Derived from petrochemicals boiled into being from the black oil of a trillion ancient bacterioles, the plastic used in 3D Additive manufacturing is a metaphor before it has even been layered into shape. Its potential belies the complications of its history: that matter is the sum and prolongation of our ancestry; that creativity is brutal, sensual, rude, coarse, and cruel. 1 We declare that the world’s splendour has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of crap, kipple 2 and detritus. A planet crystallised with great plastic tendrils like serpents with pixellated breath 3 …for a revolution that runs on disposable armaments is more desirable than the contents of Edward Snowden’s briefcase; more breathtaking than The United Nations Legislative Series.
Speaking recently at the Geek Park Innovation Conference in Beijing, Ray Kurzweil discussed his familiar themes of exponential technology, and stated that what he is trying to build at Google is a "synthetic neocortex."
By: Ben GoertzelMind uploading has long been one of the most conceptually vexing transhumanist technology ideas. The promise is amazing: Liberating the human mind from the flawed, limited human body … freedom to take on various bodily forms and explore outer space, cyberspace, the bottom of the ocean, or wherever. And the same philosophical questions come up again and again: Will your upload be you, or just a copy of you? Is this different than asking if the you that wakes up in the mornin
Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.
How will the robots and machines revolt? Perhaps not in the way we think, writes Joe Gelonesi, who interviews two leading philosophers with very different views about the threat of artificial intelligence.
Biological brains are unlikely to be the final stage of intelligence. Machines already have superhuman strength, speed and stamina – and one day they will have superhuman intelligence. This is of course not certain to occur – it is possible that we will develop some other dangerous technology first ...
BOOK REVIEWEDThe Glass Cage: Automation and Us, by Nicholas Carr, W. W. Norton, $26.95 What does it mean to be a technology critic in today’s America? And what can technology criticism accomplish? The first question... Read More »
Some intrepid biologists at the University of Southern California (USC) have discovered bacteria that survives on nothing but electricity -- rather than food, they eat and excrete pure electrons. These bacteria yet again prove the almost miraculous tenacity of life -- but, from a technology standpoint, they might also prove to be useful in enabling the creation of self-powered nanoscale devices that clean up pollution. Some of these bacteria also have the curious ability to form into "biocables"
Asked to predict the future of the internet and how technology/the Web will change over the next decade, hundreds of experts agree that trends now underway will make the internet more important even as it becomes less visible in daily life.
The AI on the horizon looks more like Amazon Web Services—cheap, reliable, industrial-grade digital smartness running behind everything, and almost invisible except when it blinks off. This is a big deal, and now it's here.
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