Referencias | References

Referencias completas de vocabulario, eventos, crónicas, evidencias y otros contenidos utilizados en los proyectos relacionados con biotecnología y neurociencia de la KW Foundation.

Full references of vocabulary, events, chronicles, evidences and other contents used in KW Projects related to biotechnology and neuroscience.

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Watch These Drones Build a Rope Bridge—and Intrepid Researchers Walk Over It [1460]

de System Administrator - sábado, 26 de septiembre de 2015, 12:21

Watch These Drones Build a Rope Bridge—and Intrepid Researchers Walk Over It

By Jason Dorrier

Earlier this year, we wrote about a project to 3D print a bridge in Amsterdam. Said printer will move along a set of (self-printed) tracks, leaving a fully formed bridge in its wake. Now, machine bridge making is taking to the air—and swapping drones for 3D printers.

Dubbed the Aerial Construction project, ETH Zurich researchers equipped several quadcopters with spools of lightweight (but strong) rope, set up two scaffold anchors, measured and set their locations—and hit ‘go’. Using knots, links, and braiding the swooping drones looped the rope into a 7.4 meter bridge.

And then the researchers walked over it. (Happily, it held firm.)

The work adds to other experiments aimed at automating the building of large structures. A number of groups, for example, have been working to 3D print whole houses for years. Others are building bricklaying robots. And an old UPenn project used quadcopters to lift and place magnetically bound struts into a structure.

In this case, the researchers decided rope was a good building material because, at least for now, drones have a strict weight limit. Also, lifting and placing heavy, modular building materials requires greater precision. And of course, drones can work over empty space without supporting structures.

The dream scenario? Some intrepid scientist or National Geographic photographer is hacking through the jungle and encounters a deep chasm with no way to cross. Our explorer pops out a few handy bridge-drones, and away they go. (And undoubtedly there many other cool applications.)

The reality is a little different.


ETH Zurich researcher tests drone-built rope bridge.

In this case, the drones use carefully placed, uniform steel scaffolding for anchors, not trees of unknown strength, growing at wild angles. Also, there’s the matter of positioning. The drones require a precise indoor tracking system so they can locate themselves in space and avoid crashing into their fellow flying workers.

And then there's the ever-present power problem. Drones have limited flight time due to battery limitations. The length and complexity of your bridge is tied to just how long the machines can stay airborne. And of course, if you're exploring the grey areas on the map, finding a charge will require sunshine at least.

But if the researchers can solve a few logistical problems, they can move outdoors. And with a few good anchors, hypothetically they could make jungle rope bridges.

Just not quite yet.

Image Credit: ETH Zurich


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Wayne Ratliff [353]

de System Administrator - martes, 7 de enero de 2014, 22:37

 Wayne Ratliff

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Wearable Computers [394]

de System Administrator - sábado, 11 de enero de 2014, 17:10


Some of the hottest new products at this year’s Computer Electronics Show were the plethora of wearable computing devices capable of telling you everything from your level of tooth brushing to calorie intake and more.  Will they really be widely adopted? Who knows but they are interesting. Take a look.


YEI Technology's Chris George plays a computer game with PrioVR, a virtual reality gaming accessory. Sensors on the player translate movement into the game. A full-body system retails for $400.00.


The TAO Wellness Wellshell is a palm-sized device with an OLED display that operates using tilting, tapping, and pressing to activate its force and pressure sensors. Basically it offers the user isometric workout wherever they are. The device records your vital statistics (steps, miles, calorie intake, heart rate) and delivers them to your digital devices for analysis and display. The WellShell calibrates to your strength and monitors your heart rate while the Android-only app guides you through around 75 exercises using a gaming-style screen.


GlassUps are augmented-reality smart glasses that promise to address two problems with Google Glass: They make a slightly less nerdy fashion statement, and they place overlaid content closer to the center of your sight line, theoretically mitigating eyestrain, according to TechHive.


Rosario Iannella, Qardio's Chief Information Officer, models a Quardiocore heart monitor. The device can send the electrocardiogram to a smartphone and the EKG can be forwarded to a physician for remote heart monitoring. The $449 device is expected in stores summer of 2014.


A Liquid Image wearable camera is paired with a 4G LTE module (R) during "CES Unveiled," a media preview event to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas. The camera and module combination make it the first wearable camera that can stream over LTE, a representative said.


A Zepp sensor is shown on a golf glove. The sensors, available for golf, baseball and tennis, analyze 1,000 data points per second to create 3D representations of a player's swing, a representative said. The sensors retail for $149.99.


The ZTE Blue Watch wearable computer and camera device.


 FitBark pet activity trackers use a 3D accelerometer sensor to track your pet's activity. The device retails for $99 and is expected in stores in the first quarter of 2014.


 Kunimasa Suzuki, president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications, holds a Sony Core. The wearable device will be able to record data about your activities and movement and display the information in a LifeLog app.


A Sony SmartWatch2 retails for $199.00.


KMS Wristband phones for young children and the elderly. The wrist phone by British-based KMS Solutions will consecutively dial up to five phone numbers at the touch of one button until there is an answer. The phone can also send an alert if the wearer has left a pre-described area.


A SmartOne infant sleep monitor fits into a chest pocket, and sends information and active alerts on temperature, baby orientation and breathing to a parent's mobile device. The device will retail for $149 and be available online in the second quarter of 2014.


 Liquid Image Apex HD camera goggles, capable of video and still photography.


French firm Kolibree demonstrated its connected electric toothbrush at the CES trade show. The toothbrush tells users how well they are brushing their teeth via a smartphone app. Using Kolibree's product every brushing is recorded, and the data tells users if they have brushed long enough and cleaned hard-to-reach but important parts of their teeth and gums, according to Kolibree. The more people learn about their brushing habits, the faster they can do something to improve them, the company said. The toothbrush is connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone running Kolibree's app. There will be versions of the app for Apple's iPhones, the iPod Touch and Android-based smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and 4, according to Kolibree's website.


Tarsier's MoveEye technology – packaged as a pair of eyeglasses - lets users reach out and manipulate icons, windows or images on a screen as if they're floating in the air. The initial work has been in 2D but at CES the tiny St. Paul, Minn., startup is demonstrating an improved 3D interface for MoveEye. The glasses have a built-in pair of stereoscopic cameras, sensors to detect the viewer's eye movements, and Wi-Fi to talk to the media box. MoveEye can be very precise in capturing hand and finger gestures through Tarsier’s algorithms and software.


Pebble, one of the pioneers in the still-being-born smartwatch market, unveiled Pebble Steel, a “premium” smartwatch, in two models, that’s thinner and slightly smaller than the original, and announced the launch of an app store, with app categories for Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Fitness, Watchfaces. You can choose either a Black Matte or Brushed Stainless model, both of which come with two watchbands: metal and leather. It will ship Jan. 28, both models priced at $249.


Pebble, one of the pioneers in the still-being-born smartwatch market, unveiled Pebble Steel, a “premium” smartwatch, in two models, that’s thinner and slightly smaller than the original, and announced the launch of an app store, with app categories for Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Fitness, Watchfaces. You can choose either a Black Matte or Brushed Stainless model, both of which come with two watchbands: metal and leather. It will ship Jan. 28, both models priced at $249.








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Web 3.0 [265]

de System Administrator - domingo, 12 de enero de 2014, 22:07

La expresión Web 3.0 es utilizada por los mercados para promocionar las mejoras respecto a la Web 2.0. Apareció por primera vez en 2006 en un artículo de Jeffrey Zeldman. La evolución 3.0 implica comprensión semántica (significado) de los contenidos, bases de datos accesibles desde cualquier aplicación, sea o no un navegador Web, e inteligencia artificial. Existe aún debate sobre lo que realmente significa una Web 3.0.


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Web Application Streaming: A Radical New Approach [816]

de System Administrator - martes, 2 de septiembre de 2014, 17:11

Web Application Streaming: A Radical New Approach

by Instartlogic

Web publishers seeking to deliver superior user experiences have faced a seemingly insoluble conflict. Users are demanding more interactive, dynamic and personalized apps with larger, higher-quality images. To meet these demands, publishers must build larger, more complex applications. These same users then expect the applications to load and run faster and faster. Maintaining responsiveness on these larger applications is difficult, especially over congested wireless networks. CDNs and other legacy web delivery and optimization solutions cannot address this conflict. They were primarily designed to work with non-personalized web experiences and an older version of the Internet and hence focused on accelerating content in the core of the Internet rather than on the edge of the network where wireless networks are deployed.

Please read the attached whitepaper

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Web Content Management System [445]

de System Administrator - viernes, 14 de marzo de 2014, 14:13


How to Choose the Best Web Content Management System for
Customer Experience Management:
A Guide for Both Marketers and Developers

Choosing a Web CMS is about more than Content Management

We’ve come a long way since the days when a content management system (CMS) was simply a way to manage and update the content on your website. Today, a web CMS is just one type of technology you need to consistently deliver an excellent customer experience. While your web CMS is a crucial component, today you must look at it as part of a larger customer experience management capability.

