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Monthly Archives: February 2014

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Netflix Utilizing Amazon Cloud To Support Its Next-Gen AI For Recommendations

Netflix has tried a number of different ways to improve its recommendations, and it recently announced that it is increasingly using artificial intelligence to do so. But Netflix isn’t buying all the computing power to build an artificial intelligence system for itself. Instead, Netflix will host its efforts right on competitor Amazon’s cloud.

U.S. Border Patrol Sends Robots To Combat Drug Smuggling

Beginning in 2012, the U.S. Border Patrol has turned to robots to help it find and search the tunnels smugglers use to get drugs into the United States from Mexico.

A Telepresence RoboCop Piloted by Oculus Rift and Sensored Gloves

A student at the Florida International University (FIU) dons a sensor-laden pair of gloves and vest and an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. He lifts his arm, makes a fist—and across the room a...

Drones to Deliver Government Docs in the United Arab Emirates Next Year

Remember when Jeff Bezos said Amazon would deliver packages using drones at some point in the next few years? Bezos and Amazon may be beat to the punch by a government in the Middle...

Legal Heroin: Is Virtual Reality Our Next Hard Drug?

So video games are addictive—this we know. It comes down to dopamine, one of the brain’s basic signaling molecules. Emotionally, we feel dopamine as pleasure, engagement, excitement, creativity, and a desire to investigate and make meaning out...

Stem Cells Repair, Strengthen Muscles in Aged Mice

Stanford’s Helen Blau, director of the Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology, studies a banal, but also ubiquitous, use of stem cells in the body: helping muscles repair themselves. The lab's most recent findings suggest that stem cell therapy could be used to help older patients recover from muscular injuries, for example from falls, or perhaps even weakness following surgery.

Foxconn’s Pivot to America: Reverse Outsourcing With Robots

China has been vilified in recent years for stealing US manufacturing jobs, as have the multinationals increasing assembling products there. One reason for the outsourcing, if not its vilification, is a rational one—Chinese factory workers demand and require lower wages than do their American counterparts. In an interesting twist, however, Foxconn, the notorious Chinese manufacturer of all things Apple, recently announced they’re opening a factory in Pennsylvania.

Researchers Show Off Mind-Controlled Music Player

Scientists at the University of Malta think touch screens are for suckers. Mind-controlled devices? Now, that’s where it’s at. Outfitted in an electrode-studded cap, users of the group’s specially designed music software are able to play a song, fast forward tracks, and adjust the volume by merely looking at the screen.

IBM Markets Watson as Potential Solution to Africa’s Health and Education Woes

IBM recently announced that it will invest in a research program in Africa to improve water and sanitation, agriculture, healthcare and education on the continent using its artificial intelligence platform, Watson.

Humans Appear Programmed to Obey Robots, Studies Suggest

Robot fear outsells robot awe and wonder every time. It’s very nearly axiomatic. But if you need proof, go to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where two 8-foot robots are directing traffic. The automatons are little more than traffic lights dressed up as campy 1960s robots—and yet everyone obeys them. This is significant because the Congolese drivers completely failed to obey the humans previously directing traffic there.

Matter.io Wants to Make 3D Modeling Easy as Instagram

3D printing is increasingly an essential part of industrial processes. But for those lacking digital design experience and who aren’t daily fabricating rocket motors or bike parts—essential isn’t quite the word. MIT Media Lab’s Matter.io is on a mission to lure in the masses with user-friendly design software; software that vastly simplifies 3D modeling.

Pioneering Cell Therapy Achieves Complete Remission In Patients With End-Stage Leukemia

With a test group of 16 of the most dire cases of adult B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or B-ALL, a cell therapy approach that boosts the patient's own immune system managed to guide nearly 90 percent into complete remission.

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