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Monthly Archives: May 2013

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Moshe Vardi: Robots Could Put Humans Out of Work by 2045

Robots began replacing human brawn long ago—now they’re poised to replace human brains. Moshe Vardi of Rice University thinks that by 2045 artificially intelligent robots may be capable of "if not any work that humans can do, then, at least, a very significant fraction of the work that humans can do." So, he asks, what then will humans do?

US Takes Gold in Bot Hockey at RoboGames 2013

Gentleman, some ground rules first. No caltrops, spike strips, cattle prods, or stun guns. No spears, hammers, saw blades, lasers, or flame weapons. We’ll play three 3-minute periods. If all players die in any given period and cannot be resuscitated by the next period, the team with the highest score wins. Okay? Let’s play some robot hockey.
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Video Shows Robo Raven Diving, Spiraling, Flipping—and Getting Attacked by a Hawk

Robo Raven is a truly clever robot flier—it can dive, spiral, even back flip. Although up close, Robo Raven's reflective body doesn’t look very hawk-like, its wing motion and silhouette are realistic enough to...

Polytron, Maker of Switchable Privacy Glass Aims For Transparent Smartphone

Taiwan’s Polytron Techologies, a subsidiary of US firm Polytronix, wants to change the way we look at (and through) glass, one of mankind’s oldest inventions. Polytron makes giant touchscreens, selectively opaque glass, projection glass, holographic glass, LED-impregnated glass, color-changing glass, rainbow glass, glowing glass, and the mysterious Polyheat glass.

Hunters In Louisiana Build Thermal Camera Carrying Drone to Hunt Hogs

Drones are notorious for their grim military and law enforcement uses. But as the cost of UAV technology has plummeted in recent years, non-government use of DIY drones is on the up and up. Take feral hogs, for example. Too wily for traps, wild pigs breed like rabbits and devastate crops. But there’s a drone for that. James Palmer and Cy Brown’s “Dehogaflier” Skywalker UAV conducts flyovers of local fields, peering through dense foliage in the dark with a FLIR thermal imaging camera to pinpoint marauding packs of pigs.

Ingestible, Implantable, Or Intimate Contact: How Will You Take Your Microscale Body Sensors?

Computer chips and silicon micromachines are ready for your body. It’s time to decide how you’ll take them: implantable, ingestible, or intimate contact. Every flavor now exists. Some have FDA approval and some are seeking it. Others are moving quickly out of the research lab stage. With the round one Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize entries due in one year, we’re soon to see a heavy dose of sensors tied to the mobile wireless health revolution.

Google Partners With Singularity University To Crowdsource Book About Women Innovators

Singularity University and Google recently announced the launch of a campaign to crowdsource a book titled Innovating Women: Past, Present, and Future. The project is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo with a dollar-for-dollar contribution from Google for Entrepreneurs up to $50,000. The book aims to collect stories from women around the global and bring together their perspectives about a variety of factors that are shaping the innovation economy. By incorporating their unique perspectives and personal stories, the tome will both record the contributions women are making in the world today as well as provide an inspiration to female entrepreneurs around the world.

The Future of Gaming — It May All Be in Your Head

Neurogaming is riding on the heels of some exponential technologies that are converging on each other. Many of these were on display recently in San Francisco at the NeuroGaming Conference and Expo; a first-of-its-kind conference whose existence alone signals an inflection point in the industry. Conference founder, Zack Lynch, summarized neurogaming to those of us in attendance as the interface, “where the mind and body meet to play games.”
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Louise Leakey — Fireside Chat At The 2012 Graduate Studies Program

Dr. Louise Leakey is a paleoanthropologist and a National Geographic explorer in residence who is the third generation of Leakeys to fossil hunt in East Africa. Her lecture probes how accelerating technologies like 3d...

NAO Robot Has Learned To Write

Robot developer Franck Calzada has brought us one step closer to creating an assistant scribe for the common man in his new program with which NAO can write any word.

Beyond Banks? Peer-to-Peer Lending Is On the Upswing, Google Dives In

Lending Club, the peer-to-peer loan firm, recently announced a big investment in the firm’s stock by Google and Foundation Capital. Google and Foundation bought $125 million in shares of the firm’s outstanding equity on secondary markets (that is, from previous investors—not newly issued stock) for three times the stock's valuation a little less than a year ago. Lending Club says their system has funded $1.7 billion in loans since inception and, according to Tech Crunch, Lending Club hopes to take the firm public by 2014.

What It’s Like To Be A Student At Singularity University — An Insider’s Story

The best way to describe the experience of being a student at SU is to say that it is an Ivy League university from the future: the admissions process is from the year 2012, but the curriculum is from the year 2020.

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