Quantified Self Revolution

The quantified self revolution is the idea that as the data we accumulate on a daily basis grows and becomes more complete, our understanding of ourselves deepen and we can use that data to create better internal and external environments for ourselves.  The article is called Quantified Self revolution : Hello Human 2.0 and features a video in the Shots of Awe series with Jason Silva called Explore The “Quantified Self” Revolution with Jason Silva.

Quantified Self revolution : Hello Human 2.0

This week’s Quantified Self roundup features a filmmaker’s perception of the Quantified Self revolution, a platform that tracks everything in your life, and a design-savvy fitness tracker.

Human 2.0

Renowned filmmaker Jason Silva recently released a new video in his YouTube channel Shots of Awe wherein he talks about how amazing the Quantified Self revolution is.  Silva talks about how sensors obtaining all these data from millions of people can be used to better analyze a person and could well be the beginning of Human 2.0.

It’s certainly an interesting concept to ponder, and that’s what Silva does best.  The filmmaker’s been on a guest on theCUBE on at least one occasion, and we revisit his most recent appearance here, where he discusses Big Data and its impact on the consumer.



The biggest challenge right now in the Quantified Self revolution may be app fatigue, so it certainly doesn’t help that there are so many apps and gadgets available today.  To keep you get focused and on task, there’s a new platform that will help you keep track of all the tracking that matters.

Tictrac  allows you to sync all the apps and gadgets you are currently using so everything you need is in one place.  It tracks anything from your email, blood pressure, supermarket foods, food intake, your baby, and even the calories you burned during your workout.  And if you have just started with the quantified self revolution and your fitness tracker or app doesn’t offer other tracker, you can use Tictrac to track anything you please.

It is available in both mobile and web platform so you can check your progress anytime.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/64713784″>Tictrac</a&gt; from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/tictrac”>Tictrac</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Via Heartbeat Bracelet


If you’re still looking for a fashionable fitness tracker, you might want to check out the Via Heartbeat Bracelet.  The Via Heartbeat is still a Kickstarter project and has a long way to go to achieve its $300,000 funding goal.

What makes this fitness tracker different is that it looks simple but elegant and if people aren’t familiar with it, no one would guess that it’s a fitness tracker.  It is designed to fit comfortably and stay in place no matter how rigorous your workout routine is.  Via it’s web app, you can set your goals.  This will automatically sync with your bracelet and will glow various colors depending on which of your goals is being achieved.

If you are interested with this project, make sure to check out the project and help fund it.


This article can also be found on the Silicone Angle website at http://siliconangle.com/blog/2013/11/13/quantified-self-revolution-hello-human-2-0/

The first video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjflrXDDU-w#t=89

The second video can also be found at https://vimeo.com/tictrac

The third video can also be found on the Kickstarter website at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drbrenda/the-via-heartbeat-bracelet?ref=video

Video Info:

Published on Nov 5, 2013

“We will measure everything… and feed that information back into the system.”

The Quantified Self Revolution. You’ve heard the buzz term, but it’s the idea that as we extend computation into everything, and as we extend sensors into everything, we’re increasingly extending those sensors into ourselves – creating a data rich, always on stream of information about our biological functioning.

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz. New episodes every Tuesday.

Watch More Shots of Awe on TestTube http://testtube.com/shotsofawe

Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c…

Jason Silva on Twitter http://twitter.com/jasonsilva

Jason Silva on Facebook http://facebook.com/jasonlsilva

Jason Silva on Google+ http://plus.google.com/10290664595165…

Tictrac is a Lifestyle Design Platform that empowers people through their own data. Users can connect with health and fitness apps and devices they may already use, from blood pressure monitors, wireless weight scales, sleep/stress trackers, diet and activity monitors to email, calendar, weather and much more. We currently sync with over 50 services/devices from fitness (MyFitnessPal, Runkeeper, Endomondo) medical (Withings, VitaDock) personal (Fitbit, BodyMedia, Garmin) even social (Facebook, Twitter, Klout) adding new API integrations every week.

Users can visualise their data about themselves in personal dashboards that give them insights into how to improve their lifestyle. Users can also cross reference disparate sets of data to see how one aspect of their lives may affect another. They can then share their dashboards with professionals like their physician, personal trainer or coach who can interpret that data and tailor their programmes accordingly.

External Links

Humans 2.0 with Jason Silva

This is one of the Shots of Awe videos created by Jason Silva.  It’s called HUMAN 2.0.  I don’t think a description is in order here since all the Shots of Awe videos are short and sweet.

