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Oct 4, 2015

How Should We Prepare for the AI Revolution? Ray Kurzweil Responds in This Q&A [Video]

Posted by in categories: computing, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

On the cusp of a far-reaching revolution thanks to the advances in artificial intelligence and computing, it’s easy to feel a bit…concerned. Well, maybe more than just a bit, especially if you consider societal attitudes about technology.

Truth is that the way we perceive the world around us is conditioned to a degree by the environment we grow up within. There’s also little doubt that certain cultures are more open and adaptive to technology than others. But one could argue that the potential enhancements that AI could usher in are so dramatically advanced that even the earliest adopters within Silicon Valley aren’t really prepared for what’s coming.

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Oct 4, 2015

This new smart glove can turn sign language into text and speech

Posted by in categories: computing, electronics

Sign language has helped the hearing-impaired communicate for many centuries, way before it was formalised and officially recognised, but this long-standing language of gestures has now been given a 21st-century technological upgrade. Saudi designer and media artist Hadeel Ayoub has invented a smart glove that recognises hand movements and converts them into the relevant text.

Much like Google Translate can give anyone a basic grasp of a foreign language in an instant, this glove is designed to help sign language users make themselves understood by those who can’t usually interpret it.

Five flex sensors sit on the fingers, monitoring how they’re being manipulated, while an accelerometer integrated into the fabric of the glove figures out how the hand is being held and the direction in which it’s pointing. Through three successive prototypes, the glove has been made thinner, lighter, and faster, and the latest version includes a text-to-speech chip to vocalise the words as they’re signed.

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Oct 4, 2015

$0.55 per watt from SolarCity’s record-breaking new solar panel

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

A new solar panel technology from SolarCity is the most efficient rooftop solar ever released. Can it finally push solar to mass adoption?

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Oct 3, 2015

Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

The truck has smart systems including radars, cameras and active speed regulators and works without a human driver — although one has to be in the driver’s seat and take the wheel if necessary.

The standard Mercedes-Benz Actros, fitted with the intelligent “Highway Pilot” system, travelled 14 kilometres (about nine miles) on the A8 motorway, with a driver in the cabin but his hands off the wheel.

“Today’s premiere is a further important step towards the market maturity of autonomously driving trucks -– and towards the safe, sustainable road freight transport of the future,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, board member responsible for Daimler Trucks and Buses.

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Oct 3, 2015

Introducing the world’s first robotic kitchen

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

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Oct 3, 2015

Lost ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ Verse Depicts Cacophonous Abode of Gods

Posted by in category: futurism

The new finding, a clay tablet, reveals a previously unknown “chapter” of the epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. This new section brings both noise and color to a forest for the gods that was thought to be a quiet place in the work of literature. The newfound verse also reveals details about the inner conflict the poem’s heroes endured.

In 2011, the Sulaymaniyah Museum in Slemani, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, purchased a set of 80 to 90 clay tablets from a known smuggler. The museum has been engaging in these backroom dealings as a way to regain valuable artifacts that disappeared from Iraqi historical sites and museums since the start of the American-led invasion of that country, according to the online nonprofit publication Ancient History Et Cetera.

Among the various tablets purchased, one stood out to Farouk Al-Rawi, a professor in the Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. The large block of clay, etched with cuneiform writing, was still caked in mud when Al-Rawi advised the Sulaymaniyah Museum to purchase artifact for the agreed upon $800. [In Photos: See the Treasures of Mesopotamia].

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Oct 3, 2015

Russian Scientists Present Device That Sees 50 Meters Through Walls

Posted by in category: futurism

Crimean company EMIIA presented a device that can “see” through walls and depict moving objects in a real-time mode.

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Oct 3, 2015

Polyera is a flexible electronics company

Posted by in categories: electronics, engineering

Founded in 2005, Polyera has developed deep and unique expertise spanning science, engineering, and design focused on flexible electronics.

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Oct 3, 2015

Gene-Edited “Micropigs” to Be Sold as Pets

Posted by in category: genetics

The institute in Shenzhen, China, that creates the pigs quoted an initial price tag of $1,600.

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Oct 3, 2015

Method to replace silicon with carbon nanotubes developed

Posted by in categories: computing, engineering, singularity

Moore’s Law is, and shall be for a very long time, the law of the land.
Singularity: +1, Luddites: Who cares, they don’t use computers.
wink


Schematic of a set of molybdenum (M0) end-contacted nanotube transistors (credit: Qing Cao et al./Science)

IBM Research has announced a “major engineering breakthrough” that could lead to carbon nanotubes replacing silicon transistors in future computing technologies.

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