from the quick-destroy-all-the-remaining-copies-of-Battlebots dept.
Jason Koebler writes: If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won't look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It's likely they won't be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way. Susan Schneider, a professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, joins a handful of astronomers, including Seth Shostak, director of NASA's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, NASA Astrobiologist Paul Davies, and Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology Stephen Dick in espousing the view that the dominant intelligence in the cosmos is probably artificial. In her paper "Alien Minds," written for a forthcoming NASA publication, Schneider describes why alien life forms are likely to be synthetic, and how such creatures might think.
slew writes: Although it hasn't been tested on humans yet, stanford researchers have created a new type of retinal prosthetic that is photovoltaic powered. The gist is that external googles convert an image into infrared light and that light conveys both the image and the power for the retinal implant which means no batteries, or bulky induction coils are required for the retinal implant. This should allow for higher resolution implant (the experimental device has 176 pixels where in contrast the currently available retinal implant from SecondSight is about 60 pixels and requires a bulky inductive antenna). Might be a while till we get to a bionic eye, but this should be quite a help for the sight challenged among us.