background preloader

Accelerating Future » Top 10 Transhumanist Technologies

Accelerating Future » Top 10 Transhumanist Technologies
Transhumanists advocate the improvement of human capacities through advanced technology. Not just technology as in gadgets you get from Best Buy, but technology in the grander sense of strategies for eliminating disease, providing cheap but high-quality products to the world’s poorest, improving quality of life and social interconnectedness, and so on. Technology we don’t notice because it’s blended in with the fabric of the world, but would immediately take note of its absence if it became unavailable. (Ever tried to travel to another country on foot?) Technology needn’t be expensive – indeed, if a technology is truly effective it will pay for itself many times over. Transhumanists tend to take a longer-than-average view of technological progress, looking not just five or ten years into the future but twenty years, thirty years, and beyond. 10. 9. Clearly, World of Warcraft’s eight million subscribers and SecondLife’s five million subscribers are onto something. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2.

Related:  Exponential Change - Technological Singularity& more Misc interesting things about the Brain

Three Major Schools (Originally appeared on the Machine Intelligence Research Institute blog, September 2007.) Singularity discussions seem to be splitting up into three major schools of thought: Accelerating Change, the Event Horizon, and the Intelligence Explosion. Accelerating Change: Core claim: Our intuitions about change are linear; we expect roughly as much change as has occurred in the past over our own lifetimes. But technological change feeds on itself, and therefore accelerates. Change today is faster than it was 500 years ago, which in turn is faster than it was 5000 years ago. Our recent past is not a reliable guide to how much change we should expect in the future.

molecules storage Storage is a very exciting thing these days: SSDs are increasing in capacity and becoming cheaper, hard drives are offering storage capacity that’s unprecedented at the consumer level, and recently, scientists have been able to store significant amounts of data using unusual mediums, such as strings of DNA and small groups of atoms. Now, scientists have managed to store data in individual molecules. Using a new, still-experimental technology, researchers have managed to turn individual molecules into a storage medium. In theory, this molecular memory could increase current storage capacities by one thousand times over more conventional means. Molecular memory isn’t an entirely new concept but there have always been significant hurdles, the first of which is no stranger to the computing world: cooling. Previously, molecular memory needed to be cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero — not exactly practical.

Researchers Create the World's First Fully Synthetic, Self-Repli If figuring out how to quickly sequence genomes was but the first small step for genetics, Craig Venter has gone ahead and made a giant leap for the discipline. The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that it has created the world's first synthetic cell, boasting a completely synthetic chromosome produced by a machine. "This is the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer," Venter said in a press conference. The biological breakthrough could have myriad applications, as it essentially opens the door to engineered biology that is completely manipulated by laboratory scientists.

Mind uploading Whole brain emulation (WBE) or mind uploading (sometimes called "mind copying" or "mind transfer") is the hypothetical process of copying mental content (including long-term memory and "self") from a particular brain substrate and copying it to another computational device, such as a digital, analog, quantum-based or software based artificial neural network. The computational device could then run a simulation model of the brain information processing, such that it responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3] Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-Transfer or Gradual Replacement of neurons. Mainstream scientists, potential research funders and scientific journals presently remain skeptical of the feasibility of mind uploading. Overview[edit] Neuron anatomical model

Evolution of evolvability Evolution of Evolvability This paper shows how evolution tunes the content and frequency of genetic variation to enhance its evolvability. Genetic evolution is not random or entirely blind. inversion vieillissement A technique to keep the tips of your chromosomes healthy could reverse tissue ageing. The work, which was done in mice, is yet more evidence of a causal link between chromosome length and age-related disease. Telomeres, the caps of DNA which protect the ends of chromosomes, shorten every time cells divide. But cells stop dividing and die when telomeres drop below a certain length – a normal part of ageing. The enzyme telomerase slows this degradation by adding new DNA to the ends of telomeres. Mariela Jaskelioff and her colleagues at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, engineered mice with short telomeres and inactive telomerase to see what would happen when they turned the enzyme back on.

Stem-Cell-Coated Contact Lenses Are Curing the Blind Researchers in Australia have come up with an outwardly simple but incredibly ingenious way of curing blindness caused by corneal damage: Take everyday contact lenses, already used by millions (including me), and infuse them with a patient's own stem cells. After wearing them for about 2 weeks, test subjects reported a seemingly miraculous restoration of sight. Is it that easy? I’ve been reading Paul Virilio lately for a paper that was originally going to be about Virilio’s warped remixes of the Frankfurt School (it would have been called “Electro-Shock: Virilio and the Spectre of the Frankfurt School”). I was going to write about how Virilio’s hyper-denunciation of digital technology was a continuation of Theodore Adorno’s popular culture studies begun in The Dialectic of Enlightenment . Ultimately, the conclusion of the piece was to be that Virilio’s method is outmoded and nostalgic for a world that no longer exists and is no longer able to exist (which is not to say that this world is inevitable, but to say that life without the Internet would be both possible and desirable is hopelessly naive). I find this critique troubling and am attempting to work through it in the paper, which is now going to be about critical methods for dealing with radical human evolution (probably titled “Electro-Shock!:Moves Beyond Human in Contemporary Theory”).

Ray Kurzweil Speaking at Geek Park Innovation Conference, Beijing, China - Futurism Ray Kurzweil Speaking at Geek Park Innovation Conference, Beijing, China Share This Tweet This Join .wp-social-login-connect-with{}.wp-social-login-provider-list{}.wp-social-login-provider-list a{}.wp-social-login-provider-list img{}.wsl_connect_with_provider{} The Neuroscience Of Music - Wired Science Why does music make us feel? On the one hand, music is a purely abstract art form, devoid of language or explicit ideas. The stories it tells are all subtlety and subtext. And yet, even though music says little, it still manages to touch us deep, to tickle some universal nerves. When listening to our favorite songs, our body betrays all the symptoms of emotional arousal.