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Dec 16, 2016

Why the United Nations Must Move Forward With a Killer Robots Ban

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, terrorism

The reason I have been motivated to do this is simple. If we don’t get a ban in place, there will be an arms race. And the end point of this race will look much like the dystopian future painted by Hollywood movies like The Terminator.

Even before this end point, such weapons will likely fall into the hands of terrorists and rogue nations. These people will have no qualms about removing any safeguards. Or using them against us.

And it won’t simply be robots fighting robots. Conflicts today are asymmetric. It will mostly be robots against humans. So unlike what some robot experts might claim, many of those humans will be innocent civilians.

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Dec 16, 2016

Uber defies California regulators and keeps its self-driving cars on the road

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Uber “respectfully disagrees” with the California DMV that its self-driving cars are illegal.

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Dec 16, 2016

Kazuo Ishiguro: ‘We’re coming close to the point where we can create people who are superior to others’

Posted by in category: transhumanism

Social changes unleashed by new technologies could undermine core human values unless we engage with science, warns author.

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Dec 16, 2016

This Is the Holographic AI Servant of Your Dreams…or Maybe Your Nightmares

Posted by in categories: holograms, information science, robotics/AI

According to her profile, “She is a comforting character that is great to those living alone. She will always do all she can just for the owner.” How thoughtful and sweet. Except she comes with a $2,600 price tag (and her US version will be sold for $3,000). So, caring for her “owner” is the least she can do, right?

The hologram bot is based on a Japanese anime character, but she isn’t going to be the only character for Gatebox. From the looks of the website, the company is going to make other characters available, presumably also from anime.

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Dec 16, 2016

Stem cell ‘living bandage’ for knee injuries trialed in humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A ‘living bandage’ made from stem cells, which could revolutionise the treatment and prognosis of a common sporting knee injury, has been trialled in humans for the first time by scientists at the Universities of Liverpool and Bristol.

Meniscal tears are suffered by over one million people a year in the US and Europe alone and are particularly common in contact sports like football and rugby. 90% or more of tears occur in the white zone of meniscus which lacks a blood supply, making them difficult to repair. Many professional sports players opt to have the torn tissue removed altogether, risking osteoarthritis in later life.

The Cell Bandage has been developed by spin-out company Azellon, and is designed to enable the meniscal tear to repair itself by encouraging cell growth in the affected tissue.

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Dec 16, 2016

Strange Magnetic Stars Could Spawn Some of the Universe’s Most Massive Black Holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Earlier this year, after 100 years of searching for them, an international team of researchers detected the presence of gravitational waves for the first time, thanks to the collision of two massive black holes, providing proof for Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Needless to say, it was a big deal, but two important questions remained: where did the two colliding black holes that created these gravitational ripples in space-time come from, and how did they get so massive?

Black holes form when a star runs out of fuel and collapses in on itself.

Continue reading “Strange Magnetic Stars Could Spawn Some of the Universe’s Most Massive Black Holes” »

Dec 16, 2016

Virtual Home Robot

Posted by in category: futurism


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Dec 16, 2016

Bendable and foldable phones will break us from the smartphone rut

Posted by in category: mobile phones

Commentary: These envelope-pushing phones will move everyone forward, but it will be years before they’re fully embraced.

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Dec 16, 2016

LG reportedly partnering with Apple and Google on out-foldable OLED panels

Posted by in category: electronics

LG Display is reportedly readying out-foldable OLED panels to go into mass production in 2018. According to Korean news website etnews, the company will work with, and supply to, Apple, Google and Microsoft, as it competes with Samsung in the foldable display market.

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Dec 16, 2016

Beer pump lets customers order, pay and serve themselves

Posted by in category: futurism

As pubs and bars in the UK get busier in the run up to Christmas, Barclaycard has uncorked a way to reduce the time people spend waiting to be served. Pay @ Pump is a beer pump that allows customers to pour their own pint and pay with a contactless card in as little as a minute.

According to Barclaycard, people spend an average of 12 minutes per order waiting to be served over the Christmas period. The Pay @ Pump system is designed to reduce customer queuing time and speed up service.

“I’m sure everyone has been stuck behind the person who orders the most complicated cocktail on the menu or a round of 10 drinks for their group of friends,” explains Barclaycard’s commercial director for digital consumer payments Tami Hargreaves. “When people told us that waiting time was one of their biggest annoyances, we wanted to help solve a common problem with a simple solution.”

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