New Brain Preservation Technique Could Be a Path to Mind Uploading

Using a technique developed three years ago, researchers from MIT and 21st Century Medicine have shown that it’s possible to preserve the microscopic structures contained within a large mammalian brain. The breakthrough means scientists now have the means to store and study samples of the human brain over longer timescales—but the method could eventually, maybe, be used to resurrect the dead. Read More >>

When Will Las Vegas Finally Look Like This Futuristic Illustration From the ’80s?

The 1985 Master Development Plan for the city of Las Vegas included a cover illustration straight out of Tron. It’s unclear who designed it, but if it wasn’t Syd Mead himself, it was someone who clearly took a lot of inspiration from the legendary artist. Read More >>

Freaky Flea-Like Robots Could One Day Flip and Tumble Inside Your Body

These tiny, flipping microbots, currently being developed by researchers at Purdue University, could one day deliver drugs directly inside the body. The magnetically propelled bots are no wider than a pinhead. Read More >>

Transgender Woman Breastfeeds Her Baby After Experimental Treatment

A medical team from Mount Sinai in New York City is the first to formally report on the details of an experimental therapy that allowed a transgender woman to breastfeed her baby for six weeks. Read More >>

giz asks
Will We Ever Be Able to Upload a Mind to a New Body?

In Altered Carbon, the body no longer matters. As one character quipped: “You shed it like a snake sheds its skin.” That’s because the human consciousness has been digitised, and can be moved between bodies—both real and synthetic. Read More >>

New AI System Predicts How Long Patients Will Live With Startling Accuracy

By using an artificially intelligent algorithm to predict patient mortality, a research team from Stanford University is hoping to improve the timing of end-of-life care for critically ill patients. In tests, the system proved eerily accurate, correctly predicting mortality outcomes in 90 per cent of cases. But while the system is able to predict when a patient might die, it still cannot tell doctors how it came to its conclusion. Read More >>

The Most Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2017

The trouble with the future is that it never seems to arrive. That’s why we call it the future. We consequently have this bad habit of taking the present, and all the wondrous and horrific things it has to offer, for granted. As a reminder that we’re actually living in the future of a not-so-distant past, we present to you a list of the most futuristic things that happened in 2017. Read More >>

AI Will Turn Regular Fitness Trackers Into Potentially Life-Saving Medical Devices

When the Food and Drug Administration recently announced that it had approved the first-ever medical accessory for the Apple Watch—a wearable EKG monitor made by the medtech company AliveCor—it was big news. Apple has increasingly invested in health tech, eyeing it as a market where the Watch might hit big. The FDA announcement suggested that bet might be paying off. Read More >>

US Air Force Wants to Put Lasers on Fighter Jets By 2021

The US Air Force’s scientific research wing is giving Lockheed Martin $26.3 million “for the design, development, and production of a high power fibre laser,” which it expects to start testing on a tactical fighter jet in four years. Sounds cool and certainly futuristic, but the jury’s still out on whether these weapons have any real tactical value. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Japanese Researchers Trick AI Into Thinking 3D-Printed Turtle Is a Rifle

Japanese researchers have used a startlingly simple exploit to trick object recognition AI into classifying a 3D-printed turtle as a rifle. Incredibly, they did it by changing a single pixel. Read More >>

Artificial Intelligence Detects Suicidal Tendencies in People Using Brain Scans

Recent scientific progress has allowed us to begin decoding the significance of many different patterns of activity in the brain. Researchers have begun to understand patterns associated with disorders such as depression, in hopes of correcting it. Other research has zeroed in on how language and speech is signalled in the brain. In one often-cited experiment, researchers were even able to convert the MRI readouts of the test subjects’ brains into approximate renditions of the movie clips shown to participants. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Powerful Lobby Group Wants to Keep AI Unregulated

On Tuesday, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) released its “AI Policy Principles,” in which the lobby group outlined “specific areas where industry, governments, and others can collaborate, as well as specific opportunities for public-private partnership.” In the new document, ITI acknowledged the need for the tech sector to promote the responsible development and use of AI, while calling upon governments to support, incentivise, and fund AI research efforts. But as for letting governments take a peek at an ITI client’s source code, or enact laws to steer the safe and ethical development of AI, that’s something it’s a bit less enthused about. Read More >>

Stunning AI Breakthrough Takes Us One Step Closer to the Singularity

Remember AlphaGo, the first artificial intelligence to defeat a grandmaster at Go? Well, the program just got a major upgrade, and it can now teach itself how to dominate the game without any human intervention. But get this: In a tournament that pitted AI against AI, this juiced-up version, called AlphaGo Zero, defeated the regular AlphaGo by a whopping 100 games to 0, signifying a major advance in the field. Hear that? It’s the technological singularity inching ever closer. Read More >>

Why We’ll Eventually Want Our Robots to Deceive Us

As robots and AI start to play an increasing role in our lives, the question of how we want them to behave gets more pressing with each passing breakthrough. In the new book, Robot Ethics 2.0: From Autonomous Cars to Artificial Intelligence, robo-ethicists Will Bridewell and Alistair M. C. Isaac present a surprising argument in which they make the case for deceptive robots. We asked the authors why we’d ever want to do such a crazy thing. Read More >>

An Earth-Sized Space Shield to Protect Us From Solar Storms Is Less Crazy Than It Sounds

Every 100 years or so, our Sun gives off a great big belch that sends an intense wave of charged particles towards Earth. This wasn’t a problem in the past, but our high-tech civilisation is now disturbingly vulnerable to these solar storms. A new study quantifies the economic risks posed by these extreme solar storms, while also proposing a super-futuristic solution to the problem: an Earth-sized shield built in outer space. Read More >>