Articles about cybernetics

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Google Goggle glasses ARE WATCHING YOU

"So we have the human operator surrounded on both sides by very precisely known mechanisms," an American physicist called John Stroud once observed, referring to anti-aircraft gunners in the Second World War. "And the question comes up, 'What kind of machine have we put in the middle?'" Stroud went on to participate in the …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2012
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Adam Curtis: The Rise of the Machines

Interview Adam Curtis' new series begins tonight on BBC TV, and I've had a unique insight into its creation. Like all Curtis work it continues some of his long-standing fascinations - and adds some new ones. As Associate Producer I helped explore these ideas with Curtis over the past three years, particularly the ideas of web utopianism …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 May 2011
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Powered robot suits make debut on Tokyo streets

Vid Japanese scientists developing a powered exoskeletal suit intended for "heavy labour", "rescue support at disaster sites" and use by the disabled or elderly - not to mention applications in "the entertainment field" - have taken their equipment out for a test drive on the streets of Tokyo. Here's a vid of the trial: As can …
Lewis Page, 5 Aug 2009
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The tragedy of the Creative Commons

The Creative Commons initiative fulfilled a major ambition last week - but it's taken only days for the dream to turn to crap. Google granted the wish by integrating the ability to search images based on rights licences into Google Image Search. Yahoo! Image Search has had a separate image search facility for years, but Google …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Jul 2009
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US brain-plug interface gets live human trials

Boffins in America say that their new "neural interface" brain-plug equipment, intended to let users control computers and machinery merely by thinking, is about to embark on its second stage of clinical trials. The tech is intended initially to help patients suffering from paralysing illness or massive injuries, but has …
Lewis Page, 11 Jun 2009
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DARPA killer AI robots to 'participate in own construction'

You've got your robots which can make copies of themselves, of course. That's pretty scary - a runaway exponentially-multiplying machine horde, potentially able to overrun the human race in an eyeblink. But how much more scary would it be if you had a machine which could not only make copies of itself once complete, but could …
Lewis Page, 2 Jun 2009
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Boffins invent automatic net-hookup roboffinry machines

Perturbing news from the world of robotics and automation broke today, with scientists on both sides of the Atlantic revealing that they have developed machines which can replace scientists. The prospect of a runaway self-sustaining science and technology revolution/singularity/human-obsolescence style affair now seems imminent …
Lewis Page, 3 Apr 2009
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'Like pedos in a playground' - the media and Web 2.0

Cyburbia Don't judge a book by the title. Especially if the title is something like Cyburbia. James Harkin, who worked with Adam Curtis on The Trap, has produced the first proper full-length critique of Web 2.0 - tracing the daftness back to the cybernetics pioneers of the 1940s. It's odd that something with so much hype as Web 2.0 has …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Feb 2009
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War, Web 2.0 and the Fail Loop

Cyburbia The Twitterings of Web 2.0 may seem a million miles from battlefield skirmishes in Lebanon, but they both have something in common. Both illustrate perils of continuous electronic feedback loops. To most of us, the idea of being in the loop means no more than being "in the know", privy to information known only to those in a …
James Harkin, 23 Feb 2009
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US forces want man-hunting robot wolfpacks

Trouser-moisteningly terrifying news broke this week, as it emerged that sinister forces within the US military are looking to develop a remorseless robotic wolfpack capable of hunting down "a non-cooperative human subject" in "an indoor environment". Yes, it's true - last month, crazed Pentagon brainiacs asked contractors to …
Lewis Page, 24 Oct 2008
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Captain Cyborg invades Second Life

Kevin Warwick - aka Captain Cyborg - will this afternoon be entertaining the crowds on Second Life's Uvvy Island with a chat on the benefits of linking your brain to "that of an intelligent machine network" entitled "Upgrading Humans: Why not?" The appearance has been organised by the "Second Life Chapter of the World …
Lester Haines, 23 Apr 2007

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