Tag Archives: science fiction

Science-Fiction im Realitäts-Check

Freiburger Forscher besprechen in einer Filmreihe den Wahrheitsgehalt von Zukunftsfantasien

Ein Roboter mit Bewusstsein, manipulierte Erinnerungen oder mit dem Gehirn ferngesteuerte Avatare: Diese Ideen aus Science-Fiction-Filmen erscheinen mit dem heutigen technologischen Fortschritt in Reichweite. Wie aber sehen das Forscherinnen und Forscher, die an Robotern, Neurotechnologien und Künstlicher Intelligenz arbeiten? Welche Entwicklungen stehen bevor, welche sind unwahrscheinlich und welche erwünscht? Über diese Fragen diskutieren Wissenschaftler aus dem Exzellenzcluster BrainLinks-BrainTools der Universität Freiburg gemeinsam mit dem Publikum anhand von vier Filmen und Ausschnitten aus Serien. Die Filmreihe richtet sich primär an Schülerinnen und Schüler ab 16 Jahren sowie Studierende, steht jedoch auch anderen Interessierten offen. Die Vorführungen finden je nach Termin im Kommunalen Kino oder in der Universität im Rahmen des aka-Filmclubs statt. Der Eintritt im Kommunalen Kino beträgt sechs Euro, der ermäßigte Preis vier Euro. Die Vorführung des aka-Filmclubs kostet 1,50 Euro. Eine Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich, für ganze Schulklassen jedoch erwünscht.

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‘Future Visions’ anthology brings together science fiction – and science fact

To the casual observer, the kind of technological breakthroughs Microsoft researchers make may seem to be out of this world.

Their research is a blueprint for the future of technology, in areas such as – but not limited to – computer vision, artificial intelligence, real-time speech translation, machine learning and quantum computing. So it’s only natural that their work can inspire others – especially those who write about other worlds. (more…)

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Die Utopie ist tot – lang lebe die Utopie!

Was in älterern filmischen und literarischen Darstellungen als Dystopie erschien, ist zum Teil heute Realität. Günter Hack diagnostiziert in der FAZ das Ende der Utopien. Doch vielleicht hat gerade das Internet das Potential, sich selbst neu zu erschaffen und neue Utopien zu entwickeln. Das Neue – es ist heute dringend erforderlich! Und das nicht nur in utopischer Form, sondern auch in Form neuerer rechtlicher Rahmenbedingungen für den Datenschutz, aber auch in Form einer Änderung unserer Gewohnheiten. Da hilft es auch nichts, dass die Perspektive außerhalb der westlichen Hemisphäre ganz anders aussieht, wie uns Leena Simon von ihrer Reise aus Indien berichtet. Manchmal muss mit Traditionen auch gebrochen werden, um ein neues Leben zu ermöglichen.

Video der Woche (more…)

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Mind over mechanics

How thoughts can control a flying robot

It’s a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds.

At the University of Minnesota, a new technology is turning that fiction into reality.

In the lab of biomedical engineering professor Bin He, several young people have learned to use their thoughts to steer a flying robot around a gym, making it turn, rise, dip, and even sail through a ring. (more…)

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IBM Social Sentiment Index Predicts New Retail Trend in the Making

Analytics points to the “Birth of a Trend,” steampunk aesthetic to pervade pop culture in 2013

ARMONK, N.Y. – 14 Jan 2013: National Retail Federation Convention – Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM predicts that ‘steampunk,’ a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year.

Measuring public sentiment can help retail chief marketing officers customize incentives and services to be more in tune with what customers are asking for, using data to tailor their offerings to address fast-moving trends and real-time customer needs. (more…)

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Experiment Would Test Cloud Geoengineering as Way to Slow Warming

Even though it sounds like science fiction, researchers are taking a second look at a controversial idea that uses futuristic ships to shoot salt water high into the sky over the oceans, creating clouds that reflect sunlight and thus counter global warming.

University of Washington atmospheric physicist Rob Wood describes a possible way to run an experiment to test the concept on a small scale in a comprehensive paper published this month in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

The point of the paper — which includes updates on the latest study into what kind of ship would be best to spray the salt water into the sky, how large the water droplets should be and the potential climatological impacts — is to encourage more scientists to consider the idea of marine cloud brightening and even poke holes in it. In the paper, he and a colleague detail an experiment to test the concept. (more…)

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Good Vibrations

Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley Researchers Record First Direct Observations of Quantum Effects in an Optomechanical System

A long-time staple of science fiction is the tractor beam, a technology in which light is used to move massive objects – recall the tractor beam in the movie Star Wars that captured the Millennium Falcon and pulled it into the Death Star. While tractor beams of this sort remain science fiction, beams of light today are being used to mechanically manipulate atoms or tiny glass beads, with rapid progress being made to control increasingly larger objects. Those who see major roles for optomechanical systems in a host of future technologies will take heart in the latest results from a first-of-its-kind experiment.

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, using a unique optical trapping system that provides ensembles of ultracold atoms, have recorded the first direct observations of distinctly quantum optical effects – amplification and squeezing – in an optomechanical system. Their findings point the way toward low-power quantum optical devices and enhanced detection of gravitational waves among other possibilities. (more…)

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Replacing Body Parts Now More Than ‘Science Fiction’

If Dr. Laura Niklason has her way, vascular surgeons will someday be able to pull human veins off a shelf, whenever they want, to save lives.

Niklason is a pioneer in the science — and art — of tissue-engineered replacement of human body components. Last year, she led a research team that successfully implanted tissue-engineered lungs, cultured in vitro, in adult rats. For short intervals of time, the engineered lungs exchanged oxygen and carbon dioxide similarly to natural lungs. (more…)

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