Tracking the Future
45.9K views | +0 today
Follow
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
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Quantum Computation - Michelle Simmons - TEDxSydney

There is a shift coming in the very nature of computing which is being led by the likes of quantum physicist Michelle Simmons. Michelle wants you to put the binary world of ones and zeros on the shelf for a moment, as she introduces you to the idea of computing with atoms. 

Michelle has always wanted to undertake the hardest research in the hardest subject: quantum physics. Her eccentric schooling, coupled with the sudden death of her PhD supervisor means she has spent most of her career teaching herself. Michelle is the Director of Australia's Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. This year, she and her team announced they had made the first ever single atom transistor. They now sit on the threshold of delivering the first ever quantum computer to the world. 

TEDxSydney 2012 took place on Saturday 26 May 2012 at Carriageworks. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The Individual in a Networked World: Two Scenarios

The Individual in a Networked World: Two Scenarios | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it
Collaborative agent bots? A walled world under constant surveillance? Two information technology experts parse the future of human–network interaction
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Evolution vs Artificial Intelligence

Skype's founding programmer and A.I philosopher at Cambridge University Jaan Tallinn explains how A.I is taking over from evolution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality

The Strange Neuroscience of Immortality | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In the basement of the Northwest Science Building here at Harvard University, a locked door is marked with a pink and yellow sign: "Caution: Radioactive Material." Inside researchers buzz around wearing dour expressions and plastic gloves. Among them is Kenneth Hayworth. He's tall and gaunt, dressed in dark-blue jeans, a blue polo shirt, and gray running shoes. He looks like someone who sleeps little and eats less.

Hayworth has spent much of the past few years in a windowless room carving brains into very thin slices. He is by all accounts a curious man, known for casually saying things like, "The human race is on a beeline to mind uploading: We will preserve a brain, slice it up, simulate it on a computer, and hook it up to a robot body." He wants that brain to be his brain. He wants his 100 billion neurons and more than 100 trillion synapses to be encased in a block of transparent, amber-colored resin—before he dies of natural causes.

Why? Ken Hayworth believes that he can live forever.

But first he has to die.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity

10 of the Weirdest Futurist Scenarios for the Evolution of Humanity | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

When science fiction writers and futurists imagine humans of the far future, they never think our descendants are going to look exactly the same as we do now. After all, we'll have access to powerful tools to turn us into cyborgs and hack our DNA, so there's no limit to how we could reinvent ourselves.

But just how weird could our progeny become? Here are 10 of the absolute strangest visions of our post-human future.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

When Will Computers Do What the Brain Does?

When Will Computers Do What the Brain Does? | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Inventor and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil is a pioneer in artificial intelligence—the principal developer of the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, and the first text-to-speech synthesizer, among other breakthroughs. He is also a writer who explores the future of information technology and how it is changing our word.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Kurzweil and The Wall Street Journal's Alan Murray discussed advances in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and what it means to be human. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History

Why I Believe That This Will Be The Most Innovative Decade In History | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Many people believe that we’ve run out of ideas and that the future will be one of bleak shortages of food, energy, and water. Billionaire Peter Thiel, for example, argues that despite spectacular advances in computer-related fields, technological progress has actually stalled because the internal combustion engine still rules our highways, the cancer death rate has barely changed since 1971, and the top speed at which people can travel has ceased to improve.
Thiel is right about engines, speed, and cancer death rates. But he and the pessimists are completely wrong about what lies ahead. I don’t believe that the future holds shortages and stagnation; it is more likely to be one in which we debate how we can distribute the abundance and prosperity that we’ve created.
Why am I so optimistic? Because of the wide assortment of technologies that are advancing at exponential rates and converging. They are enabling small teams to do what was once only possible for governments and large corporations. These exponential technologies will help us solve many of humanity’s grand challenges, including energy, education, water, food, and health.
Let me give you a taste of what lies ahead.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Coming Summer 2012: The Singularity is Near Movie Trailer

The Singularity is Near, A True Story about the Future, based on Ray Kurzweil's New York Times bestseller, intertwines a fast-paced A-line documentary with a B-line narrative story.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

5 Amazing Tech Breakthroughs First Seen in Movies

5 Amazing Tech Breakthroughs First Seen in Movies | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

From Metropolis to 2001 Space Odyssey to the latest James Bond adventure, technology and cinema have enjoyed a long love affair, with the movies often anticipating real world developments. Some of today's most cutting edge breakthroughs are helping make the world better, but a few might look familiar to you already. Here are a few of the most intriguing ideas that were first seen on the big screen before they came to life.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Patrice AFRIAT
Scoop.it!

