From Kurzweil AI:
In a post on Google Plus, Google X employees unveilved a prototype of the company’s “Project Glass” wrap-around augmented-reality glasses.
The glasses can superimpose information on the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages via voice commands, similar to Siri.
A built-in camera can record video and take pictures.
“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the Google employees wrote. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”
Nick Bilton’s NY Times Bits blog (especially the comments)
The Singularity is here. These glasses could be a great memory extender and a great item to have for college.
The downside is that one could build a dependence on this item and natural memory would suffer.
Charles Stross predicted this item in his 2005 novel ‘Accelerando.’
As always, many thanks to the Daily Grail
As this blog enters its sixth anniversary this month, I have never given much thought of it lasting this long. In fact, it almost ended last year when I took a long hiatus due to health issues; both for myself and my wife.
But as time went on and both my wife and I slowly recovered, I discovered I still had some things to say. And I realized the world never stopped turning in the meanwhile.
As I started to post again, the personal site Facebook became a semi-intelligent force unto itself. I say ‘semi-intelligent’ because it is spreading exponentially due to its posting of its games and constant proliferation of personal info unannounced and unapproved by individuals. And people, especially young folks don’t care this happens.
Distributed networks, mainly Facebook, Google and the World Wide Web in general are forms of distributed Artificial Intelligence. Does that mean we are in the early throes of the Technological Singularity?
I think we are IMO.
And if we are in the early upward curve of the Technological Singularity, how would that affect our theories of ancient intelligence in the Universe?
Well, I think we should seriously rethink our theories and consider how the Fermi Paradox might figure into this. Thinkers such as George Dyvorsky have written a few treatises on the subject and I believe they should be given due consideration by mainstream science. (The Fermi Paradox: Back With a Vengeance).
Speaking of mainstream science, it is slowly, but surely accepting the fact the Universe is filled with ancient stars and worlds. And if there’s a possibility the Universe has ancient worlds, there’s a chance there might be anicent Intelligences inhabiting these worlds:
The announcement of a pair of planets orbiting a 12.5 billion-year old star flies in the face of conventional wisdom that the earliest stars to be born in the Universe shouldn’t possess planets at all.
12.5 billion years ago, the primeval universe was just beginning to make heavier elements beyond hydrogen and helium, in the fusion furnace cores of the first stars. It follows that there was very little if any material for fabricating terrestrial worlds or the rocky seed cores of gas giant planets.
This argument has been used to automatically rule out the ancient and majestic globular star clusters that orbit our galaxy as intriguing homes for extraterrestrials.
The star that was announced to have two planets is not in a globular cluster (it lives inside the Milky Way, although it was most likely a part of a globular cluster that was cannibalized by our galaxy), but it is similarly anemic as the globular cluster stars because it is so old.
This discovery dovetails nicely with last year’s announcement of carbon found in a distant, ancient radio galaxy. These findings both suggest that there were enough heavy elements in the early universe to make planets around stars, and therefore life.
However, a Hubble Space Telescope search for planets in the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae in 1999 came up empty-handed. Hubble astronomers monitored 34,000 stars over a period of eight days. The prediction was that some fraction of these stars should have “hot Jupiters” that whirl around their star over a period of days (pictured here in an artist’s rendition). They would be detected if their orbits were tilted edge-on to Earth so the stars would briefly grow dimmer during each transit of a planet.
A similar survey of the galactic center by Hubble in 2006 came up with 16 hot Jupiter planet candidates. This discovery was proof of concept and helped pave the way for the Kepler space telescope planet-hunting mission.
Why no planets in a globular cluster? For a start, globular clusters are more crowded with stars than our Milky Way — as is evident in the observation of the dwarf galaxy M9 below. “It may be that the environment in a globular was too harsh for planets to form,” said Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia. “Planetary disks are pretty fragile things and could be easily disrupted in such an environment with a high stellar density.”
However, in 2007 Hubble found a 2.7 Jupiter mass planet inside the globular cluster M4. The planet is in a very distant orbit around a pulsar and a white dwarf. This could really be a post-apocalypse planet that formed much later in a disk of debris that followed the collapse of the companion star into a white dwarf, or the supernova explosion itself.
Hubble is now being used to look for the infrared glow of protoplanetary disks in 47 Tucanae. The disks would be so faint that the infrared sensitivity of the planned James Webb Space Telescope would be needed to carry out a more robust survey.
If planets did form in the very early in the universe, life would have made use of carbon and other common elements as it did on Earth billions of years ago. Life around a solar-type star, or better yet a red dwarf, would have a huge jump-start on Earth’s biological evolution. The earliest life forms would have had the opportunity to evolve for billions of years longer than us.
This inevitably leads to speculation that there should be super-aliens who are vastly more evolved than us. So… where are they? My guess is that if they existed, they evolved to the point where they abandoned bodies of flesh and blood and transformed themselves into something else — be it a machine or something wildly unimaginable.
However, it’s clear that despite (or, because of) their super-intelligence, they have not done anything to draw attention to themselves. The absence of evidence may set an upper limit on just how far advanced a technological civilization may progress — even over billions of years.
Keep in mind that most of the universe would be hidden from beings living inside of a globular star cluster. The sky would be ablaze with so many stars that it would take a long time for alien astronomers to simply stumble across the universe of external galaxies — including our Milky Way.
There will be other searches for planets in globular clusters. But our present understanding makes the question of a Methuselah civilization even more perplexing. If the universe made carbon so early, then ancient minds should be out there, somewhere.
Methuselah civilizations eh?
Sure. If there are such civilizations out there, it is because they wish to remain in the physical realm and not cross over to the inner places of shear mental and god-like powers.
As with all things ‘Future’, the answer could come crashing down upon us faster than we are prepared for.
As usual, thanks to the Daily Grail.
It has been postulated in the past few years that our reality, i.e., the “Third Dimension” is an illusion and thusly could be manipulated and it would be proven once and for all that we live in a multi-dimensional multi-verse.
Now scientists at the FermiLab high energy research facility are building an instrument to prove that we exist in a high level “hologram”:
Researchers at Fermilab are building a “holometer” so they can disprove everything you thought you knew about the universe. More specifically, they are trying to either prove or disprove the somewhat mind-bending notion that the third dimension doesn’t exist at all, and that the 3-D universe we think we live in is nothing more than a hologram. To do so, they are building the most precise clock ever created.
The universe-as-hologram theory is predicated on the idea that spacetime is not perfectly smooth, but becomes discrete and pixelated as you zoom in further and further, like a low-res digital image. This idea isn’t novel; recent experiments in black-hole physics have offered evidence that this may be the case, and prominent physicists have proposed similar ideas. Under this theory, the universe actually exists in two dimensions and the third is an illusion produced by the intertwining of time and depth. But the false third dimension can’t be perceived as such, because nothing travels faster than light, so instruments can’t find its limits.
This is theoretical physics at its finest, drowning in complex mathematics but short on hard data. So Fermilab particle astrophysicist Craig Hogan and his team are building a “holometer” to magnify spacetime and see if it is indeed as noisy as the math suggests it might be at higher resolution. In Fermilab’s largest laser lab, Hogan and company are putting together what they call a “holographic interferometer,” which – like a classic interferometer – will split laser beams and measure the difference in frequencies between the two identical beams.But unlike conventional interferometers, the holometer will measure for noise or interference in spacetime itself. It’s actually composed of two interferometers – built one atop the other – that produce data on the amount of interference or “holographic noise.” Since they are measuring the same volume of spacetime, they should show the same amount of correlated jitter in the fabric of the universe. It will produce the first direct experimental insight into the fundamental nature of space and time, and there’s no telling what researchers delving into that data might find out about the holographic nature of the universe.
So enjoy the third dimension while you still can. Construction on the first instrument is already underway, and Hogan thinks they will begin collecting data on the very nature of spacetime itself by next year.
I wonder if this plays into Nick Bostrum’s theory that we’re living in a mass simulation created by our post-technological Singularity descendants?
And if this is the case, why? To study us from a historical point of view and walk a mile in our moccasins?
Well, if this experiment proves that we’re living in a “fake” third dimension, how do we use this knowledge?
Last week I showed a couple of points against a technological singularity happening, but today I’ll show how a Singularity is being actively pursued by governments and corporations via the Internet.
From Red Ice Creations:
This is an interesting commercial for BBC’s “Superpower” about “The Extraordinary Power Of The Internet”. Showing how humanity is being turned into “Aliens”? It’s just one more tidbit of “Alien” entertainment that we’ve been getting lately.
Watch out they are Waging Peace!
It has been rumored the Internet started turning “self-aware” or attained consciousness 2-3 years ago and the very first thing it did was to camouflage itself from its main predator.
Which would make sense. Because if we can create it, we are the only ones to destroy it.
But that’s not the goal of the powers that be.
Definition of Technological Singularity from Wikipedia: “A technological singularity is a hypothetical event occurring when technological progress becomes so extremely rapid, due in most accounts to the technological creation of smarter-than-human intelligences, that it makes the future after the singularity qualitatively different and harder to predict. It has been suggested that a singularity will occur during the 21st century, and there are several mechanisms by which a singularity could occur.”
Lately however, there have been some voices decrying the validity of a technological singularity occurring. In fact, there have been singularity technologies coming into existence since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Many scientifically-minded people believe the Singularity is a time in the future when human civilization will be completely transformed by technologies, specifically A.I. and machines that can control matter at an atomic level (for a full definition of what I mean by the Singularity, read my backgrounder on it). The problem with this idea is that it’s a completely unrealistic view of how technology changes everyday life.
Case in point: Penicillin. Discovered because of advances in biology, and refined through advances in biotechnology, this drug cured many diseases that had been killing people for centuries. It was in every sense of the term a Singularity-level technology. And yet in the long term, it wound up leaving us just as vulnerable to disease. Bacteria mutated, creating nastier infections than we’ve ever seen before. Now we’re turning to pro-biotics rather than anti-biotics; we’re investigating gene therapies to surmount the troubles we’ve created by massively deploying penicillin and its derivatives.
hat is how Singularity-level technologies work in real life. They solve dire problems, sure. They save lives. But they also create problems we’d never imagined – problems that might have been inconceivable before that Singularity tech was invented.
What I’m saying is that the potato chip won’t taste better after the Singularity because the future isn’t the present on steroids. The future is a mutated bacteria that you never saw coming.
In Heaven, everything is fine. In the future, not so much.
After the Singularity, humans will supposedly live for a very long time, if not forever. And we will build spaceships using nanobots that assemble it from carbon atoms on up. I am always suspicious of predictions that sound like religious myths. I’m not opposed to religion – it’s fine with me if you want to believe in God or dharma – but I am opposed to basing visions of tomorrow on fantasies from the past rather than what we can glean from factual accounts of history.
For previous generations, the machines of industrial mass production and the huge dynamos that generated electricity were Singularity-level technology. Humans could accomplish tasks that were simply impossible a hundred years before. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pamphlets were full of predictions about how humans had entered a new age of leisure, and things were only going to get more leisurely from there. Sort of the way potato chips are only going to get tastier.
No one can doubt that our lives are infinitely better than the regular worker in the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
Diseases like typhoid, diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles and small pox no longer kill people due to the wondrous singularity tech drug penicillin.
Only now to be plagued by super bugs that require genetic engineering to kill.
The post’s author makes a valid point in that in spite of all of the wondrous technological advancements we make, there will always be problems to replace the old ones. Such is the state of the human condition.
As for myself, I’ll take every singularity tech advancement in the medical field that comes my way, for the simple fact that singularity tech keeps me alive.
That’s why I consider myself a transhuman. Or an early version of one and only one of many.
A world of the transhuman condition?
It won’t be any different than this one.
Here we go again. More disclosure stuff.
