Deciding who should be credited on a report or as an author on a scientific paper can be a hassle. The work load, politics and the power structure of your organization decides who needs or is mandated credit for the work that is being done.
The credit, though very important for morale, is also essential to gain points and leverage as you are considered for promotions and grants.
So what happens when the day comes and we have highly intelligent software that take on humanoid shape? Can we still call them software? How do we credit their work?
For now, the few highly advanced, high powered AI programs are just that, programs and are credited as such.
But as these programs become a more common practice to equip Androids and Robots with, we might be approaching an ethical and philosophical dilemma. If an IBM Watson powered Robot comes up with a solution for a hypothesis, is it to be credited as a co-author for a paper, or does it go in to the method section as simply being a software? If we go further, if an AI powered Android not only creates a hypothesis but does the analyses and provides result, are you eligible for being credited yourself?
It may seem like a far off scenario, but with every more and more institutions using big data and utilizing deep learning and machine learning to gain insights and predict values, we are just one step away from this reality. Particularly since AI powered robots are becoming more and more sophisticated and utilized in research.
What do you think? Would you want to risk offending David?
Ever wondered what someone from the future would do if they came to 2017?
One of the things we think they would do is pull a Biff from Back to the future and bet money on things that are going to make them rich. Another one is to invest in companies that are going to dominate the future.
Two of such are Kiiroo and DAQRI.
Two companies that could not be further apart but will serve vital functions in the future.
DAQRI now and DAQRI in 2076
,Right now DAQRI is an AR company mainly focusing on the construction industry with their patented DAQRI helmets which integrate safety and AR technology in to a helmet that can be used on construction sites. Preforming everything from data visualisation, thermal vision, guided work instructions and remote expert guidance from the point of view of the worker, the helmet is a versatile tool that is revolutionising construction. Beyond that, DAQRI has created AR/MR-anatomy apps (4D Anatomy) which are not only entertaining but incredibly fun!
In 2076 the helmets will not only be used in construction, but will be a vital part of all military operations and devisions. Having data sent to soldiers in combat in real-time giving them guidance through difficult and fast changing terrains.
The helmets will also be standard practice as police equipment around the world, for the same reason. Real time guidance, communication and data while also providing safety.
Another field that will greatly benefit from the helmets is emergency medicine. Both civilian and military. For civilians, ambulance drivers will be the first ones who will adopt the helmets in their practice as they will be more practical and useful than simple AR glasses, which are be more sensitive and less energy efficient.
Kiiroo now and Kiiroo in 2075
As most things are becoming digitalised so will our sex life. There is no lack of high tech sex toys already, but as we are becoming more global and integrating our pleasures in to our fast paced lives, online dating will have to take a further step. Currently, singles are restricted to their geographical area for carnal pleasures and hook ups, but what if there was a global market? What if you could, with a 360 camera, teledildonics and VR headset, have a complete relationship with someone half way around the world? What if you wanted to have a foursome but you wanted to avoid the actual human interaction, but robots felt like a step too far? Currently the company Kiiroo which specialises in teledildonics has just scratched the surface of what online pleasure technology can do, and they are going to grow even further as society and sexual stigma decreases with each generation. With their venture in to VR pairing with pleasure technology, they are opening up a whole new market for people who not only want to fulfil fantasies, but can create relationships with intimacy.
In 2076, companies like Kiiro will be in most bedrooms, connecting people and their fantasies.
The picture below is from Kiiro, the second one is from the movie Demolition man. In the future people stop having physical sex and use brain wave stimulations. Not unlike what the future might look like as over all, both singles and couples are having less sex than previous generations.
Anyone with a mobile phone has had the question: " trust this computer " appear while pairing their device with a computer. Well, in the future. Computers will be asked this pressing question as well.
Do you trust this human?
Ongoing and very important research at The Human-Robot Laboratory at Tufts University is teaching robotic software to differentiate between trustworthy and untrustworthy humans (among other things). If SciFi movies have taught us anything, it's that they will soon learn that very few of us are worth trusting, and even those who may be trustworthy in one setting are not trustworthy in others. Humans lie, we just don't always know we're liars due to false memories. This will further confuse our robotic friends as they won't suffer from the same memory fallacy as us, which will undoubtedly mean that by the time they become self-aware, they will not have any trust left in us.
What do you think? Will our human nature be end end of a balanced human-robot relationship? Or will we learn how to trick them, or perhaps, become more trustworthy humans?
