Scientific Totalitarianism (our future post 2020) - Page 4 - Politics | PoFo

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Theories and happenings too odd for the main forums.
"The substitution of the internal combustion engine for the horse marked a very gloomy milestone in the progress of mankind," -Winston Churchill.

Cyber Monday 2018 is forecast to be the biggest online shopping day in US history

Cyber Monday is expected to generate $7.8 billion in sales, up nearly 18% on last year, according to a new report from Adobe Analytics.

The lofty expectation comes even as shoppers increasingly spread their online holiday shopping over several days.

Black Friday pulled in $6.22 billion in online sales, Adobe Analytics said, according to CNBC, up 23.6% from a year ago. Thanksgiving Day itself has become a big shopping day too, attracting an estimated $3.7 billion in sales.


Black Friday saw a record of more than $2 billion in sales done through smartphones alone, the Adobe report said, per CNBC.

But even if it does have the US shopping calendar sewn up, Cyber Monday is still second string to the biggest online shopping day in the world.

Cyber Monday is eclipsed by Singles Day, a Chinese shopping event that attracts almost four times the sales volume.

With $30.8 billion made in sales over 24 hours this month from a single company — the e-commerce platform Alibaba — Singles Day celebration is easily the biggest shopping event on earth. ... ry-2018-11

New Studies Show Just How Bad Social Media Is For Mental Health

Some people may be starting to come to grips with the fact that social media isn’t so great for mental health. Others may think that getting on it will give them a boost—but especially depending on how you spend your time on it, you may well feel worse after using. Plenty of studies have found correlations between higher social media use and poorer mental health, including depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and isolation, lower self-esteem, and even suicidality.

But two new studies underline this reality by showing not just correlation, but causation—in other words, that tweaking your time on social media actually has measurable effects on mental health

Read more: ... a5ccc7af44

FDA Hides Clear Evidence of Cancer Risk & DNA Damage From Wireless Radiation - US Brain Tumor

NTP Study Provides Enough Evidence for Class 1 Human Carcinogen-Scientists Demand 5G Moratorium

"The $25 million US National Toxicology Program Study has proven again what other studies have shown us that wireless radiation is a Class 1 Human Carcinogen like cigarette smoke and asbestos and should be treated as such. The NTP study proved wireless radiation can cause cancer and it can damage our DNA which can lead to a host of serious diseases. We must warn people and minimize exposure. I along with more than 200 of my colleagues who are expert in the field have called for a moratorium on the roll out of 5G which promises to maximize our exposure to harmful wireless radiation ( Action must be taken to set new safety standards and protect our public's health." Professor Emeritus Anthony Miller MD, FRCP, FRCP(C),FFPH, former Director, National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group and former member World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Cancer 2005-2015 (Professor Miller was also former Director Epidemiology Unit National Cancer Institute of Canada; former Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Evaluation of Screening for Cancer; former Chairman Scientific Advisory Committee, Occupational Cancer Research Centre 2009-2017).

Read more: ... 43087.html

Trump Administration’s Strategy on Climate: Try to Bury Its Own Scientific Report

The Trump White House, which has defined itself by a willingness to dismiss scientific findings and propose its own facts, on Friday issued a scientific report that directly contradicts its own climate-change policies.

That sets the stage for a remarkable split-screen political reality in coming years. The administration is widely expected to discount or ignore the report’s detailed findings of the economic strain caused by climate change, even as it continues to cut environmental regulations, while opponents use it to mount legal attacks against the very administration that issued the report. ... eport.html

Super-smart designer babies could be on offer soon. But is that ethical?

In his new book Blueprint, the psychologist Robert Plomin explains that it is now possible from our individual genome data to make a meaningful prediction about our IQ. When I discussed the topic with Plomin last month, we agreed on the need for urgent discussion of the implications, before genetic selection of embryos for intelligence hits the market. We’re too late. A company called Genomic Prediction, based in New Jersey, has announced that it will offer that service. New Scientist reports that it has already begun talks with American IVF clinics to find customers. They won’t be in short supply.

Before we start imagining a Gattaca-style future of genetic elites and underclasses, there’s some context needed. The company says it is only offering such testing to spot embryos with an IQ low enough to be classed as a disability, and won’t conduct analyses for high IQ. But the technology the company is using will permit that in principle, and co-founder Stephen Hsu, who has long advocated for the prediction of traits from genes, is quoted as saying: “If we don’t do it, some other company will.” ... telligence

Samsung is building software to control your TV with your brain

The tech is aimed at people with physical disabilities. Testing is set to start in Swiss hospitals early next year.

Samsung has created smart TV software you can control with your brainwaves.

