I’ve been thinking lately about whether or not it is possible to formulate a scale of universal cognitive capabilities, such that any intelligent system — whether naturally occurring or synthetic — can be classified according to its cognitive capacity. Such a system would provide us with a normalized scientific basis by which to quantify and compare the relative cognitive capabilities of artificially intelligent systems, various species of intelligent life on Earth, and perhaps even intelligent lifeforms encountered on other planets.… Read More “A Universal Classification of Intelligence”
There has been a lot of hype about artificial intelligence over the years. And recently it seems there has been a resurgence in interest in this topic in the media. But artificial intelligence scares me. And frankly, I don’t need it.… Read More “Artificial Stupidity: The Next Big Thing”
Whenever a scientist says something like, don’t worry our new experiment could never get out of the lab, or don’t worry the miniature black hole we are going to generate couldn’t possibly swallow up the entire planet, I tend to get a little worried.… Read More “Scientist Says "Never in Our Imagination Could This Happen." Famous Last Words?”
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).… Read More “Scientists Encode Message into Bacterial DNA”
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.… Read More “Capturing Your Digital Life”
Umm…… take a look at this formula’s output…..
OK. That must be some kind of a cosmic joke.
Read this fun article that lists and defines some of the key concepts that every post-singularity transhumanist meta-intellectual should know! (via Kurzweil)
Ok, here’s a very unusual news item:
During his time as head of the Ministry of Defence UFO project, Nick
Pope was persuaded into believing that other lifeforms may visit Earth
and, more specifically, Britain.
His concern is that "highly credible" sightings are simply dismissed.
… Read More “British Ministry of Defense Chief Resigns; Cites Concerns About UFO's”
This is so sad. Elephants are increasingly being wiped out due to encroachment by nearby human populations, and also by inept human attempts to help them — and of course by poaching. As their species is increasingly backed into a dead-end corner, and as older elephants are separated from their herds, younger elephants are developing psychological disorders and are becoming violent.… Read More “A World Without Elephants”
A group of scientists and academics in Britain have come up with an approach for picking lottery numbers that appears to have a higher probability of success than picking randomly. After several years of playing the numbers, at a total investment of $8700, they finally just won $13M.… Read More “A Statistical Approach for Winning Lottery — Group Wins $13M!”
I know, I know. I’m several years late to the party on this one, but I have become quite obsessed with the television show, Lost. It’s possibly the most addictive show on TV. Ever. You have to start from the beginning though.… Read More “LOST: My Newest Obsession”
This article is an over-the-top and somewhat gonzo review of an experimental nasal-spray that promises to revolutionize sex. It is currently in clinical trials. The very idea of nasal spray would seem to be one of the bigger turn-offs there is, but in this case they’ve found the override button.… Read More “The Next Sexual Revolution?”
This is fascinating. A man is interviewed in this CNN video segment because he doesn’t know who he is and hopes someone watching will recognize him. So strange. Here is further footage from the full story for this man. He was found in Denver with no memory except a few clues that came out under hypnosis.… Read More “Man Doesn't Know Who He Is”
This is a surprisingly good article on the nature of consciousness — providing a survey of the current state-of-the-art in cognitive science research. It covers the question from a number of perspectives and interviews many of the leading current researchers.
Below is the text of my bet on Long Bets. Go there to vote.
“By 2050 no synthetic computer nor machine intelligence will have become truly self-aware (ie. will become conscious).”
(This summary includes my argument, a method for judging the outcomeof this bet and some other thoughts on how to measure awareness…)
A.… Read More “Why Machines Will Never be Conscious”
For an interesting read — download this wonderful presentation on zooming out in time as a way to predict the future. It’s from a talk given at the Long Now Foundation. Nice visual slides illustrate how the world changes over vast timescales.
One of my readers commented that they were looking for this really cool flash presentation that I blogged about a while back — it helps you visualize higher-dimensions all the way to 10-dimensions. Check it out! After this your brain will need a rest, and possibly a hard reboot — but worth it.… Read More “Visualizing the Tenth Dimension”
So as a kid you watched Star Wars and since then you’ve wanted your very own Landspeeder. The problem is, how to make things hover without using fans, magnets, or special effects? Well, a maverick UK scientist may have invented a way to do it.… Read More “How to Build a Landspeeder”
I recently listened to a talk by Dr. David Martin, given at the Arlington Institute, a think tank I advise. You can listen to it here. It takes some patience to get to the main point — but you will be rewarded with a mind-blowing new perspective on what may unfold in the next few years.… Read More “US Banking System Collapse in 2008?”
Hi everyone, I am trying to generate some specific stats about the size of the Blogosphere. I couldn’t find the answer in Dave Sifry’s excellent State of the Blogosphere reports. Do any of you know of any studies or reports that answer the following:
- Average number of post per blog
- Average size per blog
- Average number of comments per post
- Average size per comment
- Distribution of numbers of posts per
blog across all blogs
- Distribution of size of posts per
blog across all blogs
I was reading this article in Wired magazine about wikis, where the article itself is a wiki that the readers can contribute to — and an idea occurred to me. What if you could make an entire magazine that was in a fact a wiki?… Read More “Interesting Idea: Start a Magazine that is a Wiki”