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Marc Prosser

Marc is British, Danish, Geekish, Bookish, Sportish, and loves anything in the world that goes 'booiingg'. He is a freelance journalist and researcher living in Tokyo and writes about all things science and tech. Follow Marc on Twitter (@wokattack1).

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From This Author


Tech Spread Misinformation in 70 Countries This Year. How Can We Make 2020 Better?

Following discussions about the societal influence of a technology like the internet feels much like watching a tennis match. One side serves with ‘the internet is the greatest tool of enlightenment ever!’ The opposition...

How Facebook’s Libra Could Kick Off a Digital Currency War

Facebook’s plans to launch a digital currency, Libra, has sent shockwaves through the international finance world and may have sounded the starting gun on a digital currency race. The contestants have been preparing for...

How a Mysterious Manuscript Keeps Confounding AI

Playbook for the Cult of Isis, herbal health instructions, details of the benefits of therapeutic bathing, or a written history of speaking in tongues. Confused? Probably, but not as much as most are when...

Nuke Mars? Here Are Some (Hopefully Better) Alternatives

Scientists and science fiction writers have been toying with the idea of terraforming Mars for the better part of a century. Turning the red planet green is seen as a crucial step towards humankind...

Inside China’s Play to Become the World’s CRISPR Superpower

In some ways, Hercules is pretty standard for the course where beagles are concerned. He likes to run around and generally looks as (borderline insanely) happy as any of his floppy-eared cousins across the...

Why Companies and Armies Are Hiring Science Fiction Writers

Are you a science fiction writer? Do you have command of the French language? If you can answer yes to both questions, a new job opportunity may be just the thing for you. The recently...

How Tech Can Help Curb Emissions by Planting 500 Billion New Trees

Trees are a low-tech, high-efficiency way to offset much of humankind’s negative impact on the climate. What’s even better, we have plenty of room for a lot more of them. A new study conducted by...

Virtual Influencers Are on the Rise. How Far Will Their Influence Go?

In early April 2019, something was suddenly very different about Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Instagram account. In lieu of retro-style pictures of chicken, a decidedly 21st century Colonel Sanders with "Secret Recipe For Success" tattooed...

Are These Robots Better Than You at Sports?

Robot technology is evolving at breakneck speed. SoftBank’s Pepper is found in companies across the globe and is rapidly improving its conversation skills. Telepresence robots open up new opportunities for remote working, while Boston...

5G Is Here. What Does That Mean for Exponential Tech?

5G, hailed as the future of connectivity, is now a reality. Over the last months, the first 5G networks have been rolled out in South Korea and the US. While initial impressions are mixed,...

China’s Electric Buses Save More Diesel Than All Electric Cars Combined

Tesla and other electric cars are great for the environment. However, they pale in comparison to electric buses. According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), electric buses will save an astounding...

China Is Taking the Worldwide Lead in Wind Power

Renewable energy demand and capacity are growing explosively. When looking at numbers for wind energy production, China stands above all other countries. Figures released by the Global Energy Council in late February showed that...

A Bus-Sized Robot Will Soon Be Mining the Ocean Floor

Four kilometers below sea level between Mexico and Hawaii sit vast deposits of rare metals central to technologies like renewable energy and computing. The deposits have long enticed entrepreneurs while confounding engineers tasked with...

Where Is Amazon Headed With Its Self-Driving Car Initiatives?

The list of companies pursuing self-driving vehicles keeps on growing. On it, you find many companies that might initially come as a surprise—including Amazon. Amazon’s statement about its recent investment in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora...

What Games Are Humans Still Better at Than AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) systems’ rapid advances are continually crossing rows off the list of things humans do better than our computer compatriots. AI has bested us at board games like chess and Go, and set...

This AI Can Tell Your Age by Analyzing Your Gut Microbiome

The plethora of bacteria and other tiny organisms that live in your gut, often referred to as the gut microbiome, don’t just help you digest food and fight disease. As detailed in a new...

How Microrobots Will Fix Our Roads and Save Us Billions

Swarms of microrobots will scuttle along beneath our roads and pavements, finding and fixing leaky pipes and faulty cables. Thanks to their efforts, we can avoid costly road work that costs billions of dollars...

3D Printed Heads Can Unlock Phones. What Does that Mean for Biometric Security?

Facial recognition technology is likely not as safe as you may have thought. This was illustrated by a recent test where 3D printed busts of peoples’ heads were used to unlock smartphones. Out of five...

Whale-Watching from Space: Why Satellites Are Monitoring Wildlife

A new study of whales shows that advances in satellite imagery and related technologies mean we can now recognize specific features of animals all the way from space. It is the latest in a...

How Blockchain Is Changing Computer Gaming

Ripples of change are starting to spread throughout the $108.9 billion computer gaming industry, as blockchain technology looks set to change core aspects of games enjoyed by 2.2 billion people around the world. Better security...

Why Scientists Are Rushing to Catalog the World’s Poop

If a group of scientists is successful, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault will be getting a cousin—one that may initially sound rather strange. Instead of gathering seeds to preserve plant species, this project involves...

DeepMind’s Eerie Reimagination of the Animal Kingdom

If a recent project using Google’s DeepMind were a recipe, you would take a pair of AI systems, images of animals, and a whole lot of computing power. Mix it all together, and you’d...

AI Is Kicking Space Exploration Into Hyperdrive—Here’s How

Artificial intelligence in space exploration is gathering momentum. Over the coming years, new missions look likely to be turbo-charged by AI as we voyage to comets, moons, and planets and explore the possibilities of...

This AI Predicts Obesity Prevalence—All the Way from Space

A research team at the University of Washington has trained an artificial intelligence system to spot obesity—all the way from space. The system used a convolutional neural network (CNN) to analyze 150,000 satellite images...

What We Have to Gain From Making Machines More Human

The borders between the real world and the digital world keep crumbling, and the latter’s importance in both our personal and professional lives keeps growing. Some describe the melding of virtual and real worlds...

This Battery Is Made of Paper and Powered by Bacteria

A team of scientists at the State University of New York has developed a paper-based, single-use battery that uses bacteria as a power source—all you need to add is water or even just a...

China Is Building a Fleet of Autonomous AI-Powered Submarines. Here Are the Details

A fleet of autonomous, AI-powered submarines is headed into hotly-contested Asian waterways. The vehicles will belong to the Chinese armed forces, and their mission capabilities are likely to raise concerned eyebrows in surrounding countries. According...

Are Maglev Trains the (Ultra-Fast, Levitating) Transit System of the Future?

When you see the Japanese L0 Series maglev train at full speed, it can be hard to spot the potential (extremely costly) failure. Some of that is down to speed. Propelled by superconducting magnets,...

Flexible ‘Dragon’ Drone Autonomously Shapeshifts to Fly Through Tight Spaces

A group of roboticists at the University of Tokyo have created a flexible, flying "drone-robot" that could see a multitude of uses. The Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON, is...

The New Energy Storage Tech Gates, Bezos, Ma, and Branson Are Investing In

A group of billionaires including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Richard Branson have invested in Form Energy. The company, out of MIT, is designing a new type of battery, thought to be...

5 Reasons Car Companies Are Betting Big on Energy Storage

An increasing number of major car manufacturers are developing solutions in a space that at first glance may seem like a strange choice: energy storage. BMW recently signed a contract that adds 500 of its...

Chinese Port Goes Full Robot With Autonomous Trucks and Cranes

By the end of 2018, something will be very different about the harbor area in the northern Chinese city of Caofeidian. If you were to visit, the whirring cranes and tractors driving containers to...

5 Space Companies Zeroing in on First Launch of Tourists Into Orbit and Beyond

It won’t be cheap, but your holiday plans could include a trip to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere or beyond—before the end of this year. Several space tourism companies are zeroing in on their...

China Plans to Bring Artificial Rain to Area Three Times the Size of Spain

Artificial rain is set to fall on mountainous plains three times the size of Spain. At least, that’s the plan for China’s latest weather manipulation project. As reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP),...

The Wild New Materials of the Future Will Be Discovered With AI

How materials for computer chips, solar panels, and batteries are developed looks to be in the early stages of a radical change. The same goes for research related to areas like superconductors and thermoelectrics. The...

The First Man-Made Meteor Shower Will Light Up Japan in 2019

The first ever man-made meteor shower has an official launch place and time. In early 2019, the meteors will create a light show in the sky above Hiroshima and the surrounding Setouchi region. The...

Better Than Smart Speakers? Japan Is Making Robot and Hologram Companions

While American internet giants are developing speakers, Japanese companies are working on robots and holograms. They all share a common goal: to create the future platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart...

What These Lifelike Androids Can Teach Us About Being Human

For Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, one of the most interesting things about androids is the changing questions they pose us, their creators, as they evolve. Does it, for example, do something to the concept of...

Welcome to the Competitive World of Crappy Robots

A robot named Amazing Quick Floor might sound like a new rival to Roomba. Trust me, it’s not. Quick Floor’s real rivals include The Airnator from Germany, capable of whisking milk into speed (technical...

Why the Fast-Paced World of Drone Sports Is Getting So Popular

Piloting your drone aircraft through an intricate, Star Wars-like obstacle course or ramming an enemy to the ground in a dogfight—sounds slightly like science fiction, doesn’t it? It’s not. In fact, both sports already...

Will Tech-Driven Deflation Export Japan’s Economic Woes to the World?

In the post-war years and into the 80s, no economy could match Japan’s for sheer speed and growth. Since then, however, Japan has struggled to overcome slower growth and stubborn deflation. The country’s struggling economy...

Soon We’ll All Love Robots the Way Japan Loves Robots

Here is my hypothesis: Japan has a long ongoing love affair with humanoid robots. The love seems so strong that they are willing to accept faults and imperfections that to others make the robots seem...

Meet the Reactors Accelerating Us Toward Fusion Energy

The old joke about fusion is that it is 30 years from becoming a reality — and that’s been the case for the last 50 years or more. It’s a joke that may quickly...

Multicolored Artificial Meteor Showers Launched From a Satellite Are Coming Soon

High above Earth, a satellite traveling 7.8 kilometers a second opens on one side and launches 1,000 spherical pellets. Though this might sound like the opening scene of a science fiction movie or a...

Meet Your New Industrial Robot Coworkers

“Meet Bob who is joining the team today. Charlie and Theresa, you are in charge of the one-hour introduction. After that, he should be ready to do whatever you want him to.” On the surface,...

Forget Flying Cars—Last Century’s Artists Wanted Whale Buses (and More)

We are seldom more creative than when imagining the future. We like to dream, we like to dream big—and sometimes engineering and science makes those dreams come true. Take Leonardo da Vinci for example. Often...

Augmented Reality, Not VR, Will Be the Big Winner for Business

Sometimes exponential technologies hide in plain sight. Their innovation speed, market size, and number of practical uses seem to be progressing linearly, until suddenly they tilt upwards and turn on the boosters. A case can...

How to Speak to the Dead: Gather Their DNA For Science

DNA sequencing of the deceased could lead to a number of advances in health care. A group of scientists in Denmark have launched a proposal to create the world’s first national necrogenomic database. The...

China’s Curious Dream of Floating Nuclear Plants on the Ocean

The family of nuclear reactors found on the seven seas is about to grow—China recently announced plans to build a floating, ship-based nuclear power plant. Construction of the ship will begin next year, and...

Wearables Are Turning Your Pets and Other Animals Into Big Data

Wearable and ingestible tech for animals is found on and in creatures such as bees and cows, and your dogs and cats. The amount of data generated by the devices is exploding, providing new...

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