Read more: ... onference/

We need to be mindful as we develop thought-reading tech

Mass thought control may not be on the cards just yet, but mind-reading tech is developing fast. We need to be prepared

HOWEVER much technology knows about you – and you would be surprised how much it does (see “I exposed how firms and politicians can manipulate us online”) – there is one firewall that it can’t penetrate: your skull. Unless you choose to share your thoughts, they remain private.

But for how much longer? Increasingly, a combination of brain scanning and artificial intelligence is opening the black box, gathering signals from deep inside the mind and reverse-engineering them to recreate thoughts. For now, the technology is limited to vision – working out what somebody is looking at from their brain activity (see “Mind-reading AI uses brain scans to guess what you’re looking at”) – but in principle there appears no reason why the entire contents of our minds couldn’t be revealed.

This line of research inevitably raises fears about the ultimate invasion of privacy: mind reading. It is not difficult to imagine some sort of device that can simply be pointed at somebody’s head to extract their thoughts.

Read more: ... ding-tech/
How Technocratic systems are augmenting and automating the default mode network (autobiographical information) via cybernetic feedback loops.

Cultural matrices and sociopolitical identity myths can be modulated by and merged with divisive post-truth politics. Prosumers (a person who consumes and produces a product or service) become self-regulating opinion factories with the power to publish digital pseudo-realities. Digital-reality is now a mass produced web of competing cultural-corporate narratives that funnel into big-brother business models.

Big-brother business models run data sets that are engineered by AI and in-house algorithms. These data sets, AI, and algorithms, comprise cybernetic information loops that can be used to manufacture or manipulate culture. This is the commodification and commercialization of perception, when culture becomes business and business becomes social engineering at the speed of light.

The Technocracy is busy dehumanizing humans and humanizing machines. A kind of post-human culture that can plug human behavior and psychology into an information grid, in order to augment an existing pyramidal-hierarchical pattern of organization and accelerate the compartmentalized nature of society. People are now programmable egos, driven by multiplex psycho-social cybernetic signals. Click the button if you like...

Post-modern Techno-doublethink

‘Robots deserve human rights’: Why activists want to protect machines from their creators

Then you’ve probably been cruel to a machine without even realising it. The concept of harming something that’s not a living, organic being might seem ridiculous right now, but will become very real as artificial intelligence begins to match and surpass our intellectual abilities. This idea is already being discussed by ‘Transhumanists’ who want to ensure the ‘sentient entities’ set to emerge in the coming decades are given the same rights as humans. These techno-utopians believe we must harness technology to conquer death and evolve into a new species free of war, disease and all the other afflictions which have dogged us throughout history. But to do that, they say humanity needs to ensure the machines we create to improve our own lives are not mistreated.

Read more: ... to=cbshare

Normalize a post-human society via incremental nudging.
Very pertinent information

Ellen DeGeneres Just Gave Two Oculus Go Headsets To Each Person In Her Audience

Ellen DeGeneres just gave her show’s audience two Oculus Go headsets each, funded as a marketing expense by Facebook. Ellen’s audience is typically around 400 strong, so this would equate to around 800 VR headsets given away.

Why two Oculus Go’s each, you may ask? We can’t be certain, but it’s likely that Facebook wants the audience to use the social VR apps available on the headset with people they know. ... -audience/

Facebook Taps Celebrities Including Wiz Khalifa, Awkwafina for Oculus Go Ad Campaign

Facebook is going all out with an ad campaign for its entry-level VR headset this holiday season. The company is promoting the $200 Oculus Go with ads featuring Wiz Khalifa, Awkwafina, Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Behati Prinsloo and Leslie Jones. ... 203026109/

Tech Journalists Locked Out At Top AI Conference

Members of the press have been blocked from attending some of the most interesting events at the NeurIPS artificial intelligence conference.

Organisers of NeurIPS, rebranded from NIPS (Neural Information Systems Processing) last month, made it impossible for journalists to attend "workshops" at NeurIPS 2018, which took place this week in Montreal.

The workshops contain many of the debates and the most interesting discussions, according to conference attendee and OpenAI policy director Jack Clark, who happens to be a former Bloomberg technology journalist. Clark appears to be the first person to publicise the fact that journalists are not allowed to attend the workshops.

Karen Hao, an AI reporter for MIT Technology Review, wrote on Twitter: "The best part about NeurIPS is the opportunity for learning, not opportunity for stories. It was sad to me that being labeled a reporter suddenly shut the door on my learning."

Katyanna Quach, an AI and science reporter for The Register, added: "Banning workshops sucks. It's where journalists can learn the most as all other research has been published. I found the sessions very valuable last year, and didn't really see any situations that would have made any companies/researchers look bad if they were reported."

