The virtual life
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The virtual life
About immersive selves and augmented reality
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Repelling Viruses, Reviving Mammoths

Repelling Viruses, Reviving Mammoths | The virtual life | Scoop.it
*Synthetic biology, already practicable and a boon to industry, could revolutionize human life*

by
GEORGE M. CHURCH and ED REGIS

"Yes, you can teach old bacteria new tricks. It is now routine to genetically reprogram microbes to make plastics, biofuels, vaccines and antibiotics. They have been engineered to detect arsenic levels in drinking water, destroy cancer cells and store digital data in DNA, making bacteria into biological flash drives.

But we may not have seen anything yet. Someday we may be able to create microbial (and possibly human) cells that are resistant to viruses and to bring extinct species like the woolly mammoth back to life. We could expand the human life span, increase our intelligence and enhance our ability to survive long space journeys.

Some applications of synthetic biology have already proven themselves scientifically as well as commercially—bioplastics, for example. Take Mirel, the biologically produced ingredient in ecologically beneficial transparent plastic cups and other products......"
http://on.wsj.com/UiJQ3U


Via Gerd Moe-Behrens
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Matrix Dilemma - Do Humans Live In The Ultimate Computer Game Of The Superior Ones? - MessageToEagle.com

Matrix Dilemma - Do Humans Live In The Ultimate Computer Game Of The Superior Ones? - MessageToEagle.com | The virtual life | Scoop.it
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Dyson sphere hunt using Kepler data | KurzweilAI

Dyson sphere hunt using Kepler data | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
A Dyson sphere under construction (credit: Steve Bowers) Geoff Marcy has received a grant from the UK’s Templeton Foundation to look for Dyson spheres,...
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The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation - Technology Review

The Measurement That Would Reveal The Universe As A Computer Simulation - Technology Review | The virtual life | Scoop.it
If the cosmos is a numerical simulation, there ought to be clues in the spectrum of high energy cosmic rays, say theorists...
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David Deutsch – On Artificial Intelligence

David Deutsch – On Artificial Intelligence | The virtual life | Scoop.it
The very laws of physics imply that artificial intelligence must be possible. What's holding us up?
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How artificial intelligence is changing our lives

How artificial intelligence is changing our lives | The virtual life | Scoop.it

In a sense, AI has become almost mundanely ubiquitous, from the intelligent sensors that set the aperture and shutter speed in digital cameras, to the heat and humidity probes in dryers, to the automatic parking feature in cars. And more applications are tumbling out of labs and laptops by the hour.


“It’s an exciting world,” says Colin Angle, chairman and cofounder of iRobot, which has brought a number of smart products, including the Roomba vacuum cleaner, to consumers in the past decade.


What may be most surprising about AI today, in fact, is how little amazement it creates. Perhaps science-fiction stories with humanlike androids, from the charming Data (“Star Trek“) to the obsequious C-3PO (“Star Wars”) to the sinister Terminator, have raised unrealistic expectations. Or maybe human nature just doesn’t stay amazed for long.


“Today’s mind-popping, eye-popping technology in 18 months will be as blasé and old as a 1980 pair of double-knit trousers,” says Paul Saffo, a futurist and managing director of foresight at Discern Analytics in San Francisco. “Our expectations are a moving target.”

 

The ability to create machine intelligence that mimics human thinking would be a tremendous scientific accomplishment, enabling humans to understand their own thought processes better. But even experts in the field won’t promise when, or even if, this will happen.

 

Entrepreneurs like iRobot’s Mr. Angle aren’t fussing over whether today’s clever gadgets represent “true” AI, or worrying about when, or if, their robots will ever be self-aware. Starting with Roomba, which marks its 10th birthday this month, his company has produced a stream of practical robots that do “dull, dirty, or dangerous” jobs in the home or on the battlefield. These range from smart machines that clean floors and gutters to the thousands of PackBots and other robot models used by the US military for reconnaissance and bomb disposal.


While robots in particular seem to fascinate humans, especially if they are designed to look like us, they represent only one visible form of AI. Two other developments are poised to fundamentally change the way we use the technology: voice recognition and self-driving cars.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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oliviersc's comment, October 3, 2012 11:19 AM
Un petit tour par mes Cercles privés à Google+ Thanks for this article !
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Can computers understand art? | KurzweilAI

Can computers understand art? | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Can you identify specific artistic movements that these paintings belong to?
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What our civilization needs is a billion-year plan | KurzweilAI

What our civilization needs is a billion-year plan | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Artist’s concept of a Kardashev Type 2 civilization (credit: Chris Cold) Lt Col Garretson --- one of the USAF's most farsighted and original thinkers ---...
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Chemical brain preservation: how to live ‘forever’ — a personal view | KurzweilAI

Chemical brain preservation: how to live ‘forever’ — a personal view | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Neuroscientists today can preserve small volumes (<1mm⊃3;) of animal brain tissue immediately after death with incredible precision --- the features and...
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Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now? | VICE

Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now? | VICE | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Two years ago, Rich Terrile appeared on 'Through the Wormhole,' the Science Channel’s show about the mysteries of life and the universe.
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Physicist Derives Laws of Thermodynamics For Life Itself - Technology Review

Physicist Derives Laws of Thermodynamics For Life Itself - Technology Review | The virtual life | Scoop.it
The laws of thermodynamics must apply to self-replicating systems.
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Craig Venter Imagines a World with Printable Life Forms | Wired Science | Wired.com

Craig Venter Imagines a World with Printable Life Forms | Wired Science | Wired.com | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Craig Venter imagines a future where you can download software, print a vaccine, inject it, and presto! Contagion averted.
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Singularity and Futurism: Matrix Reloaded - Can it be proved that we live in a matrix?

