One of the most impressive complex cognitive processes is the ability to learn and creatively use language. It’s those processes that continue to set humans apart from even the most advanced machines. However, a team of scientists has now created an artificial system of neurons that is capable of learning words, phrases and syntax with no prior programming, thereby sustaining a dialog using processes that resemble mental actions.
Douglas Coupland: I look at apps like Grindr and Tinder and see how they’ve rewritten sex culture — by creating a sexual landscape filled with vast amounts of incredibly graphic site-specific data — and I can’t help but wonder why there isn’t an app out there that rewrites political culture in the same manner. I don’t think there is. Therefore I’m inventing an app to do so and I’m calling it Wonkr — which somehow seems appropriate for a politically geared app. I dropped the “e” to make it feel more appy.
The body is a machine.
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is cofounder and Chief Science Officer of the SENS Research Foundation and to him the body is a machine. Just as a restored classic car can celebrate its hundredth birthday in peak condition, in the future, we’ll maintain our bodies’ cellular components to stave off the diseases of old age and live longer, healthier lives.
Futurist Thomas Frey has predicted more than two billion jobs will disappear by 2030 as a result of automation. Statements such as these strike fear into an already turbulent job market, but there are many who believe we should take solace in history. In their book, Race Against the Machine, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee explain how the recent panic brought on by ‘technological unemployment’ – a term originally coined by John Maynard Keynes – is nothing new.
Merging man and machine.
Many future followers predict the pace of technological progression in genetics, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence will become so fast that humans will undergo radical evolution by around mid-century. Advances that provide a forever youthful and healthy state of being could be realized.
Behold the Enigma machine!
Franklin Heath, a UK security consultancy, offers plans for printing and assembling your own papercraft Enigma machine, approximately like the ones that Alan Turing and the Polish cryptographers and co broke at Bletchley Park. Now all we need are papercraft bombes, and a papercraft Collosus, and several thousand papercraft young women to work on code intercepts through the night…
Gold to go
If you’ve ever been frustrated by an ATM that only distributes 20 or 50 dollar bills, be thankful you didn’t stumble across one of these Gold to Go machines in the middle of the night.
Dattoos would be printed onto the user’s skin, and would identify the user via their DNA.
Five years ago, Frog Design founder Hartmut Esslinger envisioned a technology that “could influence notions of community, identity, and connectivity with minimal impact on the physical environment.” Using an online design portal, users would select and try out a customized electronic processing device that they would then print onto their own skin. The DNA Tattoo, or Dattoo, could include printable input/output tools such as a camera, microphone, or laser-loudspeaker – it would be up to the user, as would the Dattoo’s aesthetics. Most intriguingly, it would capture its wearer’s DNA, to ensure an intimate user/machine relationship.
Man as the machine
Tetsuya Ishida was a remarkable and prolific Japanese painter who depicted scenes of ordinary Japanese life, but with the protagonist (a self portrait) always trapped in a machine-like body, or treated as part of a production line. He was born in June 1973 and died in 2005 after being hit by a train. Some think his death may have been a suicide. Here are a few of the images that represent his legacy. (Pics)
Turning Oil Into Gold in Abu Dhabi
It’s the ultimate hole-in-the-wall – a money machine that dispenses pure gold.
But installed beneath the gold-coated ceilings of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace hotel, where royalty and billionaires come for cappuccinos topped with gold flakes, the machine almost seems part of the furniture.
“The reason we chose Emirates Palace is because it really fits with the surroundings here,” said German entrepreneur Thomas Geissler, creator of the “Gold to Go” brand and chief executive of Ex Oriente Lux…
This Pinball Machine($6,000) looks like an old pinball machine. In reality, it is a digital pinball simulator and comes with 17 different games in authentic, three-dimensional detail. The machine’s 32″ color LCD monitor that supplants the traditional playing field and the backglass includes a second LCD for displaying scores, game graphics, and the occasional mini-game. And the game is controlled with all of the classic trappings, a mechanical plunger, mechanical flipper buttons. WAY FREAKIN’ COOL!
The Other Way Around Would be More Impressive…
We’re not too sure what to think about this 1,300 lbs piece of machinery by Tokyo-based Nakabayashi. It takes paper waste from an office and turns it into toilet paper: “The toilet paper machine is able to produce two rolls per hour from around 1,800 sheets (or 7.2kg) of used A4-sized paper”. Seems like a whole lot of machine overkill. What’s the footprint of that machine and how much toilet paper should it produce before it compensate for that? More details after the jump…