Older blog entries for Flanneltron (starting at number 56)

Fiber Optic Neural Interfaces: Tests to Begin Soon

Popular Science [1] has reported a tidbit of information: Marc Christensen’s team at SMU is supposed to start testing if they can stimulate a rat’s leg with optical fibers. This is the same DARPA-funded project I mentioned last September in my article “Softer, Better, Faster, Stronger” [2].  DARPA held a related “Reliable Neural Interface Technology (RE-NET)” [...]

Syndicated 2011-03-02 06:07:47 from SynapticNulship

Robot Marathon Blazes New Paths on the Linoleum

Whereas in America we’ve been wasting our robot races on autonomous cars that can drive on real roads without causing Michael Bay levels of collateral damage, Japan has taken a more subtle approach. Their “history making” bipedal robot race involves expensive toy robots stumbling through 422 laps of a 100 meter course, which is followed by [...]

Syndicated 2011-03-01 03:06:30 from SynapticNulship

Mel Hunter’s Lonely Robot

During my adventures through the mysterious evo-devo circus freakshow known as childhood, I found myself encountering a lot of science fiction stories and art from 1950s-1970s. Old issues of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that I recovered from the dump were just as interesting to my larval mind as pornography. The one cover [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-28 03:14:36 from SynapticNulship

I Will Not Be Told: Stephen Fry’s Speech at Harvard

I just attended Stephen Fry’s acceptance of the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, given by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. His speech was quite different than the one he gave for the Intelligence² Debate. The main theme tonight was “I will not be told.” To be told is to wallow in revealed truths. [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-23 04:58:38 from SynapticNulship

What are Symbols in AI?

A main underlying philosophy of artificial intelligence and cognitive science is that cognition is computation.  This leads to the notion of symbols within the mind. There are many paths to explore how the mind works.  One might start from the bottom, as is the case with neuroscience or connectionist AI.  So you can avoid symbols at [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-22 07:38:04 from SynapticNulship

Roomba iDress Tester

Roomba and Scooba skins aren’t new, but I had never seen Amilo Tech’s iDress Tester website (started in 2010) until just now. According to Amilo Group’s website, Amilo Tech is going to extend iDress to Apple iPhones sometime this year.

Syndicated 2011-02-21 16:10:03 from SynapticNulship

5 Important Themes in Science Fiction Cinema, or Cultivating Bad Taste

Yesterday I attended the 48th episode of Boskone, a science fiction literature convention held in Boston.  I found that Boskone was not just about books however, illuminating me with discussion panels such as “The Five Definitive Criteria By Which SF Cinema Is to Be Judged.” The panel consisted of Esther Friesner, Craig Shaw Gardner (lord of [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-21 06:56:30 from SynapticNulship

When Mainstream Attacks: Robot Tropes That Never Die

Science comedian Brian Malow has made a video containing neither comedy nor science: When Robots Attack! Should We Fear a Singularity? And yes, I realize I shouldn’t have even bothered to watch it once I realized it was for a mainstream news outlet, but several people in my Twitter lists were tweeting it. Unfortunately, this video turned out [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-17 08:21:48 from SynapticNulship

Music and Machines: Highlights from the MIT Media Lab

I recently attended “Music | Machines: 50 Years of Music and Technology @ MIT,” part of MIT’s ongoing Festival of Art + Science + Technology (FAST). One of the most interesting demonstrations was the iPhone Guitar by Rob Morris of the Media Lab. Basically, he makes use of the iPhone’s accelerometer as an input for [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-15 06:01:52 from SynapticNulship

Fake Love with Robots

I noticed today that Kyle Munkittrick posted about Sherry Turkle’s concerns about people having emotional attachments to machines (The Turkle Test). Turkle, who’s been at MIT for a long time, is not against machines or emotional machines. She’s skeptical of taking advantage of the human tendency to be social and have emotional attachments to [...]

Syndicated 2011-02-07 07:52:02 from SynapticNulship

47 older entries...

Share this page