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Analysis and insight on the future of art. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends related to art and design.

Donating to UNICEF Innovation Labs Could Land You in the Next Star Wars Movie

What are the grand challenges? Depends on the galaxy. In unspecified galaxies far, far away and long ago, energy and cheap space travel were no issue. Evil Sith lords suffering from acute megalomania, on the...

Watch as These Colorful Robotic Swarms Respond to Human Gestures

Disney is taking animation into three-dimensions to restore its ability to wow audiences. A research team affiliated with the company recently presented a swarm of 75 watch-sized robots whose colors and formations can be controlled with a drawing app.

You Can Hear the Taste of Spices by Touching This Poster

If you have synesthesia, where one sensory input involuntarily stimulates another, the world is a symphony of color and a painting of sound. Taken from the Greek words "syn" (together) and "aisthesis" (perception), folks with...

Check Out This Futuristic 3D Printed Car Body

German auto firm, EDAG, made a stir at this year's Geneva Motor Show with a fully 3D printed auto body called Genesis. And why not? Its smooth grey curves and futuristic honeycomb ooze sex appeal....

The Dutch Are 3D Printing a House

My first article here at Singularity Hub was on a plan to 3D print houses in under 24 hours. What on the surface appeared to be an exciting new idea was, in fact, an...

Singularity Surplus: Put on Your Electric Thinking Cap!

Brain stimulation leads to faster learning; TED marks 30th anniversary with giant digital art display; flying wind turbine poised for test run in Alaska.

Can a Prosthetic Arm Turn a Drummer’s Disability Into a Superability?

It was the summer of 1987. I, in my hypercolor t-shirt, nibbled astronaut ice cream to an endless parade of MTV hair bands dispensing bar-closing mainstays like “Livin’ On a Prayer,” “Here I Go...

In Depth With Jason Silva: Brain Games, Trance States, and The Abomination of Death

It’d been awhile, so we contacted Jason Silva to find out what gets him up in the morning these days. Though he’s added a mainstream audience, Silva seems eager as ever to chase the “adjacent possible” and leap over it into even dreamier domains. To learn why, among other things, he’s slightly disappointed Google Glass isn’t Scarlett Johansson, why privacy is malleable and mostly overrated, and how femto-scale computing at black hole densities accounts for the eery silence of the universe—read on.

Squarepusher Explores ‘Emotional Machine Music’ With 78-Fingered Robot Guitarist

Worried about the impending robot takeover? Maybe you should be. Once confined to specific tasks, automatons are now capable of activities we tend to think reserved for human beings. Case in point? This music video performed...

Netflix Utilizing Amazon Cloud To Support Its Next-Gen AI For Recommendations

Netflix has tried a number of different ways to improve its recommendations, and it recently announced that it is increasingly using artificial intelligence to do so. But Netflix isn’t buying all the computing power to build an artificial intelligence system for itself. Instead, Netflix will host its efforts right on competitor Amazon’s cloud.

Color-Coded 3D Brain Map Comes to Life in Video

The Harvard SEAS Connectome Group is building a color-coded three-dimensional map from scans of paper-thin slices of a mouse brain, and the map comes to life in a recent National Geographic video.

3D Systems and Sugar Lab Bring ChefJet 3D Sugar Printer to CES

For a $5,000 to $10,000, high-end chefs will have a new toy and tool later this year—a 3D printer specializing in sugar. 3D Systems’ ChefJet series can print monochromatic or full color shapes to adorn cakes and other edible works of art.

Artist Paints Photorealistic Morgan Freeman Portrait With a $7 App on His iPad

UK graphic artist, Kyle Lamber, recently showed how powerful digital painting apps have become. Working from a photograph, Lambert used a painting app, his finger, and an iPad to compose an almost photo-perfect portrait of Morgan Freeman. The host of Through the Wormhole is, of course, a perfectly appropriate model for this demonstration of the power of tech.

Algorithm Tracks Literary Emotion in Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm

Computers are excellent at crunching numbers, looking for words, following a logical set of instructions. But our machines are still highly literal beasts. The subtleties of human emotion largely escape them. Which is why Saif Mohammad—a Research Officer at the Institute for Information Technology, National Research Council Canada (NRC)—wants to inject emotional color into algorithms for research, search, and maybe more.

