Posts Tagged ‘Transhumans’

What's After the Real Time Web?

October 27th, 2009

In typical Web-industry style we’re all focused minutely on the leading trend-of-the-year, the real-time Web. But in this obsession we have become a bit myopic. The real-time Web, or what some of us call “The Stream,” is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end. So what will it enable, where is […]

Video: My Talk on the Evolution of the Global Brain at the Singularity Summit

February 13th, 2009

If you are interested in collective intelligence, consciousness, the global brain and the evolution of artificial intelligence and superhuman intelligence, you may want to see my talk at the 2008 Singularity Summit. The videos from the Summit have just come online. (Many thanks to Hrafn Thorisson who worked with me as my research assistant for […]

Watch My best Talk: The Global Brain is Coming

October 2nd, 2008

I’ve posted a link to a video of my best talk — given at the GRID ’08 Conference in Stockholm this summer. It’s about the growth of collective intelligence and the Semantic Web, and the future and role the media. Read more and get the video here. Enjoy!

Virtual Out of Body Experiences

August 25th, 2007

A very cool experiment in virtual reality has shown it is possible to trick the mind into identifying with a virtual body: Through these goggles, the volunteers could see a camera view of their own back – a three-dimensional "virtual own body" that appeared to be standing in front of them. When the researchers stroked […]

Scientists Encode Message into Bacterial DNA

March 1st, 2007

Japanese scientists have developed a technique that can encode 100-bit messages into the DNA of common bacteria. The bacteria replicate and pass the message down from generation to generation for at least thousands of years. Because there are millions or more copies of the message it can survive gradual degradation or mutuations (so they claim). […]

Capturing Your Digital Life

February 20th, 2007

Nice article in Scientific American about Gordon Bell’s work at Microsoft Research on the MyLifeBits project. MyLifeBits provides one perspective on the not-too-far-off future in which all our information, and even some of our memories and experiences, are recorded and made available to us (and possibly to others) for posterity. This is a good application […]

Cryotherapy — Freeze Yourself, For Health

November 14th, 2006

And now for some other science news. A new technique called cryotherapy is emerging in which people subject themselves to short bursts of extreme cold, in order to rejuvenate the body: It’s minus 120 degrees and all I’m wearing is a hat and socks. Cryotherapy is the latest treatment for a range of illnesses including […]

Minding The Planet — The Meaning and Future of the Semantic Web

November 6th, 2006

NOTES Master Copy can be found at this URL or Last Update: Tuesday, November 7, 2006, 10:17AM PST License — This article is distributed under the Creative Commons Deed. If you would like to distribute a version of thisarticle, please link back to from yourversion, thanks. Printable version — Click here to download […]

A Village Where Aging is Sped Up

September 4th, 2006

Here’s an interesting video about a village in India where men have been stricken for over a decade with a disease that causes them to age much faster. Nobody knows what is causing this. Men in their 30’s appear to be 80. It’s strange. Watch the video. Perhaps if someone were to collect some DNA […]

Scientist Raises Possibility of Silicon-Based Life

August 25th, 2006

Just read an interesting article on the possibility of "intraterrestrial" silicon-based life on Earth: SETI spends enormous amounts of money and resources looking for life outside of Earth’s realm, but life forms so alien that scientists may simply not have recognized evidence of their existence could inhabit the Earth, according to a leading scientist. Dr […]


March 27th, 2006

Researchers continue to make progress in fusing living neurons with computer chips: The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together. The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to […]

Big Thinkers' Most Dangerous Ideas

January 4th, 2006

The Edge has published mini-essays by 119 "big thinkers" on their "most dangerous ideas" — fun reading. The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about […]

Obsessed Tourist Marries Dolphin

January 2nd, 2006

Here’s a happy story about true love. An Israeli millionaire tourist recently married a captive dolphin in a formal wedding ceremony. There’s something fishy about this wedding though — I mean did the dolphin really love her for HER, or did he just want her for her money? When asked to comment, the woman repeated […]

A New Kind of Memory Aid

December 24th, 2005

I recently read a report of new neuroscience research in which researchers are able to predict what a person will recall by analyzing their brainstate. You can read a summary here. This reminds me of an idea I had a while back for using biofeedback to guide brainstates, in order to improve memory. Here’s a […]

New Study: Human Hands, Feet and Foreheads Emit Light

November 6th, 2005

Now this is really interesting! New research has found that certain parts of the body emit measurable numbers of photons. This may open up new diagnostic techniques. But that’s just the beginning. Spiritual healers from many different faiths have long said that they experience light coming from their hands, and can feel (and even see) […]

Amazon Launches new Service that Harnesses Networks of Human Minds to Do Tasks

November 3rd, 2005

Amazon has launched a new service that seeks to create a marketplace for human intelligence on the Net. The idea is to utilize humans like one might utilize intelligent agents, to help complete tasks that humans do better than computers — for example like image adjustments, formatting, tagging and marking up content, adding metatdata to […]

Turing's Cathedral

November 1st, 2005

George Dyson wrote a nice piece on his impressions from a visit to Google, and some speculations about the future of AI on the Net.

