This Week’s Awesome Stories From Around the Web (Through April 1)

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ROBOTICS

Meet Iorek, the Robot That Communicates in a Remarkable Way
Matt Simon | WIRED
“The big question now is: How do humans want to communicate with the machines? One idea is to use EEGs to actually have them read our minds. (Also demonstrated with a Baxter robot, by the way. Baxter is quite popular in robotics labs.) That’s far off, of course. But Iorek shows how good machines are getting at recognizing vocal commands and gestures.”

FUTURE OF FOOD

In Its New Factory, Impossible Foods Will Make 12 Million Pounds of Plant-Based Burgers a Year
Adele Peters | Fast Company
“As the company scales up its beef alternative, it will focus on restaurants. In a year, it says, U.S. restaurants serve more than 5 billion pounds of burgers, and Impossible wants its 12 million pounds to be among them…’Our long-term goal is to basically develop a new and better way to create all the foods we make from animals,’ says Brown.”

BRAIN-COMPUTER INTERFACE 

Quadriplegic Man Regains Use of Arms With Brain-Computer Interface
Michael Bryne | MOTHERBOARD
“The process of returning mobility to Kochevar was hardly easy. It began with a brain surgery in which electrodes were placed in the motor cortex region of the brain responsible for hand movement. Over the course of four months, the electrodes recorded brain signals while a computer learned which signals encoded commands for movement as Kochevar controlled a hand in virtual reality.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 

Elon Musk’s Neuralink Is Not About Preventing an AI Apocalypse
Nick Statt | The Verge
“What Neuralink and Kernel are trying to do is take the first steps toward hacking the brain, so to speak, so that human beings can in the future stay healthier for longer and potentially enjoy the benefits of treating the human brain like a computing platform. This means using a chip inside the skull or some other electronic device that could improve our memory and our ability to perform complex mental tasks, as well as increase speed at which we could communicate with one another.”

SPACE

Air Force’s Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Breaks Orbital Record
Mike Wall | Space.com
“‘Technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control; thermal protection systems; avionics; high-temperature structures and seals; conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems; and autonomous orbital flight, re-entry and landing,’ Annicelli told Space.com, declining to offer details about OTV-4 in particular.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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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