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Monthly Archives: November 2016

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Will VR Disrupt the Airline Industry? Sci-Fi Show Meets Press Virtually Instead of Flying

A proposed benefit of virtual reality is that it could one day eliminate the need to move our fleshy bodies around the world for business meetings and work engagements. Instead, we’ll be meeting up...

New Brain-Like Chip Uses Light to Go Blazingly Fast

Deep learning is having a serious moment right now in the world of AI. And for good reason. Loosely based on the brain’s computing architecture, artificial neural networks have vastly outperformed their predecessors in a...

Fear of the Dark: Why Netflix’s ‘Black Mirror’ Is Great Science Fiction

Legendary science fiction author Isaac Asimov once said, “The core of science fiction, its essence, has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all.” With its aim to predict and...

Bioprinting Is One Step Closer to Making a Human Kidney

Bioprinting has been all over the news in the past several years with headline-worthy breakthroughs like printed human skin, synthetic bones, and even a fully functional mouse thyroid gland. 3D printing paved the way for bioprinting thanks to...

This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through November 26)

A new computer-brain interface is allowing "locked-in" woman to communicate from her home, Silicon Valley tech giants are reorganizing to embed AI throughout their companies, and Thanksgiving is looking increasingly futuristic with test-tube turkeys on...

Why the US Is Losing Ground on the Next Generation of Powerful Supercomputers

“I feel the need — the need for speed.” The tagline from the 1980s movie Top Gun could be seen as the mantra for the high-performance computing system world these days. The next milestone in the endless...

Quantum Computers Could Crush Today’s Top Encryption in 15 Years

Quantum computers could bring about a quantum leap in processing power, with countless benefits for fields like data science and AI. But there’s also a dark side: this extra power will make it simple...

Artificial Spinal Cord Wirelessly Restores Walking in Paralyzed Monkeys

Until a few years ago, reversing paralysis was the stuff of movie miracles. Yet according to Dr. Andrew Jackson, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in the UK, as early as the end of this decade,...

Forget Building Walls, Technology Is Tearing Them Down

With all the talk of building walls, it seems to me that technology has actually been rapidly tearing down walls. Besides your passport, what really defines your nationality these days? Is it where you were live?...

The 6 Ds of Tech Disruption: A Guide to the Digital Economy

“The Six Ds are a chain reaction of technological progression, a road map of rapid development that always leads to enormous upheaval and opportunity.” –Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Bold We live in incredible times....

The Race to Wrap the Earth in Internet Is Heating Up

How important is the internet to your day-to-day life? For starters, you’re definitely reading this on a screen and using the internet to access it. That means you probably use the internet to access most...

How We Can Save Our History One Smartphone at a Time

Our lives today are increasingly digital, so why isn’t our old memorabilia? As we use smartphones and the cloud more often, our pre-digital personal history is falling to pieces, likely unorganized, poorly labeled or...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through November 19)

China makes history using CRISPR-modified cells in a human, while SpaceX makes a pitch to launch 4,425 satellites into orbit. AltspaceVR's new feature lets you play back your time spent in VR, and DeepMind's...

Lung Cancer Patient First to Undergo CRISPR Gene Editing

The CRISPR-Cas9 “drag-and-drop” gene editing technique has been used in its first human trial, reports Nature. Scientists at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China began a trial last month to treat a lung cancer patient....

These Wild New Floors Will Harvest Energy From Your Footsteps

The road to renewable energy requires one step at a time. Well, actually, it requires quite a few steps. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Forest Products Laboratory in Madison believe they can harness the...

Is Choosing Your Own Reality All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

As rapid improvements in virtual reality technology make it possible to create and live in worlds perfectly tailored to our needs, are humans nearing utopia? The idea of a VR utopia was introduced to the...

6 Big Ways Tech Is Rewriting Society’s Rules

Technology is advancing so rapidly that we will experience radical changes in society not only in our lifetimes but in the coming years. We have already begun to see ways in which computing, sensors,...

Nanobionic Implant Transforms Spinach Into a Bomb Detector

"The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence… silence gives us a new perspective." –Mother Teresa When I think about plants, chatterbox isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But below the surface of...

This Is How to Invent Radical Solutions to Huge Problems

If you force a grasshopper into a jar and fasten the lid, the grasshopper eventually shortens its jump after hitting the lid enough times.  After a while, even if you take the lid off the...