Why the shift? It all starts with the connected, empowered customer who brings greater expectations and preferences about how and when he or she wishes to engage with a brand. Today’s customers expect a seamless, multichannel experience that anticipates their needs and wants. Companies that deliver this type of experience are building trust and loyalty that result in top- and bottom-line improvements including: greater return on marketing investment, increased conversions, higher revenues, and greater lifetime customer value.

To achieve these business outcomes, companies are embracing the discipline of customer experience management and investing in the technology that enables it. A customer experience management platform lets you drive consistency in the experiences that your customers have with your brand. And that’s where a web CMS comes in. A web CMS helps you achieve that consistency and deliver great web experiences. The rest of the customer experience management solution helps you deliver that content and consistency in other channels such as email and social.

Because your web CMS must interoperate seamlessly with the components of customer experience management, the CMS decision shouldn’t be made in a vacuum. This paper highlights the criteria – both from the marketers’ and the IT/developers’ perspective – that today’s organizations should consider when selecting a new web CMS as part of a broader customer experience management strategy.

“ It is time to start thinking about WCM [web content management] beyond just managing content or siloed websites or experiences. Instead, we need to think of how WCM will interact and integrate with other solutions – like search, recommendations, eCommerce, and analytics – in the customer experience management (CXM) ecosystem in order to enable businesses to manage experiences across customer touchpoints.”

— Stephen Powers, Forrester

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Web content management systems [733]

de System Administrator - martes, 12 de agosto de 2014, 20:54

Web content management systems try to do it all


by: Lauren Horwitz

What happens at Mohegan Sun stays at Mohegan Sun -- or at least on the casino company's website.

Internet marketing manager Ryan Lee understands the importance of digital content to business all too well. He manages the websites for the Uncasville, Connecticut, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, casinos. The Connecticut property is the second largest in the U.S. and home to some 40 restaurants, three casinos and several entertainment venues for acts like John Legend and Panic! At the Disco.

But managing the volume of content associated with so much entertainment is a big job. The website has to be updated regularly with concert schedules, restaurant menus and casino information. The site has to aggregate resources from various places and distribute it to the general public, but also personalize information for loyalty program members, who can get wind of special offers or book a hotel directly from the site. And has to deliver information to PCs, mobile devices and way-finding kiosks on the floor of the Connecticut property. The Mohegan Sun sites try to do it all for their users.

It's a paradox of sorts, where company websites are becoming the place to centralize communications through disparate channels such as Facebook and Twitter, blogs and YouTube, and mobile devices. Web content management systems (WCMs) are the principal weapon in this ground war to engage audiences, but they face new challenges as channels of communication -- and content itself -- grow more sophisticated and varied. WCM software enables nondevelopers to manage and self-publish digital content. With WCM software, content managers can reach audiences wherever they choose to communicate and wrangle these channels and audiences into one location on a company's website.

At Mohegan Sun, the company needed to corral all its disparate content and centralize it in a WCM, all while enabling rapid edits and ways to reach customers through new communication channels. "We needed a hub," Lee recalled. "With the quantity of content we're managing, it's imperative that it's all in one place." So in 2013, Mohegan Sun brought on Adobe Experience Manager to replace custom systems.

Now, Lee said, the company can create better brand consistency between the sites for the Pennsylvania and Connecticut properties and improve customer service through the site. "The customer experience is more fluid, rather than being bounced around," Lee said.

A lot of users have catching up to do -- in terms of operations, marketing and editorial maturity -- to leverage what these tools can do.Tony Byrnepresident of Real Story Group.

A lot of users have catching up to do -- in terms of operations, marketing and editorial maturity -- to leverage what these tools can do.Tony Byrnepresident of Real Story Group

Tony Byrne | President of Real Story Group

The channel paradox

The market for WCM technology is gathering steam. According to the Research and Markets report, "Global Web Content Management Systems Market 2014-2018," the WCM software market is due to grow 12.7% between 2013 and 2018. Web content management software has earned a reputation for flexibility and ease of use for nondeveloper types, such as editors and marketers.

But the power of these systems -- their ability to democratize the process -- can also be their downfall. "The major vendors are ahead of the vast majority of their customer bases," said Tony Byrne, president of Real Story Group, a technology research and analyst firm. "A lot of users have catching up to do -- in terms of operations, marketing and editorial maturity -- to leverage what these tools can do."

