drone-in-the-forest
Manufactured Animals

Lost in the Forest? The Drones Will Find You

Researchers at the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the University of Zurich have “taught” small drones how to recognize and navigate the forest paths by themselves. This means that soon, if you get lost in the woods, you may have a drone come get you and tell you how to get back on track. They can also be used in order to improve the effectiveness of rescue teams.

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Society of Simulations

King Bee Inspecting His Drones?

Our peculiar image of the week could have been a still from a dystopian sci-fi movie, in which a totalitarian leader imprisoned humankind in a virtual beehive where the thoughts and feelings of individual humans are fully regulated. Except this is not fiction, but a photo from Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg presenting his VR technology at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona.

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Forward to Nature

Join us

Virtual worlds, printed food, living cities, wild robots – we’re so surrounded by technology that it’s becoming our next nature. How can we live in harmony with it? The Next Nature Network is a 21st century nature organization that wants to go forward – not back – to nature. We stir debate, create events, exhibitions, publications and products that bring biology and technology into balance. Because ultimately, we may not just have to save the pandas but the people too. Will you join us?

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domestication-of-the-banana
Hypernature

Banana by Design

That banana you buy in the supermarket is a product of nature, right? Not really. If you compare the supermarket banana with the original wild banana the differences in size, look and taste are striking.

Human design has turned old nature into hypernature: better than the real thing. But at the end of the day, the supermarket banana is not so much a product of nature, as it is a product of design.
Peculiar image of the week via Rebrn.

Intimate Technology

Turning Contact Lenses into Screens

The way we interact with technology is hanginhanging very quickly and is becoming every day more personal and intimate. Scientists from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute transformed contact lenses into computer screens. They came up with a polymer film coating able to conduct electricity on a contact lens, with the potential to build miniature electrical circuits that are safe to be worn.

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savethehumans_athoxton
Next Nature

Save The Humans @ The Hoxton Hotel

Smartphones, health-care robots, wearable computers and driver-less cars – they’re coming, or they’re already here. We are becoming increasingly intimate with the machines that constantly measure, monitor and control our lives. How does this affect our autonomy and our human spirit? And how can the growing global population – already above 7 billion – work together to create humane lives for us all? What’s at stake is the remains of human agency.

Next Thursday, February 11, the Hoxton Hotel in Amsterdam dedicates an evening to our newest publication: ‘Save the Humans!’ Speakers include philosopher Jos De Mul, filmmaker Floris Kaayk and initiator of the publication Mieke Gerritzen. Next Nature Network founder Koert van Mensvoort will lead the conversation.

Check the event page for more info.

 

Artificial intelligence and biological enhancement
Augmented Bodies

From Homo Sapiens to Homo Optimus

We are slowly but surely entering an age of technological singularity, in which artificial intelligence and biological enhancement are combined in order to construct the next stages of human evolution. The year 2050 seems to be the point when technological advancements will allow us to merge our biological bodies with computers.

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