Using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have found evidence of a “wandering” black hole on the outskirts of a distant galaxy. It’s too far away to cause us any trouble, but the discovery of this homeless ball of gravitational despair affirms a long standing theory about the existence of such objects.
I use pen and paper to do most of my serious thinking. Whether it is outlining blogposts or academic papers, taking notes or constructing arguments, I pretty much always take out my trusty A4 pad and pen when I run into a cognitive trough. To be sure, I often mull ideas over in my head for a long time beforehand, but when I want to move beyond my muddled and incoherent thoughts, I will grab for my pen and paper. I am sure that many of you do the same. There is something cognitively different about thinking outside your head: creating an external representation of your thoughts reveals their strengths and weaknesses in a way that internal dialogue never can.
At a distance of 4.2 light years, Proxima b is the closest potentially habitable Earth-like planet outside our solar system. New research suggests this distant orb could be completely covered in water. So when do we go?
“What makes something sentient? What does it take for an entity to be aware of its own existence and to want to interact with the world of its own accord? Is it a gift from God or hard science? Is it something fundamentally human or animal in nature or is it a simple technological principle based on brain size? There are many models, of course. But, if consciousness is simply a natural product of neural complexity then eventually, in theory, we might build something – a computer or a machine – that was actually big enough to wake up!
Phil Torres is an Affiliate Scholar at the IEET. His book is The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us About the Apocalypse. Since the beginning of civilization, people have worried about its collapse. Pockets of people across the world have long warned that the end is near, and as it turns out, their warnings of apocalypse might be closer to the truth than we think. Torres joins Point of Inquiry host Josh Zepps to discuss just how close we are to experiencing catastrophes that have the potential to fuel our demise. With everything from climate change and biodiversity loss to uncontrollable technologies and the greater accessibility of advanced weaponry, Torres predicts that the human race is going to have some major hurdles to overcome if we want to survive the coming century.
Qu’est-ce qui différencie le vieillissement d’une maladie, au fond ? Il en a toutes les caractéristiques ! Cette question un brin provocatrice est une invitation à nous interroger sur l’arbitraire de nos catégories.
What will it be like to be human one hundred years from now? It’s a hard question. Some fields of science progress at breakneck speed while others languish behind for what feels like an eternity (I’m looking at you battery technology). Today we give this question our best guess - what will it mean to be human a century from now? Will everyone’s brain be wirelessly connected to the 2116 internet?
Fully-realized artificial intelligence has long been the holy grail for daydreamers and forward-thinking inventors alike. We aren’t quite there yet, but modern virtual assistants are making the case that we aren’t so very far off. Whether it’s a feature integrated into your smartphone or a standalone assistant like the Amazon Echo, digital assistants have shown great strides in the ability to recognize and parse your spoken commands and respond to them appropriately.
Ever since humans have looked up at the stars, we’ve dreamed of taking our place among them. But there’s just one small problem, and it’s a big one- those stars are insanely far away. Science fiction writers have solved the problem with the “warp drive,” which allows future humans to travel faster than light, crossing the vast emptiness of space. But, sadly, it’s purely a thing of fantasy… Or is it?
Researchers from New Zealand have restored the very first recording ever made of computer generated music. The three simple melodies, laid down in 1951, were generated by a machine built by the esteemed British computer scientist Alan Turing.
With every passing year robots and artificial intelligence become more life-like and more sophisticated. But how does that affect romance? Experts are predicting that within the next 20-40 years we’ll see the first relationship bots hit store shelves, and that got us wondering… at what point will a relationship with a robot be the considered cheating?
Typhoons are generally associated with mass destruction, but a Japanese engineer has developed a wind turbine that can harness the tremendous power of these storms and turn it into useful energy. If he’s right, a single typhoon could power Japan for 50 years.
The historic Rosetta mission has finally come to an end. Over the past two years, the probe’s many instruments have scanned virtually every nook and cranny of this weirdly shaped rock, unleashing a treasure trove of new information about comets in general, and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in particular.
In movies such as The Terminator, The Matrix and so forth, self-aware AIs come into existence and soon threaten humanity. This thinking is reflected in the arguments by Musk, Hawking and others against creating strong AIs.
Less than a month ago, scientists confirmed the existence of a rocky planet roughly 1.3 times the mass of Earth named “Proxima b.” Although it orbits its star, Proxima Centauri, at about 5 percent the distance that currently separates Earth and our sun, Proxima Centauri is a red dwarf that is much less hot and luminous than our star.
Stefan L. Sorgner was invited to discuss his most recent monograph on the 4th of October with the well-known theologian Prof. Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Graf in Zurich/Switzerland. The monograph is the first introduction to transhumanism in German. Herein, Sorgner also outlines his Nietzschean transhumanism.
In a vat of liquid nitrogen on storage platform 17, the youngest person ever to be put into cryogenic storage has been waiting for the future for one year and eight months. Matheryn “Einz” Naovaratpong was two when she was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal brain cancer. “She showed fighting spirit since she was born,” her father Sahatorn Naovaratpong tells me. “Her cry was the loudest in the nursery.”
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