Guess what! We're writing a book called The 127-year-old newborn! And it's going to be out in 2017 (sooner than later we hope). Here is a chapter from the book presented at the Way We're Wired conference held by Geek Girl Meetup! Thanks to Futureheads Digital for filming!
Rarely has there been a show with such great characters, ambiance and plot as the one of Stranger Things. For those of you who grew up in the 80's i.e were born in the 60's and 70's you can spot a borrowed plot line or two from 80's action/comedy/horror flicks such as the Goonies and Firestarter. However, it has enough original elements to stand on its own. And even if it was a mixtape of love dedicated to the 80's it still is a darn good one.
But it has left quite a lot of questions unanswered that we hope will be answered in a second season. So here is our take on the all things SciPhi in the show and its brilliant world building.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE SHOW!!!!!!!
Links to studies:
NATURE LSD - FMRI: http://www.nature.com/news/brain-scans-reveal-how-lsd-affects-consciousness-1.19727
- These are Theories, not FACTS!
- This video was shot in one take, thus we apologies for any misspelling.
Almira Osmanovic Thunstrom
Well we don't have the means to travel in time considering gravitational have just recently been confirmed but if there is one thing we are sure of, it is that gaming consoles are going to stick around and be a major part of everyday life for generations to come. This might be a flawed and preposterous idea, but if Nikola Tesla could take the ridicule so can we.
The next generation of gamers will crave a deeper gaming experience and what better way than a TMS EEG GVS VR Headgear!
So what are all of these strange abbriviations?
TMS is (Transcranial magnetic stimulation) a coil which induces electromagnetic fields which stimulate a specific region of the cortex. It is also used in research to modify or "dosconnect" certain cogniive functions.
EEG (Electroencephalography) is a head gear which measures brain waves produced by the electrical currents in the neurons.
GVS (Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation) are headphones which stimulate the vestibular system which includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that help control balance and eye movements.
VR (Virtual Reality) is computer simulated reality which replicates an environment that simulates a physical presence in places in the real world or an imagined world, allowing the user to interact with that world.
So how will this work? To start off with, everyone acquiring a pair would have to undergo both an ordinary and a functional magnetic resonance imaging of their brain, so that the headgear can be customized. Our cortex size differs immensly and the functions of our brain slightly differ regarding geographical area in the cortex.
Once that is complete, the manufacturers would know precisely where to put the different components of the EEG and TMS.
So what would the TMS do?
To achive a sense of realism while wearing the gear, the TMS would be use to blunt your sense of reality. We suspect it will be a modification of a pathway found in the inferior frontal lobe and superior temporal gyrus.
So, now you’re in the matrix. You’re brain is tricked in to forgetting that you’re physical self exists in a world outside of the VR. Which could be achieved without TMS but let's face it, anything that can temporarily mute your ability to speak is fun to incorporate in to gaming gear.
How do you move in the game if you don't use a control?
We’ll for a long time visitors to tech museums everywhere have cued to stare at a silly ball with a headband strapped to their head. That headband is a simple EEG monitor. Now imagine a powerful EEG monitor which can help you control a protagonist in a game. Thus, no controls needed, you just havet o think of walking and you do!
To make matters better, to further trick your brain that you’re actually moving, the GVS headphones which stimulate the vestibular system to make you think you’re actually moving!
And the final touch? Touch being the operative word here is the sensory gloves which will give you the sensation of touching objects.
Add a function in which you can interact with your facebook feed and you’ll never havet o leave.
So what would it cost? We think the starting price will be at 80k dollars and be available in 2030 at earliest!
Of course there are plenty of problems with this set up. Side effects are bound to be plenty and let’s not even go to town on how much research still needs to be made on actual biology of cognitive functions, as well as all the potential hiccups when you’re using technologies that might interfere with each other in the brain.
But hey. This is called sciphilab, not sci lab!
Why are some animals seemingly immortal while others live only for a brief moment?
Several species such as the tardigrade, planarian and lobsters live for a very long time in comparison to us, and in particular in comparison to the Mayflies, who go from reproductive age to deceased in just 24 hours. The "immortal" species are in no way particularly stronger than other species as they too are very fragile and can parish under the wrong conditions. Tardigrades are very sensitive, and yet very durable and the same goes for the lobsters. When contemplating what they have in common, their phenotype i.e. the mare appearance does not give us any clues. So could it be in their genes?