How Sci-Fi Becomes Reality

How Sci-Fi Becomes Reality | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

We are currently living in a fascinating age of scientific development. With such rapidity the world around us has changed considerably. In as little as the twelve years since this century began, the advances driven by development of computer technologies alone have been astounding.

Computers really have been the major driving force of the information age, becoming ever more advanced, allowing us to incorporate them into a wider range of tasks, speeding up research, and allowing innovators to use them in ways previously only dreamt of in the realm of science fiction.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

A Countdown to a Digital Simulation of Every Last Neuron in the Human Brain

A Countdown to a Digital Simulation of Every Last Neuron in the Human Brain | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Reductionist biology—examining individual brain parts, neural circuits and molecules—has brought us a long way, but it alone cannot explain the workings of the human brain, an information processor within our skull that is perhaps unparalleled anywhere in the universe. We must construct as well as reduce and build as well as dissect. To do that, we need a new paradigm that combines both analysis and synthesis. The father of reductionism, French philosopher René Descartes, wrote about the need to investigate the parts and then reassemble them to re-create the whole.

Putting things together to devise a complete simulation of the human brain is the goal of an undertaking that intends to construct a fantastic new scientific instrument. Nothing quite like it exists yet, but we have begun building it. One way to think of this instrument is as the most powerful flight simulator ever built—only rather than simulating flight through open air, it will simulate a voyage through the brain. This “virtual brain” will run on supercomputers and incorporate all the data that neuroscience has generated to date.

---

Henry Markram is the director of the Blue Brain Project. The project is a candidate for a Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) research grant from the European Commission. The grant would bring in €1 billion over 10 years. The final decision on the grant is expected in February 2013. If the grant is awarded, the project will be renamed the Human Brain Project.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species?

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Targeting DNA

Targeting DNA | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The concept is simple: if a mutated gene is causing a problem, replace or supplement it with a new, accurate copy. In theory, such a strategy could not just treat, but cure countless human genetic diseases. In practice, however, developing safe and effective gene therapies has not been easy. Even when identifying a disorder’s genetic basis is fairly straightforward, finding the appropriate delivery vector to target the diseased tissues in the body, while avoiding unintended consequences, has challenged would-be gene therapists for more than 20 years. But more and more researchers are convinced that the technique is on the brink of becoming a common medical practice.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the field,” says researcher and medical oncologist David Kirn, founder, president, and chief medical officer at Jennerex, Inc., a San Francisco-based biotherapeutics company that develops and commercializes oncolytic drugs. In the last year alone, he says, major breakthroughs have been published for the use of gene therapy in patients with hemophilia, solid tumors, and leukemia, not to mention the dozens of trials yielding positive results for gene therapies to treat various types of blindness. “It’s just remarkable,” he says. “These decades of work are suddenly really paying off.”

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Szabolcs Kósa from Singularity Scoops
Scoop.it!

The Avatar Economy

The Avatar Economy | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In our economy, many of the jobs most resistant to automation are those with the least economic value. Just consider the diversity of tasks, unpredictable terrains, and specialized tools that a landscaper confronts in a single day. No robot is intelligent enough to perform this $8-an-hour work.

But what about a robot remotely controlled by a low-wage foreign worker?


Via Jorge Barba, Frederic Emam-Zade Gerardino
more...
luiy's curator insight, January 3, 2013 10:59 AM

In our economy, many of the jobs most resistant to automation are those with the least economic value. Just consider the diversity of tasks, unpredictable terrains, and specialized tools that a landscaper confronts in a single day. No robot is intelligent enough to perform this $8-an-hour work.



Telepresence means that in theory, 10, 100, or 1,000 times as many workers could compete (virtually) for the same work. No matter how bad things get in Madrid or Houston, an avatar worker somewhere else could sell his or her labor for less. The same outsourcing logic applies to many high-wage jobs that rely on physical presence and motor skills, including the work done by cardiologists and machinists.


Previous waves of outsourcing should remind us: the legal, political, and social obstacles to an avatar economy may prove greater than the technical ones. How will the meaning of work change when a gardener bot is controlled by a different remote worker every day? Or when one driver supervises 50 mostly autonomous taxis? What—and how much—work will be left in areas with the highest labor and housing costs?

Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

The 'intelligence explosion'

Dr Anders Sandberg from Oxford University's future think-tank explains how a human cyborg world would work.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Artificial Irrelevance: The robots are coming

Artificial Irrelevance: The robots are coming | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The creation of artificial intelligence more sophisticated than a human brain, even by accident, is now a very real prospect warns Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

Science fiction luminary Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics mandated safety measures to limit artificial intelligence in robots, protecting humans from harm.

That was 70 years ago. Largely written for fantasy books.

Nowadays, researchers have developed artificial synapses, computers have won jeopardy and Google's computer can do something called supervised learning.

