2014: Amazing Microscopic Robots for…Nothing?

Technology is constantly evolving and inventions come and go. Among the breakthroughs that science has made, one thing remains very fascinating—nanorobots. If you’ve ever seen Generator Rex, then you might have been introduced to nanites, those tiny robots that can have a mind of their own. In Generator Rex, nanites are capable of activating and taking control of their hosts. An ominous eventuality if you think about it. Imagine being enslaved by robots that are barely visible to the eyes. This possibility might not be far from happening, but people can still rest easy. At least that is what the newly made microscopic robots are saying. Scientist in the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany has finally developed really tiny robots that can swim through a person’s eyeball fluids. They take on the shape of a scallop because its swimming methods allow them to move through viscous […] Read More

2014: Are We As Humans Really That Different From Computers?

Psychologically and even physiologically we tend to think of our technology in anthropomorphic terms and these days sometimes our computers seem to almost be alive. There is ample science fiction written about machines becoming conscious and taking over, along with the famous Turing Test of whether a machine’s communication could ever be mistaken completely for human. So with my own background in software training, and looking ahead to this week’s Science and Nonduality Conference in San Jose where the nature of the “Self” is a huge topic, I want to explore this more deeply: where is the “identity” in the computer actually  located (if at all) and how does it coincide with our own similar inquiry. The genesis of this is once again my own work with Michael Jeffreys who often does a similar inquiry, and comes up with the realization that the “I” is the earliest sensation that was […] Read More

1990: Half-Man, Half-Machine: The Mind of the Future

Raymond C. Kurzweil is the author of The Age of Intelligent Machines, published in 1990, and The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, published this year. He is the founder and chairman of Kurzweil Technologies in Wellesley Hills, Mass., as well as five other companies that still bear his name or are still operating under new ownership. He spoke with Business Week Senior Writer Otis Port about the separate and joint futures of human and artificial intelligence. Q: Do you have any doubts that a superior intelligence will emerge in the next few decades? A: No. It’s inevitable. For example, nanotubes would allow computing at the molecular level. A one-inch cube of nanotube circuitry would be about 1 billion times more powerful than the human brain, in terms of computing capacity. That raw computing capacity is a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieve human-level intelligence in a machine. We […] Read More

2015: The Chef of the Future Could Be a Robot

It sounds neat but could have big-time human consequences. There was once a time when all the dirty dishes needed to be cleaned by hand. Warm water, soap, scrubbing — all necessary. Then came the all-powerful dishwasher, a near necessity in American homes and food establishments. Small appliances like the microwave, toaster oven, blender, and electric mixer have all made kitchen tasks unarguably easier, but with technology advancing at an unprecedentedly rapid rate, how long until inventions totally change the way we prepare food? IBM’s Watson, a robot who calls the East Village of Manhattan home, may not need food to survive, but this artificially intelligent machine is equipped to feed the masses. With Cognitive Cooking, the technology company has developed a food truck where a computer does the work. Chefs can say goodbye to occupational hazards like cuts and burns — programming is the new cheffing with this […] Read More