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Jun 15, 2015

Closer to God

Posted by in categories: entertainment, genetics

Dr. Victor Reed is a brilliant geneticist who has just achieved a huge scientific breakthrough by successfully cloning the first human being, an adorable baby girl named Elizabeth. This immediately becomes a media spectacle and ignites a firestorm of debate concerning the moral and religious implications of such a discovery. Soon, Dr. Reed and his family lose all sense of privacy and safety as they are swarmed by protesters and the media. Their biggest threat, however, could be Victor’s own secret.

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Jun 15, 2015

Man Vs. Machine: How Humans Are Driving The Next Age Of Machine Learning — Richard Boyd | TechCrunch

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

“The most valuable resource we have in the universe is intelligence, which is simply information and computation; however, in order to be effective, technological intelligence has to be communicated in a way that helps humans take advantage of the knowledge gained. The optimal way to solve this problem is a combination of human and machine intelligence working together to solve the problems that matter most.” Read more

Jun 15, 2015

Futurama — Don’t date robots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Don’t Date Robots.

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Jun 15, 2015

SpaceX just launched a Hyperloop pod-racing competition By Sean O’Kane | The Verge

Posted by in categories: business, sustainability, transportation

“SpaceX just announced an official contest open to university students and independent engineering teams. The company will release detailed rules, criteria, and tube specifications in August. … The challenge will be to build “human-scale pods” to be tested on the Hawthorne, California test track that will be built next to the SpaceX headquarters, but the company is careful to note that no humans will ride in the pods. All the designs submitted must be open source.”

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Jun 15, 2015

It is Unethical Not to Use Genetic Engineering

Posted by in categories: ethics, genetics, health, robotics/AI, space

When I hear that the conversation is about an ethical problem I anticipate that right now the people are going to put everything upside down and end with common sense. Appealing to ethics has always been the weapon of conservatism, the last resort of imbecility.

How does it work? At the beginning you have some ideas, but in the end it’s always a “no”. The person speaking on the behalf of ethics or bioethics is always against the progress, because he or she is being based on their own conjectures. What if the GMO foods will crawl out of the garden beds and eat us all? What if there will be inequality when some will use genetic engineering for their kids and some won’t? Let’s then close down the schools and universities – the main source of inequality. What if some will get the education and other won’t?

That’s exactly the position that ‪Elon Musk took by fearing the advances in genetic engineering. Well, first of all, there already is plenty of inequality. It is mediated by social system, limited resources and genetic diversity. First of all, why should we strive for total equality? More precisely, why does the plank of equality has to be based on a low intellectual level? How bad is a world where the majority of people are scientists? How bad is a world where people live thousands of years and explore deep space? It’s actually genetic engineering that gives us these chances. From the ‪#‎ethics‬ point of view things are visa versa. It’s refusing the very possibility of helping people is a terrible deed. Let’s not improve a person, because if we do what if this person becomes better than everybody else? Let’s not treat this person, because if we do he might live longer than everybody else? Isn’t this complete nonsense?

Continue reading “It is Unethical Not to Use Genetic Engineering” »

Jun 15, 2015

Smart urban planning in Amsterdam — Feargus O’Sullivan | CityLab

Posted by in categories: architecture, economics, energy, engineering, environmental, government, materials, policy, science, sustainability

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“Instead of treating Amsterdam as complete and starting again elsewhere, the IJburg plan has managed to find more space in a city that thought it had no more left.”

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Jun 15, 2015

Scientists Are Crowdfunding Spacecraft To Blast Asteroids Out Of The Sky — By Loren Grush Popular Science

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, defense, existential risks

It’s the ultimate doomsday scenario: Astronomers spot an enormous miles-wide asteroid headed for a collision course with Earth. An impact with our planet means a fiery goodbye to civilization—and life—as we know it, and there are only a few short weeks to rally together a plucky group of oil drillers the citizens of the world to somehow fight this apocalyptic threat.

Fortunately, it’s doubtful we’ll ever be faced with this kind of sudden Armageddon. NASA, other government space agencies, and astronomers across the world have a pretty solid way of tracking huge, civilization-destroying asteroids, mapping their trajectories many years or decades in advance before they might head our way. Such ample warning would give us more than enough time to prepare some kind of deflection strategy. Read more

Jun 14, 2015

Robots can recover from damage in minutes (w/ Video)

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Robots will one day provide tremendous benefits to society, such as in search and rescue missions and putting out forest fires—but not until they can learn to keep working if they become damaged.

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Jun 14, 2015

Robots Falling Down at DARPA Robotics Challenge

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Compilation of robot falls from the DARPA DRC Finals Day 1. Learn more: http://spectrum.ieee.org/blog/automaton

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Jun 14, 2015

Wi-Fi-powered electronics make Nikola Tesla’s dream a reality

Posted by in category: electronics

The next billion devices may be powered from thin air, according to a team of researchers from the University of Washington

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