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Category Archives: Futurism
An unusual new idea in neuroscience suggests that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons as they fire.
The idea is that these waves of electrical activity get sent out by neurons and, as they propagate across swaths of the brain, orchestrate our entire conscious experience. The research, published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness, offers more theory than tangible evidence, but the author says it could pave the way for robots that genuinely think and feel.
That author is Johnjoe McFadden, a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey, who points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we dont have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.
By recreating these electrical waves in machinery, McFadden suggests, engineers might be able to pull it off.
McFaddens hypothesis veers away from most neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter in this case energy.
How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia, McFadden said in a press release. I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brains self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call free will and our voluntary actions.
READ MORE: Researcher proposes new theory of consciousness [University of Surrey]
More on consciousness: Artificial Consciousness: How To Give A Robot A Soul
In order to hold police accountable when they try to hide their identities, a growing number of activists are developing facial recognition tools that identify cops, The New York Times reports a striking inversion of the way cops tend to use facial recognition on protestors and suspects.
Its a satisfying role reversal. Police are hiding their identities while cracking down on protests,in other words, just to be outed by the same invasive technology that they use to surveil the populace.
One of the projects was a shower thought for self-taught programmer Christopher Howell. Hes identifying cops in Portland, Oregon because they were permitted to cover their names while responding to protests. Portland banned facial recognition for cops and companies, but the NYT reports that Howells project is permitted because hes an individual working on a passion project.
Theres a lot of excessive force here in Portland, Howell told the NYT. Knowing who the officers are seems like a baseline.
Building these tools has become simple, the NYT reports, due to increasingly common off-the-shelf software. The real challenge, activists say, is finding enough images of local police to train the algorithm. Theyve had luck on social media, they told the newspaper.
For a while now, everyone was aware the big guys could use this to identify and oppress the little guys, but were now approaching the technological threshold where the little guys can do it to the big guys, Andrew Maximov, a developer working on a similar project, told the NYT. Its not just the loss of anonymity. Its the threat of infamy.
READ MORE: Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police [The New York Times]
More on facial recognition: Cops Arrested an Innocent Man Because Facial Recognition Told Them To
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Activists Build Facial Recognition to ID Cops Who Hide Their Badges - Futurism
For the first time in its history, NASA has successfully collected samples from the surface of an asteroid, using the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Tuesday.
The small spacecraft has been orbiting Bennu, an asteroid 500 meters across, for almost two years. Around 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, the spacecraft completed a Touch-And-Go maneuver before firing its thrusters to get back to a safe distance from the asteroid. The lonely space rock was more than 200 million miles away at the time.
We did it, principal investigator Dante Lauretta said during the agencys live broadcast. Weve tagged the surface of the asteroid.
The sample which could be anywhere between 60 grams or more than a kilo will now make its long journey back to Earth, and if all goes according to plan, touch down in September 2023.
This was the key milestone of this mission, said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASAs associate administrator for science. Now its a few days to figure out how much of this amazing sample we got that weve been thinking about for decades.
Scientists believe Bennu dates back to the very early days of our solar system, some 4.5 billion years ago, meaning that it could unlock secrets about how water and thereby life made its way to Earth.
The first ever time anyone collected samples from an asteroid was the Japanese space agencys Hayabusa spacecraft, which brought back only a few micrograms of material from the Itokawa asteroid in 2010. Its successor, Hayabusa2, also collected a different sample from asteroid Ryugu last year.
READ MORE: NASA makes history with sample of asteroid soil [NBC News]
More on OSIRIS-REx: Heres How to Watch as NASA Attempts to Grab a Sample From an Asteroid
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For the First Time In Its History, NASA Successfully Collects Sample From Asteroid - Futurism
The STEM Read Podcast - Past, Present, And Futurism (Oct. 20, 2020)
In this episode of The STEM Read Podcast, were bringing you an excerpt from the Future Telling Webinar series, STEM Reads collaboration with NIUs University Libraries.
STEM Read Director Gillian King-Cargile (@gkingcargile) talks to experts in history and speculative fiction to hear how pandemics have shaped art and how this turbulent moment in world history is transforming the future of publishing and the genre. Speakers include Valerie Garver (Professor of History, Northern Illinois University), Lynne M. Thomas (Hugo Award Winning Publisher and Editor of Uncanny Magazine), Mary Robinette Kowal (Award Winning Author of the Lady Astronauts Series, President of the Board of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and Maurice Broaddus (Community Activist and Author of Pimp My Airship and The Usual Suspects).
Northern Illinois UniversitysSTEM Read is part of theNIU STEAMfamily of programs that explore science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Find more great books, lesson plans, and resources atstemread.com.
The STEM Read Podcast is produced in collaboration with WNIJ.
General Motors has finally revealed its fully electrified take on the retired-but-not-forgotten Hummer brand.
On paper, the electric supertruck ticks all the boxes. The Hummer EV is a 1,000 horsepower beast with air suspensionand a 350-mile range not to mention it can even drive diagonally thanks to a feature called Crab Mode.
Did we mention its speedy? The steel-clad goliath can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds.
Its an odd twist in GMs Hummer brand,which was once infamous for being one of the least efficient, most greenhouse gas-producing trucks on the market a far cry from its electric iteration.
The Hummer EV is so rugged, in fact, that GM might be hinting that its capable of traversing some of the roughest landscapes even outside of Earth. The Edition 1 variant is riddled with callbacks and references to the rugged terrain of the Moon, as spotted by YouTuber Jack Nelson of the JerryRigEverything channel.
Intergalactic travel and otherworldly landscapes are the inspiration for [the Hummer EVs] Lunar Horizon themed interior, reads an official description on GMs website. The speaker cover features topographical lines of the Sea of Tranquility, the site of the first manned landing on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Apollo era boot prints can be seen all around the interior.
GM is aiming the truck squarely at off-road enthusiasts. Some Hummer EV models will be able to raise the trucks suspension by a lofty six inches, for a total of 16 inches of ground clearance, to tackle the most extreme off-road situations including boulders or deep waters, a feature GM is calling Extract Mode.
Another feature, called Crab Mode, is also very much intended for navigating tight spaces during off-roading, allowing all four wheels to move side to side independently. An extremely narrow rocky canyon limiting the turning radius? No problem.
The truck certainly isnt designed for hypermiling on the highway either. 350 miles is not exactly groundbreaking, with several upcoming electric sedans crushing the 400 mile marker on a single charge.
To wit, the Hummer EVs gigantic, double-stacked battery is rated for 200 kilowatt hours. A Tesla Model S Long Range (admittedly a far smaller vehicle) can squeeze just over 400 miles out of just 100 kilowatt hours.
GM is prioritizing speedy charging, though. The carmaker claims the truck can charge up to 100 miles in just ten minutes a full charge in less than 40 minutes thanks to an 800 volt charging system. That comes out to an impressive charging rate of 350 kW, faster than Teslas V3 Superchargers.
The truck will go into production late next year and will go on sale in late 2022. Thats more or less the timeline for Teslas competing Cybertruck, a similarly beefy, all-electric monster of a truck.
But it will cost a pretty penny: the truck starts at $79,995, for a less powerful two motor variant called EV2 that will only be available in spring 2024. If you just cant wait to get one, youll have to shell out just over $112,000 for the Edition 1, which will be the first Hummer EV model to go on sale in fall 2021.
A three-motor EV3X model and a features-enhanced two motor variant called EV2X will be available in fall 2022 and spring 2023 respectively.
The lineup will also feature an 18-camera Ultravision system that will alert the driver to pedestrians and allow them to see their entire surroundings. Thats important considering the trucks enormous size the vehicle is so wide, it needs three separate windshield wipers side by side.
A 12 inch screen gives the driver most of the information relevant to them. It will also show off some impressive graphics related to the status of the truck thanks to the companys partnership with Epic Games, the developer behind the blockbuster video game Fortnite and the ubiquitous Unreal Engine.
READ MORE: The Hummer is back as a 350-mile range electric supertruck that can drive diagonally [The Verge]
More on Hummer: Watch the Much-Hyped All-Electric Hummer Crabwalk
Global Mining Expert, Futurist, and Frontier Market ‘Explorer’, Emily King, Launches "On the Rocks" Podcast to Combine Adventures in…
On the Rocksprovides a fresh perspective on mining through the lens of pop culture, technology and innovation, sustainability, providing newcomer-friendly market analysis to pull you inside of a fun and evolving industry. Whether you are a savvy industry expert or newcomer, the On the Rocks podcast will entertain, inform, and educate.
On The Rocksis presented by Prospector, an AI-enabled technology platform built to modernize the way investors and researchers search for and access information about mining. Prospector draws data from various public exchanges such asTMX Datalinx, which operates the Toronto Stock Exchange and already represents nearly 50% of publicly traded mining projects globally. Prospector believes this new podcast will make mining more digestible for a broad audience and help listeners understand the impact of mining on our everyday lives: from the minerals critical for electric cars to how gold influences global currencies, to mining references in our favorite movies, and more.
"From millennials to institutional investors like Warren Buffett, precious metals, rare earths, and mining investment is drawing a lot of attention. We hope 'On the Rocks' will appeal to a broad audience through fun stories, compelling data, and, of course, expert insights," said Peter Voldness, VP of Corporate Finance at Analog Gold, the mining investment company that owns Prospector.
The first episode of On The Rocks will be available on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Future episodes will be published every two weeks on Tuesdays. On the Rocks will be available oniTunes and Spotify for streaming or download. You can also subscribe to On the Rocks from http://www.prospectorportal.com where you can also sign up for Prospector's weekly newsletter, The Nugget.
Prospector is an AI-enabled technology platform built to modernize the way investors and researchers search for and access information about mining. Founded in 2020 by global mining expert Emily King, Prospector created the industry's first searchable digital database with an easily navigable interface that allows anyone to tap into information about the mining industry. Prospector is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Analog Gold, a mining investment company.
For more from Prospector, visitprospectorportal.com or follow on Twitter (@ProspectorAI) orLinkedIn.
This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction.