The Beast Upon Your Shoulder, The Price Upon Your Head.

Imagine a place that looks pretty much like any other faux-English pub/sports bar on the planet: familiar, unremarkable, safe. It’s only when you eye the menu— “Deviled Lamb Kidneys on Dripping Toast”; “Stilton Cheese Ice Cream”; “Crusty Lard in Mason Jars”; “Jellied Stingray garnished with Nettles”— that you start to wonder if you’ve entered some […]

Posted in: Big Brother, relevant tech by Peter Watts 43 Comments

Dr. Fox and the Borg Collective

Take someone’s EEG as they squint really hard and think Hello. Email that brainwave off to a machine that’s been programmed to respond to it by tickling someone else’s brain with a flicker of blue light. Call the papers. Tell them you’ve invented telepathy. Or: teach one rat to press a lever when she feels […]

Posted in: neuro, relevant tech by Peter Watts 15 Comments

By & About

Me, that is. In reference to a couple of essays that have gone live over the past 24 hours. * I haven’t had a lot contact with the good folks over at The Canadian Science Fiction Review— I don’t even know why they call themselves “Æ”, now that I think of it— but over the […]

A Terminator with Training Wheels

So I was going to treat you to another fiblet today, but when you intersect previously-unposted excerpts with spoiler-free excerpts the overlap drops down into the single digits and the piece I wanted to post still needed a bit of work anyway (too many colons).  Which is what I was working on before this happened: […]

Dragon Watch.

I don’t care if a million shots just like this are already infesting the internet. I post these anyway because this is awesome.                            

Posted in: relevant tech, spaaaaace!!! by Peter Watts 22 Comments

Blind Spots

So DARPA’s feeling a little overwhelmed by the blizzard of data at its disposal. All that telemetry. All those intercepted signals. All those eyes in the sky and ears to the ground, sucking up the terabytes so fast they can barely slap new storage into place in time to catch it all. And that’s just […]

Posted in: relevant tech, sentience/cognition by Peter Watts 28 Comments

Head Cheese Gone Wild

I was plenty pleased when little porridges of cultured neurons took their first baby steps towards running flight simulators or operating robots in the lab; I was downright smug when folks noticed that I’d got there first. Now, though, researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology are planning on putting head cheeses in […]

Posted in: AI/robotics, biotech, neuro, relevant tech by Peter Watts 5 Comments

A Plague of Angels (or, Rorschach in your living room!)

Well, this is interesting. Intel has leapfrogged MIT on the whole magnetic-resonance schtick. They can wirelessly light a 60-watt bulb from almost a meter away, wasting only 25% of the broadcast energy in transit. This is a good thing, because “…the human body is not affected by magnetic fields,” Josh Smith from Intel reassures us. […]

Posted in: neuro, relevant tech by Peter Watts 9 Comments

I Still Want My Fucking Jet Pack…

But this will do in the meantime. Emotiv’s brainwave-reading products made a brief appearance in last year’s flash piece “Repeating the Past“, which is set less than ten years from now, so it’s nice to see they’re still on track. I bet Stephen Hawking already has one.

Posted in: relevant tech by Peter Watts 7 Comments

Mind Reading Technology…

…has been a staple of every low-budget piece of celluloid skiffy going back at least to that early-sixties Gerry-Anderson puppet show Stingray (which no one with any dignity will admit to having watched, although I clearly remember the episode with the mind-reading chair). The Prisoner also featured an episode in which No. 6’s dreams could […]

Posted in: biology, neuro, relevant tech by Peter Watts 7 Comments