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Oct 26, 2017

The rights of synthetic lifeforms is the next great civil rights controversy

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, law, robotics/AI, transportation

With artificial intelligence technology advancing rapidly, the world must consider how the law should apply to synthetic beings. Experts from the fields of AI, ethics, and government weigh in on the best path forward as we enter the age of self-aware robots.

Artificially intelligent (AI) robots and automated systems are already transforming society in a host of ways. Cars are creeping closer to Level 5 autonomy, factories are cutting costs by replacing human workers with robots, and AIs are even outperforming people in a number of traditionally white-collar professions.

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Oct 26, 2017

DeepMind wants to find the next miracle material—experts just don’t know how they’ll pull it off

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Artificial intelligence has historically over-promised and under-delivered. That routine leads to spurts of what those in the field call “hype”—outsized excitement about the potential of a core technology—followed after a few years and several million (or billion) dollars by crashing disappointment. In the end, we still don’t have the flying cars or realistic robot dogs we were promised.

But DeepMind’s AlphaGo, a star pupil in a time we’ll likely look back on as a golden age of AI research, has made a habit of blowing away experts’ notions of what’s possible. When DeepMind announced that the AI system could play Go on a professional level, masters of the game said it was too complex for any machine. They were wrong.

Now AlphaGo Zero, the AI’s latest iteration, is being set to tasks outside of the 19×19 Go board, according to DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis.

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Oct 26, 2017

Rejuvenation May Bring Challenges to Society but are they Worse than Age-related Diseases?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Defeating age-related diseases may create challenges for society, but is that worse than not doing anything?

In these six years, I’ve spent as a rejuvenation advocate, I’ve had to deal with the traditional objections raised against the idea of longer lifespans. These objections touch a variety of different topics, but they aren’t terribly many: we’re talking about maybe a dozen of them, and these days, I hardly ever hear an objection I haven’t discussed before.

However few or many, and deserving of specific answers, these objections may be, they can all be reduced down to a single, general form: “Rejuvenation biotechnologies would cause [insert problem here], so it’s best not to go there.” And just like there are specific answers for each specific objection, there are general answers for their general form—Aubrey de Grey’s famous “two more general answers”.

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Oct 26, 2017

For the First Time Ever, a Robot Was Granted Citizenship

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Clearly, the robot that previously made headlines because she said she’ll destroy humankind has since embraced “being human” to a certain extent.

Robot Citizenship

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Oct 26, 2017

Turn your trash into gas

Posted by in category: futurism

Homebiogas turns your trash into gas.

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Oct 26, 2017

Wal-Mart launches shelf-scanning robots in about 40 stores

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

CHICAGO (Reuters) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc will roll out shelf-scanning robots in approximately 40 stores to replenish inventory faster on its shelves and save store employees time when products run out.

FILE PHOTO: Shopping carts are seen outside a new Wal-Mart Express store in Chicago July 26, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress/File Photo.

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Oct 26, 2017

This may affect some plans

Posted by in category: futurism

Need a reason for a settlement?

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Oct 26, 2017

This ‘Living Touch Screen’ Is Made out of Bacteria and Gold

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials

A demonstration of the pressure sensor built by bacteria in action as a researcher taps out some Morse code.

As wonderfully bizarre as it sounds, growing touch screens from a bacterial soup isn’t the team’s ultimate goal.

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Oct 26, 2017

The history of property rights in space, while fairly limited, is also downright goofy

Posted by in categories: government, law, space travel

Have you heard of Dennis Hope? How about The Lunar Embassy of the Galactic Government—no? As space enthusiasts and investors, you really should be familiar with the infamous man who has spent nearly thirty years becoming Earth’s most successful interplanetary real estate agent. As (legitimate) terrestrial governments consider a return to the Moon and the establishment of permanent lunar settlements, however, Hope and his customers may soon face legal challenges from national space agencies and commercial ventures alike.

Read full details here:

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Oct 26, 2017

Blade Runner and the World of Tomorrow

Posted by in categories: futurism, space travel

Science fiction is plagued by the slow march of time. What might have looked sleek and futuristic ten or more years ago might today look fantastic-but-unrealistic at best, or silly and outdated at worst. But whatever the case may be, the bottom line is this: no speculative sci-fi, not even cyberpunk, survives contact with the time period it portrays.

Of course, the point of science fiction isn’t to make our best attempts at clairvoyance. In fact, one may argue that, since the genre’s birth, science fiction is more like a subgenre of fantasy; it draws upon concepts that are simply more plausible to modern sensibilities (and thereby more capable of suspending disbelief) than magic and sorcery. Early works within the genre depict grand feats of science unreachable by the technological constraints of the time period, (such as defeating death, traveling through time, or voyaging through space) and remain unfulfilled to this day. Even today, we make stories that stretch the truth of what humankind is capable of in our near future, enjoyable as they may be.

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