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Nov 23, 2019

AI and the Future of Work: The Economic Impacts of Artificial Intelligence

Posted by in categories: economics, education, robotics/AI

This week at MIT, academics and industry officials compared notes, studies, and predictions about AI and the future of work. During the discussions, an insurance company executive shared details about one AI program that rolled out at his firm earlier this year. A chatbot the company introduced, the executive said, now handles 150,000 calls per month.

Later in the day, a panelist—David Fanning, founder of PBS’s Frontline—remarked that this statistic is emblematic of broader fears he saw when reporting a new Frontline documentary about AI. “People are scared,” Fanning said of the public’s AI anxiety.

Fanning was part of a daylong symposium about AI’s economic consequences—good, bad, and otherwise— convened by MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future.

Nov 23, 2019

Alphabet X’s “Everyday Robot” project is making machines that learn as they go

Posted by in categories: habitats, robotics/AI

The news: Alphabet X, the company’s early research and development division, has unveiled the Everyday Robot project, whose aim is to develop a “general-purpose learning robot.” The idea is to equip robots with cameras and complex machine-learning software, letting them observe the world around them and learn from it without needing to be taught every potential situation they may encounter.

For now: The early prototype robots are learning how to sort trash. It sounds mundane, but it’s tough to get robots to identify different types of objects, and then how to grasp them. Alphabet X claims that its robots are currently putting less than 5% of trash in the wrong place, versus an error rate of 20% among the office’s humans.

The big idea: Robots are expensive and confined to performing very specific, specialized tasks. Getting robots that can operate safely and autonomously in messy, complex human environments like homes or offices is one of the biggest challenges in robotics right now.

Nov 23, 2019

Transhumanism and Spirituality — Villanova University’s Dr. / Sister Ilia Delio, OSF PhD. — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, cryonics, cyborgs, DNA, futurism, health, life extension, posthumanism, singularity, transhumanism

Nov 23, 2019

Water propulsion technologies picking up steam

Posted by in categories: mapping, satellites

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 19, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine.

When the Aerospace Corp. launched the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration in 2017, one mission objective was to test water-fueled thrusters. At the time, the idea was fairly novel. Two years later, water-based propulsion is moving rapidly into the mainstream.

Capella Space’s first radar satellite and HawkEye 360’s first cluster of three radio-frequency mapping satellites move in orbit by firing Bradford Space’s water-based Comet electrothermal propulsion system. Momentus Space and Astro Digital are testing a water plasma thruster on their joint El Camino Real mission launched in July. And an updated version of the water-fueled cold gas thrusters the Aerospace Corp. first flew in 2017 launched in early August.

Nov 23, 2019

Google Decides to Stop Training AI on Homeless People’s Faces

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

But a company spokesperson called the cancelled program “important and necessary.”

Nov 23, 2019

Physicists Have Finally Seen Traces of a Long-Sought Particle. Here’s Why That’s a Big Deal

Posted by in category: particle physics

It was predicted four decades ago, but only found now.

Nov 23, 2019

A Crispr Milestone Hints at a Future of Cures — and Oversight Concerns

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

Just seven years after scientists announced the first use of Crispr-Cas9 gene editing technology on human cells, researchers shared new evidence this week that Crispr can be used to cure two serious genetic disorders.

On Tuesday, NPR reported that a patient in Nashville had seen a dramatic decline in her symptoms of sickle cell disease after receiving a single gene therapy treatment in July. Sickle cell, which can lead to inflammation, debilitating pain, and life-threatening circulatory problems, affects millions of people around the world.

That same day, the biotech companies behind the sickle-cell treatment, Crispr Therapeutics and Vertex, also shared promising results from their first attempt to cure a case of beta thalassemia, another genetic disorder that affects blood proteins. Nine months after receiving the experimental treatment, a patient in Germany with beta thalassemia has almost no signs of the disorder.

Nov 23, 2019

Scientists may have uncovered the fountain of youth in a mysterious molecule

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

Increases in life span are one of the greatest success stories of modern society. Yet, while most of us can expect to live longer, we are spending more years in ill health. Reducing this period of ill health at the end of life is the main aim of a group of scientists known as biogerontologists.

By studying aging in animals, including fruit flies, worms, and rodents, biogerontologists have identified biological phenomena involved with aging that all these organisms share. And some of these biological processes may also regulate aging in humans.

Scientists attempting to understand and improve the aging process have identified many molecules that appear to improve aging in these animals (although evidence in humans remains scant). These molecules include compounds found in grapes, apples, and even bacteria.

Nov 23, 2019

Meet Dream Chaser, The Next-Generation Space Plane | Countdown to Launch

Posted by in category: space travel

Who wants to ride “Space Ship”? smile

This new space plane just got one step closer to liftoff, and it could change spaceflight to the ISS in years to come.
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Nov 23, 2019

Drones, robots, lasers, supersonic gliders & other high-tech arms: Putin wants Russian military to be up to any future challenge

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

The Russian military will be going all out sci-fi, with Vladimir Putin saying the plan for boosting the Armed Forces until 2033 should focus on AI and weapons based on ‘new physical principles.’

With the introduction of a whole range of state-of-the-art arms in recent years, Russia has been “able to make a step forward compared to the world’s other military powers,” Putin said during a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Friday.

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