At Mohegan Sun, for example, the company is still shoehorning its legacy mobile content management system (CMS) into its larger WCM strategy. The company houses mobile versions of its website outside of Adobe. So, the regular version of the website doesn't automatically populate to the mobile version, because the mobile sites don't reside in Adobe Experience Manager.

"If a concert is canceled, you have to remember to cancel it in multiple places -- and all the different parts and pieces that you have to fill out," Lee noted. Having to make changes in multiple locations is time-consuming and introduces the risk of errors or inconsistencies. Lee said that as the company considers applying for additional gaming licenses in new territories, he would like to make a single environment the governing standard.

"It's all an effort we are moving toward," he said. "Having Adobe be the hub for everything digital -- mobile apps, way-finders, websites, mobile websites and whatever other channels come along -- hopefully we will be able to manage out of one environment."

Adobe Experience Manager offers analytics tools and social media monitoring tools as well, but Mohegan Sun isn't using those today. While these WCM systems offer lots of functionality, companies are often still laying the groundwork for more basic initiatives, such as bringing mobile content into their WCMs.

Content that drives users

New England Biolabs (NEB) in Ipswich, Massachusetts, has a range of content on its site, from research to reagents to other tools for the life sciences. Because NEB offers information as well as commercial products on its site, it needed a flexible Web content management system that can educate and inform its site users with articles, white papers and video but also function as an e-commerce site and sell products.

"People come to the website to learn something, and then buy the product," said Tanya Osterfield, digital marketing manager at the company. So the company needed a WCM that could take its research data and populate it on the site in different ways and in different formats.

"Our site features information like the temperature you would want to use one of our products at [during an experiment]." Osterfield said. "So that information appears on the product page but also in 42 tables and charts across the site." The company can use its WCM to publish information for a variety of different site purposes -- and different sites -- without having to publish the information in each location or to make changes in each location when they are necessary.

That is a major boon for NEB, because it helps ensure better data integrity and consistency. "We can be more trusted and accurate with our data because it's changed everywhere at one time," she said.

New England Biolabs uses various channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote its content, but always with the intent of driving people back to the site. "In every Facebook post, every tweet, there is a call to action," Osterfield said. "That is the funnel. You find something interesting on Twitter, you go to our site to learn more about it, and 'Here are some products that relate to it and that you can buy.'"

Osterfield said that NEB is also quite conscious of tailoring content and message to the channel it is operating in. So, for example, they do not promote products on Twitter but provide information on research and provide calls to action. "We don't get salesy on Twitter or Facebook. We want to give people a way to learn more."

When is doing it all doing too much?

Osterfield's instinct to tailor NEB's content for the audience and the environment is a best practice for Web content management systems.

But WCM systems can pose the risk of trying to be all things for all purposes, and that places responsibility at the feet of human beings to provide quality control. Content managers can't just sit back and let the software drive everything.

According to Real Story Group's Byrne, tailoring content for multiple environments is the name of the game, but it's also quite difficult. "The enterprise wants a single source of content that can be reused across different platforms," Byrne said. "But if you're going to republish things to Facebook, you're going to want to modify it for the context of the environment that you're in."

Byrne presented a hypothetical in which users may change a headline to make it more compelling but forget to preview its display for the mobile website. Headlines can get cut off or be difficult to read in that small real estate, and content managers need to think about an increasing number of details as the channels proliferate and WCM capabilities grow to mirror the environment.

Byrne notes that the goals of WCM can be at odds with one another and create conflicts.

"There is this classic tension between having a single source of content but then also doing things that are more customer-specific and more contextual," he said. "Those two are always fighting against each other. It's not a vendor problem, but vendors tend to gloss over it."


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Western Union [65]

de System Administrator - sábado, 4 de enero de 2014, 17:59

Western Union fue fundada en Rockester, Nueva York, en 1851, con el nombre de The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. Después de que adquiriera una serie de compañías de la competencia, la empresa cambió su nombre a Western Union Telegraph Company, en 1856.


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Weta Workshop [439]

de System Administrator - lunes, 27 de enero de 2014, 12:38


Weta Workshop es una empresa de efectos especiales mecánicos localizada en el barrio de Miramar, en Wellington (Nueva Zelanda), que produce efectos para la televisión y el cine. Es una de las principales divisiones del holding llamado Weta Limited, y el origen en 1987 de este grupo empresarial.

