February 15, 2016
A team at Wake Forest University has used a combination of living cells and a special gel to print out living human body parts — including ears, muscles and jawbones.
It’s an advance on previous attempts, which either involved making a plastic scaffold and then trying to get cells to grow in and on it, or that printed out organ shapes that ended up being too floppy and dying.
The new approach mixes live cells with a gel that starts out as a liquid but quickly hardens to the consistency of living tissue, and layers them in with tiny tunnels that serve as passages for nutrients to feed the cells until blood vessels can grow in and do the job naturally.
February 13, 2016
Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated.
Expert Moshe Vardi told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.
“I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: if machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?”
February 11, 2016
For the travelling executive in need of intimacy or the long-distance couple seeking to let off steam, relief will be found in hi-tech goo. With a few judicious squirts of a bio-gel containing billions of nanobots and a wi-fi connection, mutual orgasm is reached via a layer of shape-shifting ectoplasm.
Of course, the partners at each end of the gel-based romp will only be with each other as the result of a DNA analysis which helpfully narrowed down their choice of a compatible mate to a dozen-strong shortlist. The lucky winner was then selected with the help of a holographic date and a virtual reality snog.
February 10, 2016
Body implants are a staple of science fiction. They turn members of futuristic societies into super-humans, making them stronger, smarter and more capable than an average person.
Implants helped Johnny Mnemonic increase his memory capacity; they fuel Iron Man’s suit and keep him alive; and they do much, much more.
As amazing as body implants sound, though, how close are we normal humans to getting one of those? In other words, are contemporary science, medicine and technology advanced enough to allow us to seamlessly meld with the technology and actually improve our lives? Keep reading to find out.
Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni
January 4, 2016
Software is already pervasive in our society, but artificial intelligence software raises unique concerns even among the technological elite. The recent announcement that tech titans, including Elon Musk, have committed $1 billion to an artificial intelligence research center out of concern for what AI may become denotes an important question: Will AI software obey the law of the land and adhere to our ethical standards?
It is true that AI software is increasingly autonomous and potentially self-modifying, but it is our view of AI as a hegemonic, monolithic entity that drives our fear of it. Just as there is no one “software” entity, there will be no one AI entity. So here is a new viewpoint on how AI will be kept in check — more AI.
February 2, 2016
If you’re under the age of 40, there is a good chance you will achieve ‘electronic immortality’ during your lifetime.
This is the idea that all of your thoughts and experiences will be uploaded and stored online for future generations.
That’s according to a futurologist who not only believes technology will let humans merge with computers, that this will create an entirely new species called Homo optimus.
And, he claims this could occur as soon as 2050.
January 26, 2016
Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates have warned about the potential dangers of unchecked artificial intelligence.
The geniuses have had some help from Hollywood films, going all the way back to the 1968 film “2001: A Space Odyssey” and all the way up to last year’s “Ex Machina.”
But this may be even more frightening: A.I. is already part of the operations within many companies we interact with every day, from Apple’s Siri to how Uber dispatches drivers to the way Facebook arranges its Newsfeed. In fact, Facebook is making research into A.I. a priority, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently stating that one of his goals this year is to “code” a personal assistant to “help run his life.”