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Aug 162011
In Defense of Being an Always-On Human

3.5 Days in a in a Lack-of-Data Haze. Last week I had to go do some Japanese-style camping. Skipping the horrific details, suffice it to say, I was outside the stream – I lacked data. Had insufficient information. No place in the global network. Did not like it. Since snatching up an LG-V in 2005, and the soon to follow procession of Blackberries and iPhones, I really haven’t been disconnected. At all. And I like it that way. This really was my first removal since the gradually maturing era of ubiquitous mobile data began gradually maturing. It was a bit surprising [read full post]

Aug 012011
Proactive Evolution and Transhumanism According to the Economist

“…Lately we have begun to consider the possibility that technology might change us more in a generation or two than evolution has done over millions of years.” The always excellent Economist takes on the issue of transhumanism and the Singularity in a thoughtful and well-rounded piece. I’m hard-pressed to find anything to make fun of here, even coming up with some snarky or cheeky comment is proving kinda difficult. So, just have a read! [VIA THE ECONOMIST]

Jul 222011
3D Printing, the Invigoration of Industrial Robotics, and China Gets a Bit Nervous

Do Robots Take People’s Jobs? Q:  Let me ask you something: Do computers take jobs? A:  That’s a good question. Manufacturing, 3D Printing and What China Knows about the Emerging American Century Q:  What a if robotic 3D printer in my garage/neighborhood/city/state can cheaply produce all the plastic parts/units/cloth/everything normally imported from China? A:  That’s a good question. [VIA SINGULARITY HUB AND VIA FORBES]

Jul 202011
You are Blind.  Here’s a Driver’s License and a Car.  Respect Dennis Hong.

Anthrobotic has previously covered Dennis Hong’s RoMeLa robotics initiative (calling him the Renaissance Roboticist), and now he’s writing for CNN and doing a TED talk, specifically addressing somewhat autonomous driving and feedback systems for blind drivers. Why spend all that effort on a tiny fraction of human population?  Well, the blind are obviously the perfect set of humans to test driverless cars for those of us who can see, but, you know, don’t want to pay attention to the road, want to increase traffic safety, and would also enjoy decreased congestion and stuff. As I’ve said before, this guy is [read full post]

Jul 152011
Ray Kurzweil Will Melt Your Reality (VIDEO)

Here Kurzweil addresses a laundry list of psychological and sociological questions about the future of human technology and how that currently defines and will come to define our species.  Agree or not, it will definitely light a fire in your brains. is definitely +1′ing this one. While it’s possible that Kurzweil is severely overoptimistic and overreaching in his proclamations, in evaluating his position two things are certain:  one should not listen too carefully to the non-scientists or those who criticize from outside the field (like, for example, robot hater and closeted homosexual Senator Tom Coburn – that sub-reference never [read full post]

Jun 302011
Save the American Economy with Robotics & A.I. (and a Revolution in Energy Tech)

For quite a while now it’s seemed that these three frontiers were among the last areas of economic development with the potential to revitalize and sustain the U.S. economy (along with that of our good friend, Japan – where operates).  At least one of these three, robotics, is getting a small push by the newly announced Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. (VIDEO BELOW) Maybe, maybe our government can begin focussing not just funding but also attention and PR and accolades on the technological capabilities and potential of the United States.  There should be a massive national technology initiative, and maybe this [read full post]

Jun 292011
Technology Created Organized Religion. Next Project: Cults For & Against the Singularity

So…  What’s a Singularity, Yo? Futurism, Techno-Sociology, Technological Anthropology, Sociotechnological Studies, Anthrobotic Sociology – or just, you know, generic human science or whatever, has borrowed from cosmology & astrophysics the concept of a “singularity,” and capitalized it.  Very basically, it’s where the rules break down – gravity, time, and space go bananas.  Regarding human technology, it centers around us producing an intelligence that supersedes our own, which in turn does its own thing, and as a result all we can predict about the future is that it will become utterly unpredictable – all truisms will fail, we’ll be flying blind. The idea [read full post]

Jun 242011
The City is Where We're At...  Or Will Soon be Moving to.

A good read on technology and population and cities.  50% of humanity lives in urbanized areas – whether in the city proper or part of vast metropolitan expanses of seething humanity fading into the horizon (an 15-story or higher view from anywhere in Tokyo can provide this).  Our technology has allowed for what our population has demanded – and the result has been the exponential growth of both. And come on, really, who doesn’t love the city… [VIA SINGULARITY HUB]

Jun 222011
WarBots - Robots & A.I. for War & Profit

Is modern warfare becoming a really, really good video game? First some fiction: Archetype:  Trailer for an upcoming short film by Aaron Sims – explores the peril of transferring human consciousness to a machine – specifically a warbot – wherein the machine isn’t supposed to remember it’s former mortal self – but then does – and presumably havoc ensues. And Some Hyper-Real Warfare Video Games – AKA (in a way) U.S. Drone Aircraft: This piece is part commentary/review of a Japanese robot war video game, and part parable on the current state of robotics in warfare – which is far [read full post]

Jun 172011
IBM's 100 Years of Transformative Technology

In the history of our species, few complex organizations have had a more profound effect than International Business Machines. Literally thousands of inventions and innovations that transformed and shaped the last 100 years of human society – from the cold efficiency of tabulation for genocide to countless hard- and software computing advances to the natural language-capable phenomenon that is Watson.  Happy 100th, IBM, and not that is was the company’s fault per se, but in the future let’s steer clear of fascism, yeah? [VIA GIZMODO]

Jun 162011
PR2 and German Friend Make Breakfast:  Insult Added to Tom Coburn's Injury

The PR2 robot is shopping and making breakfast with a German robot.  And yes, for now they are doing it rather slowly, but the learning going on here is absolutely invaluable. I have to keep picking on Tom Coburn (R-OK), who called the PR2 project wasteful and unnecessary.  He and his staff should take note:  robots are important, they might represent a significant portion of the next large-scale American contribution to the global economy.  So, DO NOT defund National Science Foundation robotics projects, or any NSA projects – in fact, double the NSA budget!  Oh, and please come out of the [read full post]

Jun 152011
Tom Coburn Hates Robots & Science and is Probably a Homo

Guess what!?!  Funding from the National Science Foundation sponsored research undertaken by these two guys at Stanford who made some kind of search engine or something… And guess what else!?!  In the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it was American robots that were first able to inspect the damaged Fukushima reactors… This is His Smart Face Tom Coburn, a senator from the technological hotbed of Oklahoma, wants to chop at the National Science Foundation’s already minuscule budget based on, among other things, the PR2 robotics project he (admittedly) knows nothing about – he just perchanced across it, [read full post]