Using DNA to Send Messages into the Distant Future

October 26th, 2005

This article discusses recent research into encoding short 100 word messages into the DNA of living organisms. The error-correcting characteristics of DNA enable such messages to be passed down without degrading across generations. By embedding short messages into hardy organisms such as particular strains of bacteria, it may be possible to preserve information over longer […]

20% of Your Genes Belong to Them

October 24th, 2005

From Boing Boing today: Xeni Jardin: A report in this week’s issue of Science says 20 percent of human genes have been patented in the United States: The study (…) is the first time that a detailed map has been created to match patents to specific physical locations on the human genome. Researchers can patent […]

Storing Data in Human Fingernails — One of my Past Proposals now Under Development

July 13th, 2005

I just read that a Japanese team is actually developing technology to store data in human fingernails. I proposed this concept on this blog last year in this  post.   That may qualify as prior art. I wonder if they are going to try to patent this? Not that I mind, I think it’s a great […]

Human-Brained Monkeys Pose Ethical Challenge

July 12th, 2005

A cutting-edge research program is injecting human brain cells into monkey brains, to investigate whether this causes their brains to become more "human." This poses a potential ethical challenge: If the monkeys do become more human, would they be considered "human subjects" and be protected by ethical guidelines governing research onto humans? At which point […]

Extracting Video from Cat Brains

June 28th, 2005

Fascinating article about research which has successfully extracted video from monitoring cat neurons. They have actually reconstructed what the cat actually saw from its neural signals. This opens the door to recording our day-to-day perceptions (lifelogs) and perhaps even to recording our dreams. And of course there might be options for playback as well. This […]

Hackers Crack Junk DNA?

May 26th, 2005

A group of researchers working at the Human Genome Project will be announcing soon that they made an astonishing scientific discovery: They believe so-called non-coding sequences (97%) in human DNA is no less than genetic code of an unknown extraterrestrial life form. The above excerpt is from an article that has to be one of […]

Future Evolution of Human Species

May 15th, 2005

Here is a thought-provoking article that discusses several possible directions for the future evoloution of the human species. It includes comments by Richard Dawkins, as well as several scenarios with pictures of what humans might look like in the distant future.

New Study Finds Stress Causes Aging

December 1st, 2004

A recent study by the University of California, San Francisco, has found that stress causes the same changes in cells that are typically caused by aging: The study involved 39 women ages 20 to 50 who had experienced grinding stress for years because they were caring for a child with a serious chronic illness, and […]

New Anti-Aging Pill To Be Released

December 1st, 2004

In February of 2005, a controversial new anti-aging pill called Protandim is slated for release. This drug is claimed to increase the body’s natural production of anti-oxidants, which in turn is believed to combat damage from free-radicals. Preliminary studies on mice demonstrated "reduction of lipid peroxidation by 60% to 75% in both plasma and liver, […]

If the Universe is a Simulation, then What?

November 15th, 2004

Here’s an interesting speculation. Assume for the moment that our universe is in fact a simulation running on a vast computing system created a race of beings that is far more advanced than we can presently imagine. The next logical question would be, “Why would an advanced civilization want or need to undertake such a […]

Flying by Brain

October 24th, 2004

This is pretty cool stuff — growing brains using live tissue and then teaching them to control software: from an article in Slashdot: “Scientists at the University of Florida made a living ‘brain’ by extracting 25,000 neurons from a rat’s brain and culturing them inside a glass dish. Then, the neurons began to extend lines […]

Humans will live to 150

October 22nd, 2004

A leading researcher claims that he is certain that some humans alive today will live to be 150 due to changes in the human lifespan. He even bet money on it. Meanwhile another study has found that certain mutations in our DNA may be causing shorter lifespans. I guess if you combine the enhancements with […]

New Technique Turns Animals into Drones; Humans Next?

October 20th, 2004

Scientists have discovered that by blocking the effect of a gene called D2 in a particular part of the brain they can transform normal monkeys into “drones” that will work as hard as they can, continuously, on repetitive tasks, without needing any expection of reward to keep going. In other words, they can transform regular […]