trip computer” from the Talbot Alpine showed up. An awesome device from the past, one of those artifacts that was supposed to be “futuristic”...
@SadaoTurner posted this image of Olympics wi-fi police, who seek unauthorized wi-fi signals and shut them down. Why go through all that trouble? Because Olympic partner BT runs some 1,500 paid hotspots at the event.