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Oct 30, 2015

Philosophy will be the key that unlocks artificial intelligence — By David Deutsch | The Guardian

Posted by in categories: futurism, philosophy, robotics/AI


“AI is achievable, but it will take more than computer science and neuroscience to develop machines that think like people”

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Oct 30, 2015

The “Age” Age

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

A very interesting article about the state of funding for aging research and about Buck and ex Geron Mike West.

As I mentioned in last week’s letter, I traveled to San Francisco last Monday with my friend Patrick Cox, who writes our Transformational Technology Alert newsletter. We had dinner with Dr. Mike West of Biotime and then spent the next morning at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Pat and I decided we would jointly report on what we learned. He has already written his part, which was published last week. I am going to reproduce portions of that letter, which highlight the conversation with Brian Kennedy and his team at the Buck Institute, and then add my own thoughts about our conversation with Mike West the previous night.

(Note that I am excerpting Patrick’s paid letter, which includes comments on companies in his portfolio, rather than his free weekly Transformational Technologies Tech Digest service. We agreed that it was important to do so in this one case, given the huge significance of the research involved and the Buck Institute’s relationship to it.)

Continue reading “The ‘Age’ Age” »

Oct 30, 2015

3D-printing earthquake-proof towns, brick by brick

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, habitats

We can build structures that resettle after quakes, and self-cooling homes – the trick is to 3D print custom building blocks, not whole buildings.

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Oct 30, 2015

How robotics will affect the availability of employment and social benefits

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

On October 26, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum to explore the impact of robots, artificial intelligence, and machine learning on the workforce and the provision of benefits traditionally supplied by—or in conjunction with—employers.…efits-west

Continue reading “How robotics will affect the availability of employment and social benefits” »

Oct 30, 2015

Soon We’ll Cure Diseases With a Cell, Not a Pill | Siddhartha Mukherjee | TED Talks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

Current medical treatment boils down to six words: Have disease, take pill, kill something. But physician Siddhartha Mukherjee points to a future of medicine that will transform the way we heal.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

Continue reading “Soon We’ll Cure Diseases With a Cell, Not a Pill | Siddhartha Mukherjee | TED Talks” »

Oct 29, 2015

China’s planning to build the world’s largest particle collider, twice the size of the LHC

Posted by in category: particle physics

China has announced that it will begin construction of the world’s largest particle collider in 2020. According to officials, the subterranean facility will be at least twice the size of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, and will endeavour to find out more about the mysterious Higgs boson.

The final concept design won’t be completed until the end of next year, so we don’t have many details to go on, but the collider is expected to smash protons and electrons together at seven times the energy levels of the LHC, generating millions of Higgs bosons in the process. Best of all, the facility will reportedly be available to the entire global scientific community.

“This is a machine for the world and by the world: not a Chinese one,” Wang Yifang, director of the Institute of High Energy Physics at the China Academy of Sciences, told the government-controlled publication, China Daily, this week.

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Oct 29, 2015

China to end one-child policy and allow two

Posted by in category: policy

China decides to end its decades-long policy of allowing couples to have only one child, increasing the number permitted to two.

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Oct 29, 2015

Rosetta mission: Comet 67P is surrounded

Posted by in category: space

The air around the comet that Rosetta landed on has plenty of oxygen, scientists say, potentially changing our understanding of the beginnings of the solar system.

In current theories, oxygen shouldn’t be able to exist in high quantities, and should instead have combined with hydrogen and formed water. But oxygen is the fourth most common gas around the comet.

Professor Kathrin Altwegg, project leader for Rosetta’s Rosina mass spectrometer instrument, said: “We had never thought that oxygen could ‘survive’ for billions of years without combining with other substances.”

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Oct 29, 2015

Edouard: Please take the time to send this to the World Health Organisation tonight if possible or tomorrow

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, life extension

This is our chance to make a real difference to how ageing research progresses and how people view ageing.

We need fifty people to make a real change in funding policy so we can work towards healthy longevity.…/draft-zero-gsap-ageing-and-healt… (please make sure to complete the 6 first lines at least before sending to the email indicated there).

WHO GSAP draft, healthy longevity and biomedical aging research.

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Oct 29, 2015

Study solves mysteries of Voyager 1‘s journey into interstellar space

Posted by in categories: physics, space travel

In a study published today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, scientists from the University of New Hampshire and colleagues answer the question of why NASA’s Voyager 1, when it became the first probe to enter interstellar space in mid-2012, observed a magnetic field that was inconsistent with that derived from other spacecraft observations.

Voyager 1 sent back several different indications that it had punched through the edge of our sun’s massive protective bubble inflated by solar wind—the heliosphere—after a 35-year journey. But the magnetic field data gathered by the spacecraft was not what scientists had expected to see. The UNH-led study resolves the inconsistencies.

“There are still naysayers out there regarding Voyager 1 crossing through the heliopause—the edge of the heliosphere,” says astrophysicist Nathan Schwadron of the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space and department of physics and lead author of the paper. “And the reason for this doubt is that when the spacecraft supposedly broke through the heliopause we should have seen some sort of distinctive shift in the magnetic field from one medium to the other,” Schwadron says.

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