ROBOTICS: Leeds could become the first ‘self-repairing city’ with a fleet of robotic civil servants
Chloe Olewitz | Digital Trends
“Would a fleet of robotic civil servant drones make Leeds safer and help the city run smoother? Or does it just eliminate a few hundred jobs a year until humans are even further on their way to obsolescence?”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: It’s Way Too Early to Be Afraid of a Superintelligent AI
Jesse Dunietz | Motherboard
“What all this means is that a) at best, we’re at the starting line for general AI, not on the verge of completing the course; and b) we have basically no idea what a general AI would look like. That makes it both unnecessary and virtually impossible to prepare for. As AI titan Andrew Ng argues, trying to mitigate the risk now would be like ‘work[ing] on combating overpopulation on…Mars.'”

HEALTHCARE: Digital Health of Body, Mind and Community
Tom Mahon | EE Times
“It’s not just the patients/customers who are on a steep learning curve.  Everyone in the health ecosystem—care providers, pharmaceutical firms, insurers and researchers—sees their world being turned upside down, due to rapidly changing economic, political, financial and technology demands.”

BIOPRINTING: How to 3-D print a heart
KurzweilAI
“‘We’ve been able to take MRI images of coronary arteries and 3-D images of embryonic hearts and 3-D bioprint them with unprecedented resolution and quality out of very soft materials like collagens, alginates and fibrins.'”

SPACE: If we met new life—on this planet or the next—would we know it when we saw it?
Matthew Francis | Ars Technica
“The hardest part of finding life elsewhere in the cosmos may be recognizing it when we see it. Most life on Earth is microbial, and though we often associate bacteria with disease, most species care not for humans one way or the other. A huge number of species thrive in places that would kill us, and vice versa: deep water, acid caves, bitter cold or boiling hot.”

PRIVACY: Cops are asking Ancestry.com and 23andMe for their customers’ DNA
Kashmir Hill | Fusion
“But the fact that your signing up for 23andMe or Ancestry.com means that you and all of your current and future family members could become genetic criminal suspects is not something most users probably have in mind when trying to find out where their ancestors came from.”


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


REPURPOSINGOrange Peel Waste Can Help Remove Mercury Pollution From Oceans
DJ Pangburn | GOOD
“‘So not only is this new polymer good for solving the problem of mercury pollution, but it also has the added environmental bonus of putting this waste material to good use while converting them into a form that is much easier to store so that once the material is ‘full’ it can easily be removed and replaced,’ Chalker said.”

AUTOMATION: Farm Robot Learns What Weeds Look Like, Smashes Them
Dave Gershgorn | Popular Science
“‘Over time, based on parameters such as leaf color, shape, and size, Bonirob learns how to differentiate more and more accurately between the plants we want and the plants we don’t want,’ says Amos Albert, general manager of Deepfield.”

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.

Follow David: