BRAIN

Facebook Launches “Moon Shot” Effort to Decode Speech Direct From the Brain
Larry Greenemeier | Scientific American
“If all goes according to plan—and that’s a big if—Building 8’s neural prosthetic would strap onto a person’s head, use an optical technique to decode intended speech and then type those thoughts on a computer or smartphone at up to 100 words per minute. This would be an order-of-magnitude faster than today’s state-of-the-art speech decoders.”

BIOTECH

Engineering the Perfect Astronaut
Antonio Regalado | MIT Technology Review
“Let’s be clear. No one is trying to grow an astronaut in a bubbling vat somewhere. But some far-out ideas once relegated to science fiction and TED Talks have recently started to take concrete form. Experiments have begun to alter human cells in the lab. Can they be made radiation-proof? Can they be rejiggered to produce their own vitamins and amino acids?”

INNOVATION

Next List 2017: 20 People Who Are Creating the Future
WIRED Staff | WIRED
“Microsoft will build computers even more sleek and beautiful than Apple’s. Robots will 3D print cool shoes that are personalized just for you. (And you’ll get them in just a few short days.) Neural networks will take over medical diagnostics, and Snapchat will try to take over the entire world. The women and men in these pages are the technical, creative, idealistic visionaries who are bringing the future to your doorstep.”

AUTOMATION

Amazon’s Plan to Dominate the Shipping Industry—With Almost No Humans Involved—Is Taking Shape
Mike Murphy | Quartz
“Today’s announcement evokes a future where self-driving trucks could haul goods to warehouses in much shorter periods of time… Those goods could then be offloaded by robots that can sort them into buckets for Kiva robots to store them on shelves, and carry them to other robots to pack when an order is placed. Yet more robots could load them onto drones or delivery trucks for fulfillment, meaning that in the future, it could be possible to place an Amazon order and have it show up at your door without a single human touching it.”

ENVIRONMENT

The Very Hungry Plastic-Eating Caterpillar
Ed Yong | The Atlantic
“People produced 311 million tons of plastic in 2014, and that figure is set to double in the next 20 years. Around 40 percent of that consists of polyethylene, in the form of plastic bags, containers, and other products, much of which ends up in landfills. Could the waxworms help to break down that mountain of persistent trash?”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Andrew operates as a media producer and archivist. Generating backups of critical cultural data, he has worked across various industries — entertainment, art, and technology — telling emerging stories via recording and distribution.
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