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Jan 20, 2022

BMW reveals colour-changing car

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

German carmaker BMW has demonstrated the use of electrophoretic technology, enabling a vehicle’s surface to rapidly change colour. The futuristic concept has potential for a number of interior and exterior applications.

Jan 20, 2022

Why Timnit Gebru Isn’t Waiting for Big Tech to Fix AI’s Problems

Posted by in categories: education, health, policy, robotics/AI, surveillance

For the past decade, AI has been quietly seeping into daily life, from facial recognition to digital assistants like Siri or Alexa. These largely unregulated uses of AI are highly lucrative for those who control them but are already causing real-world harms to those who are subjected to them: false arrests; health care discrimination; and a rise in pervasive surveillance that, in the case of policing, can disproportionately affect Black people and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.

Gebru is a leading figure in a constellation of scholars, activists, regulators, and technologists collaborating to reshape ideas about what AI is and what it should be. Some of her fellow travelers remain in Big Tech, mobilizing those insights to push companies toward AI that is more ethical. Others, making policy on both sides of the Atlantic, are preparing new rules to set clearer limits on the companies benefiting most from automated abuses of power. Gebru herself is seeking to push the AI world beyond the binary of asking whether systems are biased and to instead focus on power: who’s building AI, who benefits from it, and who gets to decide what its future looks like.

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Jan 20, 2022

Three Former SpaceX Engineers Are Designing New, Ultra-Efficient Autonomous Trains

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

And they can detach while still in motion.

Three former SpaceX engineers launched a company to develop autonomous battery-electric trains that they believe can help to improve the efficiency and emissions of railroads, a press statement reveals.

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Jan 20, 2022

Community Of AI Researchers, Practitioners Calls For Stringency In Toronto Police Services Board’s Use Of AI Technologies Policy

Posted by in categories: information science, policy, robotics/AI

“No AI technology ‘where training or transactional data is known to be of poor quality, carry bias, or where the quality of such data is unknown’ should ever be considered for use, and thus should be deemed Extreme Risk, not High Risk. Any AI technology based on poor quality or biased data is inherently compromised.”

“No AI technology that assists in “identifying, categorizing, prioritizing or otherwise making decisions pertaining to members of the public” should be deemed Low Risk. Automating such actions through technology, even with the inclusion of a human-in-the-loop, is an intrinsically risky activity, and should be categorized as such by the Policy.”

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Jan 20, 2022

Mercedes Signs On To Use Luminar Lidar In Its Luxury Cars, Invests In Laser Sensor Maker

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Luminar, a laser lidar startup led by one of the youngest U.S. billionaires, has a new partnership with Mercedes-Benz that includes supplying sensors for its luxury vehicles and gathering on-road data from them to improve automated driving. The German carmaker also bought a small stake in the tech company.

Luminar’s Iris lidar will be integrated into future Mercedes planned for its next-generation platform to improve safety and help them operate autonomously during highway driving, the companies said. Details including specific models that will use the sensor and when they’ll be available for sale to customers aren’t being disclosed. Mercedes also acquired 1.5 million Luminar shares as part of the partnership, founder and CEO Austin Russell, 26, tells Forbes.

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Jan 20, 2022

Science of Aliens, Part 9: Was Humanity Visited in Ancient History?

Posted by in category: science

Records of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in ancient history: what they tell us and what not.


An analysis of UAP in classical antiquity.

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Jan 20, 2022

U.K.’s Wind Capacity Set for Big Boost After Record Auction

Posted by in category: futurism

Scotland awarded rights for a massive offshore wind development more than twice the size of the U.K.’s current capacity, in a move that surprised the market for its scale and was welcomed by environmentalists.

The list of winning projects in the tender adds up to nearly 25 gigawatts, far bigger than the 10 gigawatts that Scottish authorities had anticipated ultimately being built.

Jan 20, 2022

Major Breakthrough As Quantum Computing in Silicon Hits 99% Accuracy

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

UNSW Sydney-led research paves the way for large silicon-based quantum processors for real-world manufacturing and application.

Australian researchers have proven that near error-free quantum computing is possible, paving the way to build silicon-based quantum devices compatible with current semiconductor manufacturing technology.

“Today’s publication in Nature shows our operations were 99 percent error-free,” says Professor Andrea Morello of UNSW, who led the work.

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Jan 20, 2022

Large Hadron Collider: New Insight Into the Internal Structure of the Proton

Posted by in category: particle physics

While the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is well known for smashing protons together, it is actually the quarks and gluons inside the protons – collectively known as partons – that are really interacting. Thus, in order to predict the rate of a process occurring in the LHC – such as the production of a Higgs boson or a yet-unknown particle – physicists have to understand how partons behave within the proton. This behavior is described in Parton Distribution Functions (PDFs), which describe what fraction of a proton’s momentum is taken by its constituent quarks and gluons.

Knowledge of these PDFs has traditionally come from lepton–proton colliders, such as HERA at DESY. These machines use point-like particles, such as electrons, to directly probe the partons within the proton. Their research revealed that, in addition to the well-known up and down valence quarks that are inside a proton, there is also a sea of quark–antiquark pairs in the proton. This sea is theoretically made of all types of quarks, bound together by gluons. Now, studies of the LHC’s proton–proton collisions are providing a detailed look into PDFs, in particular the proton’s gluon and quark-type composition.

Jan 20, 2022

The World’s Largest EV Battery Firm Just Launched Battery Swap Stations

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A cure for range anxiety?

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