Runtime: 2:15

Video Info:

Published on Dec 2, 2014

“Your trivial-seeming self tracking app is part of something much bigger. It’s part of a new stage in the scientific method, another tool in the kit. It’s not the only thing going on, but it’s part of that evolutionary process.” – Ethan Zuckerman paraphrasing Kevin Kelly

Steven Johnson
“Chance favors the connected mind.”

Additional footage courtesy of Monstro Design and http://nats.aero

For more information on Norton security, please go here: http://us.norton.com/boldlygo

Join Jason Silva every week as he freestyles his way into the complex systems of society, technology and human existence and discusses the truth and beauty of science in a form of existential jazz. New episodes every Tuesday.

Watch More Shots of Awe on TestTube http://testtube.com/shotsofawe

Subscribe now! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c…

Jason Silva on Twitter http://twitter.com/jasonsilva

Jason Silva on Facebook http://facebook.com/jasonlsilva

Jason Silva on Google+ http://plus.google.com/10290664595165…

This video can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXB5-iwNah0

The Future of Crime: Smartphone Tracking, Neurohacking, and AI Assisted Murder – from SingularityHUB

I found this piece on SingularityHUB where it was titled, “The Future of Crime: Smartphone Tracking, Neurohacking, and AI Assisted Murder.”  

While I take a strong stance against letting yourself fall victim to fear and paranoia about what is to come, there are a lot of pretty scary scenarios you could imagine playing out in a post-singularity world.  It would be a mistake to fail to address these issues and create stategies for dealing with them. I’ve heard it said that 20% of the time spent on a problem should be on the problem itself and 80% should be spent on the solution.  I think those are pretty good numbers if you really want heavy focus on the problem (wink, wink).  Anyway, worth considering…

The Future of Crime: Smartphone Tracking, Neurohacking, and AI Assisted Murder

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The world Marc Goodman outlines in exhaustive detail in his forthcoming book, Future Crimes, is as real, gritty, and frightening as life outside the Matrix. Indeed, Goodman opens his book by quoting the classic sci-fi epic. Do you want the red pill or the blue pill? “Remember, all I’m offering is the truth.” He would know.

Goodman, who began his career as a beat cop at the Los Angeles Police Department, has worked with the FBI, US Secret Service, Interpol, and police in over 70 countries. He is an authority on today’s exponentially scaling cybercrime and a theorist of future crimes worthy of the best sci-fi but, in fact, lurking just around the corner.

cybersecurity-goodmanYou won’t remember every detail of the book—it’s packed to the gills with them—but you may walk away with a better understanding of the challenges facing those of us engaging in the “consensual hallucination” that is modern cyberspace. And that’s the point really.

The central problem Goodman outlines—that everything with a connection is hackable—isn’t insoluble. It’s just that we need to wake up and take action. That means demanding software companies make better, more bullet-proof software, securing our own accounts, and developing new technologies with security in mind.

Cofounder of Wired and author of What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly, said of the book, “OMG, this is a wakeup call. The outlaws are running faster than the architects…I’m a technological optimist. Now, I’m an eyes-wide-open optimist.”

We had the privilege of chatting with Goodman recently. It was a wide-ranging, eye-opening conversation. Read on to learn about the Internet of Things to Be Hacked, narrow AI as an accomplice to murder, and how startups can tell what you’re watching on television merely by the electrical fluctuations on your smart meter.

(To learn more about the general state of cybersecurity, we recommend Goodman’s recent article, “We Need a Manhattan Project for Cyber Security.” And keep an eye out for part two of the interview next week!)

As cyber-heists grow exponentially and tens of millions of credit cards are compromised, might a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, provide a better way of transacting online? Or is it, on net, no better than current methods?

Are cryptocurrencies better or worse than credit cards? Maybe, maybe not.

Currently, your credit card is protected under federal law, so, if you suffer a loss, you will not be held liable. The largest reported Bitcoin theft, to date, was an attack on the Mt Gox exchange in Tokyo where investors lost over $460 million—and that money may well never be recovered or paid back.

So, cryptocurrencies may be helpful from a privacy perspective, and theoretically, they might be better protected from a security perspective. But if poorly implemented, as we saw with Mt Gox, not only are they hackable, but there’s no regulation at this time to protect you such that you get your money back.

Hackable devices are poised to leap beyond PCs and into the real world with the Internet of Things, robots, drones, driverless cars. Give us a glimpse of tomorrow’s hyperconnected world gone wrong. What new dangers will arise?

Internet connectivity is set to grow exponentially in coming years.

If today’s internet is the size of a golf ball, tomorrow’s will be the size of the Sun. We don’t need that much more connectivity for just computers or smartphones. It’s for the billions of everyday devices coming online with the Internet of Things.

