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Real tech is trying to catch up to fictional tech
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not quite as pretty as the secretary android model in GitS

http://dvice.com/archives/2010/09/say-hello-to-th-6.php



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Freitag



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-10/aiming-help-snipers-lockheed-develops-one-shot-solution

Developing an autonomous sniper system. Presently it just helps the human sniper, but the next logical step is to automate it.

But in the mean time, it's VERY reminiscent of the device in GitS.
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-10/mind-reading-dream-recorder-could-lend-insights-brain-function-even-if-it-doesnt-record-dreams

This reminds me more of the implanted memories in Matrix but still is handy.
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Jeff Georgeson
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... or that memory/event recorder in Strange Days, although that didn't really record dreams, did it? Ah, well. Thought I had another comparison there for a moment.

--Jeff
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Jeff Georgeson
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally, the 3D we were promised in the '70s--http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2010-11-03-holographic-3d_N.htm

(Although of course not quite ... but better than wearing 3D glasses to watch TV!)
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is now a precursor to those fem-bot android helpers.

Vending machine recommends drinks to buyers

Quote:
TOKYO (Reuters) – For you sir, a canned coffee. And for madam, perhaps a nice cold tea.

A new Japanese canned drink vending machine uses facial recognition technology to "recommend" drinks based on the customer's age and gender -- and sales have tripled over those from regular vending machines as a result.

The machines, developed by JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of railway firm JR East Co, use large touch-panel screens with sensors that allow the machine to determine the characteristics of an approaching customer.

"Recommended" labels will then appear on specific drink products. Suggested products may also change depending on the temperature and time of day.

"If the customer is a man, the machine is likely to recommend a canned coffee drink, since men tend to prefer these. If the customer is in their 50s, though, that recommendation is likely to be green tea," a company spokeswoman said.

A woman in her 20s will be recommended a tea drink or slightly sweeter product, since market research has shown that they prefer these.

"We thought it would make it a lot more fun for the customers to have this kind of interaction with our machines, that it would improve the whole buying experience," she added.

The company has so far tested one machine at one Tokyo train station but plans to add five machines on Tuesday at central Tokyo Station, with the network to be expanded to other major Tokyo stations and nearby suburban areas by early in 2011.

Some 500 of the machines should be available in Tokyo and surrounding areas by March 2012.


Couple the remote sensing, smart marketing, with an attractive humanoid robot and you've got one of those helper bots.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! It's like in Cowboy Bebop when the younger Faye runs in to the holograph-projecting vending machines! Well, reminds me of that, anyway.

It also reminds me of all the new videogame controllers--err, cameras.
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:44 pm    Post subject: Squishy Bio-Electronics Reply with quote

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-12/squishy-bio-electronics-could-make-better-implants-and-brain-machine-interface-controls

Squishy Bio-Electronics Could Make Better Implants and Brain-Machine Interface Controls

Quote:


Squishy Electronics Hyung-Jun Koo and Ju-Hee So via IEEE Spectrum

Wet, squishy quasi-liquid electronics could yield better implants that work with the wet, squishy environment of the human body, according to a new study.

A pair of grad students at North Carolina State University presented a paper last week describing a quasi-liquid diode whose electrodes are made of a gallium-indium alloy that is liquid at room temperature. Two hydrogel films are sandwiched between the electrodes — one is doped with an acid and the other holds an alkaline compound.

The interface between the electrodes develops a thin coating of gallium oxide, which creates resistance, as IEEE Spectrum explains. The electrode with the alkaline substance suppresses the formation of this skin. So, applying voltage changes the the thickness of this gallium oxide “skin” — negative voltage makes the oxide thinner, lowering the device’s resistance, and a positive voltage makes it thicker, producing greater resistance.

What’s more, the device retains a memory of its resistance state even after it is turned of, so it acts like a memristor, according to Ju-Hee So, a chemistry grad student who presented a paper on the device last week at the fall meeting of the Materials Research Society in Boston.

The same research lab has previously worked with gallium-indium alloys to build bendy antennae; it can bend and stretch but return to its original shape without breaking. This could make it more useful for future implants like artificial limbs — they would be less rigid and would not need to be isolated from the body's inherent moisture.

So told IEEE Spectrum she believes the alloys in this device would be compatible with human tissue. Eventually, they could be used to build bioelectronic circuits between living tissue and computers, like brain-machine interfaces that would control artificial limbs or artificial neural networks.


One step closer....
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: looking ahead Reply with quote

Artificial intelligence to transform web: Russian tycoon
(AFP) – 1 day ago

MOSCOW — The emergence of artificial intelligence is to transform the Internet industry and social networking over the next decade, Russia's leading web tycoon said in an interview on Tuesday.

The low-profile Yury Milner, chairman in the rapidly expanding Mail.ru Internet firm and CEO of DST Global investment company who built minority stakes in Facebook and other Western firms, made the comments in an rare interview with Vedomosti.

