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Archive for the 'Machine Intelligence' Category

Willow Garage reaches robotic milestone involving beer (video)

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 9th, 2010

Finishing off the week on a fun note, we see that robotic firm Willow Garage — of special interest to Foresight due to their emphasis on open source — has achieved an important milestone in robotics: namely, the ability for a robot to fetch a beer from the fridge and deliver it. It’s worth seeing [...]

Investing in pre-IPO nanotech firms gets harder

Posted by Christine Peterson on July 1st, 2010

Small investors who want to invest in nanotech startups have for years turned to publicly-held venture group Harris & Harris Group, which has focused on private companies in nanotech and microsystems. With the economy down, and initial public offerings (IPOs) more rare, this strategy is changing.  Brian Gormley of the Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital [...]

Webcast and comment online to President’s Council on nanotech

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 22nd, 2010

Tihamer Toth-Fejel let us know that the public can comment online today, right now, our views on nanotech: President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) President’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) Golden Triangle1 Workshop 1 Golden Triangle: Research Encompassing Information Technology — Biotechnology — Nanotechnology. June 22, 2010 Webcast at: Goal [...]

Join us at Singularity Summit, Aug. 14-15 on intelligence augmentation

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 16th, 2010

Many Foresight leaders and members will be gathering at this year’s Singularity Summit in San Francisco, expected to draw up to 1100 participants.  It’s a bit pricey, but it’s for a good cause and there are student and referral discounts plus discounts on the hotel rooms.  I can testify that this is a fun and [...]

Singularity University in the New York Times

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 15th, 2010

Our friends over at Singularity University are described in some detail in a long article in the New York Times.  An excerpt, with names familiar to Nanodot readers as speakers at Foresight conferences: Some of Silicon Valley’s smartest and wealthiest people have embraced the Singularity. They believe that technology may be the only way to [...]

H+ Summit “Rise of the Citizen Scientist” at Harvard

Posted by Christine Peterson on June 9th, 2010

If you can’t make it to Harvard this weekend, June 12-13, you’ll want to catch the live webcast of the H+ Summit: “Rise of the Citizen Scientist”.  No link yet, but presumably they’ll be putting it on the event homepage before it starts.  Also presumably they will post the videos somewhere for longer-term viewing. UPDATE: [...]

DNA-based ‘robotic’ assembly begins

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 19th, 2010

John Faith brings to our attention a writeup by Annalee Newitz over at which colorfully describes a new achievement by Foresight Feynman prizewinner Nadrian Seeman and team at NYU and Nanjing U.: Today in Nature, a group of researchers announced they’d successfully operated the first assembly line populated entirely by nanobots. The bots in question [...]

The Singularity is Near: the Movie

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 23rd, 2010

David Cassel brings our attention to an h+ review of the long-awaited film The Singularity is Near, based on the book by Ray Kurzweil: In documentary style, we have Ray discussing his ideas about the Singularity, with commentators variously supporting or refuting or worrying about his ideas. With Bill McKibben in the role of the [...]

Videos and slides for Foresight Conference now posted

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 21st, 2010

Videos for all talks and slides for some are now available for the Foresight Conference held in January. Here’s the list: Or if you prefer to watch them in chronological order: There are 17 videos, so in case you’d like some guidance in getting started, consider starting with the top three talks as [...]

Industrial robot carves metal like butter (video)

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 15th, 2010

From Singularity Hub, 5 Axis Robot Carves Metal Like Butter: Industrial robots are getting precise enough that they’re less like dumb machines and more like automated sculptors producing artwork. Case in point: Daishin’s Seki5-axis mill. The Japanese company celebrated its 50th anniversary last year by using this machine to carve out a full scale motorcycle helmet [...]

Forrest Bennett explains memristors

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 7th, 2010

Longtime Foresight Senior Associate and senior research scientist at Genetic Programming, Inc. has done an interview on memristors over at blog FrogHeart for those of us trying to keep up on this challenging topic.  He concludes: So why are memristors useful? Sticking with our water analogy, I can make the pipe bigger or small depending [...]

Berkeley gets Willow Garage robot to fold towels: video

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 6th, 2010

Finally, the first step has been made toward the longed-for goal of a robot which can do laundry: Of course, this also gives us some idea of other formerly human-only tasks that robots are likely to take over in the next decade or two. Thanks to for bringing this to our attention.  —Chris [...]

Technological singularity and acceleration studies: call for papers

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 2nd, 2010

This conference track is being chaired by a real computer scientist with a specialty in AI, so it should be more meaty than some popular discussions of this challenging topic: We invite submissions describing systematic attempts at understanding the likelihood and nature of these projections. In particular, we welcome papers critically analyzing the following issues [...]

Greece to trademark term “nanotechnology”

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 1st, 2010

Nanowerk reports: Taking the patent land grab to a new level, the government of Greece today, April 1, filed a patent and trademark application for the term nanotechnology with the European Patent Office. The country is thereby seeking the right to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting these and related terms without paying royalties. “Quite [...]

U.S. military to use memristors for neural computing

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 1st, 2010

From David Cassel: The military is funding a project to create neural computing using memristors, a sophisticated circuit component which HP Labs describes as a stepping stone to “computers that can make decisions” and “appliances that learn from experience.” In a video, HP researcher R. Stanley Williams explains how his team created the first [...]

IEEE Spectrum looks at cryonics

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 18th, 2010

The March 2010 issue of IEEE Spectrum has an article on cryonics, a method of suspended animation, featuring Dr. Ralph Merkle.  Ralph is described as a nanotechnology expert; apparently the issue went to press just before he was also named as a co-winner of the 2010 IEEE Haming Medal. As a long-time IEEE member, I [...]

Off to AGI-10

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on March 3rd, 2010

I’m on my way to AGI-10, the general AI conference, in Lugano.  If any readers are attending, let’s get together. Among other things, we’ll be unveiling a preliminary take on the AGI Roadmap (of which Foresight is a sponsor).

AI: Summing up

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on February 22nd, 2010

Let’s try to pull all the threads together, as futurists — which is the whole point here — and get some idea about when it might be reasonable to expect AI to show up.  When I say AI I want to look at the entire diahuman range, so the answer would still be a range [...]

Stackless brain

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on February 18th, 2010

Why we should suspect that the brain has a limited ability to recurse, but prefers to daisy-chain instead: The house the malt the rat the cat the dog the cow with the crumpled horn the maiden all forlorn the man all tattered and torn the priest all shaven and shorn the cock that crowed in [...]

Ethics for machines

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on February 17th, 2010

… to boldly go where no man has gone before! This final phrase of the classic Star Trek opening spiel had two problems with it, one as seen by people after the fact, and the other as seen by those who had gone before. As seen by earlier generations, the phrase “to boldly go” is [...]