ETech – Remixing Technology at Applied Minds

W. Daniel Hillis from Applied Minds. Talked about remixing technologies, science and art.

Showed some thing’s they’ve built. A walking dinosaur. Robots (six legged, four legged – self balancing, a snake). Very cool video. First build a model/prototype. Doesn’t really work well in simulation. Talked about the mix of disciplines at the company and how it enhances creativity (artists, astronaut, etc). Couldn’t agree more. 🙂 They also do projects just for fun and then later use as bait for companies to build at a later point.

Showed a project working on treatments for cancer–a way to give a signature of every protein in the blood. If you can find out what made a cancer treatment work for a given blood type, you can target drugs more specifically to patients (project required disciplines from biology project, physics, pattern matching and other disciplines mixing together). In another project, showed a map project where you can physically interact with a digital map on a physical table. Way cooler than the recent Microsoft demo. Showed the next version of the map table that changes it’s shape to show real three dimensional contours in the table of a elevations. Increadibly cool.

Where’s the Internet headed? Shared databases where data can be shared across many different type of uses (publically available databases). Stated Amazon, Flickr as examples. Sharing and rendering public databases are a lot of the type of projects they are working on.