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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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Speech Recognition Breakthrough for the Spoken, Translated Word

Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid demonstrates a speech recognition breakthrough via machine translation that converts his spoken English words into computer-generated Chinese language. The breakthrough is patterned after deep neural networks and significantly reduces errors in spoken as well as written translation.

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Biological Intelligence is a Fleeting Phase in the Evolution of the Universe

Biological Intelligence is a Fleeting Phase in the Evolution of the Universe | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Paul Davies, a British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative at Arizona State University, says in his new book The Eerie Silence that any aliens exploring the universe will be AI-empowered machines. Not only are machines better able to endure extended exposure to the conditions of space, but they have the potential to develop intelligence far beyond the capacity of the human brain.
"I think it very likely – in fact inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon, a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe," Davies writes. "If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is overwhelmingly likely to be post-biological in nature."

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Beyond AGI: Imagining the Unimaginable

Dr. Ben Goertzel discussing post-singularity scenarios

 

Dr. Ben Goertzel, a self-described Cosmist and Singularitarian, is one of the world's leading researchers in artificial general intelligence (AGI), natural language processing, cognitive science, data mining, machine learning, computational finance, bioinformatics, and virtual worlds and gaming He has published a dozen scientific books, 100+ technical papers, and numerous journalistic articles.

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The Singularity, Promise and Peril

Luke Muehlhauser shares the possible promise - and peril - of the Singularity.
Luke Muehlhauser has published dozens of articles on self-help, decision-making, and artificial intelligence, including peer-reviewed research on AI safety. He is currently the Executive Director of the Singularity Institute.

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The Dark Side of the Double Helix

A fascinating inside look at the coming world of Synthetic Biology

Andrew Hessel at TEDx Marin 2012

 

Andrew Hessel is a futurist and catalyst in biological technologies, helping industry, academics, and authorities better understand the changes underway in life science. Trained in microbiology and genetics, Andrew has continually worked at the forefront of life science in industry and academia. He is faculty at Singularity University, where he co-chaired the Biotechnology and Bioinformatics track and now helps startup biotechnology companies organize and launch. He is also a fellow at the University of Ottawa, Institute for Science, Society, and Policy, and the founder of the world's first cooperative biotechnology company, the Pink Army Cooperative, which is working to create open source therapies for cancer. Andrew has given dozens of invited talks related to synthetic biology, for groups that include Intel Inc., the FBI, and the United Nations

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Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong

Noam Chomsky on Where Artificial Intelligence Went Wrong | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

If one were to rank a list of civilization's greatest and most elusive intellectual challenges, the problem of "decoding" ourselves -- understanding the inner workings of our minds and our brains, and how the architecture of these elements is encoded in our genome -- would surely be at the top. Yet the diverse fields that took on this challenge, from philosophy and psychology to computer science and neuroscience, have been fraught with disagreement about the right approach.

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Hacking the President’s DNA

Hacking the President’s DNA | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.
Andrew Hessel the renowned expert of genetic engineering and synthetic biology collaborated with Future Crimes visionary Marc Goodman and bestselling author and writer Steven Kotler to speculate how the advances in personalized medicine could be co-opted for less than altruistic purposes.

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Ready for nanotech brains? IBM’s nanotube breakthrough gets us closer

Ready for nanotech brains? IBM’s nanotube breakthrough gets us closer | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Carbon nanotubes are tiny wires that can conduct digital computer signals at five times or ten times the speed of traditional silicon chips. They have been around since the 1990s, but researchers have had a tough time getting them to behave. When they try to line these wires together in a useful grid as part of a computer design, they have a tendency to behave like wet spaghetti noodles.
But IBM is announcing today that it has taken the first real steps toward commercial fabrication of carbon nanotubes on top of a silicon chip. IBM has made transistors — the basic components of electronic computing — from nanometer-sized tubes of carbon and put 10,000 of them on top of a silicon chip using mainstream manufacturing processes.

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The Mars Underground [HD]

Leading aerospace engineer and Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin has a dream. He wants to get humans to the planet Mars in the next ten years. Now, with the advent of a revolutionary plan, Mars Direct, Dr. Zubrin shows how we can use present day technology and natural resources on Mars to make human settlement possible. But can he win over the skeptics at NASA and the wider world?
‘The Mars Underground’ is a landmark documentary that follows Dr. Zubrin and his team as they try to bring this incredible dream to life. Through spellbinding animation, the film takes us on a daring first journey to the Red Planet and envisions a future Mars teeming with life and terraformed into a blue world. A must-see experience for anyone concerned for our global future and the triumph of the human spirit.
"This film captures the spirit of Mars pioneers who refuse to let their dreams be put on hold by a slumbering space program. Their passionate urge to walk the soil of an alien world is infectious and inspirational. This film is the manifesto of the new space revolution,” said James Cameron, director of Avatar, Titanic and Aliens.