"I think that in 10 years if you ask a question on a social network and you get an answer you will not know if a computer or a person has answered you," Milner told the financial daily.

"When you receive a question, you will not know if it has been asked by a person or an artificial intelligence. And by answering you help the computer create an algorithm."

Mail.ru, which is part owned by Russian magnate Alisher Usmanov and recently enjoyed a solid IPO in London, has grown into the biggest Internet firm in the Russian-speaking world with stakes in the most prominent portals.

It rose to prominence abroad when it unexpectedly took a 2.4 percent stake in Facebook. DST Global, the investment vehicle, also has an undisclosed stake of its own that unconfirmed reports put at a total holding of 10 percent.

In the interview Milner made no comments on the size of the Facebook stake, or Mail.ru's holdings in online games portal Zynga and deal-of-the-day website Groupon.

Milner said there had been a revolutionary change in demand for information and now there was "as much information generated in the the last two days as there was in the history of civilisation up to 2003."

He defended the company's tight focus on consumer Internet products, and in particular social Internet, saying that "we have chosen a strategy to have a global expertise in a very narrow sector."

He said that in every Internet sector, there was a tendency for one single firm to become dominant, as with Facebook in social networking in the English-speaking world.

"On the Internet there is a tendency for 'winner takes all' and a leader emerges in every niche with surprising consistency," he said.

"This is the main issue that we look at. When we made our first investment in Facebook, it was not obvious that it was a winner."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-02/talk-hand-new-interface-bionic-limbs

In the comments, someone already referenced GitS!

Quote:
The Six Million Dollar Man’s robotic arm worked as seamlessly as his natural one. But in the real world, robotic limbs have limited motions and the user can’t feel what he or she is “touching.” a new approach using optical fibers implanted around nerves could transmit more data and let prosthetics speak to the brain.

Previously, scientists surgically connected electrodes to the nervous system, but they seemed to harm the body’s tissues, making the implant fail within months. In 2005, scientists discovered that they could stimulate a neuron to send a message by shining infrared light on it. Last September, DARPA, the Pentagon’s R&D branch, awarded $4 million to a project led by Southern Methodist University engineers to attempt to connect nerves to artificial limbs using fiber optics.

The team suspects that flexible glass or polymer fiber optics will be more flesh-friendly than rigid electrodes. In addition, optical fibers transmit several signals at once, carrying 10 times as much data as their electrical counterparts. “Our goal is to do for neural interfaces what fiber optics did for the telecom industry,” says electrical engineer Marc Christensen, who is leading the SMU group. Transmitting more information faster should give bionic limbs more lifelike movements.

This month, the team will implant optical fibers to stimulate a rat’s rear leg. If it works, Christensen says, in about a decade, robotic arms could be as graceful as Steve Austin’s six-million-dollar one.
How Artificial Nerves Work

Artificial Nerves: Using fiber optics, these nerves control a new generation of bionic limbs.

Sensing The Limb

When someone’s prosthetic hand touches a ball, for example, it would trigger an optical fiber in the arm to pulse a pattern of infrared light like Morse code. These light messages stimulate a sensory nerve to fire in a similar pattern, instructing the brain that the hand is feeling a round object.
Moving The Limb

Thinking about squeezing the ball sends electrical impulses from the brain to a motor nerve. When it reaches the optical fiber implanted in the nerve, the signal deforms thousands of the fiber’s spheres. This changes the pattern of light in the fiber, which instructs the prosthetic hand to grip the ball.

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Freitag



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They already have the right job title in place "neuroengineer"

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/03/nerve-cell-chip/

Quote:
Nerve-Electronic Hybrid Could Meld Mind and Machine

* By Rachel Ehrenberg, Science News Email Author
* March 21, 2011 |
* 2:17 pm |
* Categories: Biology
*

Nerve-cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining toward the sun. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices.

sciencenews“This is quite innovative and interesting,” says nanomaterials expert Nicholas Kotov of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “There is a great need for interfaces between electronic and neuronal tissues.”

To lay the groundwork for a nerve-electronic hybrid, graduate student Minrui Yu of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and his colleagues created tubes of layered silicon and germanium, materials that could insulate electric signals sent by a nerve cell. The tubes were various sizes and shapes and big enough for a nerve cell’s extensions to crawl through but too small for the cell’s main body to get inside.

When the team seeded areas outside the tubes with mouse nerve cells, the cells went exploring, sending their threadlike projections into the tubes and even following the curves of helical tunnels, the researchers report in an upcoming ACS Nano.

“They seem to like the tubes,” says biomedical engineer Justin Williams, who led the research. The approach offers a way to create elaborate networks with precise geometries, says Williams. “Neurons left to their own devices will kind of glom on to one another or connect randomly to other cells, neither of which is a good model for how neurons work.”