The quality of AI media coverage varies and some AI researchers worry about sharing technical breakthroughs with the press over fears that they will be misreported. Certain newspapers and magazines scaremonger by regularly using pictures of The Terminator or other killer robots even though there’s no evidence to suggest machines will turn against us. ... 5cd88b762f

Microsoft Warns Washington to Regulate A.I. Before Its Too Late

The company echoed tech ethicists and employees in its call for restrictions. As Microsoft president Brad Smith put it, “We must ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984.”

"You cannot have black-box systems in core social services.”

“The long-term concerns around civil liberties aren’t being considered.”

“How far-ranging does the Secret Service believe its monitoring efforts need to be to fulfill its mission?” wrote the A.C.L.U. “Whatever the answer is today, there is good reason to be concerned about what that answer might be in the future—especially if unregulated face recognition and other technologies make it cheap and easy to extend the tentacles of its surveillance outwards.” Microsoft’s announcement may well have been a strategic bid for good P.R. But even so, it’s a crucial step as companies continue to develop A.I. in an unregulated space. “There is no longer a question of whether there are issues with accountability,” Meredith Whittaker, an A.I. Now co-founder who works at Google, told Bloomberg. “It’s what we do about it.”

Read more: ... s-too-late

DARPA head on AI dangers: ‘It’s not one of those things that keeps me up at night’

Walker’s comments arrive amid a backdrop of bitter controversy surrounding the military’s use of AI. In June, thousands of Google employees signed a petition protesting the company’s role in a Defense Department project using machine intelligence. ... bbbf429324

Organizers of gene-editing meeting blast Chinese study but call for ‘pathway’ to human trials

An international conference on human gene editing dominated by news of the birth of the world's first genetically engineered babies concluded today with a statement from the organizers that harshly condemned the controversial study. But it did not call for a global moratorium on similar studies, as some scientists had hoped; instead it called for a "translational pathway" that might eventually bring the ethically fraught technology to patients in a responsible way. ... man-trials
If you value privacy, resist any form of national ID cards

In the U.S., we’re nowhere close to living under the degree of surveillance seen in Venezuela or China. Nonetheless, we must remain vigilant for calls for increased data gathering and national ID systems that put our privacy at risk, especially those calls that are couched in the name of immigration enforcement and anti-terrorism efforts. These ID proposals, if left unchecked, will diminish the freedom to travel and work, and expose more details of our private lives to the authorities.

Americans have historically been resistant to the kind of compulsory ID card schemes seen around the world. Yet before Trump’s presidency there were bipartisan calls for ID cards as a tool of immigration enforcement. In March, 2010 Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took to the pages of The Washington Post to argue for a national biometric ID card as a means to tackle illegal immigration. Fortunately, Sens. Schumer and Graham failed to get their proposed mandated ID passed into law.


ID systems are not only discussed in the context of immigration enforcement. The threat of terrorism also provides fertile ground for national ID proposals. REAL ID, created in 2005, outlines federal requirements for state drivers licenses in order for them to be accepted by agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration. According to DHS, REAL ID enacts the 9/11 Commission report recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification.” In order to be REAL ID compliant, states must not only adhere to federal standards but also share information included on drivers licenses on a national network.

Although some states initially rejected REAL ID, every state is now complying with at least some portions of the system. While the federal government can’t directly coerce states into compliance, it can provide plenty of incentives. According to the TSA, drivers licenses that aren’t REAL ID compliant will not be considered a valid form of ID from October 1, 2020, onwards.


We should therefore be wary when advocates for biometric Social Security cards, mandatory E-Verify, and REAL ID tell us the use of these systems will be limited. As current ID systems expand they could easily morph into a de facto national ID scheme, with compliance required for air travel, gun purchases, banking, and much more.

Read full article: ... l-id-cards

"A slow rollout across the country, as facial recognition comes to an airport near you."

Newsman at the end of the video, "I'm down for it, because as you said, theres cameras everywhere, so why not."

Hertz launches biometric lanes to make car renting faster by up to 75 percent

The "Hertz Fast Lane powered by CLEAR" opened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Tuesday, allowing travellers to use fingerprint scanners and facial recognition technology instead of showing a physical ID.

According to Hertz, the system will cut down on the time taken to collect a rental car by at least 75 percent, with the potential to get drivers through the exit gate and on the road in 30 seconds or less.

The Fast Lanes – the first use of biometrics by a major car rental firm – will be rolled out across more than 40 U.S. locations in 2019. New locations will include Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Read more:
A publicly disclosed chemtrail program unfolds

First sun-dimming experiment will test a way to cool Earth

Researchers plan to spray sunlight-reflecting particles into the stratosphere, an approach that could ultimately be used to quickly lower the planet’s temperature.

The idea is simple: spray a bunch of particles into the stratosphere, and they will cool the planet by reflecting some of the Sun’s rays back into space. Scientists have already witnessed the principle in action. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it injected an estimated 20 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere — the atmospheric layer that stretches from about 10 to 50 kilometres above Earth's surface. The eruption created a haze of sulfate particles that cooled the planet by around 0.5 °C. For about 18 months, Earth’s average temperature returned to what it was before the arrival of the steam engine.

The idea that humans might turn down Earth’s thermostat by similar, artificial means is several decades old. It fits into a broader class of planet-cooling schemes known as geoengineering that have long generated intense debate and, in some cases, fear.

Hypnosis, truth drugs and remote-operated dogs: Declassified papers on CIA’s 'mind control' research

A renowned government secret hunter has published new documents detailing the CIA’s Cold War “behavioral modification” experiments (ranging from the bizarre to the stomach-churning), released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents were published by “The Black Vault”, a site which has published enough government documents on the paranormal, UFOs and government mind control experiments to provide material for a dozen new seasons of The X-Files. While the site might sound like a fringe web-community indulging in paranoid cliches, it is also the largest repository of its kind aside from the US government with over 2,000,000 pages of information. The 800 pages of classified information published in November had been withheld from previously released documents that were made public through FOIA requests in 2004 and 2016.

The newest documents, if verified, showcase some unprecedented disturbing outcomes of the CIA’s attempts to develop mind control techniques and truth serums as a part of its “MKultra” project, which the agency admitted to having secretly run until 1973. The releases include documents on a “successful” effort to create 6 dogs that could be “operated” to complete basic commands by remote control in the late 1960s. There are even diagrams of the surgical implants that employed “Electrical Stimulation of the Brain” to create controlled responses.

MKultra goes public

Researchers Develop Smartphone-connected Device to Treat MS, Brain Disorders Remotely

Researchers at the Ural Federal University (UrFU) in Russia have developed a neuro-electrostimulation system that has the potential to treat different types of brain disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS). The system allows physicians to treat patients by remotely controlling the delivered electric pulse through a smartphone or tablet.

Details about the neuro-rehabilitating technology were published in the journal Mobile Information Systems in an article titled “Mobile Hardware-Information System for Neuro-Electrostimulation.”

The idea behind neuro-rehabilitation devices is based on the brain’s neuroplasticity and ability to repair or replace damaged neurons. The system delivers low-frequency electrostimulation to clusters of nerve cells in the autonomic nervous system, which controls internal organ functions. This stimulates the release of neurotransmitters (the signaling chemicals of the nervous system) and the formation of new neuronal networks. ... -remotely/

With Brain Implants, Scientists Aim to Translate Thoughts into Speech

Experts increasingly think a system that could help paralyzed patients is within reach

“We think we’re getting enough of an understanding of the brain signals that encode silent speech that we could soon make something practical,” said Brian Pasley of the University of California, Berkeley. “Even something modest could be meaningful to patients. I’m convinced it’s possible.”

Further in the future, Facebook and others envision similar technology facilitating consumer products that translate thoughts into text messages and emails. No typing or Siri necessary.

The first brain-computer interfaces (BCI) read electrical signals in the motor cortex corresponding to the intention to move, and use software to translate the signals into instructions to operate a computer cursor or robotic arm. In 2016, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh went a step further, adding sensors to a mind-controlled robotic arm so it produced sensations of touch. ... to-speech/

Where is the boundary between your phone and your mind?

As our online existences become less distinct from ‘real life’, experts raise concern about the growing power of big tech

Here’s a thought experiment: where do you end? Not your body, but you, the nebulous identity you think of as your “self”.Does it end at the limits of your physical form? Or does it include your voice, which can now be heard as far as outer space; your personal and behavioral data, which is spread out across the impossibly broad plane known as digital space; and your active online personas, which probably encompass dozens of different social media networks, text message conversations, and email exchanges?

This is a question with no clear answer, and, as the smartphone grows ever more essential to our daily lives, that border’s only getting blurrier.
Here's an idea, instead of being a vapid cyclops, you could listen to Eastern mystics/philosophers probe your "thought experiment."
:roll: Want something a lil more Western- go listen to Alan Watts.

But you see, this is about the tech, not an existential reflection. Today, A dumb-phone phone is the essential experience.

Michael Patrick Lynch, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut and director of the school’s Humanities Institute, which promotes interdisciplinary research, says that the notion of an “extended self” was coined by the philosophers Andy Clark and David Chalmers in 1998.

“They argued that, essentially, the mind and the self are extended to those devices that help us perform what we ordinarily think of as our cognitive tasks,” Lynch says. This can include items as seemingly banal and analog as a piece of paper and a pen, which help us remember, a duty otherwise performed by the brain. According to this philosophy, the shopping list, for example, becomes part of our memory, the mind spilling out beyond the confines of our skull to encompass anything that helps it think. ... ook-google
:roll: Bold-faced lies. Marshall McLuhan wrote Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in 1964.
Right down to the present (2013), people who should know better have continued to ignore the fact that the development of societies can never be rationally controlled. Thus, we often find technophiles making such absurd statements as: “humanity is in charge of its own fate”; “[we will] take charge of our own evolution”; or, “people [will] seize control of the evolutionary process.” 118 The technophiles want to “guide research so that technology improve[s] society”; they have created a “Singularity University” and a “Singularity Institute” that are supposed to “shape the advances and help society cope with the ramifications” of technological progress, and “make sure... that artificial intelligence... is friendly” to humans 119

Of course, the technophiles won’t be able to “shape the advances” of technology or make sure that they “improve society” and are friendly to humans. Technological advances will be “shaped” in the long run by unpredictable and uncontrollable power-struggles among rival groups that will develop and apply technology for the sole purpose of gaining advantages over their competitors. See Chapter Two of this book.

It’s not likely that the majority of technophiles fully believe in this drivel about “shaping the advances” of technology to “improve society.” In practice, Singularity University serves mainly to promote the interests of technology-oriented businessmen, 120 while the fantasies about “improving society” function as propaganda that helps to forestall public resistance to radical technological innovation. But such propaganda is effective only because many laymen are naive enough to take the fantasies seriously.

“Chapter One: Part VI.” Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How, by Theodore John Kaczynski, Fitch & Madison Publishers, 2016, pp. 32.

Ray Kurzweil’s MiNd-B0gGliNg Predictions for the Next 25 Years!

By the late 2010s, glasses will beam images directly onto the retina. Ten terabytes of computing power (roughly the same as the human brain) will cost about $1,000.

By the 2020s, most diseases will go away as nanobots become smarter than current medical technology. Normal human eating can be replaced by nanosystems. The Turing test begins to be passable. Self-driving cars begin to take over the roads, and people won’t be allowed to drive on highways.

By the 2030s, virtual reality will begin to feel 100% real. We will be able to upload our mind/consciousness by the end of the decade.

By the 2040s, non-biological intelligence will be a billion times more capable than biological intelligence (a.k.a. us). Nanotech foglets will be able to make food out of thin air and create any object in physical world at a whim.

By 2045, we will multiply our intelligence a billionfold by linking wirelessly from our neocortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud.

Ray’s predictions are a byproduct of his (and my) understanding of the power of Moore’s Law, more specifically Ray’s “Law of Accelerating Returns” and of exponential technologies.

These technologies follow an exponential growth curve based on the principle that the computing power that enables them doubles every two years.

As humans, we are biased to think linearly.

As entrepreneurs, we need to think exponentially.

I often talk about the 6D’s of exponential thinking

Most of us can’t see the things Ray sees because the initial growth stages of exponential, DIGITIZED technologies are DECEPTIVE.

Before we know it, they are DISRUPTIVE—just look at the massive companies that have been disrupted by technological advances in AI, virtual reality, robotics, internet technology, mobile phones, OCR, translation software, and voice control technology.

Each of these technologies DEMATERIALIZED, DEMONETIZED, and DEMOCRATIZED access to services and products that used to be linear and non-scalable.

Now, these technologies power multibillion-dollar companies and affect billions of lives. ... mk0m51fdho

Want some supplemental reading to make you feel good about scientific totalitarianism? CHeck out: Infinite Progress: How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War, by Byron Reese.


Reviewers rave: "A camouflaged advertising program for the Silicon Valley ideology."

"Too boring to finish. Largely superficial book filled with banalities and ridiculous hype."

"This book was so optimistic that reading it was like eating an entire chocolate cake in one sitting."

I only got about 1/4 through the book and I had to put it down. Maybe it will get better after the first quarter. I almost always finish books but this was just too vapid.

The book suffers from being very boring as it has nothing new to bring to the table. It has all been said better before by many others (Kurzweil, Matt Ridley etc). The author projects an embarrassing childlike fascination with the internet (and technology) and its capabilities that made me double check the date of publication. It would have been fine in the 1990's (or 1950's) but not in 2013.
The technophiles won’t be able to “shape the advances” of technology or make sure that they “improve society” and are friendly to humans. Technological advances will be “shaped” in the long run by unpredictable and uncontrollable power-struggles among rival groups that will develop and apply technology for the sole purpose of gaining advantages over their competitors.

@annatar1914 This thread is an on-going compilation of a future post-industrial society. This is an important forecast, which is why it has 11,000 plus views, despite minimal contribution from other forum members.

This thread isn't a conspiracy. I deliberately placed it in the conspiracy section because I didn't want this thread to be bothered by narrow-minded forum topics.

Technology, global climate, and the economy, will shape the structure of the Technocracy.

I'm here to warn you of present science that will one day govern human society. Remember, all of this information is from publicly available sources. One can only speculate what is being developed/tested behind closed doors.

A group of Mark Zuckerberg-funded researchers is testing implantable brain devices as part of a $5 billion quest to end disease control your mind.

Mark Zuckerberg has sold close to 30 million shares of Facebook to fund an ambitious biomedical-research project, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, with a goal of curing all disease within a generation.

A less publicized initiative related to the $5 billion program includes work on brain-machine interfaces, devices that essentially translate thoughts into commands. One recent project is a wireless brain implant that can record, stimulate, and disrupt the movement of a monkey in real time.

In a paper published in the highly cited scientific journal Nature on New Year's Eve,researchers detail a wireless brain device implanted in a primate that records, stimulates, and modifies its brain activity in real time, sensing a normal movement and stopping it immediately. One of those researchers is an investigator with the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a nonprofit medical research group related to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Read more: ... es-2018-12

^Totalitarian science. It's a real knee-slapper.

The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains

The military wants future super-soldiers to control robots with their thoughts.

“Tonight I would like to share with you an idea that I am extremely passionate about,” the young man said. His long black hair was swept back like a rock star’s, or a gangster’s. “Think about this,” he continued. “Throughout all human history, the way that we have expressed our intent, the way we have expressed our goals, the way we have expressed our desires, has been limited by our bodies.” When he inhaled, his rib cage expanded and filled out the fabric of his shirt. Gesturing toward his body, he said, “We are born into this world with this. Whatever nature or luck has given us.”

His speech then took a turn: “Now, we’ve had a lot of interesting tools over the years, but fundamentally the way that we work with those tools is through our bodies.” Then a further turn: “Here’s a situation that I know all of you know very well—your frustration with your smartphones, right? This is another tool, right? And we are still communicating with these tools through our bodies.”

And then it made a leap: “I would claim to you that these tools are not so smart. And maybe one of the reasons why they’re not so smart is because they’re not connected to our brains. Maybe if we could hook those devices into our brains, they could have some idea of what our goals are, what our intent is, and what our frustration is.”

So began “Beyond Bionics,” a talk by Justin C. Sanchez, then an associate professor of biomedical engineering and neuroscience at the University of Miami, and a faculty member of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Read more: ... ng/570841/

Celebrate the cybernetic society!

8 Things to Expect From CES, Consumer Tech's Big Shindig

Bot Boom

Just a few years ago, adding a low-energy Bluetooth chip and a Wi-Fi radio to your dumb gadget was enough to earn it a place in the “smart tech” category at CES. Now, smarts are defined by how sentient, how predictive our personal technology can be, whether those calculations are happening on the hardware or in the cloud. And at CES more than anywhere else, the term “AI-powered” is used loosely and is almost always a marketing ploy, whether a product is widely impacted by AI or not. Expect to see everything from self-driving vehicles to OLED televisions to energy-saving wall outlets all touting some form of artificial intelligence, machine learning, or deep learning.

The 5G Shuffle

2019 is supposed to be the year that 5G transcends hype and becomes a reality. So it makes sense that wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon, handset makers like Samsung, and mobile chip makers like Qualcomm will take advantage of the CES stage to make more proclamations about how the next generation of ultra-fast cell networks will fundamentally change our tech lives. 5G also has huge implications for the connected auto industry, because of its potential to let vehicles “talk” to one another in real time. Just keep in mind that, while 5G-ready handsets and devices will start shipping this year, 5G wireless networks won’t be available nationwide until 2020, and the first ones to roll out won’t offer the 10-gigabytes-per-second data speeds that make the technology so alluring.

Future Transport

Speaking of cars, CES is still locked in competition with the North American International Auto Show when it comes to auto tech announcements. This year, 11 major car manufacturers are expected to show up in Vegas, up from nine last year. But while there will undoubtedly be some concept cars (like a car that walks on legs from Hyundai), automakers still don’t really view CES as a place to show off new metal. Instead, expect a big focus on self-driving abilities (again) and partnerships with sophisticated chip, sensor, display, and voice technology vendors—anything to convince consumers that legacy car manufacturers are speeding ahead into the future. Also, watch out for zippy scooters and other transportation gear that hint at hassle-free, carless commutes.

