Enjoy this week’s stories!


ROBOTICS: Human Laws Can’t Control Killer Robots, New Report Says
Kari Paul | Motherboard
“​When a human being is killed by an autonomous machine, who takes the blame? Human rights non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch says it is virtually impossible to tell, and that presents unprecedented danger in the future of warfare. The group released a report today showing how difficult it will be to hold commanders, operators, programmers or manufacturers legally responsible for crimes committed by autonomous machines under current legislature.”

COMPUTING: What Kind of Thing Is Moore’s Law?
Cyrus Mody | IEEE Spectrum
“Moore’s Law is more like a law passed by the U.S. Congress. By that he means, roughly, that the leading institutions of the semiconductor industry have agreed, or ‘legislated,’ to maintain Moore’s Law because it is a useful coordinating mechanism.”

BIG DATA: If Algorithms Know All, How Much Should Humans Help?
Steve Lohr | The New York Times
“Many data quants see marketing as a low-risk — and, yes, lucrative — petri dish in which to hone the tools of an emerging science. ‘What happens if my algorithm is wrong? Someone sees the wrong ad,’ said Claudia Perlich, a data scientist who works for an ad-targeting start-up. ‘What’s the harm? It’s not a false positive for breast cancer.’…These questions are spurring a branch of academic study known as algorithmic accountability.”

DESIGN: How The Grid Will Automate Web Design Without Killing The Designer
Tyler Hayes | Fast Company
“The inherently robotic system begs to be humanized and explained. The first question Taylor had to ask himself was if what Tocchini was attempting was even possible. Could he translate design intention into an algorithm that was always producing new and relevant results—something that satisfied a broad range of needs and desires?”

SPACE: Here’s why humans are so obsessed with colonizing Mars
Vivian Giang | Quartz
“‘Mars has been unanimously agreed upon by the world’s space agencies as the ‘horizon goal’ for human spaceflight,’ said Do, part of the MIT research group responsible for a widely read report debunking Mars One’s mission as unfeasible. ‘It is widely agreed that Mars is the most promising destination for near term colonization.'”

BRAIN: When criminal law meets neuroscience
Robert Szczerba | The Next Web
“‘Seeking the truth is at once the most fundamental and the most difficult task of the criminal justice system.'”

FUTURE OF EDUCATION: Chinese Government to Put 3D Printers in All 400,000 Elementary Schools by Next Year
Brian Krassenstein | 3D Print
“Speaking with former MakerBot CEO, Jenny Lawton, at CES this year, she told me that 3D printing will become mainstream and really begin to explode as far as adoption rates go, when a full cycle of education has been exposed to the technology.”

FUTURE OF FOOD: VIDEO: Creating food from plant proteins
BBC News
The biotech start-ups looking at ways to change the way we make food.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

I've been writing for Singularity Hub since 2011 and have been Editor-in-Chief since 2014. My interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but I'll always be a chemist at heart.

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