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Jul 20, 2018

$800 Million Says a Self-Driving Car Looks Like This

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Zoox has jokingly dubbed its prototype robot taxis “vaporware horseshit.”

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Jul 20, 2018

The Freedom of Life Extension

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Life extension would allow everyone to enjoy a higher degree of freedom.

Freedom is a rather big deal in this age. We want freedom of speech, political freedom, press freedom, religious freedom, and freedom of choice over anything that may concern us directly. Different kinds of freedom are available in different amounts in different areas of the world, and while many people tend to see the glass half empty and complain that freedom is not equally distributed everywhere, it’s undeniable that we enjoy far greater liberty than previous generations. It’s not always easy to act upon your choices, and sometimes you’re free to choose in theory but not in practice, but overall, we enjoy options that who came before us couldn’t even dream of.

Take health, for example. Two hundred years back, if you didn’t want to get the flu, or any other infectious disease, you didn’t have the option not to do so. The mechanism through which infectious diseases manifest and spread wasn’t even remotely understood, so you didn’t have any idea what you should or shouldn’t do to minimize your risk of falling ill; basic hygiene wasn’t exactly a standard, and drugs and vaccines were nowhere in sight. If you actively wanted to do something to prevent getting the flu—which, at the time, might have killed you—you simply didn’t have this option.

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Jul 20, 2018

UK military aircraft technology

Posted by in categories: economics, government, military

We are immensely proud to continue a long tradition of aeronautical expertise that helps maintain security and defend nations as well as bringing significant economic, technological and skills benefits. The UK Government has launched its Combat Air Strategy at the 2018 Farnborough International Air Show with the aim of delivering the next generation of combat air capability by 2035.

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Jul 20, 2018

Fitter Happier: Mattheiu Gafsou Investigates Transhumanism in New Book and Exhibition

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, transhumanism

Transhumanists aim to do just that: to transcend the limits of the human body through the use of technology. Swiss photographer Matthieu Gafsou’s new book, H+ (Kehrer Verlag), documents Transhumanism through portraiture, still lifes and documentary photographs of Tranhumanist people, facilities, tools and technology. In photographing surgical procedures, laboratories, conferences and the like, Gafsou employed a hard flash to add a “clinical aspect” to his pictures. “This was important to me because I think [Transhumanism] is quite cold and [it] is about, not necessarily killing death but working on living longer,” he tells PDN. “But we are forgetting the body, we are forgetting the flesh, we are forgetting desire.”

In “H+,” Gafsou uses the visual language of science and technology to explore Transhumanism, the belief that the human body needs to be enhanced, perhaps even overcome.

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Jul 20, 2018

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

Posted by in categories: computing, futurism

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses the speed and precision of roll-to-roll newspaper printing to remove a couple of fabrication barriers in making electronics faster than they are today.

Cellphones, laptops, tablets, and many other electronics rely on their internal metallic circuits to process information at high speed. Current fabrication techniques tend to make these circuits by getting a thin rain of liquid metal drops to pass through a stencil mask in the shape of a circuit, kind of like spraying graffiti on walls.

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Jul 20, 2018

Making Machine Learning Robust Against Adversarial Inputs

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Click on photo to start video.

Nicholas Papernot discusses “Making Machine Learning Robust Against Adversarial Inputs” (, a Contributed Article in the July 2018 CACM.

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Jul 19, 2018

Potential new MS drug could regenerate myelin

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

A study finds that blocking the M3R receptor improves myelination in mice implanted with human progenitor cells, maybe leading to clinical trials in MS.

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Jul 19, 2018

Why Astronaut Scott Kelly Battled a Gallon-Sized Orb of Urine and Acid on the ISS

Posted by in category: space

What’s the creepiest thing that former astronaut and retired US Navy captain Scott Kelly has ever dealt with in space? According to Kelly, it was a floating orb of sulfuric acid and astronaut pee. He revealed this strange glimpse into life on the ISS in a video produced with Reddit.

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Jul 19, 2018

Akka pod with detachable wings would integrate aviation with public transit

Posted by in categories: engineering, transportation

Akka Technologies is developing pods with detachable wings that would integrate aviation and public transit. The AKKA Group is an engineering and technology consulting company with 16000 employees.

The detachable wings would make for vastly more efficient boarding and improve the utilization of the engines and wings.

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Jul 19, 2018

Researchers move closer to completely optical artificial neural network

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

Researchers have shown that it is possible to train artificial neural networks directly on an optical chip. The significant breakthrough demonstrates that an optical circuit can perform a critical function of an electronics-based artificial neural network and could lead to less expensive, faster and more energy efficient ways to perform complex tasks such as speech or image recognition.

“Using an optical chip to perform neural computations more efficiently than is possible with digital computers could allow more complex problems to be solved,” said research team leader Shanhui Fan of Stanford University. “This would enhance the capability of artificial neural networks to perform tasks required for self-driving cars or to formulate an appropriate response to a spoken question, for example. It could also improve our lives in ways we can’t imagine now.”

An artificial neural network is a type of artificial intelligence that uses connected units to process information in a manner similar to the way the brain processes information. Using these networks to perform a complex task, for instance voice recognition, requires the critical step of training the algorithms to categorize inputs, such as different words.

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