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Mar 1, 2016

Round Up linked to cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, health, sustainability

Bad news if you use RoundUp.

Local councils across Australia that use the weed killer glyphosate on nature-strips and playgrounds are being warned that the chemical probably causes cancer.

An updated World Health Organisation (WHO) warning for the herbicide, often trade marked as Roundup, is also routinely used in household gardens and farms.

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Mar 1, 2016

Autonomous Killing Machines Are More Dangerous Than We Think

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, drones, ethics, law, military, policy, robotics/AI

I see articles and reports like the following about military actually considering fully autonomous missals, drones with missals, etc. I have to ask myself what happened to the logical thinking.

A former Pentagon official is warning that autonomous weapons would likely be uncontrollable in real-world situations thanks to design failures, hacking, and external manipulation. The answer, he says, is to always keep humans “in the loop.”

The new report, titled “ Autonomous Weapons and Operational Risk,” was written by Paul Scharre, a director at the Center for a New American Security. Scharre used to work at the office of the Secretary of Defense where he helped the US military craft its policy on the use of unmanned and autonomous weapons. Once deployed, these future weapons would be capable of choosing and engaging targets of their own choosing, raising a host of legal, ethical, and moral questions. But as Scharre points out in the new report, “They also raise critically important considerations regarding safety and risk.”

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Mar 1, 2016

Minister announces £204 million investment in doctoral training and Quantum Technologies science

Posted by in categories: engineering, quantum physics, science

UK is getting serious about Quantum especially in their universities; all £204 million worth.

Universities and Science minister Jo Johnson has announced two major investments in science and engineering research totaling £204 million.

Forty UK universities will share in £167 million that will support doctoral training over a two year period, while £37 million will be put into developing the graduate skills, specialist equipment and facilities that will put UK Quantum Technologies research at the forefront of the field.

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Mar 1, 2016

Voice biometrics to be commonplace in customer service: Nuance

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, privacy

This could be very very tricky for a number of reasons: 1) how will this work with people who develop laryngitis or some other illness disrupting their speech? 2) what happens if a person uses a recorded voice or voice changer? 3) what happens when a person’s voice does change as they get older or have a medical procedure done that permanently alters the voice? I could list more; however, I believe that researcher will realize that there will be a need for two forms of biometrics when it comes to the voice.

Software firm Nuance believes that in the near future, there will be an expectation from customers to interact with technology in a more human-like manner.

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Mar 1, 2016

These are the 13 jobs in London where a robot is most likely to steal your job

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, employment, robotics/AI

The interesting piece in the articles that I have seen on robots taking jobs have only occurred in Asia and in certain situations in the UK. I believe that companies across the US see some of the existing hacking risks (especially since the US has the highest incidents of hackings among the other countries) that prevents companies from just replacing their employees with connected autonomous robots plus I am not sure that robotics is at the level of sophistication that most consumers want to spend a lot of money on at the moment.

Bottom line is that until hacking is drastically reduce (if not finally eliminated); that autonomous AI like connected robots and humanoids will find they will have a hard time being adopted by the US collective mass of the population.

In the future the global employment market will rely heavily on robots, artificial intelligence, and all sorts of automation.

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Mar 1, 2016

If We Want to Find Aliens, We Should Search for the Ones Searching for Us

Posted by in category: alien life

A paper published today in Astrobiology details a new strategy for seeking out intelligent life.

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Mar 1, 2016

Shape-shifting tech will change work as we know it | Sean Follmer

Posted by in categories: futurism, mobile phones

What will the world look like when we move beyond the keyboard and mouse? Interaction designer Sean Follmer is building a future with machines that bring information to life under your fingers as you work with it. In this talk, check out prototypes for a 3D shape-shifting table, a phone that turns into a wristband, a deformable game controller and more that may change the way we live and work.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

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Mar 1, 2016

DJI’s revolutionary Phantom 4 drone can dodge obstacles and track humans

Posted by in categories: computing, drones, robotics/AI, transportation

When The Verge began covering “drones” three years ago, we got a lot of grief about using that word: drone. These were just remote control toys, they couldn’t fly themselves! When drones got smart enough to navigate using GPS, and to follow people around, the naysayers pointed out they still couldn’t see anything. It could follow you, sure, but not while avoiding trees. At CES the last two years we finally saw drones that could sense and avoid real-world obstacles. But those were just tech demos, R&D projects which so far haven’t been made commercially available.

That all changes today with the introduction of DJI’s new drone, the Phantom 4. It’s the first consumer unit that can see the world around it and adjust accordingly, the next big step towards a truly autonomous aircraft. Try and drive it into a wall, the Phantom 4 will put on the brakes. If you ask it to fly from your position to a spot across a river, and there is a bridge in between, it will make a judgement call: increase speed to clear the obstacle or, if that isn’t possible, stop and hover in place, awaiting your next command.

The Phantom 4 accomplishes this feat with the help of five cameras: two on the front and two on the bottom, plus the main 4K camera that has always been onboard to capture video. The images captured by these cameras are run through computer vision software which constructs a 3D model of the world around it that the drone can intelligently navigate.

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Mar 1, 2016

Israel’s New SkyTram

Posted by in category: transportation

Israel is building a train that travels using magnetic levitation.

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Mar 1, 2016

Nanopatch polio vaccine success

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, health, nanotechnology

Needle-free Nanopatch technology developed at The University of Queensland has been used to successfully deliver an inactivated poliovirus vaccine.

Delivery of a polio vaccine with the Nanopatch was demonstrated by UQ’s Professor Mark Kendall and his research team at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and vaccine technology company Vaxxas.

Professor Kendall said the Nanopatch had been used to administer an inactivated Type 2 poliovirus vaccine in a rat model.

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