But this site has piqued my interest lately in that it’s not the ” in your face ” type of disclosure meme. This seems to have some synchronicity on its side.
Well, see for yourselves:
After more than 210,000 page views of the April 26, 2010, article “Human-looking ETs secretly in U.S?”it seems clear that there is significant public interest in the topic of possible extraterrestrial visitation to Earth, UFOs and equally possible activities of the U.S. defense and intelligence communities regarding these subjects.
The article was about an account of a reported effort by U.S. authorities – Operation TANGO-SIERRA – to investigate a human-looking extraterrestrial who had made contact with a federal employee.
Are people who consider tales like this too gullible? Or, are they open-minded and increasingly aware of highly unusual possibilities?
The same information sources for Operation TANGO-SIERRA are reportedly also those who released information about the alleged Project SERPO. That account involved a mission that allegedly sent 12 specially-selected and highly-trained U.S. military personnel to another planet as guests of friendly extraterrestrial visitors as part of an exchange program.
When we see news about calls for more openness and disclosure about possible government activities in these areas, it also seems clear that human psychology and our preparedness to deal with such possibilities are major elements to consider.
In fact, it might be fair to say that disclosure about possible extraterrestrial visitation to Earth is directly tied to the emotional, spiritual, psychological and social readiness of the public to handle this kind of news.
MEDIA AND EDUCATION
How would we measure public preparedness? Should we conduct more surveys and public opinion polls about people’s feelings and perceptions of UFOs and ETs? How can we be sure that there would not be panic, distress, disorientation and turmoil from such disclosure?
We must also be concerned with children and youngsters who could be affected by fearful reactions. Has our educational system prepared them to handle such a situation? Even our colleges and universities do not routinely delve into these kinds of topics in classes related to science or the social sciences.
However, some higher education institutions are looking into frontier-science areas of various kinds. Conventional colleges and universities are exploring the nature of human consciousness and mysteries of space and the universe.
Now I speculate that real ETIs wouldn’t be humanoid what-so-ever. What ever the theories of evolutionary convergence say, intelligence wouldn’t necessarily follow the humanoid body plan. Sorry, Star Trek be damned. *sniff* 😥
But, that doesn’t preclude the use of humanoid avatars (Thank you James Cameron!). It wouldn’t be beyond the capabilities of a post-Singularity Type III intelligence who might want to study a pre-singularity culture incognito to use avatars. In fact, it’s probably desirable to do so.
In fact, in the new FY2011 NASA budget that cancels the Constellation Program to build human heavy-lift rockets to the Moon is more or less replaced by smaller projects that utilize humanoid robots which can be controlled from Earth or the International Space Station.
So it’s not such a far-out thought experiment.
Time will tell if this is just another disclosure bullsh*t meme. We’ll see.
I am a huge fan of the TV show ‘Fringe.’ The show is about a group of four people; a Homeland security agent, a talented ne’er-do-well, his insane scientist father and the agent’s boss. It has been classified as a latter-day ‘X-Files’ and it does carry some of that with it.
Mainly though, it high-lights ‘transhuman’ or ‘singularity‘ tech such as advanced AI, quantum communication, telepathy, cybernetics, quantum consciousness and viewing and/or travel to parallel universes.
In the history of the show’s ‘people’, the scientist is able to invent a television screen that views a parallel universe in which his son didn’t die. Much along the plot-lines of Lanza and Berman’s ‘Biocentrism.’
Now Rita J. King, a digital semi-collaborator of deceased Fortean auther/researcher Mac Tonnies, records her communications with him in prose and a video, which kind of echoes a sort of transhumanistic recording of Mac:
Half a dozen years ago I was a beat reporter on the nuclear industry, and at the same time I was working on an independent project for which I was interviewing one person from each of the fifty states about how they perceived their lives in their states. My friend Patrick Huyghe, who at the time was an editor at Simon and Schuster, introduced me to one of his authors, Mac Tonnies, in an email.
