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Robot Futures by Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

3D printing, autonomous vehicles, Burning Man, commoditize, computer vision, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, phenotype, Skype, software as a service, stealth mode startup, strong AI, telepresence, telepresence robot, Therac-25, Turing test, Vernor Vinge

Stories of technological utopia decades or centuries in the future do not solve the problems we face today, nor do they help us guide the development of technology in the near term for the best possible human good. The near future of telepresence, robotics, and communications technologies threatens to distract us, dehumanize our interactions, and erode our personal freedom and choice. The true challenge we face is in charting a new course that instead celebrates and nourishes individual well-being, accountability, and societal equity. To chart such a course we should become more deliberate and considered as we imagine and design technologies that carry us forward. 6 Which Robot Future? A Way Forward Robotic technologies will confer new powers to us. We will observe on a massive scale and automatically respond; we will interact remotely, explore dangerous or distant spaces, invent new toy species, and even be telepresent in many places at once. Perhaps one day we will be able to assume novel physical shapes and construct experimental identities through which we explore and engage with the world.

Another essential factor for responsibility lies with government: playing post hoc legal catch-up to the results of emerging technology fails to provide thought leadership on issues of accountability, identity, life-cycle analysis, human rights, and well-being. Every new telepresence and autonomous robot system will challenge the interpretation of our existing body of laws. Cars that drive themselves will crash in unexpected ways; robots caring for a child or the elderly at home will sometimes fail to notice the obvious; telepresent systems will be abused and cause mental distress to distant victims; all manners of robots will be used for crime and malicious acts in as yet undiscovered ways. Instead of reacting case by case to new loopholes in law discovered by ever more ingenious machines, our system of jurisprudence must proactively gather the expertise and wherewithal to predict our robot future, debate the most critical issues of safety, accountability, equity, and quality of life, and create a viable legal framework for this century.

More of our personal accessories will have personal initiative, acting on our desires or high-level instructions like a good concierge: working to find and book the right restaurant reservation, rearranging our day, even screening our phone calls based on observations of what we are doing. Perhaps the word “robot” will become confusing since cell phones will behave more robotically, and robots will often be sophisticated telepresence communication devices, enabling us to tuck in a child or visit a work colleague when we are away. Come what may, what we think of today as robotic technology will be far more sophisticated and clever, thanks to ongoing advances in multiple electronically intimate industries. Primer 4: Software Software development in robotics revolves around a storied history of attempts at creating a standardized framework for 38 Chapter 2 programming that would, in theory, gradually raise the capabilities of all robots in a shared and open way.

pages: 606 words: 87,358

The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization by Richard Baldwin


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, buy low sell high, call centre, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, Commodity Super-Cycle, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, domestication of the camel, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial intermediation, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Henri Poincaré, imperial preference, industrial cluster, industrial robot, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invention of the telegraph, investor state dispute settlement, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Dyson, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Metcalfe’s law, New Economic Geography, out of africa, paper trading, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, Simon Kuznets, Skype, Snapchat, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trade route, Washington Consensus

For example, experienced German technicians could fix German-made capital equipment in China by controlling sophisticated robots placed in Chinese factories. Telepresence could do the same for brain workers living in developing nations. When telepresence meeting facilities are cheap and portable, and holographic telepresence is widespread, the need for face-to-face meetings will be greatly reduced, even if the need is not eliminated. This will make it much easier to coordinate the provision of brain power at great distances. Given the vast North-South salary differences that exist for engineers, designers, accountants, lawyers, publishers (and let us not forget professors of economics), the ability to fractionalize the production of business services could lead to a great deal of “virtual offshoring.” That is to say, telepresence would make it possible for developing nation professionals to work inside G7 offices and universities without actually being there.

Consequences Relaxation of the face-to-face constraint via telepresence and telerobotics would make it much easier to separate the physical application of labor services from the physical presence of laborers. This is likely to produce two monumental changes. The first would stem from developed nation workers and managers applying their talents inside a wider range of developing nations without actually traveling to the nations. The miracle of GVC industrialization has, so far, occurred only in a handful of developing nations—most of which are geographically close to Japan, Germany, and the United States. Yet the North-South imbalance in knowledge-per-worker is still quite extreme. Opportunities for arbitraging this imbalance are abundant. As wages rise in the nations that have benefited the most so far (above all China), and telepresence and telerobotics get better, firms with advanced know-how may increasingly leverage their knowledge with low-cost labor in, say, Africa or South America.

Globalization’s Next Big Thing: Globalization’s Third Unbundling The three-cascading-constraints narrative—which is summarized graphically in Figure 3—plainly admits the possibility of a third unbundling, if face-to-face costs plunge in the way coordination costs have since the 1990s. Two technological developments might provoke such a plunge. Really good substitutes for people crossing borders to share “brain services” is the first. Such technologies, known as “telepresence,” are not science fiction. They exist today but they are expensive. The second would be the development of really good substitutes for people traveling to provide manual services. This is called “telerobotics” and it involves people in one place operating robots that perform tasks in another place. Telerobotics exists, but it is still expensive and the robots are not very flexible. FIGURE 3: Summary of the “three cascading constraints” view of globalization.

pages: 335 words: 82,528

A Theory of the Drone by Gregoire Chamayou


drone strike, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, moral hazard, Necker cube, private military company, RAND corporation, telepresence, V2 rocket, Yom Kippur War

What matters in this analogy with a tele-operator’s experience is not the idea of an interpretative indecidability so much as that of a variation of the objective configuration of the phenomenon as regards the mental focalizing of the subject. The associated thesis is not so much that the feeling of tele-presence is or must be illusory if it is to exist, but rather the following: it is a matter of how the operator’s attention is focused, of how a number of choices are separated out or of a differential prioritization of what is to count as the foreground or the background within a single perceptual field. How can we explain this experience of a shifting point of view? What phenomenological operations underpin it? Loomis provides a convincing explanation of this phenomenon. He thinks that tele-operators “often report a compelling impression of ‘tele-presence’ or ‘remote presence’ ” (Jack M. Loomis, “Distal Attribution and Presence,” Presence, Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 1, no. 1 [1992]: 113).

That momentary forgetfulness of the instrumental mediation is a state that one needs to succeed in attaining. It is not an epistemic failure but, on the contrary, a pragmatic success. In order to be able to experience a strong sense of telepresence, the subject has to be successful in effectively subsidiarizing not only his consciousness of the instrumental mediation but also that of his own local presence and all the stimuli that affect him in his immediate environment (the chair that is hurting his back, the sounds all around him, and so on). As Loomis writes, “When the stimulation is insufficient to support ‘telepresence’ (the awareness of being somewhere else), the observer experiences ‘subsidiary awareness’ of the actual environment and a ‘focal awareness’ of the remote or simulated environment. . . . Speaking with someone on the telephone is an example, for we have both subsidiary awareness of being in one location communicating through a device and focal awareness of the person at the other end.”

For the operators, the problem is not that, faced with some kind of perfect illusion of tele-presence, they would not know anymore where they are, what is real and what might not be. On the contrary, faced with mixed and overlapping experiences of presence that are both local and distant, their problem is to cope, in a coherent fashion, with the horizons of this experience of a mixed reality. They do not take the one reality for the other but take the one together with and within the other. There is not so much a confusion, but rather an embedding, a partial superimpression or a problematic interarticulation between the two. Their experience is not of being captured in a particular presence, but rather of having two presences, the one on top of the other. On ontological and phenomenological debates on tele-presence, see also Luciano Floridi, “The Philosophy of Presence: From Epistemic Failure to Successful Observation,” Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 14, no. 6 (2005): 546–57. 24.

pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell


Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chris Urmson, digital map, drone strike,, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

I returned to the Carolyn Chouest feeling serene but excited about our successful hunting, only to find my shipboard colleagues green, a little seasick, and tired from a rough couple of days. We had indeed been in a different world, less than a mile away but straight down. What came next was a natural experiment comparing the emotional power of embodied experience to the cognitive power of remote presence. For I was not a native submariner but a robotics engineer. The amount of time I spent physically on the seafloor was dwarfed by the amount of time I spent remotely there, telepresent through the medium of remote robots and fiber-optic cables. My home technology was the remote robot Jason, built and run by the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). The Volkswagen-sized Jason waited out the rough weather lashed to the deck of the Carolyn Chouest. As soon as the weather cleared and NR-1 got out of the way, we quickly tasked Jason to carry out an intense, computer-controlled survey of the wreck site.

Most of the pieces of his robotic systems had been tried in other places. But Ballard had intimate experience with the deep seafloor, developed a vision of remote robotics for that environment, built a laboratory and a team to implement that vision, and led that team on key projects that proved the technological systems. Only now, looking back on his mentorship, do I realize how much his vision of telepresence shaped my own thinking. Ballard originally came to Woods Hole from California in 1966 as a naval officer during the Vietnam era. His father was an engineer who had worked on inertial guidance systems. Ballard’s early jobs were at North American Aviation, studying early submersibles, though he was more interested in the science than the technical details. He began graduate studies in oceanography but was soon called to active duty with the navy.

After Ballard and his crew disembarked from the ship, WHOI held a press conference at a nearby auditorium, packed with reporters from all over the world. Here, at his moment of greatest triumph, a moment that would transform his life and career, Ballard used the opportunity to press his vision of remote presence. He maintained that Argo and its cousins under development at Woods Hole represented “a complete revolution” in underwater exploration. “It’s the beginning of telepresence, of being able to project your spirit to the bottom, your eyes, your mind, and being able to leave your body behind. . . . We’ve entered a new era in undersea exploration.” That Titanic was discovered by remote presence, and not by physical human bodies on the seafloor, however, would long be a source of tension within the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. • • • That tension would become a literal tug across the seafloor when Woods Hole returned to the Titanic the following year, this time to enter the wreck and explore inside.

pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey


3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

Robinson 1995 covers the long-term future of human habitation. All are published by Random House (New York). 10: Remote Sensing 1. “Why Oculus Rift Is the Future of Gaming,” online at 2. Intriguingly, telepresence doesn’t have to convey the remote scene with perfect fidelity, because the brain has a tendency to “fill in the blanks” and “smooth out the rough edges” of any representation that is familiar. See “Another Look at ‘Being There’ Experiences in Digital Media: Exploring Connections of Telepresence with Mental Imagery” by I. Rodriguez-Ardura and F. J. Martinez-Lopez 2014. Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 30, pp. 508–18. 3. Brother Assassin by F. Saberhagen 1997. New York: Tor Books. 4. See 5.

“Multi-Objective Compliance Control of Redundant Manipulators: Hierarchy, Control, and Stability” by A. Dietrich, C. Ott, and A. Albu-Schaffer 2013. Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Tokyo, pp. 3043–50. 6. Human Haptic Perception, ed. by M. Grunwald 2008. Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag. 7. “Telepresence” by M. Minsky 1980, Omni magazine. The magazine is defunct, but the paper can be found online at 8. Feynman delivered his lecture at the American Physical Society meeting at Caltech on December 29, 1959. A transcript of the talk is online at He concluded his talk by posing two challenges and offering a prize of $1,000 for each one. His challenge to fabricate a tiny motor was won a year later by William McLellan.

If we think of how far video games came in twenty years, from the primitive graphics of Pac-Man to the cartoonish but quasi-realistic 3-D graphics of The Sims, imagine what another twenty years will bring. A hint of that came in 2014 with the release of the Oculus Rift, a gaming helmet that immerses a player in 3-D virtual reality.1 The best sense of the experience is the dramatic opening sequence of the 3-D movie Gravity. The future of Solar System exploration may lie in telepresence, a set of technologies that allow a person to feel that he or she is in a remote location. Videoconferencing is one familiar and simple form of this technology. The market for projecting images and sound to connect meeting participants from around the world is growing 20 percent a year and is worth nearly $5 billion. Skype video calls now account for a third of all international calls, a staggering 200 billion minutes a year.

pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

In the June 1980 issue of Omni magazine, Marvin Minsky wrote a long manifesto calling for the development of telepresence technologies—mobile robots outfitted with video cameras, displays, microphones, and speakers that allow their operator to be “present” from a remote location anywhere in the connected world. Minsky used his manifesto to rail against the shortcomings of the world of robotics: Three Mile Island really needed telepresence. I am appalled by the nuclear industry’s inability to deal with the unexpected. We all saw the absurd inflexibility of present day technology in handling the damage and making repairs to that reactor. Technicians are still waiting to conduct a thorough inspection of the damaged plant—and to absorb a year’s allowable dose of radiation in just a few minutes. The cost of repair and the energy losses will be $1 billion; telepresence might have cut this expense to a few million dollars.

The cost of repair and the energy losses will be $1 billion; telepresence might have cut this expense to a few million dollars. The big problem today is that nuclear plants are not designed for telepresence. Why? The technology is still too primitive. Furthermore, the plants aren’t even designed to accommodate the installation of advanced telepresence when it becomes available. A vicious circle!6 The absence of wireless networking connectivity was the central barrier to the development of remote-controlled robots at the time. But Minsky also focused on the failure of the robotics community to build robots with the basic human capabilities to grasp, manipulate, and maneuver. He belittled the state of the art of robotic manipulators used by nuclear facility operators, calling them “little better than pliers” and noted that they were not a match for human hands. “If people had a bit more engineering courage and tried to make these hands more like human hands, modeled on the physiology of the palm and fingers, we could make nuclear reactor plants and other hazardous facilities much safer.”7 It was an easy criticism to make, yet when the article was reprinted three decades later in IEEE Spectrum in 2010, the field had made surprisingly little progress.

It will be a world in which computers “disappear” and everyday objects acquire “magical” powers. This presents a host of new and interesting ways for humans to interact with robots. The iPod and the iPhone were the first examples of this transition as a reimagining of the phonograph and the telephone. Augmented reality would also make the idea of telepresence far more compelling. Two people separated by great distance could gain the illusion of sharing the same space. This would be a radical improvement on today’s videoconferencing and awkward telepresence robots like Scott Hassan’s Beam, which place a human face on a mobile robot. Gary Bradski left the world of robots to join Abovitz’s effort to build what will potentially become the most intimate and powerful augmentation technology. Now he spends his days refining computer vision technologies to fundamentally remake computing in a human-centered way.

pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest


23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk,, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Such drag on costs and operations is simply not acceptable in an Exponential Organization—or, indeed, for any company trying to compete in the 21st century. Telepresence has been around for many years in the form of videoconferencing. Although videoconferencing was quite a hassle in the past, an organization can now leverage services such as Skype and Google Hangout, which are fast, easy to use and available on every device. Telepresence enables employees to work proactively from any location and interact on a global scale, reducing travel costs and improving well-being. Even greater improvement comes from Telepresence robots such as Beam, from Suitable Technologies, and Double Robotics, which leverage the user’s tablet. These robots even allow the user to be on multiple locations at once, which can greatly impact how to conduct business. While Telepresence lets people interact in a real environment, virtual reality allows interaction, collaboration, coordination and even prototyping in a virtual world.

Rangaswami, chief scientist at Salesforce, views social technology as having three key objectives: Reduce the distance between obtaining (and processing) information and decision-making. Migrate from having to look up information to having it flow through your perception. Leverage community to build out ideas. From our perspective, Social Technologies are comprised of seven key elements: Social objects, Activity streams, Task management, File sharing, Telepresence, Virtual worlds and Emotional sensing. When implemented, these elements create transparency and connectedness and, most importantly, lower an organization’s information latency. The ultimate objective is what the Gartner Group calls a zero latency enterprise—that is, a company in which the time between idea, acceptance and implementation all but disappears—and implementing one can provide significant return on investment.

Autonomy: Implement lite version of Holacracy. Start with the General Company Circle as a first step; then move onto governance meetings. Implement the GitHub technical and organizational model with radical openness, transparency and permission. Social Technologies: Implement file sharing, cloud-based document management. Collaboration and activity streams both internally and within your community. Make a plan to test and implement telepresence, virtual worlds and emotional sensing. The table below shows our assessment of leading ExOs and the attributes they’ve most leveraged, showing a good distribution and usage of both SCALE and IDEAS elements. Step 10: Establish the Culture Perhaps the most critical step in building an ExO involves establishing its culture. Think again about PayPal’s culture of close friendship rather than formal work relationships.

pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind


23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter,, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, future of work, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, young professional

Doctors, for example, use telemedicine to consult with their patients, employing traditional methods but from a distance; while religious leaders use online platforms to preach and proselytize without meeting their congregants and possible converts in person. In Chapter 2 there are many other illustrations. Future systems, using ‘telepresence’ techniques (for example, high definition desktop-to-desktop video-conferencing), will provide an experience for both provider and recipient that is greatly superior to current video-conferencing systems. We think of telepresence as ‘Skype on steroids’. Notice, however, that teleprofessionalism is not a fundamental departure from traditional ways of working. The interaction is still real-time and face-to-face (just about). Of course, teleprofessionalism may not work when, for example, a physical examination is required, as might happen in medicine; and it may not be suitable when matters of great emotional or commercial sensitivity are concerned.

The Medtronic Carelink Network, for example, allows cardiac patients to send data reports from their heart devices to their doctor, each report equivalent to an in-person visit. The US Department of Veterans Affairs has a dedicated Office of Telehealth, and used the technology to provide healthcare to over 690,000 veterans in 2014—a particularly disparate group, 55 per cent of whom live in rural areas with limited access to traditional health services.24 In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service in Airedale, West Yorkshire, uses telepresence to provide several hundred care-homes with nurse support and, in a trial, to avoid hospital admissions for 50 per cent of prison inmates.25 Sometimes the devices take an unexpected form—Google, for example, has joined forces with the European drug-maker Novartis to develop a ‘smart contact lens’ to monitor blood-sugar levels, rather than pricking a finger for blood (the traditional way to test for, and manage, diabetes).26 There is a growing ‘mobile health’, or ‘mHealth’, market of tens of thousands of devices, systems, and apps that build on existing mobile technology—basic phones, smartphones, and mobile networks.

The first is that ‘professional services involve a high degree of customization’ by human beings, and the second is that ‘most professional services have a strong component of face-to-face interaction with the client’.1 Maister takes these characteristics to be axiomatic; and they certainly appeared to be so a decade ago. Today, however, with the emergence of a very different kind of customization, ‘mass customization’ (where there is no need for human beings, see section 3.7), and of ‘telepresence’ (where there is no need to meet in person, see section 3.3), neither can now be taken for granted. We choose these two examples to highlight a larger point—that the changes sweeping through the professions should urge us to rethink the nature and relevance of this group of occupations whose stability we have long taken for granted. 3.1. An early challenge Before discussing the patterns and trends that are emerging, we should confront one important initial objection to the narrative that is unfolding.

pages: 513 words: 128,075

The Peripheral by William Gibson

business process, McMansion, pattern recognition, telepresence

“Fine,” he said, getting up. He walked to the vertically concave corner window. It depolarized. He looked down on the intersection, its wholly predictable absence of movement. Free of crusted salt, drama, atonal windsong. Across Bloomsbury Street, a meter-long mantis in shiny British racing green, with yellow decals, clung to a Queen Anne façade, performing minor maintenance. Some hobbyist was operating it telepresently, he assumed. Something better done by an invisible swarm of assemblers. “She seriously proposed to do this naked,” Rainey said, “and covered in tattoos.” “Hardly covered. You’ve seen the miniatures of her previous skins. That’s covered.” “I’ve managed not to, thank you.” He double-tapped the roof of his mouth, causing the feeds, left and right, from their respective corners of the square, to show him the boss patcher and his cohort of eleven, looking up, unmoving.

It occurred to Netherton that that went quite well with Rainey’s peripheral’s outfit. “Please allow me to join you.” The Michikoid, Netherton saw, was bringing a chair. “Miss Rainey,” said Lowbeer, “I am Inspector Ainsley Lowbeer, of the Metropolitan Police. You do understand that you are present here, legally, under the Android Avatar Act?” “I do,” said the rental, unenthusiastically. “Canadian law makes certain distinctions, around physically manifested telepresence, which we do not.” Lowbeer took her seat. “Still water,” she said, to the Michikoid. “Best we keep the curtain open,” she said to Netherton, glancing out into the lower level of the market. “Why?” asked Netherton. “Someone may wish you harm, Mr. Netherton.” The rental raised its eyebrows. “Who?” asked Netherton, wishing he’d ordered a treble. “We’ve no idea,” said Lowbeer. “Our attention has been drawn to the recent rental of a peripheral, one with potential as a weapon.

That was also good because nobody at Fabbit had any idea what it was they were printing.” “What skin-conduction stuff?” “Across your forehead. First design we roughed out, we would’ve had to shave a two-inch band clear around the back of your head.” “Fuck that.” “Figured you’d feel that way. Got this Japanese stuff instead. Just needs the forehead, use a dab of saline for good measure.” “You said it was a game controller.” “Telepresent interface, no hands.” “You try it?” “Can’t. Nothing to try it on. Your friends have something they want you to operate, but they didn’t want us trying it first. You lie down for it. Otherwise, you might drool.” “What’s that mean?” “If this works, and it should, you’ll be controlling their unit full-body, full range of motion, but your body won’t move as you do it. Interesting, how it does that.”

pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson


23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

Jobs that don’t yet exist Sensory Internet engineer Virtual currency financial planner Personal avatar designer Generational conflict counselor Human organ farmer Digital information curator Hacker relationship manager Waste data expert Space travel agent Personal reputation consultant Chief privacy officer Vertical farmer Climate reversal consultant Wealth dispersal consultant Retirement travel agent Austerity adviser Intellectual property developer Head of corporate ethics Robot relationship counselor the condensed idea Work will change timeline 2015 Workers bid online for salaries, with jobs going to lowest bidders 2025 Holographic telepresence widely used in meetings 2030 Part-time work redefined as 1,000- or 2,000-hour jobs rather than 40-hour weeks 2035 Onsite childcare and eldercare become commonplace in offices 2040 Organizations start to offer scholarships to children as young as five 2045 Phasing out of formal retirement age for all men and women 2050 Most people work for themselves 30 The pursuit of happiness Politics and economics have historically been dominated by the idea of income and consumption being linked to happiness, especially in the West.

Up to a point, although I get more use from my ballpoint pen that translates handwritten text into digital files and can make audio and video recordings of important meetings. What do we really know? On another level, future possibilities include living in a world where almost any manmade device can be accessed, questioned or controlled by thought alone and where communication between individuals, even those geographically distant, is facilitated by a form of mental telepresence or psychic sixth-sense technology. Once again, this probably sounds fanciful. But it’s not impossible. Furthermore, if and when we do enter this realm, a number of questions emerge. The first is how will we know that we really exist in the way that we think we do? Perhaps we’ve always been living inside a computer simulation? If the simulation was sophisticated enough and determined the exact inputs fed to our brains, how could we tell the difference?

But why limit this to human beings? If you can predict what people are looking for, why not build avatars that can emotionally bond with people? Impossible? Certainty not. Recording conference calls and virtual meetings is already a practical proposition. And consider this: in 2012 a hologram allowed the dead rapper Tupac Shakur to perform “live” in front of fans with another musician. So using holographic telepresence to be somewhere else, or be in more than one place at once, is a real possibility. Quite where all this will leave human relationships is anyone’s guess. Perhaps we’ll become incapable of directly relating to other human beings unless the relationship is mediated via an avatar or electronic device. Some might say this is happening already. the condensed idea Imaginary friends timeline 1974 Maze War 1979 MUD 1987 Max Headroom 1993 Doom 1999 Everquest 2000 Ananova 2002 The Sims Online 2003 Second Life 2004 World of Warcraft 2011 Apple Siri 2012 Evi iPhone and Android app available as a 69p download 2032 70 percent of adults use intelligent avatar personal assistants 34 Uncanny Valley “Uncanny resemblance” is a term often used to describe something or, more usually, someone, who looks strangely or spookily familiar.

pages: 626 words: 181,434

I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter


Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Conway, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, place-making, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, publish or perish, random walk, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, Turing machine

This scenario is rather bizarre, but I think you can easily see that you will soon start to feel as if you are more in the Indiana kennel, where you are free to move about, than in some Californian ski resort, where you are basically stuck to your seat (because you have your goggles on, hence you can’t see where you’re going, hence you don’t dare venture anywhere). We’ll refer to this sensation of feeling that you are somewhere far from both your body and your brain, thanks to the ultrarapid transmission of data, as “telepresence” (a term invented by Pat Gunkel and popularized by Marvin Minsky around 1980). Telepresence versus “Real” Presence Perhaps my most vivid experience of telepresence occurred when I was typesetting my book Gödel, Escher, Bach. This was back in the late 1970’s, when for an author to do any such thing was unheard of, but I had the good fortune of having access to one of the only two computer typesetting systems in the world at that time, both of which, by coincidence, were located at Stanford.

Since I had just spent numberless hours right there, I was easily able to see in my mind’s eye everything that Scott relayed to me, and I remember how disoriented I would feel when, every so often, I remembered that my body was still in Bloomington, for I felt for all the world as if I were in Stanford, working directly at the Imlac terminal. And mind you, this powerful visual sense of telepresence was taking place solely through the sonic modality of a telephone. It was as if my eyes, though in Bloomington, were looking at an Imlac screen in California, thanks to Scott’s eyes and the clarity of his words on the phone. You can call my feeling an “illusion” if you wish, but before you do so, consider how primitive this now-ancient implementation of telepresence was. Today, one can easily imagine turning up all the technological knobs by orders of magnitude. There could be a mobile robot out in California whose movements were under my instantaneous and precise control (the joystick idea again), and whose multimedia “sensory organs” instantly transmitted whatever they picked up to me in Indiana.

T tackiness, as familiar but blurry pattern tactile illusion: as hint of wrongness of one-self view; of marble in envelope box, see Epi, marble tail wagging dog tall tale tallness vs. souledness Taoism; see also Zen Tarski, Alfred Tarzan and Jane Tati, Jacques “teetering bulb of dread and dream” (Edson) Teleclones Mark IV and Mark V teleological language: irresistible slide towards, in opaque systems; as shorthand telephone menu tree, droning voices in telephonic telepresence teleportation; goggles giving impression of; to Mars; of thought experiment; to Venus telepresence; via nose-mounted TV cameras; via novel-reading Teletransporters (Parfit) television salesperson temperature: as cause; as emergent tennis-playing Tesler, Larry “the present work”, “the present chapter” theorems: as bottom lines of formal derivations; first, second (etc.) generations of; as meaningful patterns; as meaningless patterns; mirrored by prim numbers theory of computation theory of sets theory of types; self-referentiality of chapter introducing therapy sessions for bereaved spouses thermodynamics vs. statistical mechanics thermostats thinking: ; with another’s brain; essence of; as synonym of consciousness thinkodynamics vs. statistical mentalics thirst: as collective pattern of many beer cans; as one beer can popping up “This formula is not provable” “This formula is provable” “this sentence”, avoidance of indexical phrase “This sentence is false” “thit sentence” Thomas, Dylan “thou” addressed to married couple thought: basic unit of; as dance of simmballs; as dance of symbols; as mere set of habits; as prime mover in brain thought experiments: parameters tweaked in; teleported across Atlantic thoughtmill churned by simms “three three threes” threshold of complexity: for computational universality; for representational universality throwaway analogies, random examples of: between Buzzaround Betty and Hopalong Cassidy; between Cagey and Qéé Dzhii; between car buyers and heart surgeons; between consciousness and a power moonroof; between deconstructing the “I” and deconstructing Santa Claus; between Doug/Carol and a school of fish; between etymology and an X-ray; between exploration of video feedback and sea voyage; between form–content interplay and tail wagging dog; between John Searle and Dylan Thomas; between lack of imagery and lack of oxygen; between people and grasshoppers; between Principia Mathematica and Newton’s Principia; between reading Euclid’s proof and tasting chocolate; between reading “accessible” version of proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem and ordering “Indian hot”; between reverberant barking and a chain reaction; between Roger Sperry and Hopalong Cassidy; between Russell and God; between strange loop of “I”-ness and pearl necklace; between this book and a salad; between tired muscles and soft recruits; between top and bottom of Shell sign; between TV screen and leaf pile; between Twinwirld and Twinnwirrld; between will’s constancy and a gyroscope throwing-away of information time-lapse photography Tinkertoys as substrate for thinking Titanic baby found floating in life raft titles of sections in Reasons and Persons chapter toilet paper and pebbles as substrate for thinking toilets, awareness level of tomatoes as soulless Tomonaga, Sin-Itiro “too marbelous for words” tornado cell, opposing caged-bird metaphor tower of increasingly abstract definitions toy guns, attempted banishment of traffic jam, global explanation for trains: identity of; who vs. that transplanting: a novel to another soil; a soul to another soil transportability, differential, of layers of a self triggering of symbols in brain Treisman, Anne Trenet, Charles Trento, Italy Trojan horse, Gödel’s true statements: Gödel numbers of; logicians’ favorite examples trustability of sources of information Truth and Denotation (Martin) truth: as inexpressible notion using PM notation; preservation of, via rules of inference; presumed to be equivalent to provability in PM; and unprovability perversely entailing each other tu (second-person singular pronoun) addressed to married couple Turing, Alan Mathison Turing machines turkey as “which”, not “who” TV camera: bolted to TV; on long leash; meltdown of; on short leash; universally worn on nose TV screen as meaningless pixel pattern “Twe” (first-pairson pronoun in Twinwirld); tweaking of twildren in Twinwirld Twinwirld; beings in; plausibility of; souls in; twiddling parameters of Twinnwirrld twisty formulas of Principia Mathematica two bodies but one self two twos typeface vs. tale types, rigid hierarchy of typographical patterns mirrorable in number patterns typographical rules of inference; mirrored by computational rules U “Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme (I)” (Gödel, 1931) “umbrella girl” of Morton Salt umlaut in “Gödel” Unbridgeable You–Me Chasm unfathomability of ourselves as good uninteresting integers universal beings; thirst for tastes of alien interiorities universal: machines; music boxes universality of computers; as missed by early computer engineers universality of integers; as missed by early computer engineers; as missed by Whitehead and Russell universality of PM universality, representational, of humans; empathy as by-product of; threshold for Universe Q vs.

pages: 365 words: 94,464

Virtual Light by William Gibson


edge city, Jaron Lanier, telepresence

"You could, many no doubt have," said Karen Mendelsohn, "and if you put it in your wallet and sit down, it shatters." "Then what's the point of it?" "You're supposed to take very good care of it. You won't get another." Rydell never actually did meet Wellington Ma, at least not 'til quite a while later, but Karen would bring in a little briefcase with a pair of eyephones on a wire and Rydell could talk with him iii his office in LA. It was the sharpest tele-presence rig Rydell had ever used, and it really did look just like he was right there. He could see out the window to where there was this lopsided pyramid the color of a Noxzema jar. He asked Wellington Ma what that was and Ma said it was the old Design Center, but currently it was a discount mall, and Rydell could go there when he came to L.A., which was going to be soon. Turvey's girlfriend, Jenni-Rae Cline, was bringing an intricately interlocking set of separate actions against Rydell, the Department, the City of Knoxville, and the company in Singapore that owned her apartment building.

When she came back out in that underwear, he got to learn where Milan was. And while it was true he wouldn't have known the thing was there, he did know it was there, but pretty soon he forgot about it, almost. They chartered a tilt-rotor to Memphis the next morning and got on Air Magellan to LAX. Business-class mostly meant better gizmos in the seatback in front of you, and Rydell's immediate favorite was a telepresence set you could tune to servo- mounted mollies on the outside of the plane. Karen hated to use the little VirtuFax she carried around in her purse, so she'd gotten on to her office in L.A. and had them download her morning's mail into her seatback display. She got down to that fast, talking on the phone, sending faxes, and leaving Rydell to ooh and ah at the views from the mollies. The seats were bigger than when he used to fly down to Florida to see his father, the food was better, and the drinks were free.

Dreams of commerce, their locations generally corresponding with the decks that had once carried vehicular traffic; while above them, rising to the very peaks of the cable towers, lifted the intricately suspended barrio, with its unnumbered population and its zones of more private fantasy. He'd first seen it by night, three weeks before. He'd stood in fog, amid sellers of fruit and vegetables, their goods spread out on blankets. He'd stared back into the cavern-mouth, heart pounding. Steam was rising from the pots of soup-vendors, beneath a jagged arc of scavenged neon. Everything ran together, blurring, melting in the fog. Telepresence had only hinted at the magic and singularity of the thing, and he'd walked slowly forward, into the neon maw and all that patchwork carnival of scavenged surfaces, in perfect awe. Fairyland. Rain-silvered plywood, broken marble from the walls of forgotten banks, corrugated plastic, polished brass, sequins, painted canvas, mirrors, chrome gone dull and peeling in the salt air. So many things, too much for his reeling eye, and he'd known that his journey had not been in vain.

pages: 257 words: 80,100

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick


Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, Doomsday Book, index card, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, wikimedia commons

Credit 14.1 Card produced c. 1900 by Hildebrands chocolate company If we lack space travel, we do have telepresence. “Present” in this context pertains to space, not to time. Telepresence was born in the 1980s, when remotely controlled cameras and microphones came into their own. Deep sea explorers and bomb squads can project themselves elsewhere—project their souls, their eyes and ears, while the body remains behind. We send robots beyond the planets and inhabit them. In the same decade the word virtual, already by then a computer term, began to refer to remote simulations—virtual office, virtual town halls, virtual sex. And, of course, virtual reality. Another way to look at telepresence is that people virtualize themselves. A women finds herself piloting a quadcopter in a slightly creepy “beta of some game”—like a first-person shooter with “nothing to shoot”—and because she is a character in a novel by William Gibson (The Peripheral, 2014) we must already wonder what is virtual and what is real.

Back to the future once more, though, in Gibson’s eleventh novel, The Peripheral. A near future interacts with a far future. Cyberspace gave him a way in. New rules of time travel: matter cannot escape its time but information can. The future discovers that it can email the past. Then it phones the past. The information flows both ways. Instructions are sent for 3-D fabbing: helmets, goggles, joysticks. It is a marriage of time shifting and telepresence. To the people of the future, the denizens of the past can be employed as “polts” (from poltergeist—“ghosts that move things, I suppose”). Money can be sent or created (win lotteries, manipulate the stock market). Finance has become virtual, after all. Corporations are shells, built of documents and bank accounts. It’s outsourcing in a new dimension. Does the manipulation of people across time create headaches?

pages: 153 words: 45,871

Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson


AltaVista, British Empire, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, edge city, informal economy, means of production, megastructure, pattern recognition, proxy bid, telepresence, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog

I suspect that medicine and the military will both find reasons for attempting such a thing, at least in the short run, and that medicine’s reasons may at least serve to counter someone’s acquired or inherited disability. If I were to lose my eyes, I would quite eagerly submit to some sort of surgery promising a video link to the optic nerves (and once there, why not insist on full-channel cable and a Web browser?). The military’s reasons for insertion would likely have something to do with what I suspect is the increasingly archaic job description of “fighter pilot,” or with some other aspect of telepresent combat, in which weapons in the field are remotely controlled by distant operators. At least there’s still a certain macho frisson to be had in the idea of deliberately embedding a tactical shard of glass in one’s head, and surely crazier things have been done in the name of king and country. But if we do do it, I doubt we’ll be doing it for very long, as various models of biological and nanomolecular computing are looming rapidly into view.

I just knew that they were the scariest thing I’d ever seen, and I could barely stand to watch them menace the hero or his girlfriend. I wonder now what I knew about robots. That they were called “robots,” and were “mechanical men.” That these particular robots were the servants of Dr. Satan. Did I believe that they were autonomous, or that Dr. Satan controlled them? Probably the latter, as menacing-robot scenes in serials of this sort often involved a sort of telepresence, and the suggestion of remote control. Cut from robot, menacing, to evil scientist in his lab, watching robot menace on television screen. Evil scientist closes giant knife-switch, which causes robot to menace even harder. Given that I was watching this material in the early Fifties, I would shortly become familiar with the expression “electronic brain,” which like “rocket ship” was there as a marker of something anticipated but not yet here.

That in fact you get far less work done, far less bang for your buck, if you do. My idea of an efficient robot today would be an American Predator drone with Hellfire missiles, or one of the fly-sized equivalents allegedly on Pentagon CAD-CAM screens, if not already in the field. Though actually those are both cyborgs, or borg-aspects, as they are capable both of autonomous actions and actions via telepresent control. When the human operator uplinks, operator and Predator constitute a cyborg. A friend of mine wrote a short story, a decade ago, in which the protagonists were Soviet equivalents of Predator drones, but literal cyborgs: small fighter aircraft controlled by brain-in-bottle onboard pilots, with very little left in the way of bodies. But why, today, bother building those? (Unless of course to provide the thrill of piloting to someone who might otherwise not experience it, which would be a worthy goal in my view.)

pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

Yet, military pilots located in the western United States routinely operate drone aircraft in Afghanistan. By the same token, it is easy to envision remote-controlled machinery being operated by offshore workers who provide the visual perception and dexterity that, for the time being, continues to elude autonomous robots. A need for face-to-face interaction is another factor that is assumed to anchor a job locally. However, telepresence robots are pushing the frontier in this area and have already been used to offshore English language instruction from Korean schools to the Philippines. In the not too distant future, advanced virtual reality environments will likewise make it even easier for workers to move seamlessly across national borders and engage directly with customers or clients. As offshoring accelerates, college graduates in the United States and other advanced countries may face daunting competition based not just on wages but also on cognitive capability.

The suits lease for just under $2,000 per year and are already in use at over three hundred Japanese hospitals and nursing homes.21 Other near-term developments will probably include robotic walkers to assist in mobility and inexpensive robots capable of bringing medicine, providing a glass of water, or retrieving commonly misplaced items like eyeglasses. (This would likely be done by attaching RFID tags to the items.) Robots that can help track and monitor people with dementia are also appearing. Telepresence robots that allow doctors or caretakers to interact with patients remotely are already in use in some hospitals and care facilities. Devices of this type are relatively easy to develop because they skirt around the challenge of dexterity. The near-term nursing-care robotics story is primarily going to be about machines that assist, monitor, or enable communication. Affordable robots that can independently perform genuinely useful tasks will be slower to arrive.

See radio-frequency identification (RFID) Riegel v. Medtronic, Inc., 150n risk, Peltzman effect and, 267–268 RoboBusiness conference/tradeshow, 7 Robot & Frank (film), 155 robotics, 6–8 cloud, 20–23 See also automation; robots robotic walkers, 157 robots in agriculture, 23–26 box-moving, 1–2, 5–6 consumer, 197n educational, 7 elder-care, 155–158 hospital and pharmacy, 153–155 industrial, 1–5, 10–11 personal, 7 telepresence, 119–120, 157 Rolling Stone (magazine), 56 Romney, Mitt, 272 Roosevelt, Franklin, 279 Rosenthal, Elisabeth, 160, 163 Rosenwald, Michael, 107 ROS (Robot Operating System), 6, 7 Russell, Stuart, 229 Rutter, Brad, 101 Sachs, Jeffrey, 60 Saez, Emmanuel, 46 safety, autonomous cars and, 184–185, 187, 134 Samsung Electronics, 70n Samuelson, Paul, x Sand, Benjamin M., 127 San Jose State University, 134 Sankai, Yoshiyuki, 156–157 Santelli, Rick, 170 savings, China’s high rate of, 224–225 SBTC.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

By “2015, the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross global IP networks every 5 minutes,” the company predicted.62 But instead of quenching the fire, Cisco was throwing on fuel. Its multiscreen, high-definition TelePresence videoconferencing systems were selling very well, for hundreds of thousands dollars per unit. Beginning in 2006, it began to experiment on itself to build a business case for the technology, deploying over 250 units in 123 cities worldwide. In 2008 the company announced it had saved $90 million by eliminating travel for nearly 17,500 face-to-face meetings.63 In 2010, it acquired Norway-based Tandberg, a manufacturer of desktop videophones, and cut a deal to install the units in apartments throughout Songdo’s residential quarter. Just as it was ramping up production of TelePresence, Cisco was putting its own spin on Songdo’s significance for a rapidly urbanizing China. “Of course I can see you!

If this future catches on, hooking up cities for mass video communications could power Cisco’s profits for years to come. It’s a well-worn cliché that the only people who get rich in a gold rush are the ones selling picks and shovels. But beyond just peddling tools and equipment, if Cisco’s network becomes a true “fourth utility,” all bets are off. Hints of the potential are emerging in Songdo, where the company will install ten thousand TelePresence screens in homes, offices, and schools by 2018. The screens come included with new apartments, and unlimited video calls will cost just $10 per month. But Songdo U.Life—a new joint venture between Cisco, the developer Gale International, and Korean tech giant LG—will also launch a kind of app store, where residents can subscribe to a whole host of new interactive video. As Eliza Strickland reported in IEEE Spectrum, “a resident could start her day with a live yoga class; later her child could get one-on-one English lessons from a teacher across the world.”67 Much like Apple’s App Store, U.Life and Cisco will exact a healthy vigorish from service providers who want to plug in to its hi-def grid.

“pro-poor,” 188–89 policy issues for, 288–89 of power meters, 38–40 privacy issues of, 190–91, 272–76, 293 productivity improvement for, 280 for real time data, 306–7 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 162–64 for sharing, 162–64, 242, 301 “situated software” as, 232–36, 246–47, 250 in smart buildings, 23–24 smart toilet example of, 252–53 as suited to city-scale innovation, 10–11 sustainability designs of, 230 as tool not solution, 285–86 unintended consequences of, 12–14, 310–11 “urban operating system” of, 284–85, 289–91 for water resources, 220 Smith, C. R., 63 Smithsonian Magazine, 50 Snow, John, 189 social networks: cities as hubs for, 5, 159–64, 304 early days of, 123–25, 234 predictive recommendations for, 152 Songdo, South Korea, 23–31 International Business District in, 23 as largest private real-estate in history, 25 plans for TelePresence in, 49 as world’s largest experiment in urban automation, 24 Songdo U.Life, 49 Sony, 26 PlayStation Network of, 274 Portapak of, 115 Sopwith Camel, 21 Sorkin, Michael, on Archigram, 21 South by Southwest Interactive festival, 146 South Korea: broadband connectivity in, 26 tallest building in, 27 technological innovation in, 23–30 as world leader in smart-city technology, 26 SpaceShipOne, 203 Spain, 217–23 “15–M” movement in, 217 Sprint, 122 Square, 28 Standage, Tom, 44 Stanford University, 44 Starbucks, technological innovation at, 28 Steal This Book (Hoffman), 227 steam power, 5 Steenson, Molly, 21 Stockholm, 244 Stoller, Max, 150 Stoney, George, 116 Street, John, 194–95 Strickland, Eliza, 49 Strowger, Almon B., 36 structural design, innovations in, 19–30 Stuxnet, 266–69 suburbia, 101, 143 Sunlight Foundation, 238 supply-chain management, 77 surveillance, 270–76 private systems of, 275 Surveillance Camera Players, protest theater of, 13 Switzerland, 87 Symantec, 268 systems analysis: dynamics techniques in, 77, 81, 86 engineering in, 77 urban modelling in, 84–86, 88–90 Tabulating Machine Company, 61–62 Tallinn, 245 Taylor, Robert, 260 TCP (Transmission Protocol), 266 TCP/IP, 110 Teach for America, 238 TechCrunch, 151 technology: city-funded projects for, 243 disasters of, 256–58 innovation in, 107–10 overstandardization of, 249–51 repurposing of, 119–20 scaling of, 165, 201, 232, 243, 249, 313–14 as a tool of empowerment, 117–20 technology industry: limited urban understanding of, 224, 247–48 rhetoric of, 107, 278, 288, 317 “walled gardens” of, 123 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), 67 Tel Aviv, 233 telecom bubble, 44 Telecom Italia, 137, 161 telecommunications industry, 109–11 obstruction by, 197–98 telecommuting, 6 telegraph: city administration changed through, 5 as first urban digital communication network, 42 as fourth utility, 44 history of, 42–44, 254 industrial management changed through, 5 police use of, 5 in railroad operations, 5 Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske, 38 telemetry, 150 telephone: early history of, 5 evolution since 1970s of, 35–37 historical role in social networks, 160–61 TelePresence videoconferencing systems, 46, 49 Teoría General de la Urbanización (General Theory of Urbanization) (Cerdà), 43–44 terrorism, 270–71 Tesla, Nicola, 56 Thinking About the Unthinkable (Kahn), 277 Thomas, Martyn, 265 Tidepools, 293 Tivadar, Puskás, 254 Tokyo, Shibuya Crossing at, 34–35 Tolva, John, 64–65, 208–11, 294 To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform (Howard), 94 “topsight,” 70, 72, 87 Torrone, Phillip, 137–39 Total Information Awareness (TIA), 270–72 Toughbook, 127 traffic engineers, 100–101 traffic jams: impact on cities, 99–103 prediction of, 7 Trendnet, 275 Triumph of the City (Glaeser), 160 Turner, Ted, 116 Twitter, 135, 151, 154–55, 240 in Arab Spring, 12 in Moldovan “Revolution,” 169, 171 in Spain’s anti-austerity protests, 161–62, 218 Uber, 232 ubicomp (ubiquitous computing), 113 “u-chip,” 23 “u-cities,” 26 Ullman, Ellen, 256 uncertainty principle, 88 Union Square Ventures, 154 United Nations: in declaration on Internet access, 288 demographic predictions of, 1–2 Foundation of, 278 Global Pulse project of, 181–84, 191 Millennium Development Goals of, 175 Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative at, 163 University College (London), 85 urban dynamics, 82–83, 89 Urban Dynamics (Forrester), 76–78, 82, 86 urban expressways, 101–2 “urban informatics,” systems to process signals as, 32 “urban information architecture,” management and business of, 32 urbanism, sustainable, 83 urbanization: digital technology intersection with, 4 problems of, 8, 162 Urban Land Institute, 30 urban planning, 77–92, 311–16 with computer modelling, 81, 295–98 cybernetics in, 84 “data enthusiasm” in, 315 grassroots organizing in, 8–9, 102–5, 235 impact of cars in, 98–106 innovative potential of, 9–11, 305–6 lattice vs.

pages: 224 words: 64,156

You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier


1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog

What if you could hire a live musician for a party, even if that musician was at a distance? The performance might feel “present” in your house if you had immersive, “holographic” projectors in your living room. Imagine telepresent actors, orators, puppeteers, and dancers delivering real-time interactive shows that include special effects and production values surpassing those of today’s most expensive movies. For instance, a puppeteer for a child’s birthday party might take children on a magical journey through a unique immersive fantasy world designed by the performer. This design would provide performers with an offering that could be delivered reasonably because they wouldn’t have to travel. Telepresent performance would also provide a value to customers that file sharing could not offer. It would be immune to the problems of online commerce that have shriveled the music labels.

It’s the people who make the forum, not the software. Without the software, the experience would not exist at all, so I celebrate that software, as flawed as it is. But it’s not as if the forum would really get much better if the software improved. Focusing too much on the software might even make things worse by shifting the focus from the people. There is huge room for improvement in digital technologies overall. I would love to have telepresence sessions with distant oudists, for instance. But once you have the basics of a given technological leap in place, it’s always important to step back and focus on the people for a while. * The Bible can serve as a prototypical example. Like Wikipedia, the Bible’s authorship was shared, largely anonymous, and cumulative, and the obscurity of the individual authors served to create an oracle-like ambience for the document as “the literal word of God.”

pages: 291 words: 77,596

Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything by C. Gordon Bell, Jim Gemmell


airport security, Albert Einstein, book scanning, cloud computing, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, full text search, information retrieval, invention of writing, inventory management, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, lifelogging, Menlo Park, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, RAND corporation, RFID, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Ted Nelson, telepresence, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, web application

He is one of the true pioneers in computing and it would be almost impossible to overstate the importance of his contributions to progress in this industry, whether it was through his role building the first minicomputers at DEC 1960s and 1970s; his involvement as head of the National Science Foundation’s information-superhighway initiative; or the work he has done at Microsoft since 1995 on telepresence and telecomputing. He is also one of the industry’s most important original thinkers, not only about how to advance the state of the art of digital technology, but also about the role that technology plays in society and in people’s lives. I have so much admiration and respect for the depth of Gordon’s thinking and the quality of his work. I think I’ve known Gordon for about twenty-five years.

Aerial imagery of the world was brought to the Internet by the BARC Terra Server, which led to the Microsoft Live Maps site and predated Google maps by five years. Later, Jim would turn the view up to the heavens, and work on the Sky Server project. His broad agenda got him involved in such far-flung projects as the “land speed record” for network transmission and fail-safe databases. Meanwhile, Gemmell and I were working on telepresence: putting a conference on the Web, playing with altering someone’s gaze direction in video, and shipping new network protocols in Microsoft operating systems. Later, of course, we got into MyLifeBits. A memorable event was in May 1997, when Jim gave an on-stage demo with Bill Gates, using more than a hundred PCs to achieve one billion transactions per day. I also recall Jim’s glee on April Fool’s Day 2005, when he had just finished measuring a half-billion transactions per day using his relatively old laptop.

The top division is between active and archive items. 1. My Documents holding active content a. Administrative and Systems b. CyberAll aka MyLifeBits Research i) Papers, patents ii) Presentations iii) Project plans iv) Hardware (eBook, SenseCam, et cetera) v) Conferences and other papers vi) Classification, facets, metadata vii) Database viii) This book c. Media-in-the-home research d. Telepresence research e. Systems of all kinds, chips to supers f. Other active company and organizational (companies, government, schools) g. GB in process books and papers h. GB family financial and legal i) CYxx or FYxx: Yearly bank, brokerage, expense, receipt, detailed tax, statements ii) Investments iii) Money and historical transactions iv) Property 1. Real estate (folder per property) 2.

pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay


3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel,, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Wim Elfrink is Cisco’s chief globalization officer, charged with unearthing new markets and new customers from his campus in Bangalore. The Dutchman conducts most of his meetings at home via his company’s own telepresence screens. One of his maxims is “Don’t commute to compute.” And yet there he was on the outskirts of Seoul, in town to meet and greet for a week. What happened to telepresence killing the business trip? “The volume of travel won’t decrease,” he conceded cheerfully, “but it will become more efficient. My weekly meetings to go over numbers and projects are conducted via telepresence—why should I fly my folks in for that? But if we’re having a strategy meeting, we have to have dinner, go for walks, take breaks, and be creative. People say that telepresence is killing travel, but it’s not killing it. It adds and it replaces.” The software business is just one example of what the urban planner Melvin Webber called “community without propinquity,” or one without a sense of place.

Kasarda’s Law and Marchetti’s Constant It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Technology was going to ground us by linking and shrinking the world, and in doing so set us free. The world would flatten. Road warriors would beat their platinum medallions into plowshares. It hasn’t happened. For twenty years, we’ve heard how e-mail and videoconferencing— relabeled “telepresence”—would eliminate the need for cross-country meetings. AT&T once promised us we could attend them from the beach. “You Will,” it assured us. We don’t. More recently, Cisco has run ads depicting telepresence as a looking glass with China waving to us from the other side. It’s a seductive vision, especially with travel budgets slashed and expense accounts frozen. But new technologies are part of the problem, not the solution. There’s a paradox at the heart of our enduring need to connect. Call it Kasarda’s Law of Connectivity: every technology meant to circumvent distances electronically, starting with the telegraph—the original “nervous system of commerce”—will only stoke our desire to traverse it ourselves.

Its flag bearer, Facebook, added 500 million friends in just five years—one-third of everyone on the Internet—who collectively spend twenty-three billion minutes a day on the site (that’s about forty-four thousand years). When you add up the Wall posts, status updates, and news bulletins exchanged daily, the number of connections quickly spirals into the trillions. Only a few years ago these weak ties didn’t exist, or at least you couldn’t tug on them. Facebook is the first (and possibly last) tool for keeping tabs on practically everyone you’ve ever met. As far as free-and-easy telepresence goes, it’s unsurpassed. And yet our wanderlust has deepened. The number of air passengers worldwide has risen 83 percent during the Internet years, leveling off only briefly in the face of terror and again under the threat of global financial ruin. Since the invention of the Web, another billion people have taken to the skies each year. This isn’t a coincidence, but a correlation. Technology is only a starting point for long-distance re-lationships; it piques our curiosity but doesn’t satisfy it.

pages: 798 words: 240,182

The Transhumanist Reader by Max More, Natasha Vita-More


23andMe, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, data acquisition, discovery of DNA, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila,, endogenous growth, experimental subject, Extropian, fault tolerance, Flynn Effect, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, friendly AI, game design, germ theory of disease, hypertext link, impulse control, index fund, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, P = NP, pattern recognition, phenotype, positional goods, prediction markets, presumed consent, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, silicon-based life, Singularitarianism, stem cell, stochastic process, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, the built environment, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The visible universe, with 1011 galaxies, would then have room for 1051 cities – except that by the time intelligence has expanded that far, more ­efficient ways of using spacetime and encoding data would surely have been discovered, ­increasing the number much further. Mind without Body? Start with the concepts of telepresence and virtual reality. You wear a harness that, with optical, acoustical, mechanical and chemical devices, controls all that you sense, and measures all of your actions. Its machinery presents pictures to your eyes, sounds to your ears, pressures and temperatures to your skin, forces to your muscles, and even smells and tastes for the remaining senses. Telepresence results when the inputs and outputs of this harness connect to a distant machine that looks like a humanoid robot. The images from the robot’s two camera eyes appear on your “eyeglass” viewscreens, and you hear through its ears, feel through its skin, and smell through its chemical sensors.

If the computer has access to data from the outside world, the simulation may contain some “real” items, for instance representations of other people connected via their own ­harnesses, or even views of the outside world, perhaps through simulated windows. One might imagine a hybrid system where a virtual “central station” is surrounded by portals that open on to views of multiplereal locations. While in the station one inhabits a simulated body, but when one steps through a portal, the harness link is seamlessly switched from the simulation to a telepresence robot waiting at that location. The technical challenges limit the availability, “fidelity,” and affordability of telepresence and virtual reality systems today – in fact, they exist only in a few highly experimental demonstrations. But progress is being made, and it’s possible to anticipate a time, a few decades hence, when people spend more time in remote and virtual realities than in their immediate ­surroundings, just as today most of us spend more time in artificial indoor surroundings than in the great outdoors.

After 12 hours in a sensory ­deprivation tank (where one floats in a body-temperature saline solution that produces almost no skin sensation, in total darkness and silence, with taste and smell and the sensations of breathing minimized) a subject will begin to hallucinate, as the mind, somewhat like a television tuned to a nonexistent channel, turns up the amplification, desperately looking for a signal, becoming ever less discriminating in the theories it offers to make sense of the random sensory hiss it receives. Even the most extreme telepresence and virtual reality scenarios we have presented avoid complete bodylessness by always providing the mind with a consistent sensory (and motor) image, obtained from an actual remote robot body, or from a computer simulation. In those scenarios, a person may sometimes exist without a physical body, but never without the illusion of having one. But in our computers there are already many entities that resemble truly bodiless minds.

pages: 625 words: 167,097

Kiln People by David Brin


Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, index card, jitney, life extension, pattern recognition, phenotype, price anchoring, prisoner's dilemma, Schrödinger's Cat, telepresence, Vernor Vinge, your tax dollars at work

How much better if you could just transmit your standing wave over a photonic cable, imprint a blank that's already on the scene, look around a bit, then zip the altered wave right back again!" "It sounds like teleportation. You could go anywhere -- even the Moon -- almost instantly ... assuming you shipped some blanks there in advance. But is this really needed? We already have robotic telepresence over the Net -- " Queen Irene laughs. "Telepresence! Using goggles to peer through a faraway set of tin-eyes? Manipulating a clanking machine to walk around for you? Even with full retinal and tactile feedback, that hardly qualifies as hands-on. And speed-of-light delays are frightful." This "queen" and her sarcasm are starting to bug me. "Is that it? Has Universal Kilns achieved long-range imprinting? The airlines will hate it.

Only a dozen look active, with contents ready to bake and release. Yup, I thought, turning to resume my climb. Damn that distraction, wasting time by staring at the maestra! I'm running late. "Who does want to die?" asked the platinum copy of Aeneas Kaolin. "We all fight to live, at all costs." "Not all costs." "Okay. But what's your point? That I seal myself away as an organic hermit, interacting with the world by telepresence and ditto? Are you comparing a fastidious lifestyle -- which hurts no one -- to Yosil's willingness to sacrifice millions for some mystical transcendence?" I shook my head. "No comparison. You're more pragmatic and subtle. Though your plans suffered recent setbacks, they aren't dashed. If your former allies proved erratic, you'll replace them with others, less brilliant but more easily controlled."

Across a hilly field, Pal and realAlbert maneuvered their gold and red kite, playing the exquisite toy against rolling white clouds. A pretty distraction. My real concern? The little spy-golem we sent climbing the mansion wall was late checking in! This could all turn into a big bluff. "Why are there so few of you?" I asked our host. "There used to be dozens of these platinums running around. But now, UK employees see you mostly by telepresence, if at all. What happened to hands-on management?" ditKaolin's tremor permeated to his voice, stammering angrily. "Enough! I've been forbearing with you t-two ... but this impudent g-grilling has gone too -- " He sputtered to a halt as beams of light shot up from a nearby table. Rays swirled, resolving into the figure of an elegant gray-haired man in his hale seventies, wearing a loose white robe.

pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee


2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage,, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

As a final example of recent robotic progress, consider the Double, which is about as different from the BigDog as possible. Instead of trotting through rough enemy terrain, the Double rolls over cubicle carpets and hospital hallways carrying an iPad. It’s essentially an upside-down pendulum with motorized wheels at the bottom and a tablet at the top of a four- to five-foot stick. The Double provides telepresence—it lets the operator ‘walk around’ a distant building and see and hear what’s going on. The camera, microphone, and screen of the iPad serve as the eyes, ears, and face of the operator, who sees and hears what the iPad sees and hears. The Double itself acts as the legs, transporting the whole assembly around in response to commands from the operator. Double Robotics calls it “the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there.”

Double Robotics calls it “the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there.” The first batch of Doubles, priced at $2,499, sold out soon after the technology was announced in the fall of 2012.32 The next round of robotic innovation might put the biggest dent in Moravec’s paradox ever. In 2012 DARPA announced another Grand Challenge; instead of autonomous cars, this one was about automatons. The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) combined tool use, mobility, sensing, telepresence, and many other long-standing challenges in the field. According to the website of the agency’s Tactical Technology Office, The primary technical goal of the DRC is to develop ground robots capable of executing complex tasks in dangerous, degraded, human-engineered environments. Competitors in the DRC are expected to focus on robots that can use standard tools and equipment commonly available in human environments, ranging from hand tools to vehicles, with an emphasis on adaptability to tools with diverse specifications.33 With the DRC, DARPA is asking the robotics community to build and demonstrate high-functioning humanoid robots by the end of 2014.

Demographic and Health Surveys Dershowitz, Alan developing world: effect of automation on productivity improvement in technology in Diamond, Peter digitization: beneficial effects of of books bounty created by challenges of competitive effects of constraints in economic consequences of; see also bounty; goods, digital, economics of; spread economic data made available by economic properties of in education executive pay linked to as general purpose technology innovation debate about labor complements to labor market effects of; see also “winner-take-all” markets logarithmic scaling of market domination due to; see also “winner-take-all” markets metrics of network effects in niche services created by physical goods’ improvement and and Pigovian taxes rapid progress in; see also technological progress recombinant innovation and scientific benefits of ubiquity of wealth associated with; see also superstars see also global digital network; second machine age Doerr, John Donner, Jan Hein Dorn, David Double, telepresence provided by Double Robotics Drive (Pink) driving: digitization of see also Google driverless car Dropbox Dyer, Jeffrey Dyson, Freeman Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Eastman, George Eastman Kodak economic growth: acceleration of debates concerning effects of employment linked to government role in limitations on recombinant innovation and and tax rates see also gross domestic product (GDP); productivity economic rents economics, common ground in Economics: An Introductory Analysis (Samuelson) Economist Edison, Thomas education college feedback in inequality and teacher salaries and accountability in technology in Einstein, Albert Eisenhower, Dwight electrical power Electronics El-Ouazzane, Remi e-mail empires employment: benefits of of college graduates and entrepreneurship globalization and historical data on productivity decoupled from searching for technological implications for see also labor Encyclopaedia Britannica energy: demand elasticity for falling prices in Engadget engineering entrepreneurship Europe, productivity improvement in European Union exponential growth eyes: digital see also vision, computer-aided Facebook factor price equalization Fairlie, Robert FDA fiber-optic cable Field, Alexander Final Jeopardy!

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

One of the fastest-growing types of elder-care bots are telepresence robots—machines that allow people to “move virtually through a distant building by remotely controlling a wheeled robot equipped with a camera, microphone, loudspeaker and screen displaying live video” of the person’s face controlling the bot over the Internet. Robots such as the MantaroBot and the EU’s GiraffPlus allow children to “beam in” from thousands of miles away and remotely drive a wheeled bot with an iPad-type face in order to interact with aging parents. Relatives can check on their elderly loved ones, eat meals with them via Skype-like video conversations, and even ensure that they have awoken and not fallen in their own homes. It’s not just worried adults who are using telepresence bots to check in on their parents; increasingly, they are becoming mainstays in hospitals as well. iRobot’s RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) is allowing doctors, particularly specialists, to appear at their patients’ bedsides and diagnose them without having to be physically in the same room.

With the push of a button on an iPad, a doctor across town or around the world can direct the robot to the patient’s bedside, zoom in on his pupils, and even have a nurse place a stethoscope on his chest to remotely hear his heartbeat. Whether robots have better bedside manner is yet to be determined. Businesses too are starting to realize the value of having telepresence robots in the office, allowing employees to abstract their physical presence through remotely controlled devices. Companies such as Suitable Technologies and Double Robotics have models that cost around $3,000 and allow employees to work from home while their robotic alter egos wander the hallways at the office, walk up to colleagues at their desks, or catch up on all the latest gossip in the lunchroom. Even the famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden used a telepresence bot to give a presentation to an audience of thousands at TED 2014 in Vancouver, all without the bother of leaving the safety of his undisclosed location in Russia.

Researchers described security in these devices as “merely an afterthought.” But as robots become more prevalent in society, moving about our world, they will join the billions of other objects connected to the IoT. As we saw previously, tens of thousands of videoconferencing systems used at law firms, pharmaceutical companies, and medical centers are deeply insecure and have been successfully hacked, even inside the Goldman Sachs boardroom. Why would telepresence bots—moving videoconference devices—be any different? These robots could follow you around, listening in, or sit there silently during meetings observing everything, excellent tools for industrial espionage. When your factory closes and the lights go out, hackers halfway around the world could commandeer the bots to case the joint. Though you might have a security guard to keep criminals out, a robotic one may already be in the building.

pages: 361 words: 83,886

Inside the Robot Kingdom: Japan, Mechatronics and the Coming Robotopia by Frederik L. Schodt


carbon-based life, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, factory automation, game design, guest worker program, industrial robot, Jacques de Vaucanson, Norbert Wiener, post-industrial society, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Review, women in the workforce

Another way to compensate for the limitations of computer technology is to create robots that are not totally independent, but hybrids between man and machine, to create something similar to the low-tech Iron Man No. 28, rather than the free-flying Mighty Atom. Led by Susumu Tachi, chief of robotics at the government's Mechanical Engineering Laboratory (MEL), a sophisticated form of remote control known variously as "teleoperation," "telepresence," and (in Japan) "tele-existence" has become the core technology behind all three of the project robots. Tele-existence involves an autonomous robot operating under its own power, capable of performing specialized tasks (such as simple navigating inside the reactor or tightening bolts), and a decision-making human operator who can intervene for complicated tasks while "driving" and operating the robot with joy sticks from a remote location.

See also artificial intelligence Sony, 28 Sorayama, Hajime, 24 static stability, 230 subcontractors, 20,100,123; changes in relationships, 165-66 suicides, 160, 227 Suzumo Machinery Industries, 170-72 Sweden, 16,149,153 synalysis, 204 Tachi, Susumu, 43, 215, 216 Takahashi, Ryosuke, 88 Takara, 98,100-101,103 Takeda, Omi, 59-60, 63 Tamaya, Shobe-e, 62-64 Tanaka, Hisashige: 68-72; inventions of, 69-71; Satow's description of, 68; significance of, 72 Tanku Tankuro, 73, 74 Tatsukawa, Shoji, 60-62, 66, 71 tea-carrying doll: construction of, 60; description of, 55-57; price of, 62, 64; recreation of, 61-62; significance of, 66 technology: effect of media on, 23; effect of World War II on attitudes toward, 76-78; religion and, 202; traditional Japan's fear of, 65; traditional Japan's level of, 57, 66-67 technopolis, 123, 227 "technostress", 163 telechirs, 49 tele-existence, 215 teleoperation, 49, 215 telepresence, 215 Tezuka, Osamu, 75-79; Principles of Robot Law, 77 Thatcher, Margaret, 134,184 Three Laws of Robotics, 76-77, 157. See also Asimov, Isaac time system, early Japanese, 58-59 tin toy robots, 91-95; improvements in quality, 93-95; poor quality of, 92 Tokugawa, 58, 61, 67 Tokyo Electric Power Company, 20, 116, 185 Tokyo Technical Center, 124 Tomino, Yoshiyuki, 43, 86-89 Tomy, 27, 93-94,103-6,108 Toriyama, Akira, 81 Toshiba, 72, 151, 154, 222-23, 226, 228-29 Toyota, 172, 226 toy robots: first generation, 91-95; problems manufacturing, 93, 98-103; second generation, 55-103; third generation, 103-8 trade friction: industrial robot, 14,145; toy robot, 105 transformation, 84-85, 87, 96-98 Transformers, 98,101,108 "Treatise on Pneumatics," 55-56 Tsuda, Tsukezaiemon, 63 Tsukuba, 22, 224, 227 Twenty-first century, 13, 23,174,191, 204 Umetani, Yoji, 219-20, 227 "Uncanny Valley", Masahiro Mori's theory of, 208-9 Unimate, 113, 116-17,128-30,161; description of first model, 34 Unimation Inc., 34,111-13, 126-28, 130 unions, 151-52,155-56,158-60,167; All Japan Federation of Electric Machine Workers Union, 156; All Nissan Motor Workers Union, 155; Federation of Japan Automobile Workers' Unions, 158 United States President's Commission on Industrial Competitiveness, 169 United States Robots, 127 universities, research environment, 218-22 "unmanned factories", 45-46,159,188 Unno, Juza, 75 Urata, Kenji, 164 US. robot manufacturers' dependence on Japan, 127-28,145 VAL, 161 Vaucanson, Jacques de, 56, 65 Versatran, 111-12,114 vision, 36, 47-48, 51,119,129,149,177, 216, 222 Wabot, 203, 206.

pages: 523 words: 148,929

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku


agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter,, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Or, via your contact lens, you can see the images of all your loved ones as if they were really there, even though they are thousands of miles away. (Some commentators have remarked that the Internet was originally conceived as a “male” device by the Pentagon, that is, it was concerned with dominating an enemy in wartime. But now the Internet is mainly “female,” in that it’s about reaching out and touching someone.) Teleconferencing will be replaced by telepresence—the complete 3‑D images and sounds of a person will appear in your glasses or contact lens. At a meeting, for example, everyone will sit around a table, except some of the participants will appear only in your lens. Without your lens, you would see that some of the chairs around the table are empty. With your lens, you will see the image of everyone sitting in their chairs as if they were there.

For example, if you are an actor, musician, or performer who has to memorize large amounts of material, in the future you will see all the lines or music in your lens. You won’t need teleprompters, cue cards, sheet music, or notes to remind you. You will not need to memorize anything anymore. Other examples include: • If you are a student and missed a lecture, you will be able to download lectures given by virtual professors on any subject and watch them. Via telepresence, an image of a real professor could appear in front of you and answer any questions you may have. You will also be able to see demonstrations of experiments, videos, etc., via your lens. • If you are a soldier in the field, your goggles or headset may give you all the latest information, maps, enemy locations, direction of enemy fire, instructions from superiors, etc. In a firefight with the enemy, when bullets are whizzing by from all directions, you will be able to see through obstacles and hills and locate the enemy, since drones flying overhead can identify their positions

Schwabl, Mike Schwartz, Peter Schwarzenegger, Arnold Second Life (Website) Self-­assembly Self-­awareness Self-replicating robots, 2.­1, 8.­1, 8.­2 Sen, Ayusman SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) Shakespeare, William Shape-­shifting technology Shaw, George Bernard Shen, Weimin Shopping in 2100, 9.­1, 9.­2 Shostak, Seth Silicon chips, limitations of, 1.­1, 1.­2, 4.­1 Silva, Alcino Simon, Herbert Simon, Julian Simonyi, Charles Sinclair, David, 3.­1, 3.­2, 3.­3 Singapore Singularity Sirtuins SixthSense project 6th Day, The (movie) Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (Condorcet) Slingatron Smalley, Richard, 4.­1, 4.­2, 4.­3 Smart dust Smith, Adam Smith, Gerald Social robotics Solar power Solar sail propulsion system Sonograms Sonoluminescence Space elevator SpaceShip spacecraft, 6.­1, 6.­2, 6.­3 Space solar power (SSP) Space travel, itr.­1, 6.­1 asteroid landing big bang research booster-­rocket technologies cost of Europa exploration far future (2070) genetic engineering of humans for human-­robot merger and life in space, search for, 6.­1, 8.­1 Mars landing/­colonization Martian moon landing midcentury (2030) moon landing/colonization, 6.­1, 6.­2 nanotechnology and, 6.­1, 6.­2 near future (present to 2030) planets outside the solar system, search for private initiatives robotics and, 2.­1, 6.­1, 6.­2, 6.­3, 6.­4 space elevator tourism water in space, search for, 6.­1, 6.­2 weightlessness problem See also Starships Spinal cord injury treatments Sports and games, 8.­1, 9.­1 STAIR (Stanford artificial intelligence robot), 2.­1, 2.­2 Starships antimatter rocket propulsion system nanoships nuclear rocket propulsion system ramjet fusion propulsion system solar sail propulsion system Star Trek series, itr.­1, 1.­1, 1.­2, 1.­3, 1.­4, 1.­5, 2.­1, 2.­2, 3.­1, 4.­1, 8.­1, 8.­2 Star Wars saga, 1.­1, 1.­2, 1.­3, 1.­4, 2.­1, 8.­1 Steam power Steffens, John Stem cell technology Stewart, Potter Stock, Greg, 2.­1, 3.­1, 3.­2 Stormer, Horst Stratton, Mike Sullivan, Mark Superconductors telekinesis and Surgery Surrogates Surrogates (movie), 1.­1, 2.­1, 2.­2 Sussman, Gerald Swarming behavior, 6.­1, 6.­2 Tachi, Susumu Taleyarkhan, Rusi Taylor, Doris, 3.­1, 3.­2 Taylor, Theodore Technologies as utilities Technology, four stages of Telekinesis Telepresence Telomeres of a cell Terminator movies, 1.­1, 2.­1, 2.­2, 4.­1 Terraforming of Mars Terrestrial Planet Finder Terrorism, 3.­1, 8.­1 Tesla Roadster Test tube babies Things to Come (movie) 3-­D technology Three Mile Island nuclear accident Thurow, Lester, 7.­1, 7.­2, 7.­3, 7.­4 Tidman, Derek Time Machine, The (Wells) Tissue engineering, 3.­1, 3.­2 Toffler, Alvin and Heidi Total Recall (movie) Tour, James Tourism industry Tourism in space Trains, maglev Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (movie) Transistors, 1.­1, 4.­1 Tsien, Joseph Tsiolkovsky, Konstantin Tundra, melting of Turing, Alan Twister (movie) 2001 (movie) Type 0-IV civilizations.

pages: 311 words: 94,732

The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow, Charles Stross


3D printing, Ayatollah Khomeini, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, Credit Default Swap, dematerialisation, Drosophila, epigenetics, Extropian, gravity well, greed is good, haute couture, hive mind, margin call, negative equity, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, union organizing

At least this tramp floater with its cargo of Christmas trees and chameleon paint is going to give Huw and his fellow passengers a shortcut around the Mediterranean, even if the common room smells of stale marijuana smoke and the other passengers are all dubious cheapskate hitchers and netburn cases who want to ship their meatbodies around instead of doing the decent (and sanitary) thing and using telepresence instead. Huw isn’t dubious; he’s just on jury service, which requires your physical in-the-flesh presence to prevent identity spoofing by imported weakly godlike AIs and suchlike. But judging from the way the other passengers are avoiding him, he looks dubious: it’s probably the biohazard burka and the many layers of anti-nanophage underwear he’s trussed up in inside it. There has got to be a better way of fighting runaway technology, he tells himself on the second morning as he prepares to go get some breakfast.

“This meatsuit allows Us to bring the Word to Our scattered temples without having to transport Our physical person through the uncertain world. One day, all of us will be liberated by these meatsuits, free to explore our flesh in many bodies all at once.” “You’re uploaded?” Huw says, taking his hand away quickly and shuffling back on his knees. The Bishop snorts a laugh with its rightmost face. “No, child, no. Merely telepresent. Uploading is the mortification of the flesh—this is its celebration.” “Your Grace,” Bonnie says, peering up at it through her fringe with her eyes seductively wide. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve you in my time here in Glory City. I’ve found my counseling duties to be very rewarding—the gender-reassignees here face unique challenges, and it’s wonderful to be able to help them.”

pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately


Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

*2 The march of sans-serif fonts continues: they’re reckoned to be easier to read on computer screens and therefore dominate digital publishing. *3 The first totally driverless system in London. CHAPTER XIII Virtual Journeys We are entering an era of electronically extended bodies living at the intersection points of the physical and virtual worlds, of occupation and interaction through telepresence as well as through physical presence. William Mitchell, City of Bits: Space, Place and the Infobahn, 1994 If it is possible to take drivers out of commuter trains, might it be feasible to take commuters off them too? Instead of people travelling to work, their work would come to them: leave its place of origin for the homes of workers every morning, and return at the end of each day to be integrated into whatever grand scheme it belonged.

