Whether it's literature, science fiction movies or other forms of art, can the visions of a possible future actually help to mold or influence actual future outcomes? According to Ariel Waldman, people do look to fiction as a means of stimulating change.
Within the rapidly growing field of brain-computer interface (BCI) research, we have already begun to see devices that can help amputees control prosthetic limbs and paraplegics move their hands and arms just by thinking, but the latest BCI research involves giving speech to patients who are unable to voluntarily vocalize.
Whether as kids, adults or both, most of us have played with Lego bricks at some point in our lives. If you have children, odds are your children play with them now, too (and, as a parent, the odds are even better that you've had the pleasure of stepping on a stray Lego with your bare feet, but I digress). And though their product line has expanded exponentially in the last 20 years, according to a recent article on The Verge, those little Danish bricks are now the building blocks of a new augmented reality experience.
Autonomous Vehicles to Join the Army
According to a report at Gizmag, the US army is set to deploy a number of unmanned tactical vehicles. The vehicles have already made a test run at the US Department of Energy's Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The convoy of seven different vehicles kept up a pace of over 40 miles per hour. The robotic vehicles utilize two distinct forms of technology. One is known as an "autonomy kit," and utilizes sensors such as Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to construct a map of the geographic location and keep the vehicle on course. The other known as "by-wire drive," is the technology that controls the driving mechanisms. The vehicles should be joining soldiers in the field by 2025.
Dr. Patrick Hopkins is a philosopher and bioethicist. In this interview, we don't contemplate traditional bioethic concerns of animal testing or disease treatment. Instead, we discuss some important considerations of how emerging technologies might alter our bodies, minds, personalities and gender – and, indeed, what "human" might imply in the first place.
Randal Koene, PhD, is CEO and founder of CarbonCopies.org, and one of the world's foremost experts on neurology as it relates to uploading human minds. "Uploading" is still the stuff of science fiction, but it's a life mission for Koene – and legendary futurists and scientists such as Ray Kurzweil expect it to be possible within just a few decades of progress.
Since the inception of the discipline of artificial intelligence (AI) in the 1950s, progress in the field has advanced at a rapid pace. We have seen the development of early neural networks, game AI, the Turing Test, and theories involving expert systems and intelligent agents, but according to Ben Goertzel, there is a specific element of AI today that is significantly missing.
Australia-based electronics company Emotiv is one of the leaders in brain-computer interfaces. The company was founded in 2003 by inventor and engineer Neil Weste, neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder, and technology entrepreneurs Nam Do, and Tan Le. Since its inception, Emotiv has advanced the field of brain-computer interface (BCI) research through the development of the EPOC neuroheadset, which utilizes the latest developments in neurotechnology, neuroimaging and high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG).
As the gaming community eagerly awaits the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that will allow gamers full, 360° immersion into their games and virtual worlds, the medical community is also developing a wide variety of applications for the new VR device. And, as a recent Forbes article points out, the use of virtual reality as a therapeutic aid is just beginning.