Overhauling How We Teach Our Kids in a World of Accelerating Change

Here in L.A., it’s kind of insane that a great kindergarten requires a competitive application and tuitions that exceed most colleges. I started asking myself, given the fact that most elementary schools haven’t changed in...

New ‘Thinking Soil’ Fixes Concrete Foundations Using Engineered Bacteria

How stable are the buildings where we live and work? Our homes rest on concrete foundations about a foot thick and twelve feet deep. The foundations of skyscrapers can be up to 20 feet thick and...

Welcome to the New Era of Easy Media Manipulation

Have you noticed how bizarre social media and the news cycle has been lately? In the age of digital media, journalism is changing significantly. Widely available storytelling and distribution tools, misinformation spreading like wildfire, social...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through November 12)

Revisiting the first self-driving car in 1986 gives us an idea of how long this tech has been in the works, paving the way for today's machine learning of books and video games and,...

Pill Packing 100 Billion Designer Bacteria Could Be Tested Next Year

Bacteria are among the oldest life forms on Earth and exist nearly everywhere; in the soil, water, deep in the earth’s crust and in our own bodies. Actually, there are at least as many...

Tech Philanthropists Are Giving Away Billions to Build a Better Future

They’re often featured as James Bond villains — super-rich megalomaniacs who pour their infinite resources into sophisticated doomsday devices, private rockets for last-minute escapes, and enough high-tech toys to rival the NSA, FBI and...

Battle of the Bots: How AI Is Taking Over the World of Cybersecurity

Google has built machine learning systems that can create their own cryptographic algorithms — the latest success for AI’s use in cybersecurity. But what are the implications of our digital security increasingly being handed...

Researchers Repair Brain Damage in Mice With Stem Cell Transplants

The human brain is a biological wonder with considerable skills. Regeneration, unfortunately, isn’t one of them. Save for one tiny V-shaped region within the hippocampus, the human brain’s ability to rebuild itself is nearly nonexistent....

The Motivating Power of a Massive Transformative Purpose

Eradicating diseases, mastering flight, near-instant global communication, going to the moon—humans have developed a taste for making the impossible possible. Though we still face a daunting list of global challenges, we’ve learned that science and...

5 Big Tech Trends That Will Make This Election Look Tame

If you think this election is insane, wait until 2020. I want you to imagine how, in four years' time, technologies like AI, machine learning, sensors and networks will accelerate. Political campaigns are about to get...

This Intelligent 3D Printer Is Building Big, Beautiful Structures

Imagine one day walking into a gorgeous structure—like LA's famous Walt Disney Concert Hall—only to discover it was designed by a computer system and constructed by automated robotic arms. Ai Build, a London-based startup, aims to pave the way to...
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Take a Ride in a Fully Autonomous Tesla Today [Video]

Ever wanted your own self-driving car? You can buy one today—but it may be a while until it officially becomes your personal chauffeur. Tesla recently announced that all vehicles currently in production have full self-driving...
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This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through November 5th)

Cosmologists are evaluating the proof behind gravitational waves, journalists are investigating how to understand "truth" in the era of information overload, and roboticists are building crash-proof drones equipped with roll cages—these are some of our favorite stories this week from...

Printable Organs Will Put an End to Transplant Lists

A woman living on a dialysis machine is grown a new kidney using her own cells. A father struggling with age-related vision loss has his eyesight restored. A soldier suffers extensive burns and has...

When the Mother of Invention Is a Machine, Who Gets Credit?

What do the Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush, about a thousand musical compositions and even a few recent food recipes all have in common? They were invented by computers, but you won’t find a nonhuman credited with...

Scientists Hook Up Brain to Tablet—Paralyzed Woman Googles With Ease

For patient T6, 2014 was a happy year. That was the year she learned to control a Nexus tablet with her brain waves, and literally took her life quality from 1980s DOS to modern era...

Google’s New AI Gets Smarter Thanks to a Working Memory

“The behavior of the computer at any moment is determined by the symbols which he is observing and his 'state of mind' at that moment.” – Alan Turing Artificial intelligence has a memory problem. Back in...

Why the World Is Better Than Ever—and Will Get Better Still

If you read or watch the news, you’ll likely think the world is falling to pieces. Trends like terrorism, climate change, and a growing population straining the planet’s finite resources can easily lead you...

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