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May 4, 2015

Twitter at the Crossroads

Posted by in category: internet

David Auerbach | Slate

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo.
“Twitter’s strength is being the pulse of the Internet, the place where news gets broken in 140-character messages, where important topics start trending the second they enter the collective hivemind, and where politicians and celebrities and thinkers of all stripes can make announcements without the bother of a press release or the filter of the media. Yet this has always made Twitter Janus-faced: Is it a real-time news aggregator or a social network? More importantly, how will it make money?” Read more

May 3, 2015

Dealing with Rogue Drones

Posted by in category: drones

The Economist


“The employment of drones for nefarious, or potentially nefarious, purposes thus seems to have begun in earnest. It is only a matter of time before somebody attempts to use a drone, perhaps carrying an explosive payload, to cause serious damage or injury. The question for the authorities is how to try to stop this happening.” Read more

May 3, 2015

At the Heart of Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence, Human Emotions

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Amir Mizroch | Wall Street Journal

http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/04/150407_FUT_ExMachina.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpg
“Facebook’s AI research is currently being used in image tagging, predicting which topics will trend, and face recognition. All of these services require algorithms to sift through vast amounts of data, like pictures, written messages, and video, to make calculated decisions about their content and context. Facebook has a big advantage over university campuses who have toiled for decades in the field. It can vacuum up the reams of data required to ‘teach’ machines to make correlations.” Read more

May 2, 2015

Don’t blame the robots for lost manufacturing jobs

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Scott Andes & Mark Muro | Brookings Institute


“The substantial variation of the degree to which countries deploy robots should provide clues. If robots are a substitute for human workers, then one would expect the countries with much higher investment rates in automation technology to have experienced greater employment loss in their manufacturing sectors…Yet the evidence suggests there is essentially no relationship between the change in manufacturing employment and robot use.” Read more

May 2, 2015

WikiLeaks Finally Brings Back Its Submission System for Your Secrets

Posted by in categories: hacking, open access, open source, privacy

— Wired

It’s taken close to half a decade. But WikiLeaks is back in the business of accepting truly anonymous leaks.

On Friday, the secret-spilling group announced that it has finally relaunched a beta version of its leak submission system, a file-upload site that runs on the anonymity software Tor to allow uploaders to share documents and tips while protecting their identity from any network eavesdropper, and even from WikiLeaks itself. The relaunch of that page—which in the past served as the core of WikiLeaks’ transparency mission—comes four and a half years after WikiLeaks’ last submission system went down amid infighting between WikiLeaks’ leaders and several of its disenchanted staffers. Read more

May 1, 2015

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launches its first rocket

Posted by in category: space travel

Katie M. Palmer and Neel V. Patel — Wired

You’d be forgiven for forgetting, but Elon Musk and Richard Branson aren’t the only billionaire magnates at the helm of a spacecraft company, gunning to rule the future of privatized space flight. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has been flying under the radar—but at long last, the company yesterday launched its flagship suborbital spacecraft from its West Texas proving grounds in a developmental test flight.

Video released by the company shows the spacecraft, called New Shepard, blasting off to an altitude of 307,000 feet before its crew capsule separates from a propulsion module. Named after the first US astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, the craft is meant to take off and land vertically, utilizing a reusable first-stage booster—the same approach SpaceX is using in its Falcon 9 rocket. Read more

May 1, 2015

Why Tesla Wants to Sell a Battery for Your Home

Posted by in category: energy

By Phil McKenna — MIT Technology Review

Seeking to expand its business beyond electric vehicles, Tesla Motors will sell stationary batteries for residential, commercial, and utility use under a new brand, Tesla Energy.

Tesla is launching the home battery business partly because it’s already making vehicle batteries—and as a result it can benefit from the economies of scale that come from making both. Another reason is that the market for storage is expected to grow in concert with the use of solar power. Tesla needs both electric vehicles and solar power to boom if it hopes to fulfill the projected output from a vast $5 billion battery “gigafactory” it’s building in Nevada. Read more

Apr 30, 2015

They’re Alive! Watch These Mini 3D Printed Organs Beat Just Like Hearts

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, bioprinting

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/heart-and-liver-organoids-1000x400.jpg

There’s something almost alchemical going on at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Scientists there have genetically transformed skin cells into heart cells and used them to 3D print mini-organs that beat just like your heart. Another darker organoid fused to a mini-heart mimics your liver.

The work, developed by Anthony Atala and his Wake Forest team for the “Body on a Chip” project, aims to simulate bodily systems by microfluidically linking up miniature organs—hearts, livers, blood vessels, and lungs—and testing new drug treatments and chemicals or studying the effects of viruses on them.

Read more

Apr 30, 2015

Should We Arm the International Space Station With Lasers to Destroy Space Junk?

Posted by in category: space

By — SingularityHubhttp://cdn.singularityhub.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/earth-space-junk-rings-1-1000x400.jpg

If you look closely enough, Earth has rings. NASA estimates there are some 500,000 pieces of space debris in orbit. Space junk, traveling up to ten times the speed of a bullet, endangers satellites and spacecraft—and it is very, very hard to remove. A team of scientists, however, think they have a way: Lasers.

A recent paper by Tokyo’s Riken institute proposes using a telescope on the International Space Station (ISS) to track small bits of space junk. A laser on the telescope would target and zap the junk, sending it crashing into the atmosphere, where it would vaporize—no longer a threat to humans or satellites. Read more

Apr 29, 2015

Robotic EQ

Posted by in categories: evolution, homo sapiens, robotics/AI

Can an emotional component to artificial intelligence be a benefit?

Robots with passion! Emotional artificial intelligence! These concepts have been in books and movies lately. A recent example of this is the movie Ex Machina. Now, I’m not an AI expert, and cannot speak to the technological challenges of developing an intelligent machine, let alone an emotional one. I do however, know a bit about problem solving, and that does relate to both intelligence and emotions. It is this emotional component of problem solving that leads me to speculate on the potential implications to humanity if powerful AI’s were to have human emotions.

Why the question about emotions? In a roundabout way, it has to do with how we observe and judge intelligence. The popular way to measure intelligence in a computer is the Turing test. If it can fool a person through conversation, into thinking that the computer is a person, then it has human level intelligence. But we know that the Turing test by itself is insufficient to be a true intelligence test. Sounding human during dialog is not the primary method we use to gauge intelligence in other people or in other species. Problem solving seems to be a reliable test of intelligence either through IQ tests that involve problem solving, or through direct real world problem solving.

As an example of problem solving, we judge how intelligent a rat is by how fast it can navigate a maze to get to food. Let’s look at this in regards to the first few steps in problem solving.

Continue reading “Robotic EQ” »


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