New Contact Lenses With Three Times Zoom

I See You

Unfortunately, not the actual design

New contact lenses have just been developed that can actually zoom in 2.8 times for anyone wearing them. Current designs require that the user wears a pair of glasses to activate the magnification, but I would imagine that will not be the case indefinitely.

The research was led by Eric Tremblay and Joseph Ford who believe the technology could be useful for those suffering from macular degeneration, a common cause of vision problems often leading to blindness.

“The current treatments for macular degeneration include invasive surgery or to wear glasses with very thick lenses. Although research continues, development of this new magnifying lens technology has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world by using these ‘normal’ looking lenses.” – Ian Anglin

I Only Have Eyes For You

The actual current design

Beyond the medical application, there’s plenty of excitement around the use by those with perfectly normal vision. The ability to zoom in and magnify your vision with ease would be great, and I think at the right price, a lot of people would be interested. This would be great for jewelers or anyone working in detail like sculptors or painters, not to mention the possible military applications.

Unfortunately, it may be some time before these are commercially available. The project is still very much in the research stage, but does expect to begin new clinical trials in November 2013.

These aren’t the only hope for those suffering from visual impairment. Incredible trials with stem-cell technology have successfully restored sight to blind mice, and could has a great potential for human development.

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Advanced Artificial Intelligence has the IQ of a Preschooler

AI

Are you waiting for Rosie the Robot to be your own personal maid? Are you ready to send your robot sidekick to get your errands done while you catch up on critical napping time? If you’re anything like me, these concepts are very appealing but just… not… close… enough!

There is room for hope however; an advanced AI system known as ConceptNet4, has been recently tested and shown to have the IQ of a 4-year-old child. This doesn’t get very many people excited, but I think it should. Michio Kaku, a famous theoretical physicist, stated in 2010 that a.i. is currently at the level of a cockroach…

A mentally challenged cockroach; a lobotomized, mentally challenged cockroach.These cockroaches take about six hours to walk across the room.  They enter a room.  They see lines, circles, squares, triangles, but they don’t know the fact that they’re looking at chairs, desks, tables, people, lamps.  They see better than us.  They don’t know what they are seeing.  Also they hear better than us, but they don’t understand what they are hearing.

To think that in three years we have progressed from cockroach to 4-year-old child is pretty amazing. It is important to note that the system is not as fully intelligent as a normal child of this age. Its knowledge is greatly varied and lacks “common sense” and experience-gained knowledge. That being said, this level of a.i. is a new peak in a field with rising interest from scientists and businesses alike.

“Artificial intelligence has been getting exponentially smarter for decades, and some technologists even believe the singularity — the point when machine intelligence will overtake humans — is near. Along the way, we’ve seen the trivia-playing computer Watson trounced trivia maven Ken Jennings at Jeopardy, and chess program Deep Blue eventually beat chess master Gary Kasparov in 1997.” – Robert Sloan

Where Will Human Evolution Take Us?

How Will Humans Evolve?

This is an older article from Nat Geo that explores different ways humans might evolve in the future. I’m pushing for immortal cyborgs, but hey I’ll take genius superhuman too; I’m not a picky guy.

A philosophy known as transhumanism sees humans taking charge of their evolution and transcending their biological limitations via technology.
Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford, said Darwinian evolution “is happening on a very slow time scale now relative to other things that are leading to changes in the human condition”—cloning, genetic enhancement, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology, for starters.

For a more in depth look at the ways we’ll be awesome in the future, hit the link for the full article.

FUTURE HUMANS: Four Ways We May, or May Not, Evolve.