Monday, January 30, 2017

Cycle VR

For more information on CycleVR, head to

British programmer travels 900 miles, all without leaving his living room.
Aaron Puzey has become the first person ever to cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, the entire length of Britain, in virtual reality. Using a Gear VR headset, a cheap bluetooth cadence monitor and his android smartphone, Aaron has built an affordable virtual reality cycling experience that should get even the laziest sack off the couch and on the road. Appropriately titled CycleVR, the application uses a bluetooth cadence monitor to track pedal rotations while simultaneously using Google Street View to create a 3D environment. The virtual reality scene is displayed in stereoscopic 3D on the Gear VR to simulate the experience of traveling on a bicycle
Aaron spoke more about his motivations behind the project stating,  “I don’t really like exercise, I find it boring. I only do it because I know it’s good for me. I’ve been doing a little bit of cycling everyday after work for years but I got sick of staring at the same blank wall all the time. I’d been thinking about using virtual reality for a while and then it suddenly occurred to me that Google Street View is a great way of seeing the other parts of the world without having to actually go there. “I’m hoping my app could become one of those reasons. If we can find the right partner for CycleVR we could launch a consumer version of the app by the end of 2017.”
Virtual reality is a natural fit for the world of exercise and health. Much like Aaron I too find conventional exercise unbearably boring and often wish there were more entertaining options as opposed to simply running on a treadmill or lifting various weights. Hopefully applications like this will help motivate less-active people like myself by combining digital scenarios with real physical activity.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

AI identifies skin cancer

3d print skin

from slashdot:

Spanish scientists say they have developed a prototype 3D printer that is capable of printing "functional" human skin that can be used for transplant patients, as well as an ethical alternative to animal testing. The so-called bioprinter uses special "ink" consisting of human cells and other biological components to reproduce the natural structure of the skin, including the external epidermis and the deeper dermis layer. These "bio inks" are deposited from special injectors onto a print bed to produce skin that is bioactive and capable of producing its own human collagen, the researchers claim. This means that the 3D-printed skin is, in essence, living tissue, making it suitable for treating burn patients and for testing cosmetic, chemical and pharmaceutical products. According to UC3M, the technology could be used to print other human tissues, although first it needs to be approved by regulators in order to ensure the skin it produces is fit for use on human patients.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Robot That Can Write a Symphony: AI Device Composes Tailor-Made Music

An artificial intelligence headset that records brain waves, links them to the individual’s moods, and then composes original music to uplift its user’s feelings has been invented.

The device, developed by a team of Japanese scientists from Osaka University and Tokyo City University and a research institute in Belgium, was unveiled on Janaury 16, Japanese newspaper Asahi reported. 

To design the headset the scientists recorded the brain waves of volunteers while they listened to different music samples ranging from J-Pop to nursery rhymes. Based on this data, they create a personalized "emotional music model" for each individual. The AI first studied the relations between the music and the emotions of a particular person and then writes the ideal musical composition. The story reminds of the famous quotation from the movie “I, Robot” and makes us think again in what unexpected things computers might become better than us.

According to the research group, conventional automatic music composition machines require the input of specific data about the characteristics of the music that the listener wants, but this system makes music directly in accordance with the listener’s personal sensitivity.

The AI headset is scheduled to be showcased at the 3d Wearable Expo in Tokyo on January 18-20, the report says.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Apple AR

Apple said to be working on AR glasses with Carl Zeiss
The tech titan is working with the German optics maker to create lightweight augmented reality glasses, according to tech evangelist Robert Scoble.
Apple is focusing its rumored interest in the augmented reality space on creating a new pair of AR glasses with Carl Zeiss, according to a new report.
The tech titan is working with the German optics manufacturer on a pair of lightweight AR/mixed reality glasses, according to tech evangelist Robert Scoble. The project, which could be announced as early as this year, was confirmed by a Zeiss employee, Scoble wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
Unlike virtual reality, which promises to immerse goggle-wearing users in new and exciting digital worlds, AR overlays images and data atop the real world. The best-known example of AR today is Pokemon Go, in which Pokemon characters appear on players' phone screens amid the streets or parks they're exploring.
Apple's hinted before it was more interested in augmented reality than virtual reality. In September, Apple CEO Tim Cook told ABC News that he saw bigger possibilities for AR than VR, since AR allows people to be more "present."
"There's virtual reality and there's augmented reality -- both of these are incredibly interesting," Cook said in the interview. "But my own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two, probably by far."
The company has filed several patents with the the US Patent and Trademark Office that deal with augmented reality. For example, an Apple patent application published in 2014 called "Transparent electronic device" envisioned a way of overlaying images over real-world viewable objects.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Monday, January 9, 2017

BCI headsets

neural lace - thought interface

Human Race At Risk? Neural Lace Can Prevent Artificial Intelligence From Dominating, Says Elon Musk

The debate about whether or not humans should allow Artificial Intelligence (AI) to evolve at a rapid rate continues to this day. What happens if AI evolves faster than expected? What happens if somehow we goof up and end up creating far more intelligent creatures than we intended to? The recent television series Westworld captures very aptly the consequences of meddling with Artificial Intelligence. For years, researchers have feared that one day AI will be so powerful that it will begin to dominate human race and put homo-sapiens at risk. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, concurs with this view and has warned that human race is at risk of being treated like house pets if AI adoption becomes commonplace across the world. The solution, Elon Musk believes, lies in developing neural lace.

Neural Lace: What’s that?

Musk has long advocated the concept of neural lace. In fact, he announced on Twitter in August 2016 that he is making good progress on his neural lace design, which is basically designed to augment human intelligence and avoid the inevitable takeover when AI becomes smarter than us. In its most basic form, neural lace is just a computer interface woven into the brain. As the theory goes, neural lace systems will be capable of wirelessly transmitting signals to external devices. We will then be able to “think” our messages into existence, rather than type them using keyboards or smartphones.

Neural lace needed to make human race safe

Musk believes that one of the ways to prevent AI from taking over the human race is to create a neural lace that would be injected into the blood and carried to cortical neurons. This procedure has already been done in mice. According to Musk, neural lace will work well and symbiotically with the human body. “I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution? I think one of the solutions that seem maybe the best is to add an AI layer. Something I think is going to be quite important—I don’t know of a company that’s working on it seriously—is a neural lace,” he says.
What do you think about the concept of AI? Will AI eventually take over the human race? Post your thoughts in the comments section.