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Apr 14, 2018

Google futurist and director of engineering: Basic income will spread worldwide by the 2030s

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, economics, employment, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

  • Basic income will be widespread by the 2030s, according to Google futurist and director of engineering Ray Kurzweil.
  • Kurzweil is known for making seemingly wild predictions. In 2016, he predicted that by 2029, medical technology will add an extra year to human life expectancies on an annual basis.
  • ” We’re going to have more and more powerful technology to keep our physical bodies going. We’ll think, ‘Wow, back in 2018, people only had one body, and they couldn’t back up their mind file,’” he said onstage at TED.

As it becomes apparent that artificial intelligence will replace ever-more jobs in the coming years, a growing number of politicians, nonprofits, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have started thinking about how we’ll cope with a world in which not everyone can — or needs to — work.

Basic income experiments, in which people are given a regular salary just to live, no strings attached, are popping up all over Europe, Africa, and North America.

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Apr 12, 2018

DARPA Awards Ginkgo Bioworks and Transcriptic $9.5M to Bring AI into the Lab

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, employment, robotics/AI

The industry partners will use the money to train artificially intelligent laboratory robots.

Many people assume that when robots enter the economy, they’ll snatch low-skilled jobs. But don’t let a PhD fool you — AI-powered robots will soon impact a laboratory near you.

The days of pipetting liquids around were already numbered. Companies like Transcriptic, based in Menlo Park, California, now offer automated molecular biology lab work, from routine PCR to more complicated preclinical assays. Customers can buy time on their ‘robotic cloud lab’ using any laptop and access the results in a web app.

Continue reading “DARPA Awards Ginkgo Bioworks and Transcriptic $9.5M to Bring AI into the Lab” »

Apr 8, 2018

Of Hives, Ethics, Morals, and the Singularity

Posted by in categories: employment, ethics, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI, singularity

AUSTIN — At SXSW 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) was everywhere, even in the sessions that were not specifically about the subject. AI has captured the attention of people well outside the technology space, and the implications of the technology are far-reaching, changing industries, eliminating many human jobs, and changing the nature of work for most of us going forward. I expect that an AI bot could write this article within 10 years — and likely much sooner — simply by ingesting all the information from the sessions I attended, coupled with an ability to research related information on the internet much better than I could.

Interestingly enough, as Ray Kurzweil pointed out in his talk here, the term “artificial intelligence” was coined at a summer workshop at Dartmouth in 1956 attended by computing pioneers such as Marvin Minsky and Claude Shannon, at a time when computers still ran on vacuum tubes and computers in the world numbered in the hundreds.

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Apr 4, 2018

Get Ready for an Exciting Career as a Data Hygienist

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence can create jobs, too. How else do we manage the robots?

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Mar 29, 2018

The workplace of the future

Posted by in categories: business, economics, employment, robotics/AI

The march of AI into the workplace calls for trade-offs between privacy and performance. A fairer, more productive workforce is a prize worth having, but not if it shackles and dehumanises employees. Striking a balance will require thought, a willingness for both employers and employees to adapt, and a strong dose of humanity.


ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) is barging its way into business. As our special report this week explains, firms of all types are harnessing AI to forecast demand, hire workers and deal with customers. In 2017 companies spent around $22bn on AI-related mergers and acquisitions, about 26 times more than in 2015. The McKinsey Global Institute, a think-tank within a consultancy, reckons that just applying AI to marketing, sales and supply chains could create economic value, including profits and efficiencies, of $2.7trn over the next 20 years. Google’s boss has gone so far as to declare that AI will do more for humanity than fire or electricity.

Such grandiose forecasts kindle anxiety as well as hope. Many fret that AI could destroy jobs faster than it creates them. Barriers to entry from owning and generating data could lead to a handful of dominant firms in every industry.

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Mar 28, 2018

Russia and China are ‘aggressively developing’ hypersonic weapons — here’s what they are and why the US can’t defend against them

Posted by in categories: employment, military

“We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

“Both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities,” Hyten added. “We’ve watched them test those capabilities.”

Researchers and engineers at Rand explain what a hypersonic weapon is, which countries are developing them and how the U.S. could look to defend against them.

Continue reading “Russia and China are ‘aggressively developing’ hypersonic weapons — here’s what they are and why the US can’t defend against them” »

Mar 28, 2018

Softbank to Build World’s Biggest Solar Park in Saudi Arabia

Posted by in categories: employment, solar power, sustainability

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, as a way to help wean Saudi Arabia off its dependence on oil for electricity, create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The total capacity to be built under its umbrella will be 200 gigawatts by 2030, the company said.


Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

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Mar 17, 2018

Let the robots have the damn jobs—all of them!

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, robotics/AI

There are several ways we can deal with the troubles that lie ahead during the transition to full automation. Some experts and companies are exploring basic income, the centuries-old idea of giving unconditional money to all citizens, enough for them to live their lives. Other thought leaders such as Bill Gates are proposing robot taxes, where companies that use automation pay certain fees for the jobs they take away from humans. Other solutions might emerge.

Automation will continue to move forward at an accelerating pace. We don’t need to fear about the destination. Instead, we must prepare ourselves for the rocky road ahead. I’m not worried about the robots taking all the jobs. I’m worried about them leaving some to the humans.

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Mar 17, 2018

The New Age of Manufacturing

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Hundreds of millions of jobs affected. Trillions of dollars of wealth created. These are the potential impacts of a coming wave of automation. In this episode of Moving Upstream, we travelled to Asia to see the next generation of industrial robots, what they’re capable of, and whether they’re friend or foe to low-skilled workers.

Watch more episodes: wsj.com/upstream

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Mar 9, 2018

The Transformer of Autonomous Farmbots Can Do 100 Jobs on Its Own

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

The multitalented Dot Power Platform could raise crop yields 70 percent by 2050.

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