Embracing the robot

  image edited by Fernando Kaskais Azuma Hikari, the virtual home robot from Gatebox. Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty Robot relationships need not be kinky, exploitative or fake. In fact they might give human relationships a helpful boost John Danaher is a lecturer in the Law School at the National University of Ireland, Galway and the author of the blog Philosophical Disquisitions. His latest book is Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications (2017), co-edited with Neil McArthur. Edited by Nigel Warburton There is a heartbreaking scene in the middle of Blade Runner 2049 (2017). The hero of the movie, a replicant called K, lives a drab existence in a … Continue reading Embracing the robot

A Gentleman’s Guide to Preparing for Your Inevitable Death

Because it’s gonna happen—just hopefully not for a while by Brian VanHooker Roger Ebert once said, “There’s nothing like impending death to rouse you from existential boredom.” And that’s just making sure you get to as much bucket/fuck-it-list entries as possible — Joe Versus the Volcano-style (a movie Ebert gave 3.5 stars btw). But there’s a lot of other stuff — most of it banal and/or involving serious decluttering and paperwork — to take care of before you go, too, and while it may seem scary, complicated or just plain depressing, planning for death is an essential part of life, whether you expect to pass soon or are … Continue reading A Gentleman’s Guide to Preparing for Your Inevitable Death

To Measure the Universe’s Expansion, We Might Need New Physics

Image credit: NASA by Creative Commons IN BRIEF Studies prove almost unanimously that the universe is, indeed, expanding. However, different measurements of the rate by which it expands consistently yield different results. Could this mean we need new physics to understand what’s going on? A CONSTANT DISCREPANCY As far as astronomers can tell, the universe is continuing to expand — and our understanding of how it is doing this needs to expand as well. In fact, recent findings from researchers partnering with NASA suggest that we may need to discover new physics to explain discrepancies between measurements of universal expansion. The rate … Continue reading To Measure the Universe’s Expansion, We Might Need New Physics

Algorithmic wilderness

A drone offers a unique bird’s eye view as part of a forest fire surveillance system in the Landes region, France. Photo by Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Robo-bees and drone-seeded forests: can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world? by Henry Mance is a political correspondent at the Financial Times. He writes Strangers’ Gallery, a weekly satirical take on politics and culture. He lives in London. Edited by Sally Davies I’ve tried many ways to free my brain from my iPhone. I’ve invented rules, bought books, deleted apps, installed other apps. But the only thing that reliably works is to leave the phone at … Continue reading Algorithmic wilderness

Are Robots Quietly Taking Over The World?

image edited by Fernando Kaskais Meet Our New Overlords by Capitalist Exploits By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at Intelligence is easily the most profound qualifier for why we humans rule planet earth. It’s also only the smallest percentage that makes all the difference. Consider that we share about 90% of our DNA with blimmin’ mice for goodness sake. And yet the differences couldn’t be starker. In fact, we share fully 99% with chimpanzees, and even though we’ve all met “those people” who make us wish for a chimp, for the most part we humans trump chimps by most any metric. Intelligence is also the most dangerous. … Continue reading Are Robots Quietly Taking Over The World?

How can I make money from my DNA?

image edited by Fernando Kaskais  The DNA deal: who should own people’s genetic data, them – or the companies that sequence it? Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo If you have your DNA sequenced, someone somewhere will be making money from the data. A new start-up aims to make sure that you get your share by Zoë Corbyn If you unlock the secrets of your DNA by paying a company to read your genes, behind the scenes it is probably making money by selling on your data for research. Companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA charge consumers under £150 to learn about their health and/or origins, while … Continue reading How can I make money from my DNA?

Waiting For the Robot Rembrandt

A BEAUTIFUL DREAM: This series, called “Deep Rembrandt,” was displayed in Category 3, Machine Art / Human Aesthetics. It was generated with Google’s Deep Dream AI software.Courtesy of the Artificial Intelligence Art and Aesthetics Research Group What needs to happen for artificial intelligence to make fine art. BY HIDEKI NAKAZAWA The cellist Jan Vogler famously claimed that art is what makes us human. But what if machines start making art too?Here’s an example of a piece of art made by an artificial intelligence (AI): A BIT OF ART: A computer trained with images of graffiti produces its own art by spraying water … Continue reading Waiting For the Robot Rembrandt