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what ever happened to... technology edition


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#1
kjaggard

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share innovations we've seen come up in the last decade or so but have quietly fallen out of the light and seemingly nobody knows what's become of them.

 

I will start: Initiative 2045. The program that proposed that between 2015 and 2045 they would initiate a 4 stage process to develop artificial bodies to extend out lives and eventually lead to our uploading our minds.

 

Next year is supposedly the last year in the phase 1 creation of artificial robotic 'avatars'  we could control through thoughts.

 

Now seriously I know that every part of this was over promised, but I also feel that at the very least the first two phases are potentially achievable by 2045, the last two seemed more of a fantasy anyway.


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#2
Kynareth

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Avatar A may be possible by 2040, I very much believe that. Avatar B by 2050, Avatar C by 2070 and Avatar D by 2090 (immortality).
 
I remember reading in the beginning of 2011, that American scientists after ten years of research, have found a way to grow human blood vessels and capillaries but we are still not really doing that in practice. Can someone explain why?


#3
Kynareth

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Frankly, I have spent so much time reading about numerous tech things which were supposed to be out in the real world after a few years of tuning them (used to believe such claims), then few years passed ... and we have yet to experience those innovations. For illustration, I remember reading about next-gen batteries literally 10 years ago. Still using Li-Ion, still charging my smartphone every two days (at least charging is quicker and the device itself a thousand times faster). Got tired of reading about things that don't come to pass.


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#4
starspawn0

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Contact lens augmented reality is something that was hyped-up a few years ago. There were several impressive-looking demos, and then it just fell off the radar.

Another one is the "artificial hippocampus". This is work by Ted Berger, and as far as I know, the work is still progressing. Perhaps it just takes a long time to get FDA approved and such.

Then there is all the Watson medial tech that IBM promised, that they have silently backtracked on.

Nuclear fusion seems to be taking longer than anticipated. And Cold Fusion / LENR has been pushed further to the fringes.

We don't hear much about thorium reactors anymore. Flibe was in the news a lot, but is rarely mentioned these days.

Leap Motion seems to be going out of business.

Gesture recognition isn't seen as very important anymore. I guess you don't need it if you have good speech recognition and good graphical interfaces.
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#5
funkervogt

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Therapeutic cloning of useful human organs has proven much harder than people predicted just ten years ago. 



#6
funkervogt

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Gesture recognition isn't seen as very important anymore. I guess you don't need it if you have good speech recognition and good graphical interfaces.

The basic problem with gesture recognition is that it's harder and more tiring to use big, sweeping arm and hand movements to interface with a computer than it is to use fine movements of your fingers and wrists to type on a keyboard or move a mouse. 

 

I don't think gesture recognition is kaput for good, and in fact think it will come back in some form as a partial means of interface once VR and AR eyewear become mature technologies. 



#7
Kynareth

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about 95% of what I've read, ends up not being much of value, back in 2011 I was sure than in 2019 Watson-like A.I. will impact businesses heavily and will be extremely important by now...



#8
starspawn0

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That's mostly because of bad decisions on IBM's part, not because the technology isn't there yet. They could have done a lot with Watson, but chose not to. It seems like they:

* Underestimated how difficult it would be to make a large impact on cancer diagnosis.

* Decided to package Watson as a bunch of boring services that would improve businesses behind the scenes. They want to be the platform people use to make bots and things, apparently, not the actual makers of the bots.

They have since shuttered the cancer and medical stuff, and pushed the other stuff more. It appears to be working -- it makes IBM money, but probably not as much as cloud. Where they are losing money -- or were, last I checked -- was in all the older stuff that nobody wants anymore.

....

Currently Deep Learning tech is much better than the original Watson. IBM has moved on, and developed their own Deep Learning research work, and packaged it into IBM platform offerings.

Another company that could be doing more, but prefers to make money from all the boring, Enterprise stuff is Microsoft. It's kind of a running joke how they have a top-flight research labs -- Microsoft Research -- yet can't seem to make products people actually want to use. Just look at what a mess Cortana is -- and it's obvious it could be much better, since Microsoft Asia owns Xiaoice, which is way more powerful than Cortana.

Microsoft also owns Semantic Machines, and has made noise recently about using the tech to make next-gen virtual assistants. If history is any guide here, Microsoft will find some way to f**k it up, and it will disappear and become incorporated as a minor feature into the Outlook email system.

Apple also screwed up with SIRI. They could have been way, way ahead of Google, but bad management cost them the lead -- now Google is several notches ahead in the assistant wars. I believe the original SIRI team have pretty much all said disparaging things about Apple's SIRI management team.
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#9
Yuli Ban

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Contact lens augmented reality is something that was hyped-up a few years ago. There were several impressive-looking demos, and then it just fell off the radar.

This one ought to be self-evident, though. We can barely get good augmented reality goggles, let alone AR glasses, let alone AR contact lenses. They may have had some interesting proofs of concept, but I absolutely did not expect anything to come of it this decade.
 

about 95% of what I've read, ends up not being much of value, back in 2011 I was sure than in 2019 Watson-like A.I. will impact businesses heavily and will be extremely important by now...


I think that says more about the difficulty of those problems than the power of Watson. We perpetually overestimate the capabilities of AI in real world situations (conversely, we underestimate just how complex the real world is), and have only very recently (like in the past few months) created systems that are robust enough to consistently handle things like business management and language processing. Watson, as amazing as it was, still had clear limits and a lot of the hype was based on IBM marketing and the Jeopardy win. On top of that, I distinctly recall hearing that Watson was built around machine learning but not deep learning, right on the eve of the deep learning revolution. Even well into the 2010s, Watson did not utilize deep learning. It was essentially obsolete within a couple years of being introduced.

We thought some fuzzy logic algorithms and perceptrons were going to lead to human-level AI back in the 1960s and looked to the likes of ELIZA as "proof" that AI was going to become an integral part of global society by the mid-70s.
Here we are well over 50, even 60 years later and AI has only just recently become anywhere near competent enough to accomplish a tenth of what was promised in the '50s and '60s.

In a 1958 press conference organized by the US Navy, Rosenblatt made statements about the perceptron that caused a heated controversy among the fledgling AI community; based on Rosenblatt's statements, The New York Times reported the perceptron to be "the embryo of an electronic computer that [the Navy] expects will be able to walk, talk, see, write, reproduce itself and be conscious of its existence."


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.





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