This Week’s Awesome Tech Stories From Around the Web (Through August 14)


CyberDog Is a New Ominous-Looking Robot From Xiaomi
James Vincent | The Verge
“Looking at pictures of CyberDog…it’s clear Xiaomi isn’t pitching the machine as a rival to Aibo, Sony’s own robot canine. While Aibo is small and cute, CyberDog is sleek and futuristic—even a little menacing. …Xiaomi says CyberDog is nimble enough to perform backflips, has a maximum payload of 3kg, and can trot along at speeds of 3.2m/s (compared to Spot’s 1.6m/s).”


Can AI Make a Better Fusion Reactor?
Rebecca Sohn | IEEE Spectrum
“The challenge, and it’s a big one, would be to accelerate the worldwide quest to tame instabilities in hot plasmas and ultimately provide a source of sustainable, and carbon-free power. …[The University of Lisbon’s] Diogo Ferreira recently collaborated with colleagues working on the Joint European Torus (JET) in the UK in a study that detailed three different uses for AI, machine learning, and deep learning models for fusion research.”


Joby Aviation Makes Its Public Trading Debut on the NYSE
Aria Alamalhodaei | TechCrunch
“Joby is developing a five-seat electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which it unveiled to much anticipation in February. The company, which has backing from Toyota and JetBlue, has released a slew of announcements in recent months as it geared up for the public listing. ‘A lot of people talk about us as a secretive company,’ Bevirt said in an interview with TechCrunch. ‘We’re not actually a secretive company, we just choose to do the work and then show our work, rather than talking about it and then doing it.’i


The UN Climate Report: All Is Not Well—But All Is Not Lost
Matt Simon | Wired
i‘Is it still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees? The answer is yes,’ [coauthor Maisa Rojas Corradi, the director of the Center for Climate and Resilience Research at the University of Chile] said. ‘But unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reduction of all greenhouse gases, limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will be beyond the reach.’i


Without Code for DeepMind’s AI, This Lab Wrote Its Own
Grace Huckins | Wired
“The Google subsidiary solved a fundamental problem in biology but didn’t promptly share its solution. So a University of Washington team tried to re-create it. …Baker thinks that questions about information sharing between academia and industry will only grow more pressing. Problems in artificial intelligence require enormous time and resources to solve, and companies like DeepMind have access to personnel and computing power on a scale unimaginable for a university lab.”


AI Wrote Better Phishing Emails Than Humans in a Recent Test
Lily Hay Newman | Wired
“At the Black Hat and Defcon security conferences in Las Vegas this week, a team from Singapore’s Government Technology Agency presented a recent experiment in which they sent targeted phishing emails they crafted themselves and others generated by an AI-as-a-service platform to 200 of their colleagues …They were surprised to find that more people clicked the links in the AI-generated messages than the human-written ones—by a significant margin.”


The Most Important Personal Computers in History, Ranked
Luke Dormehl | IEEE Spectrum
“Forty years ago this week, the iconic IBM PC made its debut, cementing the personal computer as a mainstream product category to be reckoned with. Within a few years, America—and the world—went computer wild, with home computers suddenly the province of ordinary people. But which desktop computers go down as the most influential of all time? Here are 10 that changed the game.”


Physicists Create a Bizarre ‘Wigner Crystal’ Made Purely of Electrons
Karmela Padavic-Callaghan | Quanta
“In 1934, Eugene Wigner, a pioneer of quantum mechanics, theorized a strange kind of matter—a crystal made from electrons. …Physicists tried many tricks over eight decades to nudge electrons into forming these so-called Wigner crystals, with limited success. In June, however, two independent groups of physicists reported in Nature the most direct experimental observations of Wigner crystals yet.”

Image Credit: Joel Filipe / Unsplash  

Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub Staff
Singularity Hub chronicles technological progress by highlighting the breakthroughs and issues shaping the future as well as supporting a global community of smart, passionate, action-oriented people who want to change the world.
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