Those Unattended: A short sci-fi film by Brian Garvey
Dec20

Those Unattended: A short sci-fi film by Brian Garvey

Shareby Socrates          December 18, 2014 It’s a situation we’re either celebrating or condemning… this situation of the singularity. Put simply, technology is advancing at such exponential rates it’ll soon eclipse our human intellect. What that will look like is what this short film by first time director Brian Garvey attempts to answer. Those Unattended centers on a family gathering for dinner in the not too distant future. All appears normal, despite the look of the food they’re about to eat, an homage to the 1970’s sci fi film, “Soylent Green.” As the family settles in for their meal, we see a rigid formality about them, smiles plastered on their faces. Looking through the point of view of the mother, we see her digital operating system. A HUD, (heads up display) of search engines, social network platforms, and augmented 3D reality systems. She operates her system through an inner monologue which sounds exhausted and bored. This is her digital consciousness. Our smart devices will no longer be hand held objects we gaze at, heads down, but rather operating systems implanted into our consciousness. Perhaps the hard-drives of the future will be so powerful and small, microscopic even, they’ll be injected into our blood stream to link up with the synapses or our minds. The digital consciousness feels like a phenomenon we see evolving all around us. Wearable technology and our increasing dependence on being connected digitally all suggest this. But what about the glitches… Back at the dinner table, Dad starts to ramble incoherently, the onset of a digital stroke. His operating system is crashing and something needs to be done about it, fast. If not, he’ll lose the digital crutch he’s grown to depend on and will have to rely on his human consciousness alone, with all it’s imperfections… This is a horrifying situation in our society less than one hundred years from now. Writer, Director, Producer : Brian Garvey Director of Photography : Kevin Wong csc Production Designer : Gustavo Franco Picture Editor : Thomas Lieu Motion Graphics Animator : Julian Ablaza Compositor : Colin Berry Via Singularity Weblog More Socrates on The Singularity…   Transcendence: The Disinformation Encyclopedia of Transhumanism and the...

Read More
The Scientist planning to upload his brain to a  computer
Dec19

The Scientist planning to upload his brain to a computer

ShareBy MARK PRIGG FOR MAILONLINE It is a plan taken straight from the pages of a science fiction novel – and potentially a way to exist forever. A San Francisco inventor has revealed plans for a system to upload his brain to a computer.He hopes to be able to replicate the human brain as a mechanical system. Randal Koene says the key to this is the SIM – a ‘Substrate-Independent Mind.’By mapping the brain, reducing its activity to computations, and reproducing those computations in code, Koene argued, humans could live indefinitely, emulated by silicon. ‘When I say emulation, you should think of it, for example, in the same sense as emulating a Macintosh on a PC,’ he told a recent San Francisco conference. ‘It’s kind of like platform-independent code.’The thing that makes all of this possible is a ‘Substrate-Independent Mind.’This, according to Koene, is not merely an artificial intelligence, but a human mind downloaded to a computer. Neuroscientists are 99.9% percent convinced that the brain is a mechanism, he says. It is something that computes, something that carries out functions. If you can figure out how it works, you can build a replacement for it. ‘The idea that you can take a small piece of the brain and build a replica for it is very mainstream and well understood,’ he recently told Vice. ‘Why not do that with the whole brain? And then why not upload that to a computer so that we can process more data and store it better, the way a computer does, organizing thoughts into folders that we can access whenever we choose?’ ‘It would be interesting to inhabit a more virtual world. ‘Or perhaps bodies that aren’t built to survive in this environment, but somewhere else, like space.’ He has set up an organisation, carboncopies to work on the technical and ethical issues around the project. ‘We support practical approaches toward what we descriptively term “advanced substrate-independent minds (ASIM), i.e. transferring mind functions from the biological substrate to another substrate on which those functions can be performed,’ it says. ‘Carboncopies initially takes a technology agnostic stance. We organise workshops and conferences where interested parties can exchange ideas, network with others, and keep updated on the latest developments in the field’ HOW IT WILL WORK According to Koene’s site, :‘The functions of mind that we experience are originally implemented through neurobiological mechanisms, the neural circuitry of our brains. ‘If the same functions are implemented in a different operating substrate, populated with parameters and operating such that they produce the same results as they would in the brain, then that mind has become substrate-independent. ‘It is a substrate-independent mind (SIM) by being able to...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Jason Silva’s Latest: To Be Human Is to Be Transhuman
Apr01

Jason Silva’s Latest: To Be Human Is to Be Transhuman

ShareBY JASON DORRIER   APRIL 1  2014 The term ‘transhuman’ inevitably (for me) summons grotesque visions of humans and machines merging into a Borg-like race bent on eradicating biological imperfection. These creatures’ cold rationality calls it an evolutionary improvement, but to my admittedly backward biological brain, it’s a terrible thought. I’d prefer a little less HR Giger in my future, thank you. In his latest Shots of Awe video short, Jason Silva says forget about Hollywood’s nightmare scenarios. Humans are, by definition, transhuman. We ceaselessly invent and reinvent what it means to be human. We circumvent biological evolution with technology. But that doesn’t mean we’ll one day wake up with metal and microchips grafted onto our bodies, emotion and individuality scrubbed, a node in the collective. And neither will hacking our biology produce generations of transhumans with three eyes, tiger claws, lizard tongues, and extra limbs growing out of their foreheads. We won’t generate such a future—unless that’s the future we choose. Quoting Edward O. Wilson, Silva says, “We have decommissioned natural selection, and now we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.” That sounds more like freedom to me. More like the messy, democratic process of competing ideas and inventions from which the future emerges. Will we become one with our machines? Sure, we will. We already have—cars, planes, smartphones, these ever present ‘machines’ extend our physical and mental reach daily. We’ve been merging with machines for as long as we’ve had tools. The Borg were supposed to be eons ahead of us, but their technology already looks hopelessly backward. Our technology is getting smaller, subtler, and more symbiotic—more elegantly and seamlessly absorbed into life’s fabric. If we ever do physically merge with machines or hack our DNA, the outward manifestation will be far less obvious than bodies bristling with surgical implants, heavy hardware, and random animal parts. Why? Because we have a choice in the matter, and few (if any) of us want to be techno-Frankensteins. Image Credit: Marcin Wichary/Flickr Source:  Singularity...

Read More