The slope of enlightenment

When Are New Technologies Ready For Business Development? Exponentially advancing technologies (networks and sensors, infinite computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology, 3D printing, etc.) are producing disruptive growth and have begun transforming our world. However, the “expert only” nature of their interfaces and their stratospheric price tags have kept them primarily in the hands of billion-dollar companies. But this is starting to change. Decreasing prices, increasing performance, and the development of far friendlier user interfaces are making these platforms available to any and all. Thus each of these technologies hover on the verge of widespread adoption, and for those entrepreneurs … Continue reading The slope of enlightenment

The virtual reality camera

Lytro raises $50 million to shift from still cameras to virtual reality Lytro plans to bring its unique camera technology to video and virtual reality, giving the tech new opportunities to catch on. According to Recode, Lytro is raising money and cutting jobs in order to facilitate the transition. It’s raised $50 million in funding in a round led by GSV Capital that bumps the company’s valuation 5x. At the same time, Lytro is cutting 25 to 50 jobs from its current roster of 130. “We are going to have to make some cuts in some areas so we can … Continue reading The virtual reality camera

Can you play better than robots?

Artificial Intelligence Goes to the Arcade A shaky video, recorded with a mobile phone and smuggled out of the inaugural First Day of Tomorrow technology conference, in April, 2014, shows an artificially intelligent computer program in its first encounter with Breakout, the classic Atari arcade game. Prototyped in 1975 by Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, with assistance from Steve Jobs, the other co-founder of Apple, Breakout is a variant of Pong, in which a player knocks bricks from a wall by hitting a ball against it. After half an hour of play, the A.I. program is doing about as … Continue reading Can you play better than robots?

Can artificial intelligence be creative?

AI: Artificial Imagination? Most of us are fascinated by creativity. New ideas in science and art are often hugely exciting – and, paradoxically, sometimes seemingly “obvious” once they’ve arrived. But how can that be? Many people, perhaps most of us, think there’s no hope of an answer. Creativity is deeply mysterious, indeed almost magical. Any suggestion that there might be a scientific theory of creativity strikes such people as absurd. And as for computer models of creativity, those are felt to be utterly impossible. But they aren’t. Scientific psychology has identified three different ways in which new, surprising, and valuable … Continue reading Can artificial intelligence be creative?

Is there augmented reality in your future?

CastAR made a video imagining the future of augmented reality It’s been almost two years since we got to try out an early version of CastAR’s mixed reality glasses. They were a crude prototype back then, specked with hot glue and bare chips that took one engineer 40 hours to solder. Since then, its founders have cleaned up their design, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, and have just sent out CastAR’s first shipments. CastAR started as the pipe dream of two ex-Valve employees, Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, who began work on the project after getting laid off in 2013. … Continue reading Is there augmented reality in your future?

Online learning is coming

Distance learning taps in to virtual reality technology Eddie Chauncy is no stranger to traditional universities – he already holds a degree in English literature from Cambridge. But 20 years after first graduating, when he realised that a knowledge of psychology would benefit his career as a business and finance trainer, he chose to study with the Open University (OU). “I knew the OU from when I was a kid and I used to watch the maths lessons on TV,” says Chauncy, who graduated from the OU with a psychology degree in 2012. “I’d recommended it to one of my … Continue reading Online learning is coming

Data in motion

A New Mobile Map Captures ‘Internet of Moving Things’ Welcome to the world of data in motion, all the time. A data-intensive mapping service from Urban Engines that was announced on Tuesday carries information about several cities in the United States, as well as route maps for getting around and directions in augmented reality, using just the processing power and storage of the phone. As impressive as that seems, the underlying technology used to figure out where things are have a bigger impact. The augmented reality function is particularly useful for walking directions. Using the compass and accelerometer in a … Continue reading Data in motion