Film: Tama River by Anders Edström & Karen Langley.
Music: Yoko Ono, Let’s Go On Flying.
Model: Ai Tominaga
posted by puny human
on Apr 11, 2011 -
John Baez (mathematical physicist and master popularizer, former operator of This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics, current promoter of the idea that physicists should start pitching in on saving the world
) interviews Eliezer Yudkowsky (singularitarian, author of "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality,"
promoter of the idea that human life faces a near-term existential threat from unfriendly artificial intelligence, and that people can live better lives by evading their cognitive biases) about the future, academia, rationality, altruism, expected utility, self-improvement by humans and machines, and the relative merit of battling climate change and developing friendly AIs that will forstall our otherwise inevitable doom. Part I
. Part II. Part III. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Apr 2, 2011 -
"During the competition, each of four judges will type a conversation with one of us for five minutes, then the other, and then will have 10 minutes to reflect and decide which one is the human. Judges will also rank all the contestants—this is used in part as a tiebreaking measure. The computer program receiving the most votes and highest ranking from the judges (regardless of whether it passes the Turing Test by fooling 30 percent of them) is awarded the title of the Most Human Computer. It is this title that the research teams are all gunning for, the one with the cash prize (usually $3,000), the one with which most everyone involved in the contest is principally concerned. But there is also, intriguingly, another title, one given to the confederate who is most convincing: the Most Human Human award." [more inside]
posted by jng
on Feb 15, 2011 -
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
The Africa Portal
is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI
), Makerere University (MAK
), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA
), the Africa Portal offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component—all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa’s current policy issues. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Nov 30, 2010 -
Alex, I'll take "Kickass Text Analysis Algorithms" for a thousand, please. "Over the rest of the day [at IBM labs] Watson went on a tear, winning four of six games. It displayed remarkable facility with cultural trivia (“This action flick starring Roy Scheider in a high-tech police helicopter was also briefly a TV series” — “What is ‘Blue Thunder’?”), science (“The greyhound originated more than 5,000 years ago in this African country, where it was used to hunt gazelles” — “What is Egypt?”) and sophisticated wordplay (“Classic candy bar that’s a female Supreme Court justice” — “What is Baby Ruth Ginsburg?”)."
Next up, a live match up against human winners of Jeopardy
. But of course the real question is how good are you
? Can you beat Watson?
posted by storybored
on Jun 23, 2010 -
Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone. From the NYT: Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jul 26, 2009 -
The simulated brain
- "The scientists behind Blue Brain
hope to have a virtual human brain
functioning in ten years... Dr. Markram began by collecting detailed information about the rat's NCC
, down to the level of genes, proteins, molecules and the electrical signals that connect one neuron to another. These complex relationships were then turned into millions of equations, written in software. He then recorded real-world data -- the strength and path of each electrical signal -- directly from rat brains to test the accuracy of the software." Is it possible to digitally simulate
a brain accurately? Can it only be analog
? And are there quantum effects
to be considered
? (previously 1 2 3 4
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jul 18, 2009 -
I understand that MeFites don't really do American Idol
, but if you're the rare one who does, then you will probably appreciate the combination of fandom and geekery that produced What Not To Sing
. They look at reviews of AI performances from all over the web, and distill them to provide numerical and star ratings for each AI performance. Every one. EVER. They have a listing of the top and bottom 40 performances
across all 8 seasons, which makes for interesting YouTube searching. If you're curious about all performances of Michael Jackson songs on the show
or just wish to confirm that Sanjaya sucked
, they can help with that as well. The feature currently amusing me is this season's Camp Should-A-Been
, where they judge contestants solely on performance rating, with the lowest rated performer leaving.
posted by booksherpa
on Jul 7, 2009 -
The coming memristor revolution in electronics and how it works.
The newly created memristor, only the fourth fundamental fundamental type of passive circuit element, has the promise of computing advances both prosaic (faster, cheaper and "bigger" flash drives) and momentous (relatively effortless mimicry of brain cells and their activity). This is the story of the memristor's genesis, told by R. Stanley Williams, the leader of the team that created the device. [more inside]
posted by NortonDC
on Dec 7, 2008 -
Think you can stump the Elbot?
Give it a try. Maybe your interaction will enable it to "learn" an extra 10% more to pass the 30% threshold of the Turing Test. The test is to fool a panel of people who talk with AI entities via text and guess if it's a real person or a robot.Mr Smarty Pants where are you?
posted by goodhelp
on Oct 13, 2008 -
Each year, people around the world spend billions of hours playing computer games. What if all this time and energy could be channeled into useful work? What if people playing computer games could, without consciously doing so, simultaneously solve large-scale problems? GWAP
is Luis van Ahn's answer [PDF, HTML cache]
to these questions, a collection of easy and engaging games that make computers smarter.
posted by carsonb
on May 27, 2008 -
Introduced to Western culture by the Beatles in their single Norwegian Wood
, the sitar
has featured prominently in North Indian classical music for centuries. Princeton-based computer scientist Ajay Kapur updates the instrument with his ESitar
, an audio and video controller that uses gesture input
(PDF) and machine learning
algorithms to facilitate joining the computer with Ajay in his sitar performance. Undergraduate engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania work from the other direction, building RAVI-bot
, an award-winning
, self-playing robotic sitar
(YouTube) programmed to generate music from classical Raga scales and melodies
all on its own. For those in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out a live performance of RAVI-bot at the local Klein Art Gallery.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Apr 19, 2007 -
co-founder of Palm
and Handspring, has started a new company, called Numenta
, to test his controversial theory
of intelligence. Whether you find his theory plausible or not, his book
, "On Intelligence
" is fascinating. Numenta is attempting to build A.I.s using Hawkins' theory as a backbone. They've developed a software engine and a Python
-based API, which they've made public (as free downloads
), so that hackers can start playing. They've also released manuals
, a whitepaper
(pdf) and videos [1
]. (At about 30:18 into the first video, Hawkins demonstrates, with screenshots, the first app which uses his system.)
posted by grumblebee
on Apr 4, 2007 -
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 5, 2006 -