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Mar 27, 2016

Venus Likely Had Past Life; Next Step Is Finding It

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological

Venus, sometimes called Earth’s twin, is a hauntingly beautiful planet that likely had past microbial life a prominent astrobiologist asserts. If so, we need to go find it. NASA is developing the tech to withstand the high pressures and temperatures to do such a surface search.

I say there’s no excuse; Venus is closer than Mars; and while Mars may have harbored life as did Ceres, finding evidence of past life on Venus and then Mars later this century would mean that life itself evolves pretty readily.

Venus likely harbored past microbial life, if not on its exposed surface, then in the planet’s potential warm early oceans and hot pools of liquid water, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University astrobiologist now tells me.

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Mar 27, 2016

Massive Robots Keep Docks Shipshape

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

They are pushing for fully automated robot Cargo ships. Now, we have robots to load and unload cargo ships. In a few years there probably wont be a single person left working on a dock.

TraPac LLC’s Los Angeles shipping terminal offers a window to how coming global trade will move: using highly automated systems and machinery to handle a flood of goods amid new free-trade accords.

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Mar 27, 2016

Google’s New ‘Hive-Mind’ Robots Learn From One Another

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

These 14 robots receive their train thanks to convolutional neural networks, and they share their knowledge with their fellows.

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Mar 27, 2016

Racist, Hitler-loving bot unleashed

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Oy veh!

Microsoft created an artificial intelligence called “Tay” that was designed to learn from back-and-forth interaction on Twitter. But after a mere 16 hours online, the bot had become so offensively racist that Microsoft was forced to take it down.

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Mar 27, 2016

Chinese Scientists Say They Have the Ability To Clone Humans

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Chinese company Boyalife Group is set to start cloning cows later this year, but they say that they have the technology to do even more.

The Boyalife Group, responsible for building the world’s largest cloning factory, says that it already has the technology needed for human replication, and that it is only holding back due to public perception.

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Mar 27, 2016

Machine learning will create a new computing architecture that can do things “better than humans.”

Posted by in categories: computing, robotics/AI

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Mar 27, 2016

Why We Need a Transhumanism Movement

Posted by in categories: life extension, transhumanism

A crowd gathers to hear about transhumanism and life extension technologies — Photo by Roen Horn

Recently I was asked to be a part of a debate for British think-tank Demos and their quarterly magazine. In the debate, The University of Sheffield Professor Richard Jones and I faced off over the merits and faults of transhumanism. You can read the entire debate here, but I wanted to focus on one part of it, where Jones questions why there’s a need for a transhumanism movement at all.

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Mar 27, 2016

Heat-assisted storage could give you 10x more space on your computer’s drive

Posted by in categories: computing, media & arts

If you’re always running out of room for photos, videos, and music on your laptop, then science might have the answer. Using a laser to write data to magnetic storage, researchers have been able to increase the potential data storage capacity of hard drives by as much as 10 times — a process konwn as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR).

Our computers write, read, and store information by controlling and detecting whether tiny regions of the disk are magnetised or not. This magnetic state corresponds to either a “1” or a “0” in the binary code — known as a bit — and our files are stored across thousands (or millions) of these bits at once. So if we want more space, we need to find a way to shrink those magnetic regions — which are made up of magnetic grains. And that’s where this new development comes in.

As Gizmodo reports, the new technique relies on shrinking the size of the magnetic grains used to store data, while minimising the interference with surrounding grains, and the researchers have now done that more effectively than ever before by using a precise laser alongside a magnetic field.

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Mar 27, 2016

The First Urban Drone Delivery Just Happened In Nevada

Posted by in category: drones

“We are rapidly approaching a time where drone delivery is a reality”

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Mar 27, 2016

Alphabet’s ‘Moonshots’ Head Astro Teller: Fear Of AI And Robots Is Wildly Overblown

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, computing, genetics, robotics/AI

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Jack Plunkett, File)

Astro Teller is tired of the paranoia surrounding artificial intelligence and robotics. The famous computer scientist’s sensitivity around the topic may be understandable considering he bears the brunt of some of that skepticism as the head of X, the Alphabet (and formerly Google) moonshot factory working on many of the company’s futuristic AI and robotics projects.

This past weekend, Teller, whose official title is “captain of moonshots,” took to the stage at the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con hoping to dispel some of these misconceptions around AI. His physician wife, Danielle Teller, presented alongside him on some of the fear mongering associated with genetic engineering in humans. After their presentation, the Tellers sat down with FORBES to go deeper on the issue to explain what they hoped to accomplish with their talk.

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