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Dec 28, 2017

AI Researchers Create Video to Call for Autonomous Weapons Ban at UN

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

In response to growing concerns about autonomous weapons, a coalition of AI researchers and advocacy organizations released a fictitious video on Monday that depicts a disturbing future in which lethal autonomous weapons have become cheap and ubiquitous.

The video was launched in Geneva, where AI researcher Stuart Russell presented it at an event at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

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Dec 28, 2017

Data From 14 Million Papers Is Now Available for Free

Posted by in category: futurism

A new initiative, I4OC, is working towards making reliable, structured data of authors, reference lists, and citations accessible to the public. Their launch marks the availability of 14 million scholarly works, with more to come.

The Initiative of Open Citations (140C) announced today that science papers’ reference lists will now be accessible to anyone.

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Dec 28, 2017

Faster, stronger, better jumpers: Genetically engineered ‘super-horses’ to be born in 2019

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

Scientists, who had previously cloned polo ponies, have achieved yet another breakthrough in their work that could lead to the creation of genetically engineered “super-horses” that are faster, stronger and better jumpers than regular horses within two years.

Scientists in Argentina reportedly managed to rewrite the genomes of cloned horses by using a powerful DNA editing technique called CRISPR. They also produced healthy embryos that are now expected to be implanted into a surrogate mother by 2019.

CRISPR, an acronym that stands for Clustered, Regularly Interspaced, Short Palindromic Repeats, is basically a technique in a bacteria’s immune system. When a virus invades a bacterial cell, the CRISPR system captures a piece of the virus’s DNA and slides it into a section of the bacteria’s own DNA, allowing it to detect and destroy the virus as well as similar viruses in future attacks.

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Dec 28, 2017

SpaceX BFR construction will start in 4 to 6 months

Posted by in category: space travel

The SpaceX BFR (Big Falcon Rocket or Big Fucking Rocket) has a planned payload of 150,000 kg (330,000 lb) when flying reusable or 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) when flying expendable, making it a super heavy-lift launch vehicle.

SpaceX plans to replace of all their current rockets by the early 2020s with the BFR. Tooling for the main tanks has been ordered and a facility to build the vehicles is under construction; construction of the first BFR is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2018. SpaceX has the aspirational goal for initial Mars-bound cargo flights of BFR launching as early as 2022, followed by the first crewed BFR flight one synodic period later, in 2024. Serious development of the BFR began in 2017.

Testing of the BFR is expected to begin with short suborbital hops of the full-scale ship, likely to just a few hundred kilometers altitude and lateral distance.

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Dec 28, 2017

China’s latest plans to dominate robot, smart car and railway industries by 2020

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, food, information science, internet, robotics/AI

China has unveiled three-year plans to increase the country’s economic competitiveness by developing “key technologies” in nine industrial sectors, from robotics to railways.

Other areas include smart cars, robotics, advanced shipbuilding and maritime equipment, modern agricultural machinery, advanced medical devices and drugs, new materials, smart manufacturing and machine tools.

The aim is “to make China a powerful manufacturing country” and upgrade the nation’s industrial power through “the internet, big data and artificial intelligence”, the commission said.

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Dec 27, 2017

What’s Love got to do with Education?

Posted by in categories: complex systems, education, ethics, evolution, futurism, health, homo sapiens, human trajectories, innovation, philosophy, sustainability

[This article is drawn from Ch. 8: “Pedagogical Love: An Evolutionary Force” in Postformal Education: A Philosophy for Complex Futures.]

“There is nothing more important in this world than radical love” as Paolo Freire told Joe Kincheloe over dinner.

- Joe Kincheloe. Reading, Writing and Cognition. 2006.

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Dec 27, 2017

Organic Material Set to Make Solar Energy Truly ‘Green’

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Research on solar cells has been going on at a breakneck pace. However, with the advent of organics based cells, solar energy will be ‘greener’ than ever.

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Dec 27, 2017

We are almost to our final goal!

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

With only a few days left of 2017 we are $1,206,000 towards our $1,250,000 Winter Fundraiser goal.

Please help us reach our $1,250,000 goal by donating generously today! Remember, your support is crucial to our continued fight against age-related diseases.


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Dec 27, 2017

Japan’s Otsuka to roll out first ‘digital pill’ in US next spring

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

TOKYO — Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceutical plans to roll out the world’s first commercial “digital pill” in the U.S. as early as next spring. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November green-lighted the drugmaker to produce and sell the product, Abilify MyCite.

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Dec 27, 2017

Launch & landing of SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket

Posted by in category: space travel

Fan-made video animation — launch & landing of SpaceX Big Falcon Rocket (BFR); created by Reddit user Hazegrayart.

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