Mac Tonnies, it turned out, was an absolutely incredible writer. His prose, focused on the relationship between human consciousness and machines, opened up an entirely new dimension in thought for me. Patrick left Simon and Schuster and started his own imprint, Anomalist. Mac decided to go with him. Over the years I realized that I was not the only person who perceived Mac as an interplanetary man of mystery with an exquisite eye for aesthetic beauty and truly groundbreaking ideas. Over time, we grew closer. We collaborated on ideas in Etherpad, which allowed us to write together and chat at the same time. As I segued out of journalism and started my own company, Mac’s interest remained steadfast.
After five years of communicating constantly in the digital realm, Mac admitted that he was somewhat agoraphobic, afraid to leave Kansas City and yet hungering for the coastal life of New York or San Francisco. In a series of conversations in 2009, I convinced him to come to New York and visit. He feared that he would no longer be viewed as an interplanetary man of mystery but rather as a bald guy with two cats who loves to ponder extraterrestrial intelligence. It took me several weeks to convince him that I already saw him for what he was. After all, I had seen or heard an abundance of podcasts, videos, writings, photographs, enough of him to piece together the reality of his life.
In October of 2009, Mac asked me about a novel I’d been thinking about writing for a couple of years but didn’t have time because I’d started a company that continues to grow. I told him that I didn’t have time and he asked to see part of it. We signed into an editing tool and chatted while reading and writing. He absolutely loved what I’d written and gave me a spectacular piece of advice about how to pare back the narrative voice. He was a few days away from finishing his manuscript for Anomalist Books, “Cryptoterrestrials.” On October 18, at the age of 34, Mac Tonnies sent two tweets on Twitter. One was a link to the Byrne/Eno song, “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today,” which is a song about death if ever there was one, and a message to me. Then he died in his sleep from an undiagnosed heart condition.
His death hit me viscerally, and as the days passed something amazing happened. Other people, people who only knew Mac in the digital culture, were gutted by his death. November is National Novel Writing Month, which means writing a 50,000 word draft in 30 days. I had told Mac I didn’t have time, but I realized that as long as I’m alive I can find the time. So I completed my draft for National Novel Writing Month with the support of Mac’s grieving friends. Mac’s parting advice to me about narrative voice made all the difference in the way the story was told.
King’s Video of Mac
I think the link I’m trying to make here is that if there’s a way to invent a parallel universe viewer, we’d still be able to see Mac, enjoying the fruits of his labor from his book and perhaps writing more of them.
King’s recordings might be as close as we get.
The science of quantum physics is like trying to read a back of a cereal box.
Only it’s written in a combination of Chinese and Cyrillic Russian.
If you’re not born to it, or have spent many years studying it, it’s all Greek to you! LOL!
Okay, okay, all language teasing aside, the point here is that if you put quantum physics in the context of language, an everyday person might understand it a little bit better, right?
Well, how about if it’s put into the context of a computer language?
I am always amazed at how such bright physicists discuss scientific anomalies, like quantum entanglement, pronounce that “that’s just the way it is” and never seriously consider an obvious answer and solution to all such anomalies – namely that perhaps our reality is under programmed control.
For the quantum entanglement anomaly, I think you will see what I mean. Imagine that our world is like a video game. As with existing commercial games, which use “physics engines”, the players (us) are subject to the rules of physics, as are subatomic particles. However, suppose there is a rule in the engine that says that when two particles interact, their behavior is synchronized going forward. Simple to program. The pseudocode would look something like:
for all particles (i)
for all particles (j)
if distance(particle.i, particle.j) < EntanglementThreshold then
After that event, at each cycle through the main program loop, whatever one particle does, its synchronized counterparts also do. Since the program operates outside of the artificial laws of physics, those particles can be placed anywhere in the program’s reality space and they will always stay synchronized. Yet their motion and other interactions may be subject to the usual physics engine. This is very easy to program, and, coupled with all of the other evidence that our reality is under programmed control (the programmer is the intelligent creator), offers a perfect explanation. More and more scientists are considering these ideas (e.g. Craig Hogan, Brian Whitworth, Andrei Linde) although the thought center is more in the fields of philosophy, computer science, and artificial intelligence. I wonder if the reason more physicists haven’t caught on is that they fear that such concepts might make them obsolete.
