Dominic Basulto

Your Big Blue Brain on a Silicon Chip

The new experimental "brain chips" developed by researchers at IBM and DARPA represent a fundamental breakthrough in computing power. If these brain chips are ever commercialized, they would make possible what are essentially thinking, artificial brains. Just as the human brain is capable of building and re-wiring synapses as part of an evolutionary learning process, these IBM brain chips are able to form, re-form and strengthen artificial synapses, giving them the ability to take on tasks related to sentient beings. Instead of being mere calculators, the new era of computers would be able to "sense, perceive, interact and recognize" in the same way that humans can.

Continue Reading

The Birth of the Digital Toddler

The current generation of toddlers is embracing digital technology at an astounding pace. According to a recent survey from BlogHer/Parenting, nearly 25% of toddlers will have used a smartphone by age 2. Not only that, nearly one-third of toddlers will have used a laptop or digital camera by the time they enter pre-school.

Continue Reading

Does Facial Recognition Technology Mean the End of Privacy?

At the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, researchers from Carnegie Mellon demonstrated how the same facial recognition technology used to tag Facebook photos could be used to identify random people on the street. This facial recognition technology, when combined with geo-location, could fundamentally change our notions of personal privacy.

Continue Reading

Information Wants to Be Expensive

Stewart Brand’s famous maxim, "Information Wants to be Free,” has been, for more than 25 years, one of the most popular rallying cries of the Digital Age. These words have been famously twisted, adapted and re-interpreted to mean, “Everything on the Internet should be free.”

Continue Reading

Favela Futurism, Very Chic

The future of global innovation is the Brazilian favela, the Mumbai slum and the Nairobi shanty-town. At a time when countries across the world, from Latin America to Africa to Asia, are producing new mega-slums on an epic scale, when emerging mega-cities in China are pushing the limits of urban infrastructure by adding millions of new inhabitants each year, it is becoming increasingly likely that the lowly favela, slum or ghetto may hold the key to the future of human development.

Continue Reading

Just How Dangerous Is Facial Profiling?

Within the next 60 days, state law enforcement agencies across the nation are set to implement a new facial profiling technology that will enable them to scan faces of people in a crowd and cross-check this scan data with information already in their databases. Simply by equipping a so-called MORIS ("Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System") device to an iPhone, it will be possible to scan faces from as far as five feet away and perform iris scans at distances of six inches or less.

Continue Reading

A Walk Through the Shadow of the Uncanny Valley

If it sometimes feels like it’s impossible to keep up with the torrent of information, data and digital content that’s being created every day online, you’re not alone. Within the next few years, it’s highly conceivable that many of us will have enhanced versions of ourselves that are able to complete all the routine online tasks – such as updating our social networking profiles or applying to jobs – that are already within the limits of artificial intelligence. In fact, the entire Transhumanism movement is based around that very idea – that soon, a hybrid of human and machine intelligence will make it possible to transcend our current cognitive limits.

Continue Reading

Counting Down to the Era of the Quantified Self

We’ve almost reached a point where it’s possible to track and record nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from how many calories we had for breakfast, to how often we work out, to how many hours we slept last night.
 
Continue Reading

Turning ATMs into Automated Thinking Machines

Arguably, the invention of the ATM by IBM nearly 40 years ago was one of the greatest moments in the history of modern consumer banking. These ATMs revolutionized the way we thought about bank tellers and forever changed the way we spend money.

Continue Reading

In the Future, Will We All Be Apps?

Soon, you will be able to experience superstar chef David Chang, the genius behind the ever-expanding Momofuku foodie empire, as a brand-new iPad app. This Lucky Peach app is, in many ways, the perfect digital distillation of the Warholian logic of our modern age, where the Internet has made it possible for all of us to become micro-celebrities for 15 minutes on 15 different platforms.

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - Dominic Basulto