Transcendence is based directly on the principle of singularity, the moment when technology surpasses humanity. In fact, Dr. Caster, the film’s protagonist, even states as much in the trailer, asking an audience to, “Imagine a machine with the full range of human emotion. It’s analytical power will be greater than the collective intelligence of every person in the history of the world. Some scientists refer to this as the singularity. I call it Transcendence.”
Over the years, the biggest proponent of the singularity has been noted author, scientist, and futurist Ray Kurzweil, who freely acknowledges that, “Science fiction is the great opportunity to speculate on what could happen.” Although a notorious eccentric, Kurzweil’s thinking has led to numerous technological innovations over the last few decades. Recently, he partnered with Google (yes, Google) in their efforts towards “using techniques of deep learning to produce an artificial brain.”
Those troops you saw in science fiction movies as a child are now real. A few years ago, many countries recognized a need to upgrade the individual infantryman and thus started their own “future soldier” programs. Most of them completed more or less the main priority objectives, applying them to some of their elite troops and special forces, bringing together commercial, off-the-shelf technology and state of the art military gear and equipment.
Most of the city backgrounds, especially the ones featuring skyscrapers, are actually filmed in Shanghai.
You know, funny story: There’s this craft store called Michaels. Look, my sister knits, and she goes to Michaels. So my sister called me and she’s like, “Oh my god, I’m at Michaels, picking up yarn. You have a poster at Michaels.” I’m like, “What?” She’s like, “There’s a poster, there’s a Falcon poster at Michaels.” I’m like, “Holy s**t!” She’s like, “I’m gonna come and pick you up, and we’re gonna see your poster in this store.” So she picks me up and we go to Michaels.
We go in, and I see the poster and I’m like, “Oh, this is….” She’s like, “I know, I know.” I said, “I’m gonna sign these posters.” I was like, “That would be amazing, you buy a poster and it’s like, actually signed by the Falcon.” Like, it would blow my mind. So I go to the front, I buy a Sharpie, I run back to the back of the store. And she’s like, “I’m gonna take a picture of you signing it.”
I’m in this store and I’m signing all the posters. The manager comes out, he’s like, “Hey, whatcha doing?” I was like, “Oh man, I’m signing these posters so when people buy ‘em, they’re signed.” He’s like, “Well, people are not gonna buy ‘em if they’re signed.” And I was like, “No, no, no, it’s cool. I’m pretty sure there won’t be a problem.” And he goes, “Yeah, but it is gonna be a problem, you’re messin’ up my inventory.” And I’m like, “No, my man, trust me. I mean, I’m the Falcon, that’s me!” And he goes, “Yeah, right. You’re gonna buy those posters.” I said, “What?” He’s like, “You’re gonna buy all those posters or I’m gonna call the police.”
He rolls up all the posters and goes to the front of the store. And I had to buy like 60 Falcon posters that I signed in Michaels.
[I]f the Republicans want to spend the entire next six months or year talking about repealing a bill that provides millions of people health insurance without providing any meaningful alternative, instead of wanting to talk about jobs and the economic situation of families all across the country, that’s their prerogative. At some point I think they’ll make the transition. That’s my hope, anyway. If not, we’re just going to keep on doing what we’re doing, which is making it work for people all across the country.
I’m sorry, I’m going to say one last thing about this, just because this does frustrate me: States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You’ve got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states—zero cost to these states—other than ideological reasons. They have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That’s wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.
- President Obama
Most of the states with Republican governors who have opted out of the Medicaid expansion have very poor people living there, too. These governors are deliberately hurting their own citizens because they don’t like the president. That’s just wrong.
This week on Txchnologist, we looked at the wide range of innovations that could prove to be disruptive to a number of fields. First, University of Washington researchers have developed a software that accurately predicts changes in faces from babies to senior citizens.
We looked at how sound waves could revolutionize medicine in the coming years. Doctors have treated tumors using focused ultrasound, a way of delivering energetic high-frequency sound waves that are sent into the body without surgery. The technology is cost-effective and could be extremely useful. Staying with medical devices, Txchnologist also looked to the past to appreciate the roots of one of the most advanced imaging tools available, the PET scanner.
The Department of Energy has made a map that highlights wind power growth in the United States. Wind turbine farms grew in number from just one in 1975 to 815 in 2012.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee civil engineers have developed a mixture of concrete that is water-resistant, flexible and promises to keep bridges and roads intact for up to 120 years.
Research in subatomic particles is at the forefront for a number of scientists. A facility in southern China called the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment is studying the electrically neutral neutrino and attempting to understand one of the building blocks of the universe using six huge detectors.
Now we’re bringing you the news and trends we’ve been following this week in the world of science, technology and innovation.