They needn’t worry. Their jobs are still to probe the workings of the “cosmic program.”
The author of the post neglects to mention Nick Bostrum, one of the leading proponents of ‘living in a computer simulation’ theory. But I think it was just an oversight.
Now to me, the living in a computer simulation theory is a big cop-out, just a variant of a religion to haggle and fight over in a modern day setting. This usually involves some sort of Singularity Event in which it could be our non-human descendents (gods) are running ancestor programs and we are the side show!
It could be possible I guess. Then again, anything could be possible!
As for me, I’m holding out for the resolution of the Fermi Paradox. If we made contact with true aliens, all bets are off!
When it comes to the discussion of quantum entanglement, you might as well be speaking Mandarin Chinese to myself and most folks (not a bad language to learn right now IMHO). The concept is alien and is far from the classical Newtonian physics we understand on a daily basis as the distance from Earth to the edge of the known Universe.
And as far as quantum teleportation is concerned, well, this is considered fringe sci-fi sh*t that almost nobody outside of academia understands.
Now scientists are considering useful work for the concept of ‘quantum teleportation.’ And that idea is for the transmission of energy across great distances.
First, they teleported photons, then atoms and ions. Now one physicist has worked out how to do it with energy, a technique that has profound implications for the future of physics.
In 1993, Charlie Bennett at IBM’s Watson Research Center in New York State and a few pals showed how to transmit quantum information from one point in space to another without traversing the intervening space.
The technique relies on the strange quantum phenomenon called entanglement, in which two particles share the same existence. This deep connection means that a measurement on one particle immediately influences the other, even though they are light-years apart. Bennett and company worked out how to exploit this to send information. (The influence between the particles may be immediate, but the process does not violate relativity because some informatiom has to be sent classically at the speed of light.) They called the technique teleportation.
That’s not really an overstatement of its potential. Since quantum particles are indistinguishable but for the information they carry, there is no need to transmit them themselves. A much simpler idea is to send the information they contain instead and ensure that there is a ready supply of particles at the other end to take on their identity. Since then, physicists have used these ideas to actually teleport photons, atoms, and ions. And it’s not too hard to imagine that molecules and perhaps even viruses could be teleported in the not-too-distant future.
But Masahiro Hotta at Tohoku University in Japan has come up with a much more exotic idea. Why not use the same quantum principles to teleport energy?
Today, building on a number of papers published in the last year, Hotta outlines his idea and its implications. The process of teleportation involves making a measurement on each one an entangled pair of particles. He points out that the measurement on the first particle injects quantum energy into the system. He then shows that by carefully choosing the measurement to do on the second particle, it is possible to extract the original energy.
All this is possible because there are always quantum fluctuations in the energy of any particle. The teleportation process allows you to inject quantum energy at one point in the universe and then exploit quantum energy fluctuations to extract it from another point. Of course, the energy of the system as whole is unchanged.
He gives the example of a string of entangled ions oscillating back and forth in an electric field trap, a bit like Newton’s balls. Measuring the state of the first ion injects energy into the system in the form of a phonon, a quantum of oscillation. Hotta says that performing the right kind of measurement on the last ion extracts this energy. Since this can be done at the speed of light (in principle), the phonon doesn’t travel across the intermediate ions so there is no heating of these ions. The energy has been transmitted without traveling across the intervening space. That’s teleportation.
Just how we might exploit the ability to teleport energy isn’t clear yet. Post your suggestions in the comments section if you have any.
But the really exciting stuff is the implications this has for the foundations of physics. Hotta says that his approach gives physicists a way of exploring the relationship between quantum information and quantum energy for the first time.
There is a growing sense that the properties of the universe are best described not by the laws that govern matter but by the laws that govern information. This appears to be true for the quantum world, is certainly true for special relativity, and is currently being explored for general relativity. Having a way to handle energy on the same footing may help to draw these diverse strands together.