Aunque Weta lleva produciendo desde hace tiempo criaturas y efectos de maquillaje para las series de televisión Hercules: The Legendary Journeys y Xena: la princesa guerrera, y efectos para películas como Meet the Feebles y Criaturas celestiales; la producción de Weta Workshop tomó relevancia mundial con la trilogía de El Señor de los Anillos, del director Peter Jackson; para la que Weta produjo escenarios, vestuario, armaduras, armas, criaturas y maquetas. Las habilidades de fantasía de Weta también se han utilizado en The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe y Las crónicas de Narnia: el príncipe Caspian. Gracias a esta serie de películas, imaginada por C. S. Lewis, la empresa también es conocida por el nombre de Walden Media.

Actualmente Weta está trabajando en el vestuario de Justice League of America, película en la que también está involucrada Weta Digital. Otros proyectos incluyen Jane and the Dragon y la versión en vivo del anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. Weta también trabaja actualmente en la adaptación al cine de Halo, el popular videojuego de Bungie y Microsoft. Weta ha construido un warthog del juego funcional y a escala real. Weta también proporciona efectos especiales al festival de música Rock2Wgtn celebrado en la pascua de 2008.


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de System Administrator - martes, 29 de julio de 2014, 19:20


Written By: Steven Kotler

The “uncanny valley” is a term coined by Japanese roboticist Mashahiro Mori in 1970 to describe the strange fact that, as robots become more human-like, we relate to them better—but only to a point. The ”uncanny valley” is this point.

The issue is that, as robots start to approach true human mimicry, when they look and move almost, but not exactly, like a real human, real humans react with a deep and violent sense of revulsion.

This is evolution at work. Biologically, revulsion is a subset of disgust, one of our most fundamental emotions and the by-product of evolution’s early need to prevent an organism from eating foods that could harm that organism. Since survival is at stake, disgust functions less like a normal emotion and more like a phobia—a nearly unshakable hard-wired reaction.

Psychologist Paul Ekman discovered that disgust, alongside contempt, surprise, fear, joy, and sadness, is one of the six universally recognized emotions. But the deepness of this emotion (meaning its incredibly long and critically important evolutionary history) is why Ekman also discovered that in marriages, once one partner starts feeling disgust for the other, the result is almost always divorce.

Why? Because once disgust shows up the brain of the disgust-feeler starts processing the other person (i.e. the disgust trigger) as a toxin. Not only does this bring on an unshakable sense of revulsion (i.e. get me the hell away from this toxic thing response), it de-humanizes the other person, making it much harder for the disgust-feeler to feel empathy. Both spell doom for relationships.

Now, disgust comes in a three flavors. Pathogenic disgust refers to what happens when we encounter infectious microorganisms; moral disgust pertains to social transgressions like lying, cheating, stealing, raping, killing; and sexual disgust emerges from our desire to avoid procreating with “biologically costly mates.” And it is both sexual disgust and pathogenic that creates the uncanny valley.

To protect us from biologically costly mates, the brain’s pattern recognition has a hair-trigger mechanism for recognizing signs of low-fertility and ill-health. Something that acts almost human but not quite, reads—to our brain’s pattern recognition system—as illness.

And this is exactly what goes wrong with robots. When the brain detects human-like features—that is, when we recognize a member of our own species—we tend to pay more attention. But when those features don’t exactly add up to human, we read this as a sign of disease—meaning the close but no cigar robot reads as a costly mate and a toxic substance and our reaction is deep disgust.


Repliee Q2. Taken at Index Osaka Note: The model of Repliee Q2 is probably same as Repliee Q1expo, Ayako Fujii, announcer of NHK.

But the uncanny valley is only the first step in what will soon be a much more peculiar progress, one that will fundamentally reshape our consciousness. To explore this process, I want to introduce a downstream extension of this principle—call it the uncanniest valley.

The idea here is complicated, but it starts with the very simple fact that every species knows (and I’m using this word to describe both cognitive awareness and genetic awareness) its own species the best. This knowledge base is what philosopher Thomas Nagel explored in his classic paper on consciousness: ”What Is It Like to Be A Bat.” In this essay, Nagel argues that you can’t ever really understand the consciousness of another species (that is, what it’s like to be a bat) because each species’ perceptual systems are hyper-tuned and hyper-sensitive to its own sensory inputs and experiences. In other words, in the same way that “game recognizes game,” (to borrow a phrase from LL Cool J), species recognize species.