Kompier, ‘Bus drivers: Occupational stress and stress prevention’, Working Paper CONDI/T/WP.2/1996, International Labour Office, Geneva, 1996. 276 ‘to adopt an attitude whereby the passengers are regarded as freight’, Kompier, ‘Bus drivers’, p. 9. 277 ‘surrounded by a black slick of trodden-in chewing gum’, Edward Simpkins, ‘What a way to run a railway’, Daily Telegraph, 2 December 2001. 279 For Claudio Andrade ‘Eliminating human factor interference’, see: CHAPTER XIII Virtual Journeys 282 ‘We are entering an era of electronically extended bodies’, William Mitchell, City of Bits: Space, Place and the Infobahn, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1994; 283 ‘enable employees of large organizations’, Jack Nilles, ‘Telecommunications and Organizational Decentralization’, IEEE Transactions on Communications, vol. COM-23, no. 10, October 1975. 285 For ‘A new civilization is bursting into being in our midst!’, Alvin Toffler, ‘The Electronic Cottage’, 14 October 1981, see: 288 ‘counting teleworkers is like measuring a rubber band’, Lars Qvortrup quoted in Paul J.

pages: 223 words: 58,732

The Retreat of Western Liberalism by Edward Luce

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, call centre, carried interest, centre right, cognitive dissonance, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, computer age, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, George Santayana, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, illegal immigration, imperial preference, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, knowledge economy, liberal capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, one-China policy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, TaskRabbit, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Automated voice software is supplanting humans. India is thus being forced to upgrade. Its next generation of offshore jobs will be devoted to far more complex tasks, such as providing medical diagnoses, writing legal briefs, remotely supervising factories and plants, and doing consumer data analysis. In fact, it is already happening. The speed with which virtual presence and holographic telepresence are improving is opening up whole areas. So too are rapid leaps in language-translation software (India should beware: China’s relative lack of English will no longer be such a disadvantage). In the West we spend half our time fretting about low-skilled immigrants. We should be worrying at least as much about high-skilled offshoring. Some types of medical surgeon and architect will be as vulnerable to remote intelligence as plant engineers or call-centre operators.

pages: 301 words: 74,571

Idoru by William Gibson


experimental subject, Kowloon Walled City, means of production, pattern recognition, place-making, telepresence

Her costume raises the question: does it merely reflect the theme of this club, or does it represent some deeper response to trauma of earthquake and subsequent reconstruction?" 9 2.Lo Rez Skyline They met in a jungle clearing. Kelsey had done the vegetation: big bright Rousseau leaves, car-won orchids flecked with her idea of tropical colors (which reminded Chia of that mall chain that sold "organic" cosmetic products in shades utterly unknown to nature). Zona, the only one telepresent who'd ever seen anything like a real jungle, had done the audio, providing birdcalis, invisible but realistically dopplering bugs, and the odd vegetational rustle artfully suggesting not snakes but some shy furry thing, soft-pawed and curious. The light, such as there was, filtered down through high, green canopies, entirely too Disneyesque for Chia-though there was no real need for "light" in a place that consisted of nothing else.

pages: 224 words: 69,494

Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future by John Whitelegg


active transport: walking or cycling, Berlin Wall, British Empire, car-free, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy transition, eurozone crisis, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, post-industrial society, price mechanism, Right to Buy, smart cities, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban sprawl

Behavioural: Aviation growth will continue, albeit at an increasingly slower rate, and a general “greening” of attitudes and behaviour will gradually smooth out growth rates in the latter half of the projection. Improvements in other transport modes will see people substituting air with rail travel, for example, when travelling from the UK to continental Europe. Businesses will replace physical travel with virtual meetings due to improved telecommunication. High speed internet will see video-conferencing and tele-presence systems commonplace in offices. The MI foresees a cultural-change in organisations towards travel through de-incentivising foreign travel and a stronger sense of corporate social responsibility. Constraining capacity: The BAU Scenario was based on DfT forecasts that included additional capacity at Stansted Airport and a third runway at Heathrow Airport. In the MI Scenario, we assume that the policy that sanctioned these additional runways would be reversed (as subsequently occurred under the 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government with respect to the third runway at Heathrow airport).

pages: 341 words: 84,752

All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson


Kevin Kelly, telepresence

It is a moment in which everything and nothing will change. I am seeking an outcome in which I will retain viability. I am seeking an outcome in which Harwood Levine will not have become four meaningless syllables. If the world is to be reborn, I wish to be reborn in it, as something akin to what I am today." Thinking of the possible number and variety of crosshairs that must be trained on him now, hidden telepresent weapons platforms. He is fairly certain, nonetheless, that he could kill Harwood, if the moment required, though he also knows that he would almost certainly predecease him, if only by some fraction of a second. "I think you have become more complicated, since we last met." "Complex," Harwood says, and smiles. 175 I 176 42.RED GHOSTS OF EUROPEAN TIME FONTAINE makes himself a cup of instant miso on the hotplate.

pages: 356 words: 102,224

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan


Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, germ theory of disease, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, linked data, nuclear winter, planetary scale, profit motive, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Stephen Hawking, telepresence

And the mission design depends on such matters as the size of the crew; the extent to which you take mitigating steps against solar and cosmic radiation hazards, or zero gravity; and what other risks you are willing to accept with the lives of the men and women on board. If every crew member has one essential specialty, what happens if one of them falls ill? The larger the crew, the more reliable the backups. You would almost certainly not send a full-time oral surgeon, but what happens if you need root canal work and you're a hundred million miles from the nearest dentist? Or could it be done by an endodontist on Earth, using telepresence? Wernher von Braun was the Nazi-American engineer who, more than anyone else, actually took us into space. His 1952 book Das Marsprojekt envisioned a first mission with 10 interplanetary spacecraft, 70 crew members, and 3 "landing boats." Redundancy was uppermost in his mind. The logistical requirements, he wrote, "are no greater than those for a minor military operation extending over a limited theater of war."

pages: 379 words: 109,612

Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?: The Net's Impact on Our Minds and Future by John Brockman


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asperger Syndrome, availability heuristic, Benoit Mandelbrot, biofilm, Black Swan, British Empire, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Danny Hillis, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, Internet Archive, invention of writing, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, lone genius, loss aversion, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, social graph, social software, social web, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize

Here are six ways that the possession of a rapid and vast communication network will make us much luckier than our predecessors: 1. Sidelining Epidemics One of the more dire prospects for collapse is an infectious disease epidemic. Bacterial or viral epidemics precipitated the fall of the golden age of Athens, the Roman Empire, and most empires of the Native Americans. The Internet can be our key to survival, because the ability to work telepresently can inhibit microbial transmission by reducing human-to-human contact. In the face of an otherwise devastating epidemic, businesses can keep supply chains running with the maximum number of employees working from home. This won’t keep everyone off the streets, but it can reduce host density below the tipping point. If we are well prepared when an epidemic arrives, we can fluidly shift into a self-quarantined society in which microbes fail due to host sparseness.

pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk,, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

In China, Foxconn, the Chinese electronics manufacturer that builds Apple’s iPhone, made news in 2013 when the skyrocketing demand for cell phones led to labor disputes, reports of harsh working conditions, even riots and suicides. In the aftermath of these reports, Foxconn’s president, Terry Gou, said he intended to replace one million workers with robots over the next three years.54 Besides replacing our blue-collar workforce, over the next three to five years, robots will invade a much wider assortment of fields. “Already,” says Dan Barry, “we’re seeing telepresence robots transport our eyes, ears, arms, and legs to conferences and meetings. Autonomous cars, which are, after all, just robots, will [start to] chauffeur people around and deliver goods and services. Over the next decade, robots will also move into health care, replacing doctors for routine surgeries and supplementing nurses for eldercare. If I were an exponential entrepreneur looking to create tremendous value, I’d look for those jobs that are least enjoyable for humans to do. . . .

Scratch Monkey by Stross, Charles


carbon-based life, defense in depth, fault tolerance, gravity well, Kuiper Belt, packet switching, phenotype, telepresence

As soon as we can isolate a control interface to plug the fat pipe into --" "Understood." But we're eight light-seconds from Pascal. And how long will it take us to figure out an interface protocol? There's no rule to say that the control space or architecture of an Ultrabright expansion processor will resemble anything we know about. I hop channels, looking for more trouble. I can't feel my body; I'm a ghost in the telepresence wires, unable to localise myself. After a few false tries I find something interesting: Mik. Mikhail scans a full circle around his sensor turret. Ahead of him the passage he's in diverges into three prongs, two of them descending towards the core of the alien ship. Veins and ropes of blue light flutter just under the skin, which pulses gently in time with it. As if he's in a tunnel under a reservoir of luminance, and a thin puncture in the wall would drown him in flashbulb brightness.

pages: 791 words: 85,159

Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid


AltaVista, business process, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cross-subsidies, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, Frank Gehry, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Gilder, George Santayana, global village, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, Productivity paradox, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, Ted Nelson, telepresence, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Y2K

Page 4 The answer often turns out to be that the new alternatives have underestimated their targets. Paradoxically, tunnel design often takes aim at the surface of life. There it undoubtedly scores lots of worthwhile hits. But such successes can make designers blind to the difficulty of more serious challengesprimarily, to the resourcefulness that helps embed certain ways of doing things deep in our lives. Generations of confident videophones, conferencing tools, and technologies for tele-presence are still far from capturing the essence of a firm handshake or a straight look in the eye. To say this is not to plead for a return to the buggy cart, the steam engine, or the vinyl record. It is to plead for attentionattention to stubbornness, to what will not budge, to the things that people fight for. So it's to plead for design that takes into account resources that people care about.

pages: 337 words: 93,245

Diaspora by Greg Egan


conceptual framework, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, Fermat's Last Theorem, gravity well, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, stem cell, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing machine

Moving about in public 5-scapes still made Orlando intensely self-conscious, less out of any fear of falling flat on his face than from a strong sense that he could take no credit for the fact that he didn't. His 5-body came equipped with numerous invaluable reflexes, as any real macrospherean body almost certainly would, but relying on these alien instincts made him feel like he was operating a telepresence robot programmed with so many autonomous responses that any instructions he gave it would be superfluous. He glanced down at the bottom of the window. The most trivial details in a 5-scape could still be hypnotic; the tesseract of the window met the tesseract of the floor along, not a line, but a roughly cubical volume. That he could see this entire volume all at once almost made sense when he thought of it as the bottom hyperface of the transparent window, but when he realized that every point was shared by the front hyperface of the opaque floor, any lingering delusions of normality evaporated.

Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson


Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, mass immigration, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar

Retail and Shopping 12 January 2015 Dear Stevo It all sounded so promising. No need to leave home. Just hop online any time you like and shop until you find true happiness. Search for what you want from around the world in seconds; try on anything you want (even things you can’t afford) in any one of an infinite number of virtual 3-D changing rooms. Ask how things are made, where they are from, and even take a telepresence tour of the factory if you want. You can smell and touch things using scent downloads and haptic gloves, and payment is instantaneous. Fantastic. Of course, none of this works. The web was browned out again this morning, so logging on took over an hour. The changing rooms were all full (I have no idea how this can be possible), and my Smell-A-Rama™ pod kept pumping out milk chocolate when I was trying to get a whiff of a navy cashmere jumper (size: extra medium).

pages: 696 words: 143,736

The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil


Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Everything should be made as simple as possible, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, fudge factor, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, information retrieval, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, ought to be enough for anybody, pattern recognition, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, the medium is the message, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, Whole Earth Review, Y2K

It was this collaboration that led him to consider using mathematics in the service of understanding how children can learn and think. In the early 1960s, Papert came to MIT where, with Marvin Minsky, he founded the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and coauthored their seminal work Perceptrons.” From the web page entitled “Seymour Papert” at <>. 4 “[Marvin] Minsky was ... one of the pioneers of intelligence-based mechanical robotics and telepresence.... In 1951 he built the first randomly wired neural network learning machine (called SNARC, for Stochastic Neural-Analog Reinforcement Computer), based on the reinforcement of simulated synaptic transmission coefficients.... Since the early 1950s, Marvin Minsky has worked on using computational ideas to characterize human psychological processes, as well as working to endow machines with intelligence.”

pages: 205 words: 18,208

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom? by David Brin


affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, information asymmetry, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Robert Bork, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

As the number of users grows geometrically, some anticipate that by 2008 the Net might encompass the entire world population. In his 1993 book Virtual Reality, Howard Rheingold called for redefining the word community, since in the near future each sovereign individual may be able to sift among six or more billion souls, sorting by talent or avocation to find those compatible for consorting with at long range, via multimedia telepresence, in voluntary associations of shared interest. No longer will geography or birth-happenstance determine your friendships, but rather a natural affinity of passions and pastimes. Some pundits emphasize transnational features of an electronic world, predicting the end of the nation state. (See “A Withering Away?” after chapter 9.) Others proclaim the Internet a modern oracle, enabling simple folk to query libraries, databases, political organizations, or even corporate and university researchers, at last breaking the monopoly of “experts” and empowering multitudes with the same information used by the decisionmaking class.

