This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 2)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: How Google Plans to Solve Artificial Intelligence
Tom Simonite | MIT Technology Review 
“It’s supposed to be just an early checkpoint in an effort Hassabis describes as the Apollo program of artificial intelligence, aimed at “solving intelligence, and then using that to solve everything else”…Hassabis wants to create what he calls general artificial intelligence—something that, like a human, can learn to take on just about any task.”

ROBOTICS: What Is a Robot?
Adrienne LaFrance | The Atlantic
“What is a robot, anyway? This has become an increasingly difficult question to answer. Yet it’s a crucial one…Whether we will end up losing a piece of our humanity because they are here is unknowable today. But such a loss may prove worthwhile in the evolution of our species. In the end, robots may expand what it means to be human. After all, they are machines, but humans are the ones who built them.”

VIRTUAL REALITY: The Inside Story of How Oculus Cracked the Impossible Design of VR
Peter Rubin | WIRED
“[E]veryone’s time with high-end VR has been chaperoned…If a headset was uncomfortable or a PC froze, someone was there to help you. But now that that technology is finally coming into our homes, those minor annoyances threaten the growth of the industry. Early adopters tend to be ready to contend with setup woes or crashes. General consumers? Not so much. For VR to reach critical mass, there’s no wiggle room: It must be as simple and stable as possible.”

SYTHETIC BIOLOGY: Does Stress Speed Up Evolution?
Andreas Von Bubnoff | NAUTILUS
“Organisms, all good students know, do not generate rapid genetic mutations in response to their environment…But after more than two decades of experiments with the bacteria E. coli and most recently human cancer cells, Rosenberg is challenging that central tenet of evolutionary theory.”

BITCOIN: To Survive Long Term, Bitcoin Needs a Break from the Real World
Christopher Malmo | Motherboard
“The internet was incubated in academia for over 20 years. By comparison, the bitcoin network has been in use since its invention in 2009…Bitcoin is an imperfect, but working technology, and a lot of different actors are ideologically and/or financially invested. To move forward, it may just need a place to grow without these real-world constraints.”

THROWBACK: Discovery Channel Beyond 2000 Wearable Computers 1992
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this evening’s preview of the 2003 spring/summerware collection from the house of NEC…CD-ROM shoulderpads are back again this year…And this little number is the lap-body. It’s the laptop you can wear standing up.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Alison E. Berman
Alison E. Berman
Alison tells the stories of purpose-driven leaders and is fascinated by various intersections of technology and society. When not keeping a finger on the pulse of all things Singularity University, you'll likely find Alison in the woods sipping coffee and reading philosophy (new book recommendations are welcome).
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