Man Successfully Controls 2 Prosthetic Arms With Just His Thoughts
Dec19

Man Successfully Controls 2 Prosthetic Arms With Just His Thoughts

ShareBy Alexis Kleinman  via The Huffington Post A Colorado man can now control two prosthetic arms with his mind. Les Baugh lost both his arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago. But with the help Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), he’s able to control a set of Modular Prosthetic Limbs with his nerves. All he has to do is think about moving his arms, and they move. Nothing is permanently attached to him; Baugh wears what is called a “socket,” which connects the prosthetics to his body. The researchers measured the way his muscles and nerves react when Baugh thinks about moving his arms. Then, when he thinks about moving his arms and hands in a certain way, the prosthetics move. Baugh is the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear two Modular Prosthetic Limbs at once, according to the researchers. He’s spending a lot of time practicing different tasks. “Maybe I’ll be able to — for once — be able to put change in a pop machine and get the pop out of it,” Baugh said in a video about the breakthrough. “Simple things like that that most people never think of.” He can only use the arms in the lab for now, but someday he will have two of his own. “I think we’re just getting started at this point. It’s like the early days of the Internet,” Mike McLoughlin, the program manager at Johns Hopkins’ Revolutionizing Prosthetics, said in the video. “There’s just a tremendous amount of potential ahead of us, and we just started down this road. I think the next five, 10 years are going to bring some really phenomenal advancements.” Check out a video of Baugh and the researchers here: Via The Huffington Post   Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the...

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Short Film “Memories 2.0″ Envisions Reliving the Past Through Virtual Reality
Dec06

Short Film “Memories 2.0″ Envisions Reliving the Past Through Virtual Reality

ShareBY DAVID J. HILL  ON DEC 06, 2014 One of the hard truths of human existence is that though we are able to move freely through space, we are mercilessly constrained by time. Each moment of life arrives then rapidly passes, seemingly lost forever. In an attempt to capture information from these moments as they flow past, our brains record memories, but they are limited by what is perceived and stored on a device that is organic and fragile. Drawing on concepts of technology, memory, and lost relationships explored in others films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the short film Memories 2.0 explores the use of virtual reality to recapture moments of love lost forever. Whether virtual reality and neuroscience will converge in the future to produce technology that will enable the reliving of memories, science fiction films love to delve into technology’s affect on the mind. Consider movies such as Brainstorm, Until the End of the World, and The Matrix that all explore the mental strain anticipated when bridging the physical world and virtual reality. Each depicts how technology will empower us, but at a price. Coexisting in a world full of constraints and one that seems limitless will have an impact on our identity and relationships. Yet even with today’s technology, we are increasingly existing in two realities concurrently or, put another way, the new reality is hybridized. Digital images and video allow us to capture and relive memories in detail, and social media and cloud technology now permit vicarious reliving of moments from other people’s lives with ease. Virtual reality will only make these delvings much more immersive, and underscores the justification for Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift for $2 billion. It raises the question, How are our minds already being affected by this divide? Memories 2.0 doesn’t offer any answers but simply a glimpse at the life of a protagonist attempting to regain a part of himself through technology. In the future, all of us may end up in his shoes. Via Singularity...

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With Mindware Upgrades and Cognitive Prosthetics, Humans Are Already Technological Animals
Oct19

With Mindware Upgrades and Cognitive Prosthetics, Humans Are Already Technological Animals

ShareBY JASON DORRIER   OCT 19, 2014   In recent years, the surprising idea that we’ll one day merge with our technology has warily made its way into the mainstream. Often it’s couched in a combination of snark and fear. Why in the world would we want to do that? It’s so inhuman. That the idea is distasteful isn’t shocking. The imagination rapidly conjures images of Star Trek’s Borg, a nightmarish future when humans and machines melt into a monstrosity of flesh and wires, forever and irrevocably leaving “nature” behind. But let’s not fool ourselves with such dark fantasies. Humans are already technological animals; tight integration with our inventions is in our nature; and further increasing that integration won’t take place in some distant future—it’s happening now. To observe our technological attachment, we need simply walk out the door. It’s everywhere, all around us—on the bus or train, at work, at home, in the bathroom, in bed—people gazing into screens, living digital lives right next to their ordinary ones. In the Matrix, the experience is involuntary, a tool of control and oppression. In our world, it’s voluntary, and mostly about freedom, expansion, and expression. As Jason Silva recently noted, our devices augment our brains, like cognitive prosthetics. In his latest video, Silva says we should go easy on those fervent fans lining up for the latest smartphone, “These are not trivial things, these are not fashion accessories—these are mindware upgrades.” The newest smart devices speed information processing, better organize our thoughts, more efficiently connect us with others. Silva says a simple telephone collapses time and geography in a kind of “technologically mediated telepathy” as termed by David Porush. Smartphones and other connected devices do the same thing, of course, and at very nearly the speed of light. But the word smartphone fails to convey that the phone part is far less than half the equation. Referring to Andy Clark’s book Natural-Born Cyborgs, Silva says, “The modern mind emerges in the feedback loops between brains and these tools that we create and the environment in which we create them. We’re thinking through our iPhones and Samsung phones. We’re thinking on the internet. We’re thinking on the page.” This isn’t a physical merger with technology, but it is surely a psychological one. And this deepening union of brains and devices—Silva’s feedback loops and mindware upgrades—is just the latest round. Man has been “merging” with technology since the beginning. It’s more or less our modus operandi. We exude technology. We live in it. It lives in us. So, why is the concept so foreign? When technology is accepted and absorbed into the culture, we no longer think of it as technology. Consider the...

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The singularity is coming — are you ready? | Dr. Jonathan White | TEDxEdmonton
Aug02

The singularity is coming — are you ready? | Dr. Jonathan White | TEDxEdmonton

ShareThis talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Would you upload your personality if you could? What do you think of the possibility of living without a physical body? Dr. White addresses a reality that is not so far off as we might think – and what the ethical and philosophical implications of this future might be. Dr. Jonathan White, originally from Northern Ireland, is a surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Dr. White is a renowned teacher, and has won numerous awards for his innovative and creative approach, including being the first surgeon ever selected as a 3M National Teaching Fellow, an honor bestowed in 2014. At TEDx, Dr. White will point out the unforeseen consequences of the rapid technological change we are experiencing – the unexpected societal, medical, and philosophical issues that we now must consider. He will introduce us to the concept of the “singularity”, a possibility which has enormous potential but also carries immense uncertainty. As we enter the next phase of human evolution, Dr. White will pose provocative questions that will challenge our ideas of what the future holds. About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and...

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Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers
May18

Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers

ShareBy Tom Scott   A science fiction story about what you see when you die. Or: the Singularity, ruined by lawyers…   If you liked this, you may also enjoy two novels that provided inspiration for it: Jim Munroe’s Everyone in Silico, where I first found the idea of a corporate-sponsored afterlife; Rudy Rucker’s trippy Postsingular, which introduced me to the horrifying idea of consciousness...

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