ROBOTICS: Robots Can’t Kill You—and Claiming They Can is Dangerous
Ron Chrisley | Gizmodo
“Since robots don’t have responsibility, humans are the ones responsible for what robots do. However, as robots become more prevalent, it will increasingly appear as if they actually have their own autonomy and intentions, for which it will seem they can and should be held responsible.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Will AI Drive the Human Race Off a Cliff?
Sharon Gaudin | Computerworld
“‘The solution is to have people become better people and use technology for good,’ she said. ‘Texting is dangerous. People text while driving, which leads to accidents, but no one says, ‘Let’s remove texting from cell phones.'”

INTERNET: The $100 Million Content Farm That’s Killing the Internet
Charles Buzz | Motherboard
“This week, the viral aggregator ViralNova was acquired for $100 million dollars. Meanwhile, the Pitchfork spin-off film criticism site The Dissolve ceased operations with an internet_meaningful blogpost entitled “The End.” The divergence between the missions and lifecycles of these two media projects that both launched in 2013 leave me wondering, “WTF is value?” It is certainly not creating #niche content for ‘intelligent audiences.’ Over the past two years, we’ve learned that there isn’t any actual monetizable ‘cultural value’ in building a content farm with an authoritative voice or domination of a niche area. Instead, it is more important to chase quantifiable human metrics by shoving lowbrow content in front of Facebook users. This is exactly what ViralNova has done better than most content farms–it figured out the current system and #growth_hacked the hell out of it.”

COMPUTING: Is this the end for apps?
Erin N. Shapiro | The Next Web
“With more artificial intelligence being built into operating systems and their greater ability to find and present relevant data, some have predicted contextual information may eventually push users off of third-party apps…After all, why open an app if the data within it is easily accessible through Google Now or Siri?”

AUGMENTED REALITY: Toss your manual overboard—augmented reality aims at big industry
Lee Hutchinson | Ars Technica
“Nunes demonstrated this with a tablet in the augmented reality lab and a small 3D-printed duplicate of a piece of well hardware. The maintenance manual app used the tablet’s camera to figure out what kind of hardware it was looking at, and then was able to track the component as the tablet moved around it. The operator could look up installation procedures and see steps demonstrated in 3D on the parts each step involves, rather than having to refer to static printed diagrams.”

VR: Wall Street analysts say virtual reality can’t go mainstream until these issues are fixed
Corey Stern | Business Insider
“‘We are unsure if gamers and general consumers alike are willing to spend long periods of time alone, in a confined space, with a headset, and completely shut off from surrounding environment,’ [Oppenheimer analysts] wrote of the limiting characteristics. This brings us to the social issue: virtual reality has so far only been a single person experience.”


ENERGY is the Global Grand Challenge for July


RENEWABLE ENERGY: What Are The Roadblocks To More Renewables?
Bob Stojanovic and Dennis McKinley | CleanTechnica
“We have the technology to successfully integrate distributed, renewable energy with the grid to provide a reliable, seamless power source. That includes software that helps renewable-power providers better predict their output throughout the day and feed that information upstream to utilities so they can blend that power with their traditional generation portfolio…The real barrier to greater renewable use is less technological and more philosophical. People worry that connecting all these renewable sources to the grid will bring it down.”

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: 4 Key Problems With Measuring EV Pollution vs. Gas Cars
Eric Jaffe | CityLab
“People basically have to buy a new gas car to get a cleaner gas car. If you own an EV for a decade, on the other hand, it has the potential to get cleaner every year as the electricity grid gets cleaner—in a sense, updating itself in real-time. ‘Only electric cars get cleaner as you drive them.'”

SOLAR: Japan is building solar energy plants on abandoned golf courses—and the idea is spreading
Steve Mollman | Quartz
“[Kyocera] announced an even larger project that will begin construction next year in the Kagoshima prefecture on land that had been designated for a golf course more than 30 years ago but subsequently abandoned. The 92-megawatt plant will include more than 340,000 solar modules and is expected to generate nearly 100,000 megawatt hours per year, or enough to power about 30,500 households when it goes operational in 2018.”

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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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