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Cognitive Engineering - Engineering Memories - The Future is Now

Dr. Theodore Berger's research is currently focused primarily on the hippocampus, a neural system essential for learning and memory functions.


Theodore Berger leads a multi-disciplinary collaboration with Drs. Marmarelis, Song, Granacki, Heck, and Liu at the University of Southern California, Dr. Cheung at City University of Hong Kong, Drs. Hampson and Deadwyler at Wake Forest University, and Dr. Gerhardt at the University of Kentucky, that is developing a microchip-based neural prosthesis for the hippocampus, a region of the brain responsible for long-term memory. Damage to the hippocampus is frequently associated with epilepsy, stroke, and dementia (Alzheimer's disease), and is considered to underlie the memory deficits characteristic of these neurological conditions.


The essential goals of Dr. Berger's multi-laboratory effort include: (1) experimental study of neuron and neural network function during memory formation -- how does the hippocampus encode information?, (2) formulation of biologically realistic models of neural system dynamics -- can that encoding process be described mathematically to realize a predictive model of how the hippocampus responds to any event?, (3) microchip implementation of neural system models -- can the mathematical model be realized as a set of electronic circuits to achieve parallel processing, rapid computational speed, and miniaturization?, and (4) creation of conformal neuron-electrode interfaces -- can cytoarchitectonic-appropriate multi-electrode arrays be created to optimize bi-directional communication with the brain? By integrating solutions to these component problems, the team is realizing a biomimetic model of hippocampal nonlinear dynamics that can perform the same function as part of the hippocampus.

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Video Archive Of The Singularity University

Video Archive Of The Singularity University | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

"The Singularity University aims to assemble, educate and inspire a cadre of leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies and apply, focus and guide these tools to address humanity's grand challenges."


Via jean lievens
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Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala's young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage.

 

It's exciting to see the development of 3D printing move from little objects to human organs. This advancement illustrates soon many objects will be printable from home - with a printer we drop resources into, or even a sorter that breaks apart other objects to salvage resources for new products.

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von Neumann probes, Dyson spheres, exploratory engineering and the Fermi paradox

Fermi paradox: Our universe is fairly old - where are all the aliens? 

 

The Fermi paradox is the contrast between the high estimate of the likelihood of extraterritorial civilizations, and the lack of visible evidence of them. But what sort of evidence should we expect to see? This is what exploratory engineering can tell us, giving us estimates of what kind of cosmic structures are plausibly constructable by advanced civilizations, and what traces they would leave. Based on our current knowledge, it seems that it would be easy for such a civilization to rapidly occupy vast swathes of the universe in a visible fashion. There are game-theoretic reasons to suppose that they would do so. This leads to a worsening of the Fermi paradox, reducing the likelihood of "advanced but unseen" civilizations, even in other galaxies.

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marcel blattner's curator insight, February 2, 4:13 AM

Speculative but worth thinking about seriously. 

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The 3D Printing Revolution

3D printing will soon allow digital object storage and transportation, as well as personal manufacturing and very high levels of product customization. This video by Christopher Barnatt of ExplainingTheFuture.com illustrates 3D printing today and in the future.


Via Szabolcs Kósa, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Videos of machine learning, artificial intelligence and playful machines

Videos of machine learning, artificial intelligence and playful machines | Science-Videos | Scoop.it
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Randal Koene: A Brief Tutorial on Substrate Independent Minds

Randal Koene, Neuroscientist and Neuroengineer, discusses Substrate Independent Minds with Stuart Mason Dambrot on Critical Thought TV. Topics covered include the science, technology and ethics of Whole Brain Emulation, Universal Darwinism, Pattern Survival and a possible very far-future universe.

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Personalized Medicine World Conference 2012 - 25 full-length VIDEOS

Personalized Medicine World Conference 2012 - 25 full-length VIDEOS | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

Plenary speaker videos from the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC)

 

Register for the next PMWC 2013:

 http://attendpmwc2013.eventbrite.com

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Can humans create a superintelligence and how would it further evolve?

Suzanne Gildert's talk at Humanity+ @ Caltech ( http://www.humanityplus.org/conferences/ ) about "What do super-intelligences REALLY want?" and will they outsmart mankind during in a singularity event.

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Bian Wu's curator insight, October 12, 6:24 PM

artificial super intelligence. a lot of video reference

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The teleXLR8 project is one of the best system for e-learning and collaboration in an online 3D environment

The teleXLR8 project is one of the best system for e-learning and collaboration in an online 3D environment | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

The teleXLR8 project has been running as a free, invitation-only beta from March to November 2010, using Teleplace. It has been relaunched in 2011 using OpenQwaq. Visit our main site and blog for more information. teleXLR8 is a telepresence community for cultural acceleration. We produce online events, featuring first class content and speakers, with the best system for e-learning and collaboration in an online 3D environment.

 

Videos are here: http://www.youtube.com/user/telexlr8/feed

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What We Still Don't Know: "Are We Real?" A mind-boggling journey to post-human life

Series from Channel 4 featuring Sir Martin Rees.

 

There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this, Sir Martin takes us on a mind-boggling journey through multiple universes to post-biological life. On the way we learn of the disturbing possibility that we could be the product of someone elses experiment.

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Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind

Tim O'Reilly discusses how evolving technology has disrupted society, and has given birth to the global mind.

Via Spaceweaver
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Chemical Brain Preservation: How to Live "Forever" - by John Smart

A number of neuroscientists, working today with simple model organisms, are investigating the hypothesis that chemical brain preservation may inexpensively preserve the organism's memories and mental states after death. Chemically preserved brains can be stored at room temperature in cemeteries, contract storage, even private homes. A 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Brain Preservation Foundation (http://brainpreservation.org), is offering a $100,000 prize to the first scientific team to demonstrate that the entire synaptic connectivity ("connectome") of mammalian brains can be perfectly preserved using either chemical preservation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_brain_preservation ) or more expensive cryopreservation ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics ) techniques.

 

Such preserved brains may be "read" in the future, analogous to the way a computer hard drive is read today, so that either memories or the complete identities of the preserved individuals can be restored or "uploaded" in computer form. Chemical preservation techniques are already being used to scan and upload the connectomes of very small animal brains (C. elegans and http://www.openworm.org , zebrafish, soon flies). Though these scans are not yet sufficiently complex to extract memories from the uploaded organisms, give them a little more time, we're very close now to cracking long term memory. Now, one just needs to know a bit more about this process at the protein/receptor/gene level: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation

 

Amazingly, if information technologies continue to improve at historical rates, a person whose brain is chemically preserved in 2020 might have their memories read or even fully return to the world in a computer form not centuries but just a few decades from now, while their children and loved ones are still alive. Given progress in electron microscopy and connectomics research to date, we can even forsee how this may be done as a fully automated and inexpensive process ( http://openconnecto.me/services ).

 

Today, only 1% of people in developed societies are interested in living beyond their biological death (see "When I'm 164", David Ewing Duncan, 2012, http://www.amazon.com/When-Im-164-Extension-ebook/dp/B008XB16ME ). With chemical brain preservation, this 1% may soon have a validated, low-cost method that will allow them to do just that. Once it becomes a real option, and recovery of simple memories has been demonstrated in model organisms, this 1% may grow larger as well.

 

John Smart is particularly excited by chemical brain preservation's ability to improve the social contract: what benefits we may reasonably expect from the universe and society when we choose to live a good and moral life. He personally believes that having the *option* of chemical brain preservation at death, if the science is validated, may help all our societies become significantly more science-, future-, progress-, preservation-, sustainability-, truth and justice-, and community-oriented in coming years.

 

Would you choose chemical brain preservation at death if it was widely available, validated, and inexpensive? If not, why not? Would you do it to donate your brain to science? Your memories to your children or others who might want them? Would you be willing to come back in person, if that turns out to be possible? If it is sufficiently inexpensive, would it be best to preserve your brain at death, and let future society decide if either your memories or your identity are "worth" reanimating?

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How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond

How to create a Connectome Observatory of the mouse brain and beyond | Science-Videos | Scoop.it

Several laboratories are now using Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopes (FIB-SEM) to image small volumes of plastic embedded brain tissue at resolutions approaching 5x5x5nm voxel size. The fact that FIBSEM can obtain such resolution is of fundamental importance since at this resolution all neuronal processes should be traceable with 100% accuracy using fully automatic algorithms. A fundamental physical limitation of the FIB ablation process is that this resolution can only be obtained for very small samples on the order of 20 microns across. To overcome this limitation Ken Hayworth has developed a technique using a heated, oil-lubricated, ultrasonically vibrating diamond knife which can section large blocks of plastic-embedded brain tissue into 20 micron thick strips optimally sized for high-resolution FIB-SEM imaging. Crucially, this thick sectioning procedure results in such high-quality surfaces that the finest neuronal processes can be traced from strip to strip.

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[VIDEO] Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species? (TEDTalks)

Throughout human evolution, multiple versions of humans co-existed. Could we be mid-upgrade now? At TEDxSummit, Juan Enriquez sweeps across time and space to bring us to the present moment -- and shows how technology is revealing evidence that suggests rapid evolution may be under way.


Via Sue Tamani, Sakis Koukouvis, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, July 2, 2012 2:39 AM
Thanks. Great video
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Stephen Wolfram on "Computation and the Future of Mankind" at Singularity Summit

The Singularity Summit 2011 was a TED-style two-day event at the historic 92nd Street Y in New York City. The next event will take place in San Francisco, on October 13 & 14, 2012. For more information, visit: http://www.singularitysummit.com

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Humans and Machines - Information and Immortality

Information and immortality have always been related by the idea that we are survived by the stories told about us. The Information Age provides increasingly sophisticated tools to create and tell these stories, but of course the relationship between information and immortality encompasses more: robotic elder care, uploading oneself to the Web, and the likelihood that in future, one will have biological and computational parts and entirely computational friends. All of which raises the question, what do we want informatics to do for us as we age? Where is the line between assisting and supplanting? This is not a new question: Anyone who sits for a portrait knows that the likeness might survive, and eventually become, the sitter. Informatics will eventually merge one's self and one's likeness into bio-robotic complexes of parts and information, maintained by corporations and governments. Then the relationship between information and immortality will be more complicated than ever.

 

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Vision of the future: BBC series with Michio Kaku (Intelligence, Biotech, and Quantum Revolution)

Intelligence Revolution Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mlbuh3_ZKsE&feature=&p=29F92C58FECFAD78&index=0&playnext=1 http://www.youtube.com/view_play_...
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Can humans create a superintelligence and how would it further evolve?

Suzanne Gildert's talk at Humanity+ @ Caltech (http://www.humanityplus.org/conferences/) about "What do super-intelligences REALLY want?" and will they outsmart mankind during in a singularity event.

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Bian Wu's curator insight, October 12, 6:24 PM

artificial super intelligence. a lot of video reference