With the robotics industry saying household robots will be the new PCs in ten years, the impact of robotic AI on humanity is no longer tomorrow's problem

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Dr. Eric Horvitz and Dr. Peter Norvig: The Challenge and Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Join leading researchers Dr. Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research and Dr. Peter Norvig of Google for an intriguing discussion about the past, present, and future of artificial intelligence, moderated by KQED's Tim Olson.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Don Tapscott: Four principles for the open world

The recent generations have been bathed in connecting technology from birth, says futurist Don Tapscott, and as a result the world is transforming into one that is far more open and transparent. In this inspiring talk, he lists the four core principles that show how this open world can be a far better place.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

How we’re playing God now

How we’re playing God now | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

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.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Hugo de Garis on Singularity 1 on 1: Are We Building Gods or Terminators?

An interview by Nikola Danaylov: Hugo de Garis is the past director of the Artificial Brain Lab (ABL) at Xiamen University in China. Best known for his doomsday book The Artilect War, Dr. de Garis has always been on my wish-list of future guests on Singularity 1 on 1. Finally, a few weeks ago I managed to catch him for a 90 minutes interview via Skype.

During our discussion with Dr. de Garis we cover a wide variety of topics such as: how and why he got interested in artificial intelligence; Moore's Law and the laws of physics; the hardware and software requirements for artificial intelligence; why cutting edge experts are often missing the writing on the wall; emerging intelligence and other approaches to AI; Dr. Henry Markram's Blue Brain Project; the stakes in building AI and his concepts of ArtIlects, Cosmists and Terrans; cosmology, the Fermi Paradox and the Drake equation; the advance of robotics and the political, ethical, legal and existential implications thereof; species dominance as the major issue of the 21st century; the technological singularity and our chances of surviving it in the context of fast and slow take-off.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Brain Implants Powered by Spinal Fluid: Another Huge Step Towards Our Cyborg Future

Brain Implants Powered by Spinal Fluid: Another Huge Step Towards Our Cyborg Future | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

The biggest question for would-be cyborgs is: How are you going to power all those brain implants? And now it looks like some MIT engineers may have stumbled upon the answer. They have developed a fuel cell that can run on your brain's own glucose — a breakthrough that could result in powerful neural prosthetics that could restore and control a number of bodily functions.

Here's how it would work — plus why this breakthrough could combine with two other recent developments to make a cyborg future much closer than it was before.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Laying down the law on nanotechnology

Laying down the law on nanotechnology | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

New and emerging technologies offer the potential for a cleaner, healthier and better future. However, the risks from these technologies are not fully known. Will a future generation look back on our current wave of scientific innovation much as we regard the introduction of asbestos to the market?

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by The Robot Launch Pad
Scoop.it!

Un-Cage The Robot: New Algorithm Allows Robots To Work Side By Side With Humans

Un-Cage The Robot: New Algorithm Allows Robots To Work Side By Side With Humans | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

In today’s manufacturing plants, the division of labor between humans and robots is quite clear: Large, automated robots are typically cordoned off in metal cages, manipulating heavy machinery and performing repetitive tasks, while humans work in less hazardous areas on jobs requiring finer detail.

In today’s manufacturing plants, large metal cages protect humans from heavy robotic machinery. New MIT research may un-cage robots, allowing them to work safely alongside people.

According to Julie Shah, the Boeing Career Development Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, the factory floor of the future may host humans and robots working side by side, each helping the other in common tasks. Shah envisions robotic assistants performing tasks that would otherwise hinder a human’s efficiency, particularly in airplane manufacturing.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Artificial cells evolve proteins to structure semiconductors

Artificial cells evolve proteins to structure semiconductors | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists have applied genetic engineering to create proteins that can be used to create electronics. They've used the tools of molecular biology and principles of evolution to find proteins that can make new structures of silicon dioxide, commonly found in computer chips, and titanium dioxide, often used in solar cells.

In this work, the scientists demonstrated that directed evolution of a mineral-producing protein could create materials with never-before seen structures. The next challenge is to learn how to change the selection pressures to evolve a specific property, such as semiconductor performance. “This approach will begin to allow the same DNA-based evolutionary processes that have created seashells and skeletons to be harnessed to advance human technologies,” they write.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Szabolcs Kósa
Scoop.it!

Future mobility with brains

Predicting the future is hard. But when we are on the road, there are cars ahead of us that can see what we will see a few minutes or a few hours into our future. Carlo van de Weijer explains how by linking our increasingly smart cars together we will soon be able to plan when we will be in a traffic jam.

TEDxBrainport 2012 - Making the Future
Carlo van de Weijer

more...
No comment yet.