A device that would allow paralyzed people to use their thoughts to move robotic limbs fluidly and realistically is now one step closer to reality. A team of scientists from Harvard, MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital led by Ziv Williams have found two groups of cells in one area of the monkey brain that allow the animals to remember a sequence of two movements at once. The team was then able to program a computer to interpret those brain patterns, in turn moving a cursor on a screen in the planned sequence. The development is an improvement over current brain-machine interfaces, which focus on translating a single thought into a single movement in an external device.
The accelerating pace of technological change is leading to the creation of entirely new opportunities for humans to “play God” — to create and transform life in a way that has never been possible. What was once thought to be the exclusive realm of a higher power is now within the grasp of human beings.
Now researchers from around the world are organising the first international conference dedicated to “Harnessing collective intelligence with games“, to be held in September this year in Germany. The conference is aimed at ...
The book is Leonardo da Vinci Anatomy, and it's an iPad app that explores a collection of Leonardo's anatomy drawings (many of which were hidden from the public until the twentieth century) and explains the magnitude of the artist's contribution to science. Though Leonardo sometimes misinterpreted what he discovered, he nevertheless produced some of the most accurate anatomical studies of human musculature and organs ever seen before in the West.
Check out the trailer of the new futuristic augmented reality game by Niantic Labs, a start-up team from Google: "This world around you is not what it seems. Our future is at stake, and you must choose a side. A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us. The Enlightened seek to embrace the power that this energy may bestow upon us. The Resistance struggle to defend, and protect what's left of our humanity."
Lately, it seems like nearly everything has been reproduced by a 3D printer. Between the group that 3D printed a gun, the people who printed a drone, and the army of items sold at this small marketplace for 3D printed goods, there are plenty of novelty uses for these suddenly trendy machines. We’re a long way from 3D printing a house, but it’s clear that the hobby is inching into the mainstream. Yet it’s difficult not to wonder: at what point will 3D printing move beyond novelty to industry? Will these machines change the way we manufacture goods, and subsequently change the global economy, too? (Is it already happening before our very eyes?)
Here are four very powerful videos from the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub that are guaranteed to make you think hard about learning, teaching, and schooling. You can watch them all in less than half an hour.
Giuseppe Mauriello: This is my “scoop” article for today. I found this article written by Suw Charman-Anderson in November of 2006 from her first professional blog “Strange Attractor”, now permanently moved to charman-anderson.com.
Suw is journalist, social technologist consultant and writer, one of the UK’s social media pioneers. She writes for Forbes, The Guardian, amongst others. In 2009, she founded of “Ada Lovelace Day”, an international celebration of the achievements of women in technology, science, engineering.
Returning to her article, it is highly relevant today. At the beginning of the article, the author describes the scenario of the digital industry at the time, then come out few interesting and great points about the need of content curation and the importance of the role of the curator. Here are some gems:
“We already have more movies available than any one person can watch; more videos on YouTube; more blogs… more everything. It’s not like we’re starting from a point of scarcity here. And the flood of stuff is going to turn into a rampaging torrent as more people get online and more people get excited by their ability to participate and create.
In the past, the media acted as gatekeepers. They were the ones that went to the movie previews… They were the ones who got the advance copy of the game… They were the arbiters of taste, the people in the know, the ones with the connections needed to get at culture before us plebs got at it.
But we don’t need gatekeepers anymore. We don’t need people who stand between us and our stuff, deciding what to tell us about and what to ignore. We don’t need arbiters of taste.
We do, however, still need help. There’s just too much stuff around for us to know what’s out there, to keep up with what’s good, what works for us, what is worth investigation. What we need are curators.
We need people who can gather together the things that are of interest to us, things that fit with our tastes or challenge us in interesting ways, things that enrich our lives and help us enjoy our time rather than waste it on searching.
Curators already exist. Some are people: Bloggers who sift through tonnes of stuff in order to highlight what they like, and who, if you have the same taste as them, can be invaluable to discovering new things to like. But curation of the web has barely started. Much of what you could call curation that exists today is flawed: too many noisy opinions and not enough capacity to understand what I as an individual want…”
In his new book, The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, neuroeconomist Paul J. Zak discusses his research on oxytocin, what he calls the "moral molecule." For the past 10 years, Zak has been conducting the same kind of trust games that are common in experimental economics, but with a twist. Before and after the trust games, Zak has been taking blood samples with the goal of gaining a better understanding of how and why people trust others.
Choice Point provides a scientific, self-help and human story platform to help people transform their lives for the better while at the same time showing them how to contribute to transforming the world in beneficial ways. Its mission is to make an impact at the individual level, which will in turn help to transform the world at a global level. It is based on the theory that by aligning with purpose, we each can help to bring the world into better alignment for a positive, peaceful future in which we can more easily solve the problems that currently beset the world
From the year 2000 to 2010 the number of manufacturing jobs in America fell by about a third. The rise of outsourcing and offshoring and the growth of sophisticated supply chains has enabled companies the world over to use China, India and other lower-wage countries as workshops. Now, the global financial crisis has people thinking it is time their countries returned to making stuff in order to create jobs and prevent more manufacturing skills from being lost. These factors, and technologies like robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence could help bring about a Third Industrial Revolution.
How much of planet Earth is made of water? Very little, actually. Although oceans of water cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface, these oceans are shallow compared to the Earth's radius. The above illustration shows what would happen if all of the water on or near the surface of the Earth were bunched up into a ball. The radius of this ball would be only about 700 kilometers, less than half the radius of the Earth's Moon, but slightly larger than Saturn's moon Rhea which, like many moons in our outer Solar System, is mostly water ice. How even this much water came to be on the Earth and whether any significant amount is trapped far beneath Earth's surface remain topics of research.