Browsing: Transhumanism

‘Have you ever thought about whether future humans will live out aspects of their lives online in simulated environments, or even extend their natural lifespans by uploading their minds to a secure cloud ecosystem? It’s been a familiar idea in science fiction for decades. With news that Elon Musk was attempting to build a “neural lace,” the concept of a brain-machine interface (BMI) entered the public lexicon. Now, researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, claim to have linked a human mind to the Internet in real time — a biomedical first.

The project, dubbed the “Brainternet,” required the researchers to gather EEG brainwave signals using only an Emotiv EEG device and a simple Raspberry Pi computer. The experiment allowed the human brain to become an information node in the Internet of Things (IoT).’


Read more: Researchers Connect A Human Mind To The Internet For The First Time Ever

‘Robots will begin replacing teachers in the classroom within the next ten years as part of a revolution in one-to-one learning, a leading educationalist has predicted.

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children will soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant.

The former Master of Wellington College said programmes currently being developed in Silicon Valley will learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication to what works best for them.

The new era of automated teaching promises an end to grouping children by year, as the personalised nature of the robots will enable pupils to learn new material at their own pace, rather than as part of a class.’

Read more: Inspirational’ robots to begin replacing teachers within 10 years

‘Cambridge University is considering letting students take exams on laptops and iPads because they rarely use ‘the lost art’ of handwriting during their studies.

Students who struggle to write by hand or need extra time in exams are already allowed to use laptops – but this could soon become widespread rather than exceptional.

The university’s review is part of its Digital Strategy for Education, which aims to ‘introduce technology that supports teaching and learning’.

History lecturer Dr Sarah Pearshall said handwriting was becoming a ‘lost art’.

She told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Fifteen or twenty years ago students routinely have written by hand several hours a day – but now they write virtually nothing by hand except exams.”

Read more: Let students sit exams with iPads and laptops, says Cambridge academic to combat students not used to ‘the lost art of handwriting’ turning in unreadable papers  

‘It would amaze you to know that a lot of people nowadays are turning to the Internet for answers to life’s simplest questions; then again, maybe not, maybe you’re doing it yourself.

According to Mountain View, California-based multinational tech company Google, people from around the world have been asking for instructions on seemingly self-evident things such as how to or how not to get pregnant, how to make a toast, and even how to kiss.

“We have become so independent on offloading, on relieving our brains from keeping certain basic, human information in storage, that we’ve forgotten to do some fairly basic grown up tasks,” researchers at Google’s News Lab said. (Related: Google’s propaganda search engine distorts perceptions to control people’s thoughts – try Good Gopher instead, a propaganda-free search portal.)’

Read more: Addiction to technology is creating digital slaves who can’t think for themselves

‘Artificial intelligence can accurately guess whether people are gay or straight based on photos of their faces, according to new research that suggests machines can have significantly better “gaydar” than humans.

The study from Stanford University – which found that a computer algorithm could correctly distinguish between gay and straight men 81% of the time, and 74% for women – has raised questions about the biological origins of sexual orientation, the ethics of facial-detection technology, and the potential for this kind of software to violate people’s privacy or be abused for anti-LGBT purposes.

The machine intelligence tested in the research, which was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and first reported in the Economist, was based on a sample of more than 35,000 facial images that men and women publicly posted on a US dating website. The researchers, Michal Kosinski and Yilun Wang, extracted features from the images using “deep neural networks”, meaning a sophisticated mathematical system that learns to analyze visuals based on a large dataset.’

Read more: New AI can guess whether you’re gay or straight from a photograph

‘Imagine, for a moment, that the question of war and peace between the United States and North Korea didn’t rest on the erratic personalities of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, but on advanced artificial intelligence programs run by dueling supercomputers in Washington and Pyongyang, which game out scenarios and calculate optimized outcomes.

Would you feel better, or worse?

Wars have traditionally been declared — and fought — by humans. Now a rising chorus is warning that AI is set to radically remake global conflict, and even potentially how and when governments use force.

AI will likely to have as big an impact on military affairs as the invention of nuclear weapons, computers, or the airplane, according to Gregory Allen, adjunct fellow in the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security. What remains to be seen is how countries will use it.’

Read more: Artificial Intelligence Is Poised to Revolutionize Warfare

‘Human beings may need to be genetically modified for space travel. Humans could be prevented from going to Mars due to our immune systems, according to scientists who wrote a study for Nature Scientific Reports.

A team of researchers from Russia and Canada analyzed the effect of microgravity on protein in blood samples of 18 Russian astronauts who previously lived on the International Space Station for six months and found changes to their immune systems.

“The results showed that in weightlessness, the immune system acts like it does when the body is infected because the human body doesn’t know what to do and tries to turn on all possible defense systems,” Professor Evgeny Nikolaev, of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology said.

The scientists found that the blood proteins change as the immune system alters the blood. The study retained blood from cosmonauts 30 days before they traveled to take their space mission to the ISS and then again on their immediate return to Earth. They were also tested seven days after being in orbit as a control to the experiment. The individual blood proteins were then counted using a mass spectrometer.’

Read more: Scientists Want To Genetically Modify Super Humans For Space Travel To Mars

‘In this day and age, it has become the norm to see someone glued to their mobile phones, especially teenagers. In fact, it may seem that teenagers are really addicted to that rectangular handheld device.

In 2017, a study which observed 1,500 families composed of teenagers living at home with their parents concluded that the average teenager spent more than 40 full days of the year (or around two hours and 40 minutes a day) browsing their mobile phones, as reported by the Daily Mail.

The results showed that teens from Liverpool spent the most time on their phones with 48 days of texting and browsing apps, while teens from Cardiff and Glasgow came second and third, respectively. Teens from London were at the bottom of the list with 37 days.

This study showed how teenagers have become dependent to their mobile devices.’

Read more: Teenagers waste 40 days a year looking at mobile devices, startling research discovers

How long would you last doing a simple cognitive task without checking your smartphone or social media feed, before you get fidgety and bored? Ten minutes? How would you feel after one hour?’

Around two thirds of British people admit they would feel lost, unhappy or anxious without their smartphone, according to a survey last year. Around half of Americans openly admit they simply could not last a day without their smartphone.

Researchers are fairly successfully uncovering the ocean of evidence that suggests living completely immersed in the “information ecosystem” of smartphone, internet and social media feed – as billions of people do every day worldwide – is seriously detrimental to one’s mental health and cognitive capacity.’

Read more: How getting rid of my smartphone revolutionised my life