Filling the K Hole

Just when you thought you were up to speed on 4K—you’ve got that sweet Vizio, that cheap 4K streaming stick, a solid broadband connection, and actual 4K movies to watch—8K has arrived to spin you into another seven-year cycle of living room inadequacy. TV manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Toshiba, and Sharp are widely expected to show off 8K displays at CES this year. LG has even pre-announced what the company claims is the world’s first OLED 8K display. 8K displays have a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels (that’s more than 33 million pixels total) which means they’re really really ridiculously good-looking. On the downside, these sets will be crazy expensive and difficult to find, and there's hardly any 8K content out there to watch.

Curves Ahead

There are insanely high-resolution displays, and then there are displays that you can fold and tuck into your back pocket, because that’s a thing you've always wanted to do. For several years now, companies like Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, and LG have teased a variety of flexible-display prototypes. CES, with all its oddity and aversion to humanity, has always been the perfect place to showcase such technologies. Will we get another glimpse of Samsung’s folding Galaxy smartphone concept that was first revealed in November? Will Chinese display tech company Royole bring the FlexPai, its new 7.8-inch folding phone, to the big show? Will LG demo its fold-up TV screen again? Maybe; whether any of those devices ship this year is another question.

So Much Talk

For the past couple years Amazon and Google have helped CES maintain its relevance; not only because of the companies’ massive physical installations throughout Vegas, but because their voice assistants have been integrated into thousands of gadgets. There are now over 20,000 smart devices compatible with Alexa, and over 10,000 that work with Google Assistant. CES 2019 will undoubtedly be a noisy cacophony of voice-controlled devices, ranging from refrigerators to sound systems to smart lights in the home, to wearables and cars outside of the home. (Turns out that if you add another voice assistant an existing product, you can call it “new.”) The question around voice technology, though, isn’t so much whether it will have a presence; the question is whether it will grow more seamless and less awkward this year.


It wouldn’t be the new year if we weren’t resolved to improve ourselves in some way, and what better panacea for all our ills than a Bluetooth body dongle that spits out health data? The digital health section has grown a lot at CES over the years. Nearly 120 health tech exhibitors will be at the show this year, up from 98 in 2018, the CTA says. Expect the usual GPS running watches, questionable sleep gadgets, and promising hearing aid solutions. But also: consumer packaged goods companies are starting to capitalize on the quantified self. Procter & Gamble’s Olay will be showing off a new skin gadget, while its Pantene brand will somehow utilize AI to improve your hair. L’Oreal will demo new health-related sensors, and a company called Lumen says it will help you hack your metabolism by showing you how quickly you're torching carbs and offering you nutritional guidance. And you thought all you had to do to improve your well-being in 2019 was delete your Facebook account.

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A wireless closed-loop system for optogenetic peripheral neuromodulation

Here we introduce a miniaturized bio-optoelectronic implant that avoids these limitations by using (1) an optical stimulation interface that exploits microscale inorganic light-emitting diodes to activate opsins; (2) a soft, high-precision biophysical sensor system that allows continuous measurements of organ function; and (3) a control module and data analytics approach that enables coordinated, closed-loop operation of the system to eliminate pathological behaviours as they occur in real-time. In the example reported here, a soft strain gauge yields real-time information on bladder function in a rat model. Data algorithms identify pathological behaviour, and automated, closed-loop optogenetic neuromodulation of bladder sensory afferents normalizes bladder function. This all-optical scheme for neuromodulation offers chronic stability and the potential to stimulate specific cell types.

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Optogenetics Device Provides Targeted Control Over Light Delivered to Neurons

A University of Arizona research team has developed a wireless, battery-free method for controlling the intensity and frequency of light that is delivered to neurons in the brain. The miniature device for optogenetics can be fully implanted under the scalp and allows researchers to independently stimulate multiple locations in the brain of the same subject.

Read more: ... rol/a64283
Culture propaganda, normalizing robots and AI.

What’s the Deal With All the Robots in This Year’s Super Bowl Ads?

“Today, about every American interacts with some form of AI on a daily basis,” said Cuanan Cronwright, creative director of Grey Group, which produced Pringles’ Super Bowl spot. “While this has added convenience to our lives, it also has people questioning the progressively more human qualities these devices are taking on.”

And indeed, an uneasy awareness of just how human robots are becoming and what their growing skill sets will ultimately mean to our once-assured place in the world are the driving forces behind most of the ads that feature robots.

