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May 29, 2021

The robot smiles back: Columbia scientists teach robot how to respond to human facial expressions

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Weird now, but i do think most people will want humanoid robots faking emotions, to some degree, and on the far end people who will want them to try and mimic people exactly.


Columbia Engineering researchers use AI to teach robots to make appropriate reactive human facial expressions, an ability that could build trust between humans and their robotic co-workers and care-givers. (See video below.)

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May 19, 2021

Nobel Winner: Artificial Intelligence Will Crush Humans, “It’s Not Even Close”

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

“Clearly AI is going to win[against human intelligence]. It’s not even close,” Kahneman told the paper. “How people are going to adjust to this is a fascinating problem.”

Of course, and the reaction, right up to the last minute will be: “No way Man!!! there will be new jobs these crazy Ai’s cant do!”


Artificial intelligence will be beating humans — outworking if not entirely outmoding them — in plenty of functions as the future approaches. Here’s why.

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May 5, 2021

Startup sets out to tackle the gene therapy manufacturing crisis

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment, genetics

Genetic treatments are difficult to produce without facilities.


Af­ter Kel­li Lug­in­buhl fin­ished her PhD, her ad­vi­sor, Duke bio­engi­neer and Phase­Bio co-founder Ashutosh Chilkoti, sat her down and asked if she want­ed to launch and then run a com­pa­ny. Chilkoti had a once-ob­scure tech­nol­o­gy he and the ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Joe McMa­hon thought could form the ba­sis of his sec­ond com­pa­ny and fi­nal­ly pay huge div­i­dends. Lug­in­buhl knew the tech from years in his lab and was al­ready look­ing for biotech jobs. It all added up.

Three years, some strate­giz­ing, and 10 or so pitch meet­ings lat­er, the trio is launch­ing Isol­ere Bio, with $7 mil­lion in seed fund­ing led by North­pond Ven­tures and tech­nol­o­gy they be­lieve can al­low gene ther­a­py com­pa­nies to vast­ly in­crease the num­ber of dos­es they can pro­duce. It’s one po­ten­tial so­lu­tion to a slow-boil­ing cri­sis that has be­come in­creas­ing­ly acute, as new com­pa­nies strug­gle to get the ma­te­ri­als they need for tri­als and some com­mon dis­eases re­main the­o­ret­i­cal­ly un­fix­able by gene ther­a­py, be­cause com­pa­nies would nev­er be able to make enough dos­es for that many patients.

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May 4, 2021

U.S. approves massive solar project in California desert

Posted by in categories: climatology, employment, habitats, solar power, sustainability

The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90000 homes.

The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement. It is being developed by Canadian Solar (CSIQ.O) unit Recurrent Energy and will deliver power to California utility Southern California Edison.

The announcement comes as President Joe Biden has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands as part of a broader agenda to fight climate change, create jobs and reverse former President Donald Trump’s emphasis on maximizing fossil fuel extraction.

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Apr 22, 2021

Musk: “We Need Universal Basic Income Because Robots Will Take All the Jobs”

Posted by in categories: economics, Elon Musk, employment, government, robotics/AI

Are we gonna get paid just to live in an automated world?


We may need to pay people just to live in an automated world, says Elon Musk. He reckons the robot revolution is inevitable and it’s going to take all the jobs.

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Apr 20, 2021

FTC warns it could crack down on biased AI

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, habitats, information science, law enforcement, robotics/AI

AI systems can lead to race or gender discrimination.


The US Federal Trade Commission has warned companies against using biased artificial intelligence, saying they may break consumer protection laws. A new blog post notes that AI tools can reflect “troubling” racial and gender biases. If those tools are applied in areas like housing or employment, falsely advertised as unbiased, or trained on data that is gathered deceptively, the agency says it could intervene.

“In a rush to embrace new technology, be careful not to overpromise what your algorithm can deliver,” writes FTC attorney Elisa Jillson — particularly when promising decisions that don’t reflect racial or gender bias. “The result may be deception, discrimination — and an FTC law enforcement action.”

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Apr 17, 2021

Russian company reveals plan for $52-mn factory to mass-produce UAVs, as drones play bigger, more vital role in military ops

Posted by in categories: drones, employment, military, robotics/AI

As well as Kronshtadt, many other Russian enterprises in the military-industrial complex are developing drones for deployment on the front lines. For example, aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi has teamed up with defense company Mikoyan to build the Okhotnik-B, which will have a top speed of 1000 km/h. Another aerospace company, called OKB Sokol, has developed a UAV named Altius, due to be delivered to the Russian Army this year.


A Russian company is building the country’s first-ever specialized factory solely for manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It plans to mass-produce military drones, like those deployed by the Russian Army in Syria.

The 45000-square-meter plant, under construction in the town of Dubna near Moscow, will cost at least four billion rubles ($52 million) and will create jobs for more than 1500 people. If all goes to plan, it will be built in record time, with the launch of production scheduled for November 2021.

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Apr 16, 2021

Here’s why AI will be crucial for future US electrical grid reliability

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

When most Americans think of the infrastructure projects the Biden administration is proposing in the American Jobs Plan, they think of concrete, steel, and labor. But what if the biggest predictor of the success of the infrastructure plan is not in the materials but in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)?

Electrek spoke with Monte Zweben, CEO of Splice Machine, a database company that helps utilities and industrial companies implement data, about how AI/ML technologies could determine whether the American Jobs Plan succeeds as the US transitions to clean energy.

Apr 13, 2021

OpenAI Founder Sam Altman Chalks Out A “Wealth For All” Plan

Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

Altman suggests taxing capital rather than labour. And, these taxes can be used to distribute ownership and wealth to citizens. Altman said his idea is nothing new but is more critical than ever as AI applications outclass their contemporaries. “If everyone owns a slice of American value creation, everyone will want America to do better,” wrote Altman.

“We should therefore focus on taxing capital rather than labor, and we should use these taxes as an opportunity to directly distribute ownership and wealth to citizens.”

Pinning careers and hopes to Moore’s law does sound like utopia, and even Altman admits it. He also believes that the AI revolution will compensate for the disruption by generating new jobs. Jobs, which we haven’t heard of yet (think: urban rodentologist). That’s why the OpenAI co-founder stresses establishing a system that will result in a society that is “less divisive” and enables everyone to participate in its gains. According to him, this technology revolution is an eventuality, and nothing can stop it. The revolution will be further accelerated as machines that make machines get smarter. For example, OpenAI’s GPT-3 was used to generate machine learning code, a million-dollar startup idea in itself. One application can put many developer jobs at risk.

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Apr 7, 2021

Rapid raises $12M for its manufacturing robotics

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

Bay Area-based Rapid Robotics today announced a $12 million Series A. The new round, led by NEA, brings the company’s total funding up to $17.5 million. It joins a recently closed seed round, announced way back in November of last year. Existing investors Greycroft, Bee Partners and 468 Capital also took part in the round.

We noted at that stage that COVID-19 had a sizable impact on robotics investment. At the very least, the pandemic has served to accelerate interest in automation, as many “non-essential” workers have been unable to travel to their jobs. At present, manufacturing jobs often lack the ability to perform remotely.

Rapid notes that the company’s tech has been involved with the production of some 50 million parts over the past year, over a wide variety of different manufacturing verticals. And, like his predecessor, President Biden has already begun talking up strategies to return manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Of course, ambitious as it might be, any plan is going to have to be a balancing act between human jobs and automation.

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