What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through May 23)

ROBOTICS: MIT’S Humanoid Robot Goes to Robot Boot Camp
Emily Dreyfuss | WIRED
“If the humans were controlling Atlas directly from the command center, this would be no big deal, but the MIT team designed for autonomy. So they don’t have a joystick that would make the robot open the door. All the team can do is send their robot the command to find the handle and open it. It’s up to the robot’s software to figure out how.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Neuroscientists Are Making an Artificial Brain for Everyone
Davey Alba | WIRED
“Nara is essentially a matchmaking system that finds and understands entities in any data set, from people and places to businesses and abstract concepts, then builds a massive knowledge graph that shows weighted links between those entities. Wilson says Nara inserts users right into that knowledge graph to offer personalized recommendations. Knowing a bit about the user is what allows Nara to light up other things they might like. And the system can scrape public databases to enhance its knowledge.”

DRONES: How Drones Could Help an Indigenous Community Fight Mining and Deforestation
Emiko Jozuka | Motherboard
“The local Wapichana monitoring team learned how to build a fix-winged drone from scratch. The team then mounted a GoPro onto the drone, which shot around 500 images of the Shulinab village along a pre-programmed flight path. Using Pix4Dmapper automatic imaging software, the team were then able to recreate a 3D model of their village from the images. The aim, explained MacLennan in a blog post, is to ‘create high-resolution up-to-date imagery at a fraction of the cost of satellite imagery.'”

VIRTUAL REALITY: The Emotional Amplifier
Patrick O’Luanaigh | Develop
“Probably the worst scenario as a game designer is that players experience something in your VR game that freaks them out so badly, they rip the headset off and refuse to put it back on again. Moreover, because VR is an emotion amplifier, all sorts of negative emotions and fears can become apparent that even the player may not have known about before. ”

MEDICAL TECH: Blueprint for a Better Human Body
Rose Eveleth | The Atlantic
“But at the same time, there are more and more amputees who are going without the cosmetic covers, who are showing the machinery behind the leg, the hinges and the carbon fiber and the metal. And while function is still crucially important, there are people who are no longer asking how to replicate. Instead, they’re asking how to improve. How to make a limb new, better, stronger, more striking, more beautiful.”

SPACE: The House just passed a bill about space mining. The future is here.
Brian Fung | The Washington Post
“What could the FAA, an agency whose chief concern is air travel, want with outer space? Well, the FAA is the agency that grants licenses for commercial space launches (the ones that aren’t performed for NASA or the Defense Department, anyway). This potentially gives the nation’s aviation regulators a tremendous amount of power over the fledgling private space industry.”

FUTURE OF WORK: The Highest-Paying Jobs Of The Future Will Eat Your Life
Jay Zagorsky | Fast Company
“With this trend toward long hours and higher pay, what will be the impact on people? Research has identified reduced sleep, increased stress, less happiness, lower productivity, poorer health, and higher chances for injuring yourself and others when the workday expands—implications that can be dangerous in any job, be it specialized or not.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

David J. Hill
David J. Hill
David started writing for Singularity Hub in 2011 and served as editor-in-chief of the site from 2014 to 2017 and SU vice president of faculty, content, and curriculum from 2017 to 2019. His interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but he'll always be a chemist at heart.
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