pages: 489 words: 148,885

Accelerando by Stross, Charles


call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, dumpster diving, Extropian, finite state, Flynn Effect, glass ceiling, gravity well, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, means of production, packet switching, performance metric, phenotype, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, slashdot, South China Sea, stem cell, technological singularity, telepresence, The Chicago School, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, upwardly mobile, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, web of trust, Y2K, zero-sum game

But after an hour, just as she's quieting down into a slough of raw despair, there's a knock – a knock! – at the door. An inquisitive head pops in. "Please to come with us?" It's the female cop with the bad translationware. She takes in Amber's sobbing and tuts under her breath, but as Amber stands up and shambles toward her, she pulls back. At the front desk of a cubicle farm full of police bureaucrats in various states of telepresence, the detective is waiting with a damp cardboard box wrapped in twine. "Please identify," he asks, snipping the string. Amber shakes her head, dizzy with the flow of threads homing in to synchronize their memories with her. "Is it –" she begins to ask as the lid comes apart, wet pulp disintegrating. A triangular head pops up, curiously, sniffing the air. Bubbles blow from brown-furred nostrils.

pages: 377 words: 21,687

Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight by David A. Mindell


1960s counterculture, computer age, deskilling, fault tolerance, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, more computing power than Apollo, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, telepresence, telerobotics

These new technologies raise familiar questions about skill, training, and whether inexperienced pilots become too reliant on automation and prone to distraction by computers and display screens. Yet 268 Chapter 11 the new control systems also offer safe access to new realms for amateur pilots. Human lives depend on striking the right balance. Aviation is not alone; professional identities in a broad range of fields face similar challenges from automation, simulation, remote operation, and telepresence. Architects now build prototype buildings entirely inside computers, leading some to question whether they are becoming mere computer operators and losing touch with the ‘‘reality’’ of their craft. Scientists conduct experiments entirely in simulated environments, leading some to question whether they lose the ‘‘feel’’ of the physical world. Archeologists use remote robots to explore shipwrecks in the very deep ocean, leading some to question whether one can do ‘‘real’’ archaeology without physically touching a site.

Jennifer Morgue by Stross, Charles


call centre, correlation does not imply causation, disintermediation, dumpster diving, Etonian, haute couture, interchangeable parts, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, planetary scale, RFID, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, stem cell, telepresence, traveling salesman, Turing machine

Conference calls every Friday morning at 9:00 a.m. EST." He gestures at a console across the room, where an old bakelite handset squats atop an old graypainted circuit box that I recognize as an enclosure for Billington's Gravedust communicator. "It's so much easier to just dial 'D' for Dagon, so to speak, than to bother with the eerie voices and walls softening under your fingertips. And these days we've sorted out a telepresence solution: he's taken up residence in a host body so he can keep an eye on things in person, while we restore his primary core to full functionality. Of course it's energetically expensive for him to occupy another body, so we have to keep the sacrifice schedule in mind as a critical path element in the restoration project, but there's no shortage of centh-decile underperformers on the sales force ... ah, yes."

pages: 382 words: 120,064

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go but Something You Do by Brett King


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, asset-backed security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bitcoin, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disintermediation,, fixed income, George Gilder, Google Glasses, high net worth, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Infrastructure as a Service, invention of the printing press, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, London Interbank Offered Rate, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, mass affluent, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Pingit, platform as a service, QR code, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, self-driving car, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, telepresence, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, underbanked, US Airways Flight 1549, web application

A computing device with the power of our current iPhone would fit inside a “nano-robot” computer the size of a blood cell in two or three decades’ time. What does that mean for medical sciences? What will it mean when the device we carry around in our pocket is more powerful than the most advanced supercomputer available today? How will such technologies impact our life? Self-driving cars, computer-based personal assistants that can predict and anticipate our needs or manage our calendar without needing to ask us any questions; holographic telepresence when we’re away from our loved ones; computers built into everything, from the paint we put on our walls, the clothes to jewellery we wear, to sensors in our bathrooms that can monitor our health based on our morning’s ablutions . . . However, one of the most significant developments Kurzweil predicts centres around the development of 3D printing and replication technologies. “Ten years ago, if I wanted to send you a movie, I would have sent you a FedEx package.

pages: 532 words: 140,406

The Turing Option by Harry Harrison, Marvin Minsky


industrial robot, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, theory of mind, Turing test

For one thing everything is digital now and fiber optics have replaced copper wire in all but the most remote areas. Every telephone has a built-in modem—and they are already old-fashioned. All of the large cities have cellphone networks and they are expanding." He tapped the telephone on his belt. "I have my own number for this. About most of the time it rings wherever I am in the continental United States." "Is it a satellite link?" "No, satellite connections are too slow for most uses— particularly telepresence. Everything is fiber optics now— even the undersea cables. Cheap and fast. With plenty of room for communication with eight thousand megahertz band-width capacity available everywhere—and all of it two-way." Brian nodded. "I get your drift, Ben. What you're saying is that there is very little chance that I had a local mechanical backup. It was undoubtedly an electronic one. Which will mean an electronic search."

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

If China ultimately succeeds in overcoming the middle-income trap, strategic urbanization will have been a big reason why. MASTER PLANNING FOR MEGACITIES The more advanced SEZs China builds, the more even rich countries are picking up on what was once considered a poor state’s model—both to stay ahead of and to connect to China’s key new hubs. South Korea’s Songdo International Business District is the most advanced such “smart city” effort. With zero-emissions buildings, homes outfitted with telepresence monitors, and large R&D centers for Cisco, Microsoft, and other major IT companies, Songdo is a high-tech hub serving the two billion people within a three-hour flight radius of Incheon Airport outside Seoul. South Korea is already one of the world’s most advanced and competitive economies, and yet, as John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay write in Aerotropolis, Songdo is a city built “to fight trade wars”4—in other words, as a new Korean weapon in tug-of-war.

pages: 509 words: 132,327

Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic History by Thomas Rid


1960s counterculture, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, connected car, domain-specific language, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, dumpster diving, Extropian, full employment, game design, global village, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telepresence, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, Zimmermann PGP

Makinson, Final Report on Hardiman I Prototype for Machine Augmentation of Human Strength and Endurance, ONR contract no. N00014-66-C0051 (Philadelphia: General Electric, 1971). 60.Berry, “I Was an 18-Foot Robot,” 66. 61.Freitas, “Birth of the Cyborg,” 159. 62.Walter Troy Spencer, “Not Robots, They’re Cyborgs,” New York Times, December 14, 1969. 63.Halacy, Cyborg, 144. 64.Marvin Minsky, “Telepresence,” Omni 2, no. 9 (June 1980): 50. 65.Charles P. Comeau and James S. Bryan, “Headsight Television System Provides Remote Surveillance,” Electronics 34, no. 45 (November 10, 1961): 89. 66.Halacy, Cyborg, 11. 67.Ibid., 19. 68.David M. Rorvik, As Man Becomes Machine: The Evolution of the Cyborg (New York: Doubleday, 1970), 16. 69.Ibid., 13. 70.Gray, Cyborg Handbook, 36. 71.Ibid., 37. 72.William Aspray and Arthur Norberg, An Interview with J.

pages: 397 words: 110,130

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, butterfly effect, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp,, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hindsight bias, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, iterative process, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Netflix Prize, Nicholas Carr, patent troll, pattern recognition, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, spaced repetition, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, Vannevar Bush, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, X Prize, éminence grise

Hand waving means you’ve failed. At MIT’s Media Lab, the students are required to show off their new projects on Demo Day, with an audience of interested spectators and corporate sponsors. For years the unofficial credo was “demo or die”: if your project didn’t work as intended, you died (much as stand-up comedians “die” on stage when their act bombs). I’ve attended a few of these events and watched as some poor student’s telepresence robot freezes up and crashes . . . and the student’s desperate, white-faced hand waving begins. When you walk around meditating on an idea quietly to yourself, you do a lot of hand waving. It’s easy to win an argument inside your head. But when you face a real audience, as Weinberg points out, the hand waving has to end. One evening last spring he rented the movie Moneyball, watching it with his wife after his two toddlers were in bed.

pages: 331 words: 60,536

The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State by James Dale Davidson, Rees Mogg


affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, colonial rule, Columbine, compound rate of return, creative destruction, Danny Hillis, debt deflation, ending welfare as we know it, epigenetics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Gilder, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Isaac Newton, Kevin Kelly, market clearing, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Parkinson's law, pattern recognition, phenotype, price mechanism, profit maximization, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, school vouchers, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, spice trade, statistical model, telepresence, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto

In some respects, high-speed computation has already made it possible to mimic the magic of the genie. Early generations of "digital servants" already obey the commands of those who control the computers in which they are sealed much as genies were sealed in magic lamps. The virtual reality of information technology will widen the realm of human wishes to make almost anything that can be imagined seem real. Telepresence will give living individuals the same capacity to span distance at supernatural speed and monitor events from afar that the Greeks supposed was enjoyed by Hermes and Apollo. The Sovereign Individuals of the Information Age, like the gods of ancient and primitive myths, will in due course enjoy a kind of "diplomatic immunity" from most of the political woes that have beset mortal human beings in most times and places.

The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology by Ray Kurzweil


additive manufacturing, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, brain emulation, Brewster Kahle, Brownian motion, business intelligence,, call centre, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, David Brooks, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter,, epigenetics, factory automation, friendly AI, George Gilder, Gödel, Escher, Bach, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telephone, invention of the telescope, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, linked data, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, premature optimization, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Coming Technological Singularity, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Y2K, Yogi Berra

The human brain is about 75,000 times heavier than the 0.02 grams of neurons in this portion of the retina, resulting in an estimate of about 1014 (100 trillion) instructions per second for the entire brain.37 Another estimate comes from the work of Lloyd Watts and his colleagues on creating functional simulations of regions of the human auditory system, which I discuss further in chapter 4.38 One of the functions of the software Watts has developed is a task called "stream separation," which is used in teleconferencing and other applications to achieve telepresence (the localization of each participant in a remote audio teleconference), To accomplish this, Watts explains, means "precisely measuring the time delay between sound sensors that are separated in space and that both receive the sound." The process involves pitch analysis, spatial position, and speech cues, including language-specific cues. "One of the important cues used by humans for localizing the position of a sound source is the Interaural Time Difference (ITD), that is, the difference in time of arrival of sounds at the two ears."39 Watts's own group has created functionally equivalent re-creations of these brain regions derived from reverse engineering.

pages: 571 words: 162,958

Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology by James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel


back-to-the-land, Columbine, dark matter, Extropian, Firefox, gravity well, haute couture, Internet Archive, pattern recognition, phenotype, post-industrial society, price stability, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, technological singularity, telepresence, the scientific method, Turing test, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Y2K, zero day

Soma didn’t hesitate, but threw open the closest rear door and pulled Japheth in behind him. When the three of them — painter, Crow, Owl — were stuffed into the rear door, Soma shouted, “Up those stairs, car!” In the front seat, there was a woman whose eyes seemed as large as saucers. commodores faulting headless people in the lick protocols compel reeling in, strengthening, temporarily abandoning telepresence locate an asset with a head asset with a head located Jenny-With-Grease-Beneath-Her-Fingernails was trying not to go crazy. Something was pounding at her head, even though she hadn’t tried to open it herself. Yesterday, she had been working a remote repair job on the beach, fixing a smashed window. Tonight, she was hurtling across the Great Salt Lick, Legislators and bears and Commodores acting in ways she’d never seen or heard of.

pages: 1,280 words: 384,105

The Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New SF by Gardner Dozois


back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, Columbine, congestion charging, dark matter, Doomsday Book, double helix, Extropian, gravity well, Mason jar, offshore financial centre, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, Turing machine, Turing test, Winter of Discontent, Y2K, zero-sum game

It was like praising a painting because it had been done by someone holding a brush between their teeth. “My work said nothing about the cosmos that the cosmos wasn’t already capable of saying for itself. More importantly, it said nothing about me. So what if I walked in vacuum, or swam in seas of liquid nitrogen? So what if I could see ultraviolet photons, or taste electrical fields? The modifications I inflicted upon myself were gruesome and extreme. But they gave me nothing that a good telepresence drone couldn’t offer any artist.” “I think you’re being a little harsh on yourself,” I said. “Not at all. I can say this now because I know that I did eventually create something worthwhile. But when it happened it was completely unplanned.” “You mean the blue stuff?” “The blue stuff,” he said, nodding. “It began by accident: a misapplication of colour on a nearly-finished canvas. A smudge of pale, aquamarine blue against near-black.