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Aug 22, 2016

LIDAR on a chip should be 1000 times cheaper and scan 1000 times faster to revolutionize self-driving cars, drones, and robots

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

DARPA and MIT are leading an effort to take what are now bulky expensive Light Imaging, Detection, And Ranging (LIDAR) systems and make them small enough to fit on a microchip.

LIDAR is one of the key parts of Google’s self driving car.

MIT’s Photonic Microsystems Group is developing a lidar-on-a-chip system that is smaller than a dime, has no moving parts, and could be mass-produced at a very low cost for use in self-driving cars, drones, and robots.

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Aug 22, 2016

Like Liked UnlikeA New Approach To the Hard Problem of Consciousness: A Quasicrystalline Language of “Primitive Units of Consciousness” In Quantized SpacetimeLike

Posted by in categories: mathematics, neuroscience, physics

The hard problem of consciousness must be approached through the ontological lens of 20th century physics, which tells us that reality is information theoretic and quantized at the level of Planck scale spacetime. Through careful deduction, it becomes clear that information cannot exist without consciousness – the awareness of things. And to be aware is to hold the meaning of relationships of objects within consciousness – perceiving abstract objects, while enjoying degrees of freedom within the structuring of those relationships. This defines consciousness as language – a set of objects and an ordering scheme with degrees of freedom used for expressing meaning. And since even information at the Planck scale cannot exist without consciousness, we propose an entity called a “primitive unit of consciousness”, which acts as a mathematical operator in a quantized spacetime language. Quasicrystal mathematics based on E8 geometry seems to be a candidate for the language of reality, possessing several qualities corresponding to recent physical discoveries and various physically realistic unification models.

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Aug 22, 2016

Futurism Photo 2

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, food

The restaurant, which recently opened its doors in London, England, utilizes 3D printers to create dishes out of hummus, chocolate mousse, smashed peas, goat cheese or pizza dough.

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Aug 22, 2016

Miniature black holes may be hitting Earth once every 1,000 years

Posted by in category: cosmology

(A fanciful illustration of small black holes passing through EarthPhoto by NASA/Illustration by Dave Mosher)

First, the good news: You have not been killed by a black hole.

The strange news is that it’s possible the universe is teeming with microscopic black holes that formed at the dawn of time, all of them hurtling through space like cosmic bullets.

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Aug 22, 2016

Melting Permafrost Could Thaw A Smallpox Graveyard In Siberia

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance

A few weeks ago, up to 40 people from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia were hospitalized after a heatwave thawed permafrost, releasing a “zombie outbreak” of anthrax. Now, the Siberian Times reports that experts fear the thawing could spell the return of the eradicated smallpox virus.

During the 1800s, there were repeated outbreaks of smallpox in a small Siberian town, with hundreds of bodies buried near the banks of the Kolyma River. Some 120 years later, this summer’s heatwave has been melting the permafrost surrounding the town at a rate three times faster than usual. This has increased water levels in the river and is subsequently eroding away its banks where the bodies are buried.

While the risk at the moment is low, and with scientists aware of the issue for some time now, the current troubles of permafrost around the site and the Kolyma River are ringing alarms.

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Aug 22, 2016

Uber Debuts Its First Fleet of Driverless Cars in Pittsburgh

Posted by in categories: business, mobile phones, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot, essentially a souped-up cruise control that drives the car on the highway. Earlier this week, Ford announced plans for an autonomous ride-sharing service. But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market.

Uber’s Pittsburgh fleet, which will be supervised by humans in the driver’s seat for the time being, consists of specially modified Volvo XC90 sport-utility vehicles outfitted with dozens of sensors that use cameras, lasers, radar, and GPS receivers. Volvo Cars has so far delivered a handful of vehicles out of a total of 100 due by the end of the year. The two companies signed a pact earlier this year to spend $300 million to develop a fully autonomous car that will be ready for the road by 2021.

The Volvo deal isn’t exclusive; Uber plans to partner with other automakers as it races to recruit more engineers. In July the company reached an agreement to buy Otto, a 91-employee driverless truck startup that was founded earlier this year and includes engineers from a number of high-profile tech companies attempting to bring driverless cars to market, including Google, Apple, and Tesla. Uber declined to disclose the terms of the arrangement, but a person familiar with the deal says that if targets are met, it would be worth 1 percent of Uber’s most recent valuation. That would imply a price of about $680 million. Otto’s current employees will also collectively receive 20 percent of any profits Uber earns from building an autonomous trucking business.

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Aug 22, 2016

Kernel is a human intelligence (HI) company developing the world’s first neuroprosthesis to mimic, repair, and improve cognition

Posted by in categories: cyborgs, neuroscience

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Aug 22, 2016

Inside China’s effort to replace millions of manufacturing workers with robots

Posted by in categories: economics, robotics/AI

Can China reboot its manufacturing industry—and the global economy—by replacing millions of workers with machines?

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Aug 22, 2016

Chinese Search Giant Baidu Thinks AI Pioneer Andrew Ng Can Help It Challenge Google and Become a Global Power

Posted by in categories: energy, robotics/AI

Baidu is a fixture of online life in China, but it wants to become a global power. Can one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence researchers help it challenge Silicon Valley’s biggest companies?

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Aug 22, 2016

The Tiny Brain Chip That May Supercharge Your Mind

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, computing, cyborgs, neuroscience

How will we interact with the intelligent machines of the future? If you’re asking Bryan Johnson, founder of startup Kernel, he’ll tell you those machines should be implanted inside our brains.

His team is working with top neuroscientists to build a tiny brain chip—also known as a neuroprosthetic —to help people with disease-related brain damage. In the long term, though, Johnson sees the product applicable to anyone who wants a bit of a brain boost.

Yes, some might flag this technology as yet another invention leading us toward a future where technology just helps the privileged get further in life.

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