Taking a closer look at the genetic structure of these three creatures (tardigrade, planarian and lobsters), one can find that all three have one particular thing in common. They have seemingly non affected telomere length. Telomere is to DNA as the plastic tips are to your shoestrings. It protects the genetic material from "untangling" and being damaged. More on Telomeres HERE.
So if telomere is at play here, how can we benefit from that fact? Well, we've known for a long time that we can affect telomere length through lifestyle. Telomere shortens if you expose your DNA to stressors, such as oxidative stress and toxic environments. Avoiding things that are toxic to your body, can maintain your telomere. But that is not the whole story.
Maintaining a long life span is not just a matter of telomere, even though it seems to be an excellent start to protect and prolong the process of cell degeneration, some species have done without telomere.
The conflict comes within our own genetics. Genes such as the P53 are there to protect us against cancer, shortening our telomere faster, but keeping those who have its desire polymorphism protected against cancer. Thus we trade a long life, for a healthier life. Why would evolution allow it?
It allows it because we are a species which on population level has (historically) not lived beyond the first tier of aging (50 years old). With better conditions, and elimination of all natural predators we've developed possibilities for longer lifespans, in fact to such point that we've experienced a group of men which actually outlive women. Well educated men outlive poor and uneducated women, which from a purely biological point of view is outstanding. We've truly mastered life span.
So beyond lifestyle, what else promotes longer lives? Well, the disposable soma theory is a compliment to the theory of the telomere. It simply says that reproduction is hard and demanding. If we delay reproduction, our somatic cells (which are involved in reproduction) will delay deterioration. Westendorp & Kirkwood did a study in 1998 in which they compared British aristocrats and the age at which they had children and noted that the older the parents were when the first child was born, the longer they lived (independently of health status or economic status). The results was only significant in women, but was seen as a trend amongst men as well. The biological hypothesis came from a study performed by Kirkwood in 1991 in which he delayed the reproductive age of drosophila files and expanded their life span by 20-70%.
So all in all, our genetics make it impossible for us to prolong life and at the same time sustain a good population as we can not prolong reproduction forever due to menopause, and due to the deteriorating condition of what makes a baby, the egg and the sperm.
Though biology seems to be the answer, all species which have come to live long lives have done so by implementing it in their genetic make up. We have implemented a great possibility for such scenario, if the conditions are excellent (which they never are). The sun sends radiation, there are toxins in most plants we eat, there are oxidative stressors in meat, there are predators and viruses.
So what can we do?
One suggestion is to bypass biology all together. Several projects are ongoing within medical technology that are making it possible for us to integrate technology in to our biology, one such pioneer is Kevin Warwick (pictured above). E.g. microchips that replace damaged cells in the hippocampus, or prosthetics that are attached to the brain so that amputees can control the movement and actions of their bionic limbs more smoothly. So instead of prolonging our biological expiration date, we might consider integrating our biology with a far more sustainable material, which will be easy to upgrade, download and repair. Instead of fearing a Terminator apocalypse, we should embrace a new step in our evolution of becoming the Terminators, rising above it all.
Imagine a day, let’s say July 15th 2079, when CERN has resulted in major findings and we have the clockwork of space, time and the universe all figured out to the extent that we can time travel.
Now imagine on this day, we decide that a worldwide experiment is to be held. Since sending someone back to the past can alter the entire future, everyone on the planet is allowed to send a message to their past selves, a 1 minute video in which they can say anything. These videos are then sent back 20 years in time with a messenger and distributed to those who exist at that point in time.
Thought one: What would you say to a past self, knowing that what you say might alter your future course, and would the present self read it?
Thought two: What would happen? How will it unfold?
Some simple theories are;
Everything. As soon as the videos are sent, the person who sent them will no longer exist. The mare act of time travel will alter your choices and the course of the world that made the future you.
Almost Nothing. Assuming that things have a predetermined course, time travel might alter certain details of random events and choices, but since our personalities and our ability for choices are limited, the future you may not experience much change at all, except for minor details not nearly significant enough to alter the course of your life.
Nothing (with a modification). Now let’s assume this theory, or at least a fraction of it. The past self will receive the message but a future self won’t see any change because the act of time travel has created alternative time lines in which the world that has already been will continue, but an alternate world in which the messages have altered the future will also exist.
What more scenarios can you think of?