“We may be at the apex of being uncomfortable because [robots] are becoming real at scale,” said Jason Snyder, global CTO at production network Craft. “Marketers [are] responding to the emotional and intellectual climate by including AI and robots: Exploiting the tension that exists in the world between humanity and technology; trying to create situations where the technology is insinuating itself into culture. The result can be emotionally uncomfortable.”

But fears of AI run deeper than a generalized anxiety about its expanding role in the culture. Americans who feel uneasy about robots are, more often than not, uneasy about those robots taking their jobs.

Read more: ... -bowl-ads/

Alexa Can Help Kids With Homework, But Don't Forget Problem-Solving Skills

"Alexa, what's 5 minus 3?"

A 6-year-old boy recently asked that question in a video, which went viral on Twitter with more than 8.5 million views. He leaned over his homework as his mother hovered in the doorway. Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated assistant, delivered a quick answer: 2.

"Booooy," the mother chastised her son.

It's cute, but it raises a question that's been on the minds of many parents and educators lately: How do virtual assistants like Alexa, which are increasingly common in households, affect children's learning experiences?

Read more: ... ing-skills

Amazon's Alexa Turns Teacher for School Kids in Indian Village - Report

In an Indian village, poor internet connectivity and low speeds have not quelled students' desire to learn poetry, maths, general knowledge, and history from their "third teacher", Amazon's Alexa.

A government school in Waruda, a small village in the Amravati district of Maharashtra, has been teaching 42 students a variety of topics and subjects, ranging from mathematics to poetry, without formal classroom sessions with in the flesh teachers, according to a report in The Hindu newspaper. The third teacher is Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant device, powered through an Amazon Echo encased in a mannequin.

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Edward Bernays knows best

An old advertiser would try to persuade an individual to buy an item immediately, for example: ‘Buy this piano — NOW’. Using reiteration and emphasis directed upon the individual, the advertiser tries to break down sales resistance.

A new advertiser would instead of directly penetrating sales resistance, try to remove it by creating circumstances that will swing emotional currents that will build purchaser demand. For example, a new advertiser when selling a piano would try to develop acceptance of the idea of a music room in the house, perhaps by arranging an exhibition of music rooms by well-known designers, inviting key people of influence with regards to buying habits, i.e. famous musicians. The music room will be accepted and people with a music room will naturally think of buying a piano, believing it comes as their own idea. Instead of saying to the purchaser ‘please buy a piano’, they have caused the purchaser to say ‘please sell me a piano’.

For Many Builders, Smart Homes Now Come Standard
Widespread adoption of home technology—mostly thanks to companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google—has made connectivity an affordable, expected standard in new-home construction.

Meritage isn’t alone when it comes to new-home builders including smart technology as standard in its houses. In 2017, Lennar threw down the gauntlet for smart home technology as standard in new homes by including it in its Everything’s Included approach, centered around its Wi-Fi Certified homes package.

Today, Lennar includes as standard an Amazon Echo Show and Dot, a Ring video doorbell, a Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat, smart door locks from Kwikset and Baldwin, lights from Lutron, music from Sonos, and a Samsung SmartThings hub that integrates with Amazon’s Alexa interface to run it all. The home builder took its partnership with Amazon up a notch in May by rolling out Amazon Experience Centers in Lennar model homes across the country. The builder also includes a visit from an Amazon Smart Home Services employee to help homeowners set up their smart home tech, with an additional 90 days of free support.

“For us, it really represents a three-tiered approach,” says David Kaiserman, president of Lennar Ventures. “The Wi-Fi certification, the smart devices in our homes, and then the activation and service by Amazon, which really represents that next step of living.”

Read more: ... standard_o

The True Test Of AI Adoption? When We Don't Realize We're Using It

Industry pundits are forecasting that AI will become a key strategic initiative for businesses in 2019, but in actuality, AI is already all around us. We’re just taking it for granted.

AI has the potential to change the world in major ways -- perhaps helping find the cure for cancer, or helping us reverse (or at least reduce) the damage caused by global warming and other environmental issues, or completely taking humans out of the driver’s seat in cars. But these lofty goals are, unfortunately, years away. What is here today, however, is all kinds of instances of pragmatic AI, silently working behind the scenes unobtrusively and making our lives easier.

Here are four key ways that ubiquitous AI is changing our lives -- and the way we do business -- for the better:

1. We Rely On Spam Filters To Unclog Our Inboxes.
2. We Converse With Chatbots And Virtual Assistants All The Time
3. We Won’t Go Anywhere Without Our Maps
4. We Get Customized Recommendations ... e176c15f73

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