As our threat surface area (the number of devices around us) grows there will be more ways to reach out and touch us for good and for harm.

Twenty years ago nobody worried about their car being hacked. Today, a typical car uses over 250 microchips that can be hacked remotely. Somebody can remotely deploy your airbag or slam on the brakes as you’re going down the highway.

The Internet of Things will also include critical infrastructure—most notably the electrical grid and the smart home—and even medical devices. Without precautions, all these will be open to attack, perhaps with catastrophic consequences.

There will also be significant privacy implications. Today, your cellphone tracks you. It knows all the people you hang out with, and we can draw inferences on your connections and closeness to these people based solely on the phone’s geolocation. We’re going to see even more of that in the future.

Smart meters, for example, are now being installed around the world. Every single device you plug into an electric socket has its own signature. When you plug in your Samsung television or Hamilton blender, the outlet knows what is being plugged into it. And from that you can derive even further intelligence.

There are startups now that are looking at the fluctuations in energy usage to deduce what pixels are highlighted on your television, and by knowing what pixels are highlighted on the TV, they can reverse engineer, based upon the electricity that you use, what television programs you’re watching.

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates have expressed concern about artificial general intelligence. It’s a hotly debated topic. Might AI be our “final invention?” It seems even narrow AI in the wrong hands might be problematic.

artificial-general-intelligenceI would add Marc Goodman to that list. To be clear, I think AI, narrow AI, and the agents around us have tremendous opportunity to be incredibly useful. We’re using AI every day, whether it’s in our GPS devices, in our Netflix recommendations, what we see on our Facebook status updates and streams—all of that is controlled via AI.

With regard to AGI, however, I put myself firmly in the camp of concern.

Historically, whatever the tool has been, people have tried to use it for their own power. Of course, typically, that doesn’t mean that the tool itself is bad. Fire wasn’t bad. It could cook your meals and keep you warm at night. It comes down to how we use it. But AGI is different. The challenge with AGI is that once we create it, it may be out of our hands entirely, and that could certainly make it our “final invention.”

I’ll also point out that there are concerns about narrow AI too.

We’ve seen examples of criminals using narrow AI in some fascinating ways. In one case, a University of Florida student was accused of killing his college roommate for dating his girlfriend. Now, this 18-year-old freshman had a conundrum. What does he do with the dead body before him? Well, he had never murdered anybody before, and he had no idea how to dispose of the body. So, he asked Siri. The answers Siri returned? Mine, swamp, and open field, among others.

So, Siri answered his question. This 18-year-old kid unknowingly used narrow AI as an accomplice after the fact in his homicide. We’ll see many more examples of this moving forward. In the book, I say we’re leaving the world of Bonnie and Clyde and joining the world of Siri and Clyde.

Building on today’s budding fMRI brain scans, you talk about mind reading and neurohacking. What is the weirdest future criminal or crime you can imagine? What about the most frightening?

I think holding people’s memories hostage in demand of an extortion payment would be a fairly horrific crime. Of course, this is all theoretical now. We do not have the capacity to do this. But I thoroughly believe it will be forthcoming.

One study, for example, hooked up an EEG to a person’s head, showed them a pin pad of an ATM, and asked the following question: “What is your pin number?” With a 30% degree of accuracy, without the person saying a word, these researchers were able to identify a person’s pin number. Just by reading their brain waves.

Might criminals hold a victim's memories for ransom in the future?

I think we’ll see more of that, which could lead to all kinds of problems. Forget memorizing passwords—somebody could just pull that data from a brain scan.

The military is also working to help veterans better deal with trauma and PTSD. They’ve found that certain neuropharmaceuticals can isolate somebody’s traumatic memory and wipe it away, or at least push it down and minimize it.

And this is happening now.

So, if we can already erase traumatic memories, what other memories might we be able to erase in the future? Once organized crime figures out how to do this, I could see a horrific scenario wherein somebody is kidnapped and threatened that unless they pay an exorbitant sum, their lifelong memories of their wife or daughter would be erased.

We’re a long way away from that, but since you asked me to look into the future, that’s something that I would be concerned about.

future-crimes-marc-goodmanFuture Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman is available February 24. Order your copy today.

Marc Goodman has spent a career in law enforcement and technology. He has served as a street police officer, senior adviser to Interpol and futurist-in-residence with the FBI. As the founder of the Future Crimes Institute and the Chair for Policy, Law, and Ethics at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, he continues to investigate the intriguing and often terrifying intersection of science and security, uncovering nascent threats and combating the darker sides of technology. Follow him on Twitter at @FutureCrimes.

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