Singularity and Futurism: Matrix Reloaded - Can it be proved that we live in a matrix? | The virtual life | Scoop.it

According to Silas Beane and his team at the University of Bonn in Germany, a simulation of the universe should still have constraints, no matter how powerful. These limitations, they argue, would be observed by the people within the simulation as a kind of constraint on physical processes.

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SmoothLifeL

A continuous version of Conway's Life, using floating point values instead of integers: supports many interesting phenomena such as gliders that can travel in any direction, rotating pairs of gliders, wickstretchers and the appearance of elastic...
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Brainless slime mold uses external spatial ‘memory’ to navigate complex environments | KurzweilAI

Brainless slime mold uses external spatial ‘memory’ to navigate complex environments | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Photograph of P.polycephalum plasmodium showing (A) extending pseudopod, (B) search front, (C) tubule network, and (D) extracellular slime deposited where...
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Reality is a computer projection: physicists | KurzweilAI

Reality is a computer projection: physicists | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Is our reality a projection of information, like the hologram image of Princess Leia projected by R2D2 in Star Wars?
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Using Second Life to help develop creative writing skills | Second Life and other Virtual Worlds

Using Second Life to help develop creative writing skills | Second Life and other Virtual Worlds | The virtual life | Scoop.it
“An Introduction to Flash Fiction” is designed as a learning path. Its goals are a) to help visitors learn about flash fiction, and b) to motivate them to write this type of concise story.

Via David W. Deeds
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A clock that will last forever - researchers propose a way to build the first space-time crystal

A clock that will last forever - researchers propose a way to build the first space-time crystal | The virtual life | Scoop.it

Imagine a clock that will keep perfect time forever, even after the heat-death of the universe. This is the “wow” factor behind a device known as a “space-time crystal,” a four-dimensional crystal that has periodic structure in time as well as space. However, there are also practical and important scientific reasons for constructing a space-time crystal. With such a 4D crystal, scientists would have a new and more effective means by which to study how complex physical properties and behaviors emerge from the collective interactions of large numbers of individual particles, the so-called many-body problem of physics. A space-time crystal could also be used to study phenomena in the quantum world, such as entanglement, in which an action on one particle impacts another particle even if the two particles are separated by vast distances.

 

A space-time crystal, however, has only existed as a concept in the minds of theoretical scientists with no serious idea as to how to actually build one – until now. An international team of scientists led by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has proposed the experimental design of a space-time crystal based on an electric-field ion trap and the Coulomb repulsion of particles that carry the same electrical charge. “The electric field of the ion trap holds charged particles in place and Coulomb repulsion causes them to spontaneously form a spatial ring crystal,” says Xiang Zhang, a faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division who led this research. “Under the application of a weak static magnetic field, this ring-shaped ion crystal will begin a rotation that will never stop. The persistent rotation of trapped ions produces temporal order, leading to the formation of a space-time crystal at the lowest quantum energy state.”

 

Because the space-time crystal is already at its lowest quantum energy state, its temporal order – or timekeeping – will theoretically persist even after the rest of our universe reaches entropy, thermodynamic equilibrium or “heat-death.” The concept of a crystal that has discrete order in time was proposed earlier this year by Frank Wilczek, the Nobel-prize winning physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While Wilczek mathematically proved that a time crystal can exist, how to physically realize such a time crystal was unclear. Zhang and his group, who have been working on issues with temporal order in a different system since September 2011, have come up with an experimental design to build a crystal that is discrete both in space and time – a space-time crystal. Just as a 3D crystal is configured at the lowest quantum energy state when continuous spatial symmetry is broken into discrete symmetry, so too is symmetry breaking expected to configure the temporal component of the space-time crystal. Under the scheme devised by Zhang and Li and their colleagues, a spatial ring of trapped ions in persistent rotation will periodically reproduce itself in time, forming a temporal analog of an ordinary spatial crystal. With a periodic structure in both space and time, the result is a space-time crystal.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Angel Gavin's comment, September 25, 2012 3:04 AM
If you are wondering why I am scooping this one in satellite navigation, please be aware of how much important for a sat nav system to have an accurate time!
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Samsung thinks up mind-reading brain implant

Samsung thinks up mind-reading brain implant | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Samsung thinks up mind-reading brain implant
Company files patent application for an implantable medical device that can transmit information. Think of it as a secure Wi-Fi router for yor bodey.

Via IT
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Self-forming biological scaffolding | KurzweilAI

Self-forming biological scaffolding | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
(Credit: Technical University Munich) A new model system of the cytoskeleton (cellular skeleton) of living cells is akin to a mini-laboratory designed to...
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Computer learning to read lips to detect emotions | KurzweilAI

Computer learning to read lips to detect emotions | KurzweilAI | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Open the pod bay doors, HAL. Scientists in Malaysia are teaching a computer to interpret human emotions based on lip patterns.
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Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics - tech - 28 August 2012 - New Scientist

Cyborg tissue is half living cells, half electronics - tech - 28 August 2012 - New Scientist | The virtual life | Scoop.it
Lab-grown heart cells, neurons and blood vessels snaked through with nanowires are blurring the boundary between electronics and biology...

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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