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A Conversation on the Economy with Joe Stiglitz and Paul Krugman

What do you get when you put two of the most well known and most widely cited economists in the world, both Nobel laureates, on stage together? A healthy dose of economic reality.

That's what happened Tuesday night at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Haft Auditorium in New York City at an INET-sponsored event featuring Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz in a "Conversation on the State of the Economy," moderated by INET Executive Director Rob Johnson.

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Jodie Cash's curator insight, October 1, 2014 10:08 AM

This video tells about the fashion news of New York. In this video the president of fashion is talking about fashion. She is also talking about some fashion affects in the city.

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Ray Kurzweil: How to Create a Mind

Entrepreneur and futurist Ray Kurzweil discusses his forthcoming book Hot to Create a Mind. Kurzweil explores how the Singularity will bring greater health, wealth and happiness for humankind.

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Sequencing the Connectome: Will DNA Bar Codes and a Sneaky Virus Change the Way Scientists Map the Brain?

Sequencing the Connectome: Will DNA Bar Codes and a Sneaky Virus Change the Way Scientists Map the Brain? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists have mapped, charted, modeled and visualized the human brain in many different ways. They have marked the boundaries of the organ’s four major lobes: the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. They have divvied up the cortex into more than 50 Broadmann areas—small regions characterized by particular cell types and specific cognitive functions, such as processing speech and recognizing faces. Researchers have tagged individual neurons with fluorescent proteins, transforming gray tissue into stunning brainbows, and followed water molecules as they move through the nervous system to trace ribbons of neural tissue linking one brain region to another. More recently, some scientists have championed the importance of connectomes—detailed wiring diagrams of all the connections between neurons in a given nervous system or brain. Thoroughly understanding the brain, proponents of connectomics argue, requires precise maps of its neural circuits.

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Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia?

Can Nanotechnology Create Utopia? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

This week Dr. Kaku addresses the question of the possibility of utopia, the perfect society that people have tried to create throughout history. These dreams have not been realized because we have scarcity. However, now we have nanotechnology, and with nanotechnology, perhaps, says Dr. Michio Kaku, maybe in 100 years, we'll have something called the replicator, which will create enormous abundance.

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'A Period of Persistent Conflict' - By Micah Zenko

'A Period of Persistent Conflict' - By Micah Zenko | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Why the United States will never have another peacetime president.

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Human enhancement and the future of work report

Human enhancement and the future of work report | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The Human enhancement and the future of work project explored potential enhancements arising from advances in science and engineering that are likely to impact on the future of work.

 

Report from a joint workshop hosted by the Academy of Medical
Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering
and the Royal Society

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7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity

7 Best-Case Scenarios for the Future of Humanity | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Most science fictional and futurist visions of the future tend towards the negative — and for good reason. Our environment is a mess, we have a nasty tendency to misuse technologies, and we're becoming increasingly capable of destroying ourselves. But civilizational demise is by no means guaranteed. Should we find a way to manage the risks and avoid dystopic outcomes, our far future looks astonishingly bright. Here are seven best-case scenarios for the future of humanity.

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Will p53 be the first widely altered human gene?

Will p53 be the first widely altered human gene? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

p53 (aka TP53) is one of the most intensively studied proteins encoded in the human genome, and presently there are over 64,000 scientific papers dealing with various aspects of its function. Initially thought to promote cancer and later to suppress cancer, our understating of p53 has dramatically changed over the past thirty years. p53 is now known to regulate several hundred different genes and gene products and be involved in an enormous number of different functions, including cancer suppression and the regulation of cell division, aging, cell death, responses to hypoxia, embryo implantation, DNA repair, mitochondrial function, cellular anti-oxidant defenses, and promoting aerobic metabolism and exercise tolerance. Over the last ten years transgenic animals carrying extra p53 copies have shown a high resistance to developing cancer, and drugs that activate p53 in tumor cells have shown promise as anti-cancer therapies.
Since p53 is mutated in over 50% of human cancers, a successful anti-cancer therapy targeting p53 could have wide applications to many differ type of cancer. Therefore p53 is a likely candidate for the first genetic alterations performed on humans to lower individual disease risk.

