Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Forget Wearables. Get Ready for Implantables

Yahoo News - 10/19/14 by MIKE EDELHART

Given the frenzy of interest following the announcement of the Apple Watch, you might think wearables will be the next really important shift in technology.
Wearables will have their moment in the sun, but they're simply a transition technology.

Technology will move from existing outside our bodies to residing inside us.

That's the next big frontier.

Here are nine signs that implantable tech is here now, growing rapidly, and that it will be part of your life (and your body) in the near future.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pushing the Humans Out of the Driver's Seat

Time - 10.21.14 by Sam Shank

Roughly 10 years from now we will see the End of Human Driving — a seminal moment of the first half of the 21st century. I’m guessing my young sons will not need to learn how to drive.
I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of technology replacing human drivers.

Let’s be honest: people aren’t always great drivers. They get distracted, tired and make mistakes. Technology can simply do a better job. This is a subject I’ve thought about deeply for the past 20 years. I believe it will have as much impact on the world as the switch from horse transport to automobiles.

The consensus opinion is that safe and reliable driverless cars will be available within a few years. Tesla just announced “Autopilot,” which will be available soon via a software update, and will allow for autonomous driving on freeways – an amazing first step.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

What's Coming - The Genuine Cyborgs

The Telegraph - 10.20.14 by Arthur House

Forget wearable tech. The pioneers of our “post-human” future are implanting technology in to their bodies and brains. Should we stop them or join them?
Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 - year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s hand spasmed into life.

At first it opened slowly and shakily, as though uncertain who its owner was. But when Burkhart engaged his wrist muscles, its upward movement was sudden and decisive. You could hear the joints – unused for years - cracking. The scientists and medical staff gathered in the room burst into applause.

The technology that made this possible, Neurobridge, had successfully reconnected Burkhart’s brain with his body. It was probably the most advanced intertwining of man and machine that had so far been achieved.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Genetic Engineering Will Produce Super-Intelligent Humans?

Nautilus - 10.16.14 by Stephen Hsu

Genetic engineering will one day create the smartest humans who have ever lived.
Lev Landau, a Nobelist and one of the fathers of a great school of Soviet physics, had a logarithmic scale for ranking theorists, from 1 to 5. A physicist in the first class had ten times the impact of someone in the second class, and so on. He modestly ranked himself as 2.5 until late in life, when he became a 2. In the first class were Heisenberg, Bohr, and Dirac among a few others. Einstein was a 0.5!

My friends in the humanities, or other areas of science like biology, are astonished and disturbed that physicists and mathematicians (substitute the polymathic von Neumann for Einstein) might think in this essentially hierarchical way. Apparently, differences in ability are not manifested so clearly in those fields. But I find Landau’s scheme appropriate: There are many physicists whose contributions I cannot imagine having made.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Computers May Delete You Like Spam

c|net - 10.08.14 by Steven Musil

"If its [function] is just something like getting rid of e-mail spam and it determines the best way of getting rid of spam is getting rid of humans . . . "
Elon Musk has made no secret of his worries about the possible destructive power of artificial intelligence.

The billionaire chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla Motors may be a techno-optimist when it comes to solar power, space exploration and electric cars, but he continues to express his concerns that super-intelligent machines might one day pose a threat to human existence.

During an on-stage conversation Wednesday at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, Musk voiced concern that people did not recognize how quickly AI is progressing and its potential destructive effect.

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