Hello, Robotic Overlords: Intel’s Making Tech That Learns And Adapts To Your Habits

When web surfers aren’t busy calling each other Nazis on forums, they’re often cracking jokes about greeting their future robotic overlords with open arms. It won’t be funny forever; the groundwork for our eventual demise is already being laid by the best minds in the land. IBM announced that it had created prototype cognitive chips modeled after the human brain almost a year ago, and today, Reuters reported that Intel is launching a research project in Israel dedicated to creating smart tech that can learn the habits of its users. (That way, SkyNet will know the best time to strike.)…


Will avatars keep soldiers fighting fit?

Video game training helps Army simulate real-life battlefield

For Col. Anthony Krogh, the approaching end of more than 10 years of war seems more like a call to action.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a toll, but they have also left the US Army battle-tested. As peacetime draws nearer, the Pentagon is grappling with a vital question: How can the military keep its soldiers engaged and fighting fit, both physically and mentally?

Krogh thinks he knows one answer: video games. Short of building fake villages “with goats wandering and smells and all that,” video-game training is the only way consistently to put soldiers in environments like the ones they have operated in since 2001, says Krogh, head of the Army’s national simulation command.


So you’re a cyborg — now what?

Quick: What’s the fattiest system in your body that has two halves and weighs between 2 and 4 pounds?

It’s your brain — you know, that thing that remembers stuff. But because of rapidly evolving information technology, your first impulse was probably to search for the answer on the Internet.

As we become ever more dependent on external sources of memory — using GPS to guide our driving, smartphones to keep our schedules — it’s time to rethink our ideas about what “memory” actually is.

While we don’t physically plug smartphones and other devices into our heads, in some ways we’re already one with them, as evidenced by the anxiety we feel when we’re without them. Would you remember to pick up milk? Would you know your parents’ phone numbers?

If you’ve ever found yourself running late because you left your phone at home, “you might be a cyborg,” says Fred Trotter, a blogger who spoke about information technology at the Health Journalism 2012 conference in April.


Consumer Spending on Home Entertainment Rising for the First Time in Years

The Digital Entertainment Group reports that subscription streaming rose an estimated 545.5% in the first quarter of 2012, while rentals at brick-and-mortar stores fell a devastating 39.4%.

Home video chiefs at the Hollywood studios finally have something to smile about.

For the first time in years, consumer spending on home entertainment actually rose in the first quarter of 2012, rising 2.5% to $4.45 billion largely due to the strength of streaming, according to numbers compiled by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group…