In our time, military organizations (dominantly american) are responsible for developing and promoting the most profound, impactful, culture shifting technologies. But the motives of these organizations are squarley not rooted in the betterment of humankind, at least not my kind.
Can technologies such as the internet really be “trusted” at a grass roots level ? Has the internet been uprooted from its original intentions as a communications tool that would allow greater secrecy from the enemy and enable quicker responses to danger? Are the reminants of a technology designed to aid in battle all we are left to build upon ? What of the original intention of these tools forms the way the tool is used today?
Continue reading “Miltary Time”
Week of Aug. 30, 2003; Vol. 164, No. 9 , p. 136
Artificial intelligence meets good old-fashioned human thought
When Kenneth M. Ford considers the future of artificial intelligence, he doesn’t envision legions of cunning robots running the world. Nor does he have high hopes for other much-touted AI prospects?among them, machines with the mental moxie to ponder their own existence and tiny computer-linked devices implanted in people’s bodies. When Ford thinks of the future of artificial intelligence, two words come to his mind: cognitive prostheses.
Continue reading “Mind-Expanding Machines”
Humanizing gadgetry to tame the flood of information
A telephone call to Roel Vertegaal’s lab may cause a pair of plastic-foam eyeballs to wiggle. Those peepers are attached to a desktop gadget that Vertegaal says could presage a generation of what you might call digital secretaries?particularly insightful ones at that. If Vertegaal looks at the shaking eyeballs, they’ll suddenly stop and stare back at him and then patch the call through. If instead, Vertegaal doesn’t establish eye contact with the little pop-eyed gizmo on his desk, an answering machine kicks into gear. That’s because his digital secretary could tell in a glance that Vertegaal wasn’t interested in taking the call.
Continue reading “Minding Your Business”