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Jun 13, 2018

If the Robots Come for Our Jobs, What Should the Government Do?

Posted by in categories: economics, employment, government, robotics/AI

But there’s a recent lesson worth learning from. Globalization and automation caused upheaval in the manufacturing industry from the 1980s through the early 2000s, and millions of factory workers lost their jobs. The disruption to communities is still being felt, and is arguably at the root of a lot of the biggest social and economic problems of this era.


Some big ideas are starting to percolate. But less dramatic ones might work, too.

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Jun 12, 2018

Solar Surpasses Wind, Natural Gas as Leading Source of New Energy

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Americans installed 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels in the first quarter of the year—a 13 percent increase from a year earlier, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association. That made solar the leading source of new energy generation at 55 percent, dominating over wind and natural gas turbines. This was in spite of the fact that President Donald Trump imposed tariffs earlier this year on imported panels and their parts, reported Bloomberg News. Total installations are on track to reach 10.8 gigawatts at the end of the year, with installations reaching more than 14 gigawatts by 2023.

Read it at Bloomberg.

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Jun 12, 2018

The KATRIN Tritium Neutrino experiment: A giant scale for the tiniest particles starts

Posted by in category: particle physics

Neutrinos are so tiny and inconspicuous that physicists believed for a long time they had no mass. Now, a massive device that scientists say will determine the mass of neutrinos has begun operation in Karlsruhe.

What is the exact mass of the three known kinds of neutrinos? Any answers? No? Well, don’t worry, because nobody knows. Not yet. Electron, muon and tau neutrinos are simply too difficult to grasp for scientists.

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Jun 12, 2018

Neural Scans Show What Spiritual Experiences Look Like in the Brain

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Recent research published in Cerebral Cortex shows where spirituality exists in the brain by comparing brain scans of people in a spiritual state, stressful state, and a neutral state. Spiritual experiences, it seems, may boil down to rising and falling experiences in the brain.

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Jun 12, 2018

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability

As technology changes the way people live and work, cities are undergoing an unprecedented transformation. Those that have the infrastructure and strategy to manage this rapid technological shift are set to become the most competitive.

Globally, city economies in India, Vietnam and China have the strongest short-term momentum. The pace and scale of change in these markets is extraordinary, as they build out their skylines and infrastructure platforms to meet booming demand. While these changes present opportunities, many of these cities are facing challenges to their longer-term development prospects, with strains on infrastructure, high levels of inequality, issues around affordability, and environmental degradation.

Such rapid transformation is often eye-catching. But it is cities that are investing in a sustainable future, and laying the groundwork for ongoing success, that deserve recognition. These cities are “future-proofing” to ensure positive, long-term momentum. Key elements of future-proofing include: the ability to drive and manage technological change; infrastructure that contributes to a high quality of life; a long-term city vision; and attracting and retaining talent.

Continue reading “These are the world’s most future-proof cities” »

Jun 12, 2018

Machine Learning: how to go from Zero to Hero

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

If your understanding of A.I. and Machine Learning is a big question mark, then this is the blog post for you. Here, I gradually increase your Awesomenessicity ™ by gluing inspirational videos together with friendly text.

Sit down and relax. These videos take time, and if they don’t inspire you to continue to the next section, fair enough.

However, if you find yourself at the bottom of this article, you’ve earned your well-rounded knowledge and passion for this new world. Where you go from there is up to you.

Continue reading “Machine Learning: how to go from Zero to Hero” »

Jun 12, 2018

Brain-Based Circuitry Just Made Artificial Intelligence A Whole Lot Faster

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

By pairing neural network algorithms with circuits modeled after the structure of the human brain, artificial intelligence works 100 times more efficiently.

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Jun 12, 2018

In her short life, mathematician Emmy Noether changed the face of physics

Posted by in categories: mathematics, physics

A century after she published a groundbreaking mathematical theory, Emmy Noether gets her due.

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Jun 12, 2018

Watch artificial intelligence project a 3D soccer match on your kitchen table

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Just in time for the World Cup … kind of.

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Jun 12, 2018

Major research reveals CRISPR gene-editing could increase cancer risk in cells

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

Two recently published studies are raising new concerns that the breakthrough CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system could potentially trigger an increased cancer risk in cells edited using the technique. With human trials using the gene-editing technique set to commence this year, the scientists behind these new studies urge researchers to be aware of this newly discovered and dangerous cancer-driving mechanism.

It has been less than a decade since the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique was discovered, allowing scientists an unprecedented way to accurately edit DNA. For the most part, the technique has proved promising, safe and effective. Last year, a controversial study was published claiming the technique could introduce unintended, off-target mutations, but after a flurry of criticism attacking the veracity of the work it was ultimately retracted.

These two new studies raise entirely new concerns regarding the technique’s potential for triggering cancer in edited cells. One study comes from a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the Karolinska Institutet, while the other is led by a team of researchers at pharmaceutical company Novartis.

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