ROBOTICS: Service robots finally start to catch on
Andra Keay | VentureBeat
“What is becoming clear, as robotics catches up to computerization, is that we don’t just want faceless AI and automation. We already have robocallers, auto shopping suggestions, personalized advertising, and tailored health programs. We want to keep a level of sociability in our lives and real people aren’t available then maybe a robot assistant will do.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Truly empathic robots will be a long time coming
Skye Mcdonald | The Conversation
“New advances in computer technology are likely to continue to surprise us. However, true empathy assumes a significant overlap in experience between the subject of the empathy and the empathiser. To put the shoe on the other foot, there is evidence that humans smile more when faced with a smiling avatar and feel distress when robots are mis-treated, but are these responses empathic?”

VIRTUAL REALITY: What Americans Really Think About Virtual Reality
Daniel Terdiman | Fast Company
“Just over half of those surveyed reported they had some form of concern about trying VR. A total of 23% of respondents cited worries about their health, 11% fretted about “losing touch with the real world,” 5% thought they might get addicted, and another 5% said they thought VR systems would cost too much.”

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: Why Scientists Need To Fail Better
Stuart Firestein | Nautilus
“But then, suddenly there is that last two-word sentence. Fail better. Fail … better? Now what could that mean? How do you improve on failing? Is there a better way to fail? Is there a worse way to fail? Isn’t failure just failure, and what’s important is how you treat it, bounce back from it, overcome it?”

3D Printing: Vents on this bio-skin clothing open as you sweat, powered by ancient bacteria
Chloe Olewitz | Digital Trends
“In apparel created with BioLogic’s biofilm spandex material, a 100 percent humidity level would cue the natto cells to curl open strategically placed flaps, creating breathability and a sort of biotech cool-down system in the clothing. The BioLogic team has their sights set on manipulating bio-enabled fabrics for further applications.

SECURITY: The First Bitcoin Voting Machine Is On Its Way
Alyssa Hertig | Motherboard
“‘The open source code combined with the paper, DVD, and blockchain audit trails may not completely eliminate fraud in the voting process, but it will be a step in the right direction. Especially compared to the 10-15 year old, buggy electronic voting machines we use today.'”

ECONOMICS: Yes, There Is a Technology Bubble, and That’s Okay
Nanette Byrnes | Technology Review
“‘So what could he mean, the computer is more dangerous than the atomic bomb? Well, exactly this, as he said, that the computer will eventually replace the jobs that people do. And this is already happening.I view this as the challenge of our time, maybe the most important policy issue facing us, and it’s a difficult one.'”

FUTURE OF CITIES: Are Dorms for Grownups the Solution for Lonely Millennials?
Alana Semuels | CityLab
“Commonspace gives these Milliennials the benefits of living with roommates—they can save money and stay up late watching Gilmore Girls—with the privacy and style an entitled generation might expect.”


LEARNING is the Global Grand Challenge
for the Month of November

“Access to skills and information for all people at all stages of their lives for personal fulfillment and benefit to society.”
from Singularity University’s 2015 Impact Report


Check out our Future of Learning series running all month on Singularity Hub!

LEARNING MINDThe Psychology and Neuroscience of Curiosity
Celeste Kidd and Benjamin Y. Hayden | Neuron
“Our insatiable demand for information drives a much of the global economy and, on a micro-scale, motivates learning and drives patterns of foraging in animals. Its diminution is a symptom of depression, and its overexpression contributes to distractibility, a symptom of disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Curiosity is thought of as the noblest of human drives but is commonly denigrated as dangerous (as in the expression “curiosity killed the cat”). Despite its link with the most abstract human thoughts, some rudimentary forms of it can be observed even in the humble worm C. elegans.”

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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