At this stage, the researchers have established that nerve cells are game for exploring the tiny tubes, which seem to be biologically friendly, and that the cell extensions will follow the network to link up physically. But it isn’t clear if the nerves are talking to each other, sending signals the way they do in the body. Future work aims to get voltage sensors and other devices into the tubes so researchers can eavesdrop on the cells. The confining space of the little tunnels should be a good environment for listening in, perhaps allowing researchers to study how nerve cells respond to potential drugs or to compare the behavior of healthy neurons with malfunctioning ones such as those found in people with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

Eventually, the arrangement may make it easier to couple living cells with technology on a larger scale, but getting there is no small task, says neuroengineer Ravi Bellamkonda of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

“There’s a lot of nontrivial engineering that has to happen, that’s the real challenge,” says Bellamkonda. “It’s really cool engineering, but what it means for neuroscience remains to be seen.”

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Freitag



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another version of the human replacement helper robot

http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/13/frida-concept-robot-will-solve-all-of-foxconns-problems-by-re/



Quote:
Don't be fooled by the "concept" label that ABB has affixed to its new robot. There can be only one logical outcome of this endeavor: FRIDA and its ilk will one day replace the millions of young Chinese workers assembling our gadgets. It's no coincidence that this uniquely agile, dual-arm robot is compact enough to "fit into spaces ergonomically designed for human workers" and can be carried around "easily" to begin work with a minimum of installation requirements. In fact, ABB admits that several prototypes are already being piloted. The obvious advantage for Foxconn and friends is that FRIDA doesn't require a swimming pool, cafeteria, housing, or professional counseling to keep out of the dormitory nets. Watch FRIDA obey the first law of robotics at the 44 second mark of the video posted after the break as assembly workers everywhere lament their lack of a handle.


Can anyone find a pic of those secretary robots that are ubiquitous in GitS, but nowhere to be found online please?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

External memory

http://www.boingboing.net/2011/06/21/neural-prosthesis-im.html


Quote:
Neural prosthesis improves rats' memories
Cory Doctorow at 2:13 PM Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011
Vnend sez, "Researchers at the University of Southern California have created an artificial memory based on studies of how rats form memories. Not only did the chip(s) allow rats that had had their ability to form permanent memories blocked remember things longer than short-term memory would allow, the chips also worked in rats with functioning long term memory. Duplicating the work in primates is the next step."

"Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget," said Theodore Berger of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Department of Biomedical Engineering...
The paper is entitled "A Cortical Neural Prosthesis for Restoring and Enhancing Memory." Besides Deadwyler and Berger, the other authors are, from USC, BME Professor Vasilis Z. Marmarelis and Research Assistant Professor Dong Song, and from Wake Forest, Associate Professor Robert E. Hampson and Post-Doctoral Fellow Anushka Goonawardena.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Science Squid extract bridges human / machine divide Reply with quote

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/21/squid-extract-bridges-human-machine-divide-cyborgs-to-become/

Quote:
Squid extract bridges human / machine divide, cyborgs to become very real
By Joseph Volpe posted Sep 21st 2011 5:04PM
If we ever manage to capture a live giant squid, researchers at the University of Washington are going to have a field day. Enterprising minds at the institution's materials science and engineering department have discovered a use for chitosan -- an extract made from squid pen or crab shells that could lead us down a cybernetic road to human / machine interfaces. The team incorporated the organic compound into their field-effect transistor prototype, and effectively created the first protonic circuitry "that's completely analogous to [the way] an electronic current" can be manipulated. Naturally, the silicon-based tech isn't ready (or safe) for implantation into humans just yet, but could one day be used to control biological functions, sending on / off commands to our bodies. So, maybe we won't have to fear that robot apocalypse, after all. You never know, give scientists ample time to fully flesh this advancement out and Spielberg's next great cinematic, sci-fi opus could wind up becoming a cyborg rom-com. Stranger things have happened folks.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/25/stanford-builds-super-stretchy-skin-sensor-out-of-carbon-nanotub/

This sounds like it might be a start on the artificial skin that the cyborgs in GitS have. But is it 16^2?

Quote:
Stanford builds super-stretchy skin sensor out of carbon nanotubes (video)
By Daniel Cooper posted Oct 25th 2011 1:11PM
An artificial skin that senses pressure, pinches and touch sounds like a macguffin from The Outer Limits (the episode "Valerie 23" if we recall correctly), but that's what a team from Stanford University has cooked up on the back of its pick-up truck. Sensors made of silicon films with a matrix of liquid carbon nanotubes ensure the material snaps back to its original shape no matter how frequently it's pulled about. When compressed, the electrical conductivity of the skin changes, and by measuring where and by how much, it knows the location and pressure of where you jab your fingers. The team wants to combine this super stretchy film with a much more sensitive sensor and if it can do it, then the technology could end up as an artificial skin for burn victims, covering prosthetic limbs or even replacing your multitouch display -- just be careful, you might hurt Siri if you pinch-to-zoom her too hard.

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