Ubiquitous Computing: Also known as "embodied virtuality", "smart environment" and "ambient intelligence". Computers that are an integral, invisible part of people' s lives. In some ways the opposite of virtual reality, in which the user is absorbed into the computational world. With ubiquitous computing, computers take into account the human world rather than requiring humans to enter into the computer's methods of working. [AS] See our Smartdust page.


Universal Assembler: Uses raw atoms and molecules to construct consumer goods, and is pollution free. Can be programmed to build anything that is composed of atoms and consistent with the rules of chemical stability. Eric Drexler talks about these assemblers as nanorobots with telescoping manipulator arms that are capable of picking up individual atoms, and combining them however they are programmed.


Universal Constructor: A machine capable of constructing anything that can be constructed. The physical analog of a "universal computer", which can perform any computation. [AS]


Uplift: To increase the intelligence and help develop a culture of a previously non- or near-intelligent species. [From the Uplift novels by DavidBrin] [AS]


Upload: (a) To transfer the consciousness and mental structure of a person from a biological matrix to an electronic or informational matrix (this assumesthat the strong AI postulate holds). The term "Downloading" is also sometimes used, mainly to denote transferring the mind to a slower or less spacious matrix. (b) The resulting infomorph person. [The origin of the term is uncertain, but obviously based on the computer technology term 'uploading' (loading data into a main frame computer).] [AS]


Utility Fog:[AKA: Polymorphic Smart Materials] Objects formed of "intelligent"polymorphic (able to change shape) substances, typically having an octet truss structure. Concept concieved by Dr. J. Storrs Hall.

Single Foglet

  Foglets holding hands

"Imagine a microscopic robot. It has a body about the size of a human cell and 12 arms sticking out in all directions. A bucketfull of such robots might form a 'robotcrystal' by linking their arms up into a lattice structure. Now take a room, with people, furniture, and other objects in it -- it's still mostly empty air. Fill the air completely full of robots. The robots are called Foglets and the substance they form is Utility Fog, which may have many useful medical applications. And when a number of utility foglets hold hands with their neighbours, they form a reconfigurable array of 'smart matter.'" Copyright Dr.J. Storrs Hall Research Fellow of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing.

See Nanotech Utility Fog, and On Certain Aspects of Utility Fog, & Utility Fog: The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of, by J. Storrs Hall, and Polymorphic Smart Materials.

"Here's a short list of the powers you'd have or appear to have if embedded in fog: Creation--causing objects to appear and disappear on command. Levitation--causing objects to hover and fly around. Manipulation--causing forces (squeezing, hitting, pulling) on objects (real ones) at a distance. Teleportation--nearly any combination of telepresence and virtual reality between fog-filled locations." [Dr. J. Storrs Hall]