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Lidia Pérez de Obanos's curator insight, November 27, 2013 9:23 AM

No hay que crearnos falsas esperanzas pero hay que investigar todo lo que se pueda contra el cáncer, ya que es una causa de muerte mundial muy importante y creciente.

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Manufacturing Life with J. Craig Venter

J. Craig Venter, CEO of Synthetic Genomics, talks about finding genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, food and vaccines in an interview with James Bennet, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic

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Open Seas - The Arctic is the Mediterranean of the 21st century.

Open Seas - The Arctic is the Mediterranean of the 21st century. | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

If climate scientists' prophesies of an ice-free Arctic Ocean pan out, the world will witness the most sweeping transformation of geopolitics since the Panama Canal opened. Seafaring nations and industries will react assertively -- as they did when merchantmen and ships of war sailing from Atlantic seaports no longer had to circumnavigate South America to reach the Pacific Ocean.

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IBM brings carbon nanotube-based computers a step closer

IBM brings carbon nanotube-based computers a step closer | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In the effort to find a replacement for today's silicon chips, IBM researchers have pushed carbon nanotube technology a significant step ahead.
Carbon nanotubes are very small structures made of a lattice of carbon atoms rolled into a cylindrical shape, and a team of eight researchers have figured out a way to precisely place them on a computer chip, IBM announced today. That development allows them to arrange the nanotubes 100 times more densely than earlier methods, a key step in economical chipmaking, and IBM has built a chip with more than 10,000 carbon nanotube-based elements.
The new technique helps improve the nanotubes' chances in the hunt for alternatives once today's silicon transistor technology runs out of steam. Today's chips are made of tiny electrical switches called transistors, and carbon nanotubes are a potential substitute for the silicon channels that carry electrical current in those transistors.
Moore's Law has successfully improved microchips for decades by shrinking chip elements to ever-smaller sizes, and it's got years of life yet in it. Today's Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core processors found in new PCs have transistor elements measuring 22 nanometers, or billionths of a meter, and Intel thinks it can shrink that over several generations of improvement down to 5 nanometers. Beyond that, though, processors will probably need to be built with very different technology.

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Scientists decode contents of dreams

Scientists decode contents of dreams | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

They are our some of our most private and also easily forgotten experiences, but scientists have now worked out how to tell what we are dreaming about.

The Japanese researchers managed to decode the dreams of a group of volunteers and pinpointed when they were dreaming about such things as cars and women.
They scanned the brains of three male volunteers as they slept to monitor changes in activity which could be related to the content of their dreams.

Speaking at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference last week, the scientists said their findings indicate that patterns of activity in certain visual areas of the brain are the same whether we are awake or dreaming.

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The Biointelligence Explosion

The Biointelligence Explosion | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

How recursively self-improving organic robots will modify their own source code and bootstrap our way to full-spectrum superintelligence.

 

“Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us…. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.”
Edward O. Wilson, Consilience, The Unity of Knowledge, 1999


“I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years.”
Freeman Dyson, New York Review of Books (July 19, 2007)

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The Singularity Summit 2012

The Singularity Summit 2012 | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Watch videos from The Singularity Summit 2012, the premier event on cutting-edge technologies including robotics, regenerative medicine, artificial intelligence, brain-computer interfacing, and more.

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The Consequences of Machine Intelligence

The Consequences of Machine Intelligence | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The question of what happens when machines get to be as intelligent as and even more intelligent than people seems to occupy many science-fiction writers. The Terminator movie trilogy, for example, featured Skynet, a self-aware artificial intelligence that served as the trilogy's main villain, battling humanity through its Terminator cyborgs. Among technologists, it is mostly "Singularitarians" who think about the day when machine will surpass humans in intelligence. The term "singularity" as a description for a phenomenon of technological acceleration leading to "machine-intelligence explosion" was coined by the mathematician Stanislaw Ulam in 1958, when he wrote of a conversation with John von Neumann concerning the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."

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Brainwave training boosts network for cognitive control and affects mind-wandering

Brainwave training boosts network for cognitive control and affects mind-wandering | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

A breakthrough study conducted in Canada has found that training of the well-known brainwave in humans, the alpha rhythm, enhances a brain network responsible for cognitive-control. The training technique, termed neurofeedback, is being considered as a promising new method for restoring brain function in mental disorders.

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