Friday, 24 April 2015

Some Future Trends

SWARM ROBOTICS - they 'think' and agree collectively on how to do things and what to learn. More intelligent in large numbers than as individual compounds of polymers. They see and distinguish colours and decide together where to move and how to adapt. A perfect tool for bringing order in their environment. Cheap, small hulls - mouse sized to bee sized, they can help with various activities or be weaponised. Their manufacturing could perhaps be more simple if they just 'pop' out of a template and are quickly updated with simple learning software.

ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK (ANN)- these small collection of neurons, typically not more than a thousand, can have basic learning human processes and develop data recognition patters over time. When integrated into powerful processors they can solve task very quickly. One such use would be in the monitoring and creation of meta data. Increasingly our devices transmit data so there is a vast and in explorable sea of bits flying around the web. That data can be intercepted and indeed ours e-mails can be read and so on. Because ANN has data recognition patters on more sophisticated levels than just recognizing individual words it can be more useful in the interception of particular activities(terrorist messages, for example; although somehow utopian). ANN is a beginning stage, currently used by corporations to navigate and translate the changing trends on the market and become better prepared as to what will be the next big 'hit'. A further development of ANN is a cyborg(cybernetic organism), which furthers the number of neural connections and so moves along the scale from insect learning to actively conceptualising. ANN will be used to process a large amount of data in the future, because the current conventional ways take too much time.

ROBJECTS - it is an extremely delicate process to design a humanoid robotic body, so robots of the future will generally look like tools and objects with highly specialised functions. A flying tool box, a moving ladder, a talking fridge that does the ordering, a 'smart' lawnmower that can trim trees and so on. They are not conscious and are not AI but are specialized tools that need little input as long as they work within a specified, and often narrow frame. With the advent of energy generation which comes inadvertently with scientific development we will be able to power up a cornucopia of robotic objects around us that are doing task on the background. Any menial job that could be done by a human will be possibly handled by a robject.

REPLICATOR - goes back to vN or von Neumann. It is a device that can place constituents in space bit by bit and arrange them into the requested form. Tools and houses alike can be 'pooped' at a tremendous rate, boosting economy and sky-rocketing production. Two methods are available: top down - printing and assembling the parts of an object literally 'piece by piece', and bottom up approach - which is growing one part until it constitutes the whole. Somehow similar of an organic body, bottom up approach can grow matter out of just a single 'part'. Molecular self assembly and self organization akin to those of our own bodies may design grand structures, likeable only to those of the termites'. It is important to note that if we increase a termite colony proportionately so that a termite matches human size, the construction will dwarf anything that we, or any other organism has come up with.

TELE-OPERATED ROBOTS and VR(virtual reality) - Tele-operated robots is to be the first step towards true and autonomous AI. They will be stronger, faster and will give subjective experience of what it is to be like if you had such a body. Developing immersive VR technology and increased transfer data rate will make that possible through goggles, gloves, sensors and a menagerie of gadgets attached to the body. It is somewhat an interesting dichotomy as even today there are people who would rather enjoy their virtual selves more than their 'mundane everyday'. With the incremental immersion a subjective sensation that is not akin to humans will be made 'experience'-able for humans and it is likely that there will be those that would prefer the state of this reality to that of the 'real'.

STIGMERGIC HUMANS - radio transmitters translating brain activity into waves to be picked up by others and re-translated into nerve-stimulating impulses. Stigmergy is not in itself hive mind and can be observed in simpler organisms such as bees, termites, ants, who are collectively capable of creating highly organised societies but are individually quite primitive. In the case of humans, say, one might transmit to the collective whole a sense of sexual pleasure and fulfilment that one is having, therefore giving a wide-spread satisfaction to the group and in return receive processed data, by somebody who had done hard work of analysing scientific findings, for instance. Extrapolations are endless. In fighting units one will be fed data of position and conditions of his fellow combatants and will in a tactic fashion asses the best place to hide or advance to. In simple words - neural pulses are transformed into bits, travelling via the wireless and translated back into neural information stimulating the neurons, producing chemicals accordingly in the brain, activating sensual centres and delivering data.

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY - What can most shortly be expressed as reprogramming of the code of life - DNA/RNA. It is possible to turn genes off and for instance no longer have to store long term energy in the fat cells, effectively riding society of diabetes and heart attacks. Another possible feature is to reprogram micro organisms to work in our favour, constructing foods or structures that are of benefit to us. One such example could be filling holes in buildings by simply injecting organisms that start producing the corresponding molecular matrix and eventually fill the gap and strengthen the structure. Yet another possibility is to reproduce cells of the human body, by growing them artificially outside of the body. Being scraped from the throat they undergo DNA reprogramming (adding genes more often than not) and are injected back into the organism, being recognised by the body and used accordingly in the regeneration process of various organs - lungs, hearts, livers ect. Or using 3d printing technique, to produce an extracellular organic matrix then populating it with modified stem cells, extracted from the body of the host. By renegotiating the genome sequence of the stem cells they are changed into the constituents of an organ, ready to populate the 'sponge' and grow into a functional organ.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE - an entity is truly intelligent only when it is possible to understand what you want and need at the moment. Witnessing our fellow humans, that may be an inappropriate explanation but... At the moment there are computers reading huge chunks of the available data base. Soon they will effectively encompass the whole of human knowledge in the form of a cloud. It won't be able to give you a compressed summary, though, but rather a large source of data to consult with. Every related topic and paper on a given issue in almost an instant. It won't be able to give you a subjective processed summary, or rather it won't be able to deliver you things on the fly that are relevant to the situation. The better your question, the narrower the answer will be. Only when emotions kick in and empathy shapes thought in ways similar to those of the caveman will an AI be able to discern what is relevant. Even though global data base is available at the moment, robots will only perform menial duties in the years to come. A large portion of the assessment will still be done by humans. Robots will take over jobs on the low end of the ladder.

FUNCTIONAL ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAM - method of translating neural brain waves into electric waves; monitoring and recording them. fMRI scans give insights to the brain functions or more precisely which part of the brain is active based on what operation is performed or what emotions are felt. In the future these waves can be transmitted to robots and directions can be given only by a thought. For instance - robotic chairs for cripples, which are connected to transmitters(placed non-invasive) in the brain pick up signals for directions and execute them, transferring their otherwise immobile patron. These signals can also be transmitted brain-to-brain and a person sitting in one room can receive signals to move their hand involuntarily by somebody else via WiFi. As the technology proliferates it will become possible to make the famous telepathy accessible. Chips are going to become omnipresent. Signals from our brain will be send all across our environment and our surroundings will be manipulated, without us having to use physical movements. Curtains on the wall, the kettle, the phone, the television ect. will all become recipients to our commands. The technology poses some interesting and dangerous interpolations in the face of mind control. Although extremely immoral and twisted use of this technology will allow for mind controlled humans. Another use will be sharing brain power. When you're asleep, for instance, you will literally 'lend' your computational power to another person and help them in the solution of a hard task. Such as solving n-dimensional mathematical theorems of string theory, perhaps.