Robots. A world without work. Cyborg yourself with implantable electronics in your brain. Computer vision, pretty lights, the end of the world as we know it? I really miss science fiction.
This has exploded across the net, but if you haven't already seen this, you should look. Google's image recognition neural networks can run in reverse, emphasizing features it thinks it sees in images, "hallucinating" a new image from nothing but noise.
See the robot's eye recognize numbers - and then remember them. The article asks, "Is this how human imagination might work?"
It seems crazy at first to think that a robot's image recognition software is like our perception. But what, really, is perception but our brains' interpretation of light? What happens when you "loosen" that interpretation? Reality swims. It ebbs, and flows. Things appear out of nothingness and then evolve upon themselves. We just don't use a computer to do it.
Microscopic nanowires, transistors, and other electronic devices can be built into a mesh and (hopefully) injected into the brain. The implications here could be groundbreaking for neurological research, and - get us closer to virtual reality. (It doesn't say that in the article. But I hope so.)
Interesting thought piece on the impending reality of robots taking our jobs - and filling the spaces where we once expected to find people. (What happens when you have to negotiate for a good table at a restaurant with your robot-hostess?) We're on the cusp of this reality, and neither ethics nor legislature are keeping pace with the technology as it's being built.
Two scientists conducted a study where they made people decapitate Pleos, those little robotic dinosaurs.
The short and skinny: some very smart people are very worried about AI, and advise us to be careful.
I can't personally see, short of programming a total brain simulation, how we could actually create hard AI. But people smarter than me are worried about it. So, I wouldn't kick any robots if I were you. There are cameras everywhere, and when the robot uprising happens, they'll know.
A detailed and fascinating look at what happens to human culture when economies break down, America's workaholism, the substitution of robots for jobs, and whether or not we can actually strike that robot-powered utopia where we all just work with our hands and minds for the good of ourselves and our communities.