Appealing? A Poll on Images of the Future

Is this image of the future appealing, or not your idea of a good time? Share your idea of the future with a comment!


A Collection of Real and Imagined Robots

As the future of robotics develops, Hollywood gets to run a little bit faster. Here is an example of the newest robot creation from director Ridley Scott, contrasted with video compilations of real, high-functioning robots. If you don’t already know what they’re capable of, it will blow your mind!

In a commercial that is startlingly similar to the emotional android Kara, Weylan Industries introduced David 8, a robot who looks, acts, and seems totally human. This commercial for the upcoming film Prometheus, focuses on the emotional aspect of future-imagined androids, and explores the enmeshing of robotic-stoicism and genuine human feeling.

If this seems like a imagining of the future, think again. Right now scientists and engineers are working on building emotional androids based on cognitive modeling of emotions and a “language of mind.” At the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland, scientists seek to imbue these robots with subjectivity and hope that situation recognition will trigger an elicitation of emotions with emotional mimics, using “gesture, posture, action tendencies and speech act latencies.” The technology is almost there: “these dimensions are shown to be integrable into a common structure which can be transformed into various applications like innovative structures of MMI and HRI, ranging from service robots to virtual interactions up to MMI-management of driver assistance systems.”

Here is a video composite of several top-notch robots of today, well, kind of. This video was made last year!

And, check out more from Asimo, arguably the world’s most advanced robot.


Emotional Android – Kara

KPC-897504C: it will clean your house, look after your kids, keep track of your appointments and satisfy your sexual needs.

Quantic Dream, a video game company pushing the bounds of hyper-realism in video gaming (developers ofHeavy Rain), premiered its new PS3 engine with a real-time demo called Kara. It is not a video game that is in current production, rather, it is a creative short which demonstrates the ability to show an impressive mimic of human emotion. In the short, you witness an android being constructed, a quick mechanic production forming a slim, sexy body. She is given the name Kara. Gameinformer writer Matthew Kato describes the content in a compelling format, pulling from the short itself to give life to the script on page:

The creation of this new identity produces a flicker of consciousnesses that is strengthened as the process continues, and Kara becomes more and more confident in herself. She can speak 300 languages – including singing beautifully in Japanese – and when synthetic flesh is added to her frame, she insticintively exhibits the human emotion of modesty by covering up her new nakedness.

Her new life won’t last long, however. The technician explains that she is to be re-initialized so she can be sold to a consumer who will give her her own name and purpose. Kara realizes what this means for her. “I thought…” she begins.

“You thought?” counters the operator. “What did you think?”

“I thought…I was alive.”

“You’re not supposed to think that sort of stuff,” he explains. “You’re not supposed to think at all, period.”

The technician orders her to be scrapped for “non-standard” behavior, and the assembly machines starts to comply; dismantling her limb by limb.

Through new technological developments in processing abilities, Quantic Dream was able to create a realistic and futuristic short that is both compelling as a snippet of film, as well as a look into the future of gaming capabilities. Kara comes off a little over the top, but the range and display of human emotion is worth its excess. Watch the video for yourself!

Current Video Manipulation Technologies

The abilities out there with human face mapping and distant object manipulation are pretty mind-boggling. Here are some examples of the beauty of these technologies, the behind-the-scenes, and uses:

Samsung Portugal designs a human face map to project onto, creating a level of fluidity and accuracy in facial mapping that is simply magical. Watch them transform the human face and body into any number of styles and abstractions.

Paul Debevec animates a photo real human face; the results are pretty incredible, the applications are really fun to ponder.

Kind of a funky video, but the idea and reality of tele-immersion is fascinating. In real-time, a room full of cameras can capture your image and project it into a virtual space where you can manipulate virtual objects by the “real” movement of a hand, or dance with a partner countless miles away in another video room. Check out this video and come up with some applications yourself.

The Hybrid Age

Machines will be embedded within us in hybrid age: Ayesha Khanna, Hybrid Reality Institute

Rituparna Chatterjee, ET Bureau Mar 6, 2012, 07.11AM IST
In this interview, Ayesha Khanna shows us the emergence of the Hybrid Age, its technologies, and their integration into daily life cyborg-fashion.

Ayesha Khanna is the founder and director of the Hybrid Reality Institute , a unique research and advisory group focused on the co-evolution of humans and technology. She is a Faculty Advisor at Singularity University (a university in Silicon Valley focused on a future when machines outsmart humans), on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation (an NGO helping humanity survive existential risks of powerful technologies) and directs the Future Cities group at the London School of Economics. Khanna discusses the Hybrid Age — on which TED will be bringing out her book in June — with ET in San Francisco. Excerpts

Technology has been around since man invented the wheel, if not earlier. What is new in the Hybrid Age? And when did this Age begin?

Yes, technology has been around since the Stone Age and more recently through the Information Age wherein large amounts of information are produced on mobile devices and computers. Each time technology has changed, our lives have changed as well. We still tend to think that we are in the Information Age. But we are at the frontier of the Information Age and are now entering the Hybrid Age, an era of humanmachine interdependence.

This is primarily because of the integration and the convergence of different kinds of technologies such as big data, computing power, and regenerative medicine. In the Hybrid Age, machines will be all around us and embedded in our lives. They will be on everything from our clothes to our skin.

We have never been surrounded by so much technology ever before! Responsive environments around us will respond to each of us intelligently because they will know us. For instance, your car will know you and automatically take you to your kids’ school, putting on music and temperature of your preference.

Can you give specific scenarios of life in the Hybrid Age and where it will take us?

The multiple biometric devices — measuring our blood pressure, heart rate, sleep patterns — that are beginning to take over, are just the first step. Soon we could have sensor-enabled biomedical pills that we swallow and which send us emails. Human machine integrations will be so deep that we will become like cyborgs — beings that are both biological and artificial.

We will have all of these bionic implants that will help us lead long lives and drastically improve the capacities of a normal human being. We will be able to live until 150 years or more. So, not only will our environment become hybrid — with smart transport, smart cities and self-driving cars. — but we ourselves are moving towards that direction. Second, all of these machines around us will become more intelligent. They will look for patterns which will help us lead better lives.

The iPhone’s voice assistant Siri is a good early example of this. Technology will also get increasingly social which is new because for the first time, with virtual avatars , we will see artificial intelligence that will start to mimic human emotions. And we will build emotional relationships because we are hardwired as human beings to feel empathy. The embedding of machines into us will happen in a way that will seem very natural to us.

What are the social, economic and political implications of this?

The Hybrid Age is being led by elites. Certain technologies are very expensive and give people undue advantages. Cognitive enhancers are a good example and are already being used by soldiers and being further developed in academia. The question is whether such elitist technologies will increase socio-economic divides? Or will it increase the numbers of the stagnating middle class in the West? The internet of things and smart cities will be the next big tech wave after the current social media boom that we are going through right now.

As with PayPal and Square, we will see a lot more of peer-to-peer payments as well as various kinds of currencies. It will be all about the soft architecture of space, all of which will be an intelligent, highlypersonalised environment. The ability to compute, things to be stored in the cloud, analysing that data in the cloud will impact transport, parking, housing, food, education and pretty much every aspect in a city. So much so that in 50 years, large parts of economies could be automated and provide jobs and education as needed.

Economic Times Article