Robotics and Art Combine in Latest Viral Video “Box”

Last December, we visited two very cool companies at the intersection of high tech and art—Bot & Dolly and Autofuss. In an industrial space behind their café, Front, the two companies use robotic arms, software, and cameras to produce multimedia experiences the likes of which you’ve never seen. And they’re at it again. Bot & Dolly recently released a mindblowing short film titled, “Box.” The visuals alone are striking—but a peek behind the curtain makes them stunning. None of what you’re about to see was done in post-production. Had you seen the film shot live, it would look no different than the video.

What Will Happen 5 Days Before The Singularity? “I’s” Feature Film Aims To Find Out

Sci-fi films have a long history of speculating what the future might be like, seeking to understand what remnants of humanity will continue on when the world may undergo drastic change. More realistic projections...

Researchers ‘Paint’ A Copy of the Mona Lisa 1/3 the Width of a Human Hair

Georgia Tech researchers recently unveiled a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa that would likely make the Renaissance master’s jaw drop. At just 30 microns across, the image is 100,000 times smaller than the real thing—or roughly 1/3rd the width of a human hair.

Canvas, Camera, Brush, and Algorithms Enable Robot Artist’s Beautiful Paintings

If there were a Turing test for artificial creativity (AC)—e-David might well be on its way to passing. The robotic system, created by researchers at the University of Konstantz in Germany, employs a variety of styles to produce paintings remarkably similar to their human counterparts.

Google Shares Details of Futuristic New Office Park at NASA

It’s no secret Google’s building a high-tech portfolio beyond search, from self-driving cars to artificial intelligence. Out of the limelight, however, they’re building something else entirely—a new campus at NASA Moffett Field. Though the firm has been rather secretive about their new Bayview campus, a panel of designers and architects in involved in the project recently gave a talk at NASA, a stone’s throw from Singularity University. Down for the afternoon, I popped in to hear the gospel.

Two Bit Circus Kickstarts Traveling Carnival of Robots, Fire, and Lasers

Two Bit Circus is producing the STEAM Carnival, a hands-on event featuring “robots, fire, and lasers to inspire young inventors in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.” Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Jason Silva Discusses the Singularity in His New Web Series ‘Shots of Awe’

My favorite thing about Jason Silva? His ability to formulate, encapsulate, and prescribe, over the counter, the awe this particular epoch of human evolution can and should engender. Whatever pills he’s taking, I want some. A close second? His t-shirts. Check out his backlog here to see cosmological creation on cotton crewnecks.

‘Anti-Gravity’ 3D Printer Uses Strands to Sculpt Shapes on Any Surface

3D printers build objects by cross-section, one layer at a time from the ground up—gravity is the limiting factor. But what if it wasn’t? Using proprietary 3D printing materials, Petr Novikov and Saša Jokić’s Mataerial 3D printing system is gravity independent. The duo’s method allows a robotic arm to print objects on floors, walls, ceilings—smooth and uneven surfaces.

You’ll Be Able to Buy a 3D Printer at Staples by the End of June

Though industrial firms have used additive technologies in rapid prototyping for years, the tech is still fresh and growing in the consumer segment. The latest sign of the 3D printer home invasion? Retail office supply chain, Staples, says they’ll sell the 3D Systems Cube 3D Printer online and in retail stores by the end of June.

What’s in the Cube? Mystery Revealed, Prize Awarded to Young Man From Scotland

Bryan Henderson hails from Edinburgh Scotland. He’s 18 years old and recently became a god. Henderson won the collaborative, cube-destroying game Curiosity—What’s Inside the Cube, and he’s reportedly still a bit baffled as to how it happened.

Polytron, Maker of Switchable Privacy Glass Aims For Transparent Smartphone

Taiwan’s Polytron Techologies, a subsidiary of US firm Polytronix, wants to change the way we look at (and through) glass, one of mankind’s oldest inventions. Polytron makes giant touchscreens, selectively opaque glass, projection glass, holographic glass, LED-impregnated glass, color-changing glass, rainbow glass, glowing glass, and the mysterious Polyheat glass.