And this brings us to Ellie, the world’s first robo-shrink. Funded by DARPA and developed by researchers at USC’s Institute for Creative Studies, Ellie is an early iteration computer simulated psychologist, a bit of complicated software designed to identify signals of depression and other mental health problems through an assortment of real-time sensors (she was developed to help treat PTSD in soldiers and hopefully decrease the incredibly high rate of military suicides) .

At a technological level, Ellie combines a video camera to track facial expressions, a Microsoft Kinect movement sensor to track gestures and jerks, and a microphone to capture inflection and tone. At a psychological level, Ellie evolved from the suspicion that our twitches and twerks and tones reveal much more about our inner state than our words (thus Ellie tracks 60 different “features”—that’s everything from voice pitch to eye gaze to head tilt). As USC psychologist and one of the leads on the project, Albert Rizzo told NPR: [P]eople are in a constant state of impression management. They’ve got their true self and the self that they want to project to the world. And we know that the body displays things that sometimes people try to keep contained.”


More recently, a new study just found that patients are much more willing to open up to a robot shrink than a human shrink. Here’s how Neuroscience News explained it: ”The mere belief that participants were interacting with only a computer made them more open and honest, researchers found, even when the virtual human asked personal questions such as, ‘What’s something you feel guilty about?’ or ‘Tell me about an event, or something that you wish you could erase from your memory.’ In addition, video analysis of the study subjects’ facial expressions showed that they were also more likely to show more intense signs of sadness — perhaps the most vulnerable of expressions — when they thought only pixels were present.

The reason for this success is pretty straightforward. Robots don’t judge. Humans do.

But this development also tells us a few things about our near future. First, while most people are now aware of the fact that robots are going to steal a ton of jobs in the next 20 years, the jobs that most people think are vulnerable are of the blue-collar variety. Ellie is one reason to disavow yourself of this notion.

As a result of this coming replacement, two major issues are soon to arise. The first is economic. There are about 607,000 social workers in America, 93,000 practicing psychologists, and roughly 50,000 psychiatrists. But, well, with Ellie 2.0 in the pipeline, not for long. (It’s also worth noting that these professions generate about $3.5 billion dollars in annual income, which—assuming robo-therapy is much, much cheaper than human-therapy—will also vanish from the economy.)

But the second issue is philosophical, and this is where the uncanniest valley comes back into the picture. Now, for sure, this particular valley is still hypothetical, and thus based on a few assumptions. So let’s drill down a bit.

The first assumption is that social workers, psychologist and psychiatrists are a deep knowledge base, arguably one of our greatest repositories of “about human” information.

Second, we can also assume that Ellie is going to get better and better and better over time—no great stretch since we know all the technologies that combine to make robo-psychologists possible are, as was well-documented in Abundance, accelerating on exponential growth curves. This means that sooner or later, in the psychological version of the Tricorder, we’re going to have an AI that knows us as well as we know ourselves.

Third—and also as a result of this technological acceleration—we can also assume there will soon come a time when an AI can train up a robo-therapist better than a human can—again, no great stretch because all we’re really talking about is access to a huge database of psychological data combined with ultra-accurate pattern recognition, two already possible developments.

But here’s the thing—when you add this up, what you start to realize is that sooner or later robots will know us better than we know ourselves. In Nagel’s terms, we will no longer be the species that understands our species the best. This is the Uncanniest Valley.

And just as the uncanny valley produces disgust, I’m betting that the uncanniest valley produces a nearly unstoppable fear reaction—a brand new kind of mortal terror, the downstream result of what happens when self loses its evolutionarily unparalleled understanding of self.

Perhaps this will be temporary. It’s not hard to imagine that our journey to this valley will be fortuitous. For certain, the better we know ourselves—and it doesn’t really matter where that knowledge comes from—the better we can care for and optimize ourselves.

Yet I think the fear-response produced by this uncanniest valley will have a similar effect to disgust in relationships—that is, this fear will be extremely hard to shake.

But even if I’m wrong, one this for certain, we’re heading to an inflection point almost with an equal—the point in time when we lose a lot more of ourselves, literally, to technology and another reason that life in the 21st century is about to get a lot more Blade Runner.

[Photo credits: Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr, Wikipedia, Steve Jurvetson/Flickr]

This entry was posted in Robots and taggedabundanceAlbert RizzoBlade Runnerellieellie 2.0Mashahiro MoriMicrosoft KinectPaul Ekmansteven kotlerThomas Nageltricorder,uncanny valley.


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