Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Future Trends: Brainprints, AR on Eyes, and the Death of Golf we look at the trends that we should be aware of today, February 5th, 2016.
Forget Fingerprints, Brainprints could be new Password
Brainprints or the way a human brain responds to certain words or images could soon take the place of fingerprints or passwords to verify a person’s identity and ensure better security, says a new study.
Binghamton University has come up with a biometric identification system that scans your brain – Brainprints – to verify a person’s identity. A team of researchers, led by Assistant Professor of Psychology Sarah Laszlo and Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Zhanpeng Jin, recorded the brain activity of people wearing an electroencephalogram headset while they looked at a series of 500 images designed specifically to elicit unique responses from person to person — e.g., a slice of pizza, a boat, Anne Hathaway, the word “conundrum.” Each image flashed on a monitor for only half a second.
In the study, the researchers at Binghamton University in the US observed the brain signals of 45 volunteers as they read a list of 75 acronyms, such as FBI and DVD.
They recorded the brain’s reaction to each group of letters, focussing on the part of the brain associated with reading and recognising words.
The researchers found that the participants’ brains reacted differently to each acronym enough that a computer system was able to identify each volunteer with 94 percent accuracy. The results suggest that brainwaves could be used by security systems to verify a person’s identity.
“If someone’s fingerprint is stolen, that person cannot just grow a new finger to replace the compromised fingerprint — the fingerprint for that person is compromised forever,” said study co-author Sarah Laszlo, assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at Binghamton University in the US.
Electronic displays on contact lenses – Taking augmented reality to the next level
A polymer film coating with the ability to turn contact lenses into computer screens is set to transform the wearable visual aids into the next generation of consumer electronics.
Scientists from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute have successfully completed “proof of concept” research on a polymer film coating that conducts electricity on a contact lens, with the potential to build miniature electrical circuits that are safe to be worn by a person.
UniSA researcher from the FII, Associate Professor Drew Evans said the technology was a “game changer” and could provide one of the safest methods to bring people and their smart devices closer together.
Ref: Hydrophilic Organic Electrodes on Flexible Hydrogels. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces (23 December 2015) | DOI: 10.1021/acsami.5b10831
Chip Could Bring Deep Learning to Mobile Devices
The key to Eyeriss’s efficiency is to minimize the frequency with which cores need to exchange data with distant memory banks, an operation that consumes a good deal of time and energy. Whereas many of the cores in a GPU share a single, large memory bank, each of the Eyeriss cores has its own memory. Moreover, the chip has a circuit that compresses data before sending it to individual cores.
Each core is also able to communicate directly with its immediate neighbors, so that if they need to share data, they don’t have to route it through main memory. This is essential in a convolutional neural network, in which so many nodes are processing the same data.
The final key to the chip’s efficiency is special-purpose circuitry that allocates tasks across cores. In its local memory, a core needs to store not only the data manipulated by the nodes it’s simulating but data describing the nodes themselves. The allocation circuit can be reconfigured for different types of networks, automatically distributing both types of data across cores in a way that maximizes the amount of work that each of them can do before fetching more data from main memory.
At the conference, the MIT researchers used Eyeriss to implement a neural network that performs an image-recognition task, the first time that a state-of-the-art neural network has been demonstrated on a custom chip.
Via Wireless Week
DNA Got a Kid Kicked Out of School—And It’ll Happen Again
A few weeks into sixth grade, Colman Chadam had to leave school because of his DNA.
The situation, odd as it may sound, played out like this. Colman has genetic markers for cystic fibrosis, and kids with the inherited lung disease can’t be near each other because they’re vulnerable to contagious infections. Two siblings with cystic fibrosis also attended Colman’s middle school in Palo Alto, California in 2012. So Colman was out, even though he didn’t actually have the disease, according to a lawsuit that his parents filed against the school district. The allegation? Genetic discrimination.
Yes, genetic discrimination. Get used to those two words together, because they’re likely to become a lot more common. With DNA tests now cheap and readily available, the number of people getting tests has gone way up—along with the potential for discrimination based on the results. When Colman’s school tried to transfer him based on his genetic status, the lawsuit alleges, the district violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and Colman’s First Amendment right to privacy. “This is the test case,” says the Chadam’s lawyer, Stephen Jaffe.
First golf robot in history to ace No. 16
Golf’s no longer fun (thank goodness). In the opening round of the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open, LDRIC the golf robot gets a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole.
See the last 4 week’s Future Trends articles here:
Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.