This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through July 23rd)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: This Is the Robot Maid Elon Musk Is Funding
Will Knight | MIT Technology Review
“Abbeel’s robots learn tasks from scratch, using a neural network that receives sensor input and controls physical movement. The network adjusts its parameters automatically as it inches closer to its goal. A robot might try thousands of grips, for instance, in the process of learning how to hold a certain object.”

INTERNET & SOCIETY: In the Future You Will Own Nothing and Have Access to Everything
Kevin Kelly | Boing Boing
“The underlying mathematics and physics remain. As we increase dematerialization, decentralization, simultaneity, platforms, and the cloud—as we increase all those at once, access will continue to displace ownership. For most things in daily life, accessing will trump owning…The digital native is free to race ahead and explore the unknown. Accessing rather than owning keeps me agile and fresh, ready for whatever is next.”

CYBERNETICS: Your First Step to Becoming a Cyborg: Getting This Pierced in You
Nadja Sayej | Motherboard
“The product [North Sense] can be hinged into the body by a professional body piercer and will apparently only takes minutes to anchor into the skin. After the piercing heals, the vibrating gadget can be hinged onto the metallic barbells…’We want to create a bridge between the tech world and the body modification and piercing world,’ said Babitz. ‘Through us and others, they will start to become part of the same world, which I find fascinating and romantic.'”

BIOLOGY: Decoding Nature’s Soundtrack 
Brandon Keim | Nautilus 
“On a cool March morning, Krause drives me to one of his favorite spots, one he’s recorded since the early 1990s: Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 4,500 mostly undisturbed acres in the mountains between the Napa and Sonoma valleys. We pull into the parking lot and head up a trail before dawn…’The voice of the natural world informs us about our place in the living world and how we’re affecting it,’ he says. ‘It tells us everything we need to know about how we’re doing in relationship to it.'”

PRIVACY & SECURITY: How Technology Disrupted the Truth
Katharine Viner | The Guardian
“Does the truth matter any more?…We are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumor, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated…Increasingly, what counts as a fact is merely a view that someone feels to be true—and technology has made it very easy for these ‘facts’ to circulate with a speed and reach that was unimaginable in the Gutenberg era (or even a decade ago).”

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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