This Week’s Awesome Stories from Around the Web (Through Oct 3)

ROBOTICS: The word ‘robot’ is meaningless. Why are we still saying it?
Kevin Roose | Fusion
“The word ‘robot’ may end up becoming little more than a rhetorical flourish for companies hoping to signal their interest in innovation. ‘It’s a signpost, right up there with the flying car,’ [Kevin Albert] said. ‘Saying the thing you’re making is a robot is an easy shortcut for saying, “We’re working toward the future.”‘”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: AI Is About To Go Mainstream And Reshape The Workplace
Michael Yamnitsky | TechCrunch
“As startups flock into this space, and major software companies start placing bets, the effects will ripple across organizations. One breakthrough application at a time, human capital will start to shift from mundane tasks and transactions to higher-order, creative work. Along the way, we’ll see massive businesses built where software replaces or reshapes specific job functions.”

Chart Credit: Brooklyn Coats/TechCrunch
Chart Credit: Brooklyn Coats/TechCrunch

TRANSPORTATION: Almost every economist agrees: Uber makes us better off
Peter Spence | The Telegraph
“No industry is completely insulated from this process of ‘creative destruction’, where newer technologies replace old. And it’s not entirely regrettable that it does. Otherwise we would have many people working in unproductive industries that have long gone out of fashion.”

GENETICS: We Can Now Sequence A Whole Human Genome In 26 Hours
Claire Maldarelli | Popular Science
“DRAGEN is the first processor designed for genomic applications only and speeds up the data analysis from 22.5 hours to 41 minutes.”

AUGMENTED REALITY: Augmented Reality Has An Image Problem
Ambarish Mitra | TechCrunch
“The real potential of AR is just emerging. AR is not a linear technology — it is macro. It will help objects think; it will help objects talk. The Internet has powered remarkable new ways for us to achieve just about everything — learn, buy, book travel, connect with each other — and AR, in all its many forms, will be at the forefront of the next revolution in the way we connect with the world around us.”

DIGITAL MEDIA: Why Have Digital Books Stopped Evolving?
Craig Mod | AEON
“The pile of unread books we have on our bedside tables is often referred to as a graveyard of good intentions. The list of unread books on our Kindles is more of a black hole of fleeting intentions.”

FOOD is the Global Grand Challenge
for the Month of October

“Access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life for all people at all times.”
from Singularity University’s 2015 Impact Report

OPEN-SOURCE FARMING: The Wikipedia of Farming Is Here
Kevin Gray | Popular Science
“Right now, there are 20,000-foot indoor farms popping up all over the world. But no one shares anything because they think their IP is so valuable…To be fair to them, they’re doing awesome work. This stuff can take a lifetime to figure out. But they are creating all this knowledge and then scooping it under a black box. We want to create plant-growing recipes that look like Wikipedia.”

Read more at Popular Science, which is featuring a great series this month on the Future of Food 

FOOD WASTEEven Poor Countries End Up Wasting Tons Of Food
Roff Smith | NPR
“More than 1 billion metric tons of food is lost or wasted each year, never making it from the farm to fork…That’s the size of the mountain of food going to waste each year — and all of it perfectly good food. Meanwhile, more than 800 million people are chronically hungry — a population equivalent to the United States and European Union combined.”

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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