Interesting stuff. There’s no telling where this kind of thinking might lead.
Hmm..sounds good in theory.
In fact, it might be easier to suck the energy out of the entangled energy state than the transmission of matter.
Believe it or not, that’s fast becoming a fact, not a mere hypothesis anymore.
In 100 years, the transportation of people and goods across this planet, and others, will be as common as cars and trucks on the interstate highways.
Duck your head!
Astronomers say it may be space junk or it could be a tiny asteroid, too small to cause damage even if it hit. It’s 33 to 50 feet wide at most.
Hmm..makes a good case for the Flexible Path asteroid missions, eh?
From the wonderful world(s) of the multiverse and quantum entanglement:
For the first time, physicists have convincingly demonstrated that physically separated particles in solid-state devices can be quantum-mechanically entangled. The achievement is analogous to the quantum entanglement of light, except that it involves particles in circuitry instead of photons in optical systems. Both optical and solid-state entanglement offer potential routes toquantum computing and secure communications, but solid-state versions may ultimately be easier to incorporate into electronic devices.
The experiment is reported in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Lettersand highlighted with a Viewpoint in the January 11 issue of Physics.
In optical entanglement experiments, a pair of entangled photons may be separated via a beam splitter. Despite their physical separation, the entangled photons continue to act as a single quantum object. A team of physicists from France, Germany and Spain has now performed a solid-state entanglement experiment that uses electrons in a superconductor in place of photons in an optical system.
As conventional superconducting materials are cooled, the electrons they conduct entangle to form what are known as Cooper pairs. In the new experiment, Cooper pairs flow through a superconducting bridge until they reach a carbon nanotube that acts as the electronic equivalent of a beam splitter. Occasionally, the electrons part ways and are directed to separatequantum dots — but remain entangled. Although the quantum dots are only a micron or so apart, the distance is large enough to demonstrate entanglement comparable to that seen in optical systems.
In addition to the possibility of using entangled electrons in solid-state devices for computing and secure communications, the breakthrough opens a whole new vista on the study of quantum mechanically entangled systems in solid materials.
Optical connections not needed? Solid state devices can utilize quantum configurations?
This is huge. Maybe Kurzweil can get his mechanical AI sooner than thought?
Speaking of Ray Kurzweil, the Guru of the Technological Singularity grants an interview with the Transhumanist ezine H+:
RAY KURZWEIL: One area I commented on was the question of a possible link between quantum computing and the brain. Do we need quantum computing to create human level AI? My conclusion is no, mainly because we don‘t see any quantum computing in the brain. Roger Penrose‘s conjecture that there was quantum computing in tubules does not seem to have been verified by any experimental evidence.
Quantum computing is a specialized form of computing where you examine in parallel every possible combination of qubits. So it‘s very good at certain kinds of problems, the classical one being cracking encryption codes by factoring large numbers. But the types of problems that would be vastly accelerated by quantum computing are not things that the human brain is very good at. When it comes to the kinds of problems I just mentioned, the human brain isn‘t even as good as classical computing. So in terms of what we can do with our brains there‘s no indication that it involves quantum computing. Do we need quantum computing for consciousness? The only justification for that conjecture from Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff is that consciousness is mysterious and quantum mechanics is mysterious, so there must be a link between the two.
I get very excited about discussions about the true nature of consciousness, because I‘ve been thinking about this issue for literally 50 years, going back to junior high school. And it‘s a very difficult subject. When some article purports to present the neurological basis of consciousness… I read it. And the articles usually start out, “Well, we think that consciousness is caused by…” You know, fill in the blank. And then it goes on with a big extensive examination of that phenomenon. And at the end of the article, I inevitably find myself thinking… where is the link to consciousness? Where is any justification for believing that this phenomenon should cause consciousness? Why would it cause consciousness?
Kurzweil takes his reputation as the Guru of the Singularity in stride. He feels pretty confident in its eventual arrival.
Will it? Check out this interview!