Future tense

By Massimiliano Versace | July 26, 2012

Future Tense is a series of documentaries exploring cutting-edge technologies that will dramatically change the world we live in. The July 1st, 2012 episode was focused on Artificial Intelligence. The documentary features also the work done in the Neuromorphics Lab. Watch the trailer here and the episode below. 

Watch the full episode.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

About Massimiliano Versace

Massimiliano Versace is the director of the Boston University Neuromorphics Lab. The lab focuses on the study of biological intelligence with the goal of embedding the derived fundamental principles in bio-inspired computers and robots. His research interests are focused on neural networks – in particular applied to spiking-based neural models of learning and memory in the cerebral cortex. With a few colleagues, he founded Neurala LLC in 2006 to commercialize brain-based software. For more info, visit his website

7 Responses to Future tense

  1. Jeff says:

    Very cool. Thank you so much for posting.

  2. ibad says:

    Great stuff Max! you on TV Now! I did not know your neuromorphics went into a new model of the Roomba? Wow. And possibly into the next Mars Rover! Amazing… Keep up the good stuff!

  3. ibad says:

    Max, If I wanted to enter your field as an actual engineer and researcher rather than an observer, which degree would you recomend? Is an Electrical Engineering degree a good idea? Computer Science? Neuro-Science? Talking about bachelors level here. What education do you think would be a good starting point to get into this?

    Thanks.

  4. tesla says:

    i cannot take stuff like this seriously. the kinds of ‘predictions’ being made are absurd. I don’t want to get into a big discussion about this point, but there is a simple pattern—–

    televised entertainment masquerading as prophecy of technorevolution versus the reality of making concrete predictions based on understanding technology and commercial viability.

    this ‘documentary’ is more of a simplistic form of entertaining. not educational, not insightful, and targeting people who really have no knowledge of what is going on in any specific field let alone any of them.

    also, when you see people comparing a massai warrior to president of the united states just because they have a cell phone, you are not really having an enlightening conversation because you are using the differences in communications to compare apples and oranges. w

    what can i say, i get annoyed by these sorts of ‘domentaries’, which are doing anything but documenting actual pressions of technology.

  5. Hi Tesla,

    I partially agree with you, and disagree as well. I disagree on your statement that nothing can be learned from this documentary. Since you write that the documentary is “targeting people who really have no knowledge of what is going on in any specific field let alone any of them”, then the statement that it is “not educational” is false since the little information provided is more than what they already have (according to you, zero). Right? Being Tesla, I would have expected better math&logic, but you may have been a bit tired while writing.

    I agree on the “absurdity” of certain predictions, since they are necessarily not grounded in precise calculations. After all, I can tell you that I spend my day working hard in advancing science and the technology for autonomous machines rather than working out predictions, which is an activity that takes time.. and I am not a writer or a journalist.

    On the other hand, it is equally foolish to underestimate the impact of technology, and in particular smart one, in people’s life. A simple test is to start taking this technology away from people’s life to notice how indispensable they have become.

    Max

  6. Hi… Well, the documentary is not precise on this. I have not worked on that at all… There may have been confusion originated when I showed our algorithm running on the iRobot Create, which is indeed a roomba without the vacuum cleaner attached. Well, here is my official disclaimer!
    The Mars project is accurate, but we are working mostly on virtual environment so far. Will keep you posted.

  7. Hi… good question. Once upon a time, there was a great place called the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University (http://cns-web.bu.edu/). This has been reorganized and greatly weakened in its form, since the Department is gone and the degree does not require the same core classes that composed the curriculum, which was a blend of neuroscience, math, engineering which would prepare people like me to work in an interdisciplinary environment required for building intelligent software/hardware. Sorry I do not have more positive news…

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