The Future of Gaming — It May All Be in Your Head

Neurogaming is riding on the heels of some exponential technologies that are converging on each other. Many of these were on display recently in San Francisco at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo; a first-of-its-kind conference whose existence alone signals an inflection point in the industry. Conference founder, Zack Lynch, summarized neurogaming to those of us in attendance as the interface, “where the mind and body meet to play games.”

NAO Robot Has Learned To Write

Robot developer Franck Calzada has brought us one step closer to creating an assistant scribe for the common man in his new program with which NAO can write any word.

First Movie Trailer For Ender’s Game Clocks 1.3 Million Views On YouTube On First Day

The first trailer for Ender's Game, the sci-fi film based on the classic novel by Orson Scott Card, was released yesterday and it promises to be one of the biggest sci-fi movies of 2013. The Hugo award-winning story, which focuses on a young boy named Ender Wiggin who is recruited to become a military commander, has been both influential and controversial since it was first published in 1985. It has been followed by numerous sequels and spin offs, crafting an enormous universe that has been begging to be turned into film for decades.

Next Step For Glowing Plant Kickstarter Campaign? Glowing Rose

If the campaign raises more than $400,000, they’ll not only complete the Arabidopsis work, but bring illumination to the already beautiful rose as well.

A Box With A Hidden Video Camera Documents Journey Through The Mail

Ever wondered what it was like to be a parcel? No? Silly you. Ruben van der Vleuten thinks you should know.

Reprogrammed Assembly Line Robots Make Fine Art in San Francisco

What is an Autofuss? Good question. The four year old San Francisco design firm is hard to pin down. Go to the website to find out, and you will be shown (not told) with a lush selection of video shorts defying the laws of physics and begging the question, “How’d they do that?” Well, you wouldn’t be here if the answer were anything else. Robots, of course.

Drones Light Up London Night Sky – With Star Trek Logo

It’s not the Bat Signal, but if you’re a Star Trek fan, it’s even better. And if you’re a geeky Star Trek fan that’s really into cutting edge technology – that was deliberately redundant – you’re really going to love this.

Futuristic Predictions From 1988 LA Times Magazine Come True…Mostly

In 2013, a day in the life of a Los Angeles family of four is an amazing testament to technological progress and the idealistic society that can be achieved...or at least that's what the Los Angeles Times Magazine was hoping for 25 years ago. Back in April 1988, the magazine ran a special cover story called "L.A. 2013" and presented what a typical day would be like for a family living in the city.

Stunning Visuals From the Edge of Science and Engineering

Sometimes when words just aren't sufficient, adding an image can spark understanding and inspiration. Welcome to the National Science Foundation’s International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge 2012, a competition that awards creative communication of scientific concepts by way of images, videos, charts, and even games.

“Keep Calm And Rape A Lot” T-Shirts Show Automation Growing Pains

An inadvertent computer error leads to a string of offensive T-shirts, including "Keep Calm and Rape A Lot", but you can bank on one thing for sure: this will happen again and again, in one form or the other. Why? Because computers have no way of knowing what upsets people unless they are programmed to.

Boats, Planes And Automobiles – Today’s RCs Are Amazing

The RC world has come a long way since the lumbering vehicles I used to pilot when I was a kid. They couldn’t go very fast, but if need be, they could flex their...

Trailer For Futuristic Film ‘Project Kronos’ Explores Interstellar Space Travel Program

What cost would humanity be willing to pay to make contact with intelligent life in the universe? It's a question at the interface of technology and ethics, an area that a new film called 'Project Kronos' looks to explore at a deeper level. The film, scheduled to be released on April 15, is presented as a faux-documentary that takes place in the future, in which personnel involved in an interstellar space travel program describe what the project was and their involvement with it.

Leading Neuroscientist Says Kurzweil Singularity Prediction A “Bunch Of Hot Air”

Addressing fellow scientists, he dismissed the singularity as “a bunch of hot air,” and went on further to declare that “the brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it.”

Another Legend Brought Back To Life With Technology — This Time It’s Audrey Hepburn

The late Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn personified grace and elegance, and today, her iconic status still carries on strong. With her panache and discerning tastes, she serves almost as an archetype of quirky style in modern culture. Naturally, anything that can be connected strongly with the film legend associates some of those same qualities to itself...even something as trite as chocolate. That's right -- Galaxy (also known as Dove) has put out a commercial showing a virtual Hepburn in a 1960s Mediterranean backdrop enjoying a piece of chocolate.

Animations Made Entirely By Computers? Algorithm Generates Cartoon Faces, Shows The Future

A montage of scribbly cartoon faces, each imbued with distinct personality, would make any parent proud of their child's artistic creation...except a child didn't produce these faces; a computer algorithm did. Meet the randomly-generated caricatures that are part of the Weird Faces Study, the product of a computer algorithm developed by media artist Matthias Dörfelt. Surprisingly, each face is not only recognizable, but has human qualities conveyed through the rudimentary sketches.

Kickstarter 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen Nothing of the Sort – But Somehow Raises $2 Million

Five days after launch on Kickstarter, the 3Doodler 3D printing pen boasted over 21,000 backers and $1.9 million in pledges. Their goal was $30,000! What’s so special about the 3Doodler? If nothing else, it rivals the lofty infomercial marketing heights of Slap Chop or ShamWow. But let’s get something straight—3Doodler is a crafting “pen” not a handheld 3D printing pen (whatever that even means).

Crowdfunding Star Wars — Kickstarter Campaign For Death Star Construction Aims To Raise $30M

The folks at Kickstarter have given the green light to two projects near-and-dear to the hearts of geeks, techies and futurists alike: the construction of a Death Star and a desperate call to fund X-wing fighters for the Rebel Alliance.

Recording Your Life, Allowing Others To View It As Virtual Reality World: Lifelogging

It’s called Bad Trip, and it certainly feels like one. Alan Kwan has been recording every moment of his life since November 2011 and he faces the same problem that other lifeloggers do: what to...

Glass Sculptures Of Bacteria And Viruses Brings Microbiology World To Human Scale

Phrases like "viral art" or "infectious sculpture" only begin to provide vague impressions of what British artist Luke Jerram has created: human-scale glass sculptures of viruses, bacteria, and other organisms from the microbiological world. The sculptures aren't just creative interpretations, but derive from scientific images and models and created at approximately a million times larger scale.

Turn Your Plastic Recyclables Into 3D Printing Spools With Filabot

3D printers are getting cooler every day, but there’s one component integral to 3D printing that normally gets overlooked – that is, until you have to pay for it. As many 3D hobbyists have...

Netflix Showing What Television 2.0 Will Look Like

The video streaming service Netflix is advancing the line in the battle for the future of television. CEO Reed Hastings recently indicated in a letter to stockholders to mark February 1, 2013 as a "defining moment in the development of Internet TV." Why? Because that is the day that its much hyped original program House of Cards was not only released, but the entire 13 episodes were made available all at once.

Exclusive Interview With Doug Wolens, Director of “The Singularity”

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” If you watch Doug Wolens’ latest documentary, “The Singularity,” the quote from Arthur C. Clarke is the first thing you see. It aptly prepares you for the...

The Democratization Of Filmmaking — Riveting Sci-Fi Short Film “R’ha” Created By A Single Person

Digital filmmaking is transforming Hollywood, no doubt, but for independent filmmakers, it is nothing short of a revolution. Case in point: 22-year-old German student Kaleb Lechowski. After seven months of writing, designing, and editing as well as reporting his progress on his blog, Kaleb recently posted his short sci-fi film R'ha on Vimeo. The six-minute film, which does not include a single human being, was completed as part of his first-year studies in digital film design in Berlin.

Kamen and Coca-Cola Take On World’s Clean Water Shortage With Slingshot Purifier

Singularity Hub chatted with Paul Lazarus about his award-winning short film "Slingshot" and the film's namesake invention. Lazarus told us about the agony of condensing a grand challenge and potential solution to three minutes—and what he thinks the future promises for both.

Swarm Robots Called ‘Droplets’ The Size Of A Golf Ball

Robots that look more like ping pong balls could one day help to colonize Mars, so thinks their developer. The robots would work together in swarms of thousands to construct habitats for humans and...

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