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Automation


Latest significant advancements in automation. Reporting on the far-reaching impacts of improvements in automation on society and humanity.

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...
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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...

An Uber Self-Driving Truck Just Took Off With 50,000 Beers

Drivers on Colorado’s interstate 25 may have gotten a good scare last Thursday, and it wasn’t a Halloween prank—glancing into the cab of an Otto 18-wheeler loaded with a beer delivery, they’d have been...

How the Disruptive Power of Technology Is Redefining Work

Exponential growth in technology will disrupt entire industries and create new ones. It will revolutionize the workforce as we know it. Many experts are asking the big questions: what jobs will be destroyed? How...

Teslas Are Teaching Each Other How to Drive Better Than You

Your Tesla can drive itself. Not just on the highway, not under strict guidance, but everywhere. Or at least, it will have all the necessary gadgets to do so soon. We are excited to announce...

8 Ways AI Will Profoundly Change City Life by 2030

How will AI shape the average North American city by 2030? A panel of experts assembled as part of a century-long study into the impact of AI thinks its effects will be profound. The One...

Self-Driving Car Sensors Just Got Smaller, Cheaper, and Better All at Once

Self-driving cars have advanced a lot in recent years—going from test track prototypes to fixtures on the roads of select cities. And while they still require human supervision on public roads, it’s predicted that...

What Is the Meaning of Life If Society Doesn’t Need You to Work Anymore?

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's usually a piece that was popular back then and we...
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This Huge Robot Will Drive Up and Build You a House [Video]

Bricklaying is a very old, traditional way to build a house—except now we have robots doing it faster than people. Hadrian X, a construction robot by Fastbrick Robotics, is a laser-guided, fully-automated bricklaying system....

Why Drones Are Finding a Home on the Farm

When I hear the word 'drone', the first thing I think of is a top-secret mission: spying, rescues, clandestine deliveries, and other James Bond-worthy uses of a seemingly mysterious technology. Maybe I've just seen...

This Cute Robot Just Wants to Play With Pooh Bear

People are often surprised to learn that many of the most capable and high-tech robots are kept in cages away from humans. This isn't because the machines are out to get us. Many machines are dangerous because they...

How Self-Driving Cars Will Change It All—From Energy to Real Estate

In a presentation at Singularity University’s first annual Global Summit, Brad Templeton informed attendees, “Self-driving cars are going to change the world.” You may have heard that before—but if anyone has the credentials to back...
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Ray Kurzweil Explores How Self-Driving Cars Will Choose Between Life or Death

Driving a motor vehicle requires making tough choices in the heat of the moment. Whether slamming on the brakes in traffic or speeding up before a light turns red, split-second decisions are often a...

The End of Meaningless Jobs Will Unleash the World’s Creativity

From time to time, the Singularity Hub editorial team unearths a gem from the archives and wants to share it all over again. It's usually a piece that was popular back then and we...
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Ray Kurzweil: The Future Offers Meaningful Work, Not Meaningless Jobs

In a future where automation has taken most human “jobs,” will humans stop working? It all depends on how you define work, says Ray Kurzweil. He favors the idea of a universal basic income...

Why the Cost of Living Is Poised to Plummet in the Next 20 Years

People are concerned about how AI and robotics are taking jobs, destroying livelihoods, reducing our earning capacity, and subsequently destroying the economy. In anticipation, countries like Canada, India and Finland are running experiments to pilot...

The World Depends on Technology No One Understands

“We are in a new era, one in which we are building systems that can’t be grasped in their totality or held in the mind of a single person.” – Samuel Arbesman As a teenage...
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See What Happens When Killer Robots Are Born in a Car Factory

Could you imagine a robot takeover beginning anywhere other than a major automobile factory? It only makes sense—car plants are already some of the most automated, robot-packed spots on the planet. "ANA" is a recent...

Man Dies in Collision While Being Driven by Tesla’s Autopilot System

A Tesla blog post describes the first fatality involving a self-drive system. A Tesla was driving on autopilot down a divided highway. A truck taking a left turn off the highway crossed into the...

Future Urban Cars Will Be Simple, Self-Driving, and Super Cheap

With Mobility on Demand, you don’t buy a car, you buy rides. That’s certainly Uber’s plan, and is a plan that makes sense for Google, Apple and other no-car companies. But even Daimler, with...

Self-Driving Trucks Are Coming—Here’s Why They Make Sense

Today sees the un-stealthing of a new company called Otto which plans to build self-driving systems for long haul trucks. The company has been formed by a skilled team, including former members of Google’s...

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,...
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These New Technologies Will Be Both Powerful and Planet Friendly

Did you know there is a 25% chance your cause of death will be due to environmental pollution? According the World Health Organization, some 12.6 million people—or nearly 1 in 4 worldwide—died in 2012 due...
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See a Vision of the Jobless Future in This Beautiful Short Film

What would a fully automated future without jobs look like? The Guardian recently released an animated short set in a time when machines dominate the workforce. The story follows the last human worker going...

Goodyear’s Awesome New Spherical Tire Design For Autonomous Cars

What will the cars of the future be like? It’s fun to imagine how new technologies and design trends will influence future cars. Car bodies of the future might be completely 3D printed. They may...

Google’s Robot Car Crash Is a Very Positive Sign

Reports released reveal that one of Google’s Gen-2 vehicles (the Lexus) has had a fender-bender (with a bus) with some responsibility assigned to the system. This is the first crash of this type —...

Don’t Be Alarmed: AI Won’t Leave Half the World Unemployed

Recent alarmist headlines this week claim artificial intelligence (AI) will put half of us out of work. These headlines—and there were several—stem from comments by Rice University’s computer scientist Moshe Vardi who at the weekend...

Robots in Health Care Could Lead to a Doctorless Hospital

Imagine your child requires a life-saving operation. You enter the hospital and are confronted with a stark choice. Do you take the traditional path with human medical staff, including doctors and nurses, where long-term trials...

Japanese Robotic Farm’s First Harvest Next Year—Half a Million Lettuces a Day in Five Years

In modern times, farming's gone from humanity's top job to a sliver of the economy—a trend that continues today as fewer young people choose to farm. For every farmer under 35 there are 6 over 65, and a quarter of...

In a Driverless Future, What Happens to Today’s Drivers?

Self-driving cars are becoming a very real technology. The latest Tesla car has an autopilot feature. The CEO of Uber has stated that he will buy every self-driving car Tesla can produce for a...

The Top Technology Stories You’ll Be Reading in 2016

For the past century, the price and performance of computing has been on an exponential curve.  And as futurist Ray Kurzweil observed, once any technology becomes an information technology, its development follows the same...

Technologies We’re Excited to See Bloom in 2016 and Beyond

An important component of being optimistic about the future is maintaining a healthy dose of skepticism. It’s a delicate balance we’re always exploring at Singularity Hub while covering emerging technology and its future implications. But...

Rumored Google-Ford Deal, Low-End Robocars, and Tesla’s Backslide

Yahoo Autos is reporting rumours that Google and Ford will announce a partnership at CES. Google has always said it doesn’t want to build the cars, and Ford makes sense as a partner —...

California DMV Regulations May Kill the State’s Robocar Lead

Be careful what you wish for — yesterday the California DMV released its proposed regulations for the operation of robocars in California. All of this sprang from Google’s request to states that they start...

Why We Need Government to Evolve as Fast as Technology

From deep learning to gene editing, the world of technology is moving fast. But at Singularity University, we believe amazing tech is only half the equation. Equally important is how we use technology. The...

Let’s Be Thankful: Amazon’s Robot Hordes Have Doubled This Year

Can you believe it? The Earth has whirled around the sun yet again. Winter is coming, and sure as the seasons change and the geese go south, those glowing percentage signs on the screen are...

Why Tesla’s Autopilot and Google’s Car Are Entirely Different Animals

In the buzz over the Tesla autopilot update, a lot of commentary has appeared comparing this autopilot with Google’s car effort and other efforts and what I would call a “real” robocar — one that...

Tesla Sends Highway Cruise Update to Recent Model S Owners

Some bigger news recently, though anticipated for a few months, was Tesla’s release of a highway cruise update for Model S cars from the last year. Tesla’s offering is not too different from what many other automakers...
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Will Artificial Intelligence Transform How We Grow and Consume Food? [Video]

Today, agriculture is more efficient than ever, but it's also more dependent on environmental, technological, and social issues like never before. Climate change, drought and other disasters, shifting energy landscapes, population growth, urbanization, GMOs, changes in...

Robocars Are at Peak Hype: But What They’ll Actually Look Like Inside May Surprise Carmakers

Recently, I attended the “Silicon Valley reinvents the wheel” conference by the Western Automotive Journalists which had a variety of talks and demonstrations of new car technology. Now that robocars have hit the top of the...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

Disrupting Regulation: Robot Cars, Blockchain and Robotic Pharmacies

In recent years, regulators and lawmakers have been caught off guard by quick-moving new technologies—3D printed guns, genetically modified glowing plants, new business models for sharing economy companies and drones. As the pace of technological innovation...

Will Robocars Vastly Increase Battery Life?

We know electric cars are getting better and likely to get popular even when driven by humans. Tesla, at its core, is a battery technology company as much as it’s a car company, and...

It’s No Myth: Robots and Artificial Intelligence Will Erase Jobs in Nearly Every Industry

With the unemployment rate falling to 5.3 percent, the lowest in seven years, policy makers are heaving a sigh of relief. Indeed, with the technology boom in progress, there is a lot to be...
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What’s the Meaning of Life If Society Doesn’t Need You Any Longer?

If you have a job, odds are society benefits from your work, and theoretically, the compensation you receive is how the marketplace values your contribution. All other things being equal, the better you are at your job,...
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Kurzweil Responds to ