Tag Archives | Cybernetics

Scientists Hope to Program Robots To Be More Neurotic

Picture: Flickr user (((o.kvlt))) (CC)

Picture: Flickr user (((o.kvlt))) (CC)

I, Robot. I guess. I mean, like, aren’t we all robots in a way? Who am I? What do I know? I wonder if she thought I was rude. I bet she did. Am I rude? Maybe so. Did I leave the oven on? Oh, God. I did, didn’t I? Should I have completed my masters degree? Oh – wait. Human. There’s a human here. I’ve been caught daydreaming. I’d better be extra nice. “Greetings. May I assist you, Sir?” Oh, no no no no no… He’s staring. I’ll be melted down to slag for sure. C3PO, you’ve ruined it for all of us, you golden nincompoop… “What was that, sir? Yes, I’m quite certain that I’ve programmed your vehicle with the correct coordinates.” OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD…

A group of researchers is exploring the possibility of programming robot brains to be more “neurotic” in order to help them make more human-like decisions.

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Cybernetic Society and Its Reflections in Science Fiction

01-Cybernetics-Norbert-Wiener

Norbert Wiener, author of “Cybernetics,” a 1948 book in which he develops a theory of communication and control.

Jason Stackhouse writes on Engineerjobs:

Our own attempts to design centrally planned economies yielded only brittle, crushingly totalitarian states, Stalinist nightmares of fiat rule, corruption, and dehumanization. Yet the dream persists: a planned, smoothly-functioning world, responding rationally to evolving conditions, shepherding resources for the benefit of humanity.

Can engineers do better? As it turns out, we can – and almost did, 40 years ago.

The Foundation and the Culture

Many science fiction fans advance Star Trek as an example of such a planned, internally harmonious society. While Trek is many things, it’s not the best example of a cashless utopia – money, graft, and greed rear their heads the moment our crew leaves the ship.
Star Trek Utopia

Star Trek’s crew was not quite a Cybernetic Society.

Better representations can be found in the works of Isaac Asimov and Iain Banks.

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Skynet rising: Google acquires 512-Qubit Quantum Computer; NSA Surveillance to be Turned Over to AI Machines

TRANSHUMANVia NaturalNews.com

Most people don’t know about the existence of quantum computers. Almost no one understands how they work, but theories include bizarre-sounding explanations like, “they reach into alternate universes to derive the correct answers to highly complex computational problems.”

Quantum computers are not made of simple transistors and logic gates like the CPU on your PC. They don’t even function in ways that seem rational to a typical computing engineer. Almost magically, quantum computers take logarithmic problems and transform them into “flat” computations whose answers seem to appear from an alternate dimension.

For example, a mathematical problem that might have 2 to the power of n possible solutions — where n is a large number like 1024 — might take a traditional computer longer than the age of the universe to solve. A quantum computer, on the other hand, might solve the same problem in mere minutes because it quite literally operates across multiple dimensions simultaneously.

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Artist Creates Roach Controlled by Twitter

ockroaches are among the very few lifeforms for which I have no sympathy, but I'm wondering if PETA will feel the same... Via CNET:
...artist Brittany Ransom created Twitter Roach -- a discoid cockroach that can be controlled through tweets that it receives on the popular microblogging service. As it turns out, humans can actually control cockroaches with a device called RoboRoach -- a tiny electronic backpack that attaches to a cockroach and stimulates the bug's antenna nerves, enabling the controller to turn the insect left or right with the press of a button. Ransom built upon the Roboroach concept and added some Arduino hardware and custom-programmed software to link the bug to Twitter. While on display at the "Life, in some form" art exhibition by the Chicago Artists Coalition, visitors could send the @TweetRoach account commands such as "#TweetRoachLeft" and #TweetRoachRight."
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National Intelligence Council Predicts Cyborg Enhancements and Augmented Reality

Picture: TenaciousMe (CC)

Remember daydreaming about robots and cyborgs as a kid? They’re almost here! Bad news, though: They’ll be killing machines. What could possibly go wrong? You’re welcome, future.

WIRED reports on some of the predictions of the National Intelligence Council:

We’ve seen experimental prosthetics in recent years that are connected to the human neurological system. The Council says the link between man and machine is about to get way more cyborg-like. “As replacement limb technology advances, people may choose to enhance their physical selves as they do with cosmetic surgery today. Future retinal eye implants could enable night vision, and neuro-enhancements could provide superior memory recall or speed of thought,” the Council writes. “Brain-machine interfaces could provide ‘superhuman’ abilities, enhancing strength and speed, as well as providing functions not previously available.”

And if the machines can’t be embedded into the person, the person may embed himself in the robot.

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Social Physics with Kyle Findlay

Kyle FindlayVia Technoccult:

Klint Finley: What, as a “social physicist,” do you actually do?

Kyle Findlay: Well, at the moment I’m on my own in this “field,” if you can call it that. It just seems like the best description of what I do and what interests me so hopefully it sticks.

Basically, my interest is in understanding how people act as groups. As emergent entities that have their own (hopefully) predictable and describable topological forms. That’s the lofty idea anyway. And the tools of chaos theory, systems theory, network theory, physics, mathematics, etc. help describe this.

Do you have a background in physical sciences?

None at all. I studied “business science” at the University of Cape Town. My first job was for a company with a strong academic background, started by a professor of religion and a professor of statistics. They used a 5-dimensional catastrophe cusp model to describe people’s relationships with ideas.

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Hypersigils Reconsidered

The InvisiblesVia Technoccult:
I’ve been thinking recently about Grant Morrison’s “hypersigil” concept, but considering as not an occult/magical practice, but as as a cybernetic phenomena. [...] The way I see it, the online persona, fictional self, or avatar one creates can create feedback loops to reinforce behaviors and perceptions and have a create significant “real world” changes in a person’s life over time. In the case of Grant Morrison, he was also shaping his persona in the letters column of The Invisibles, in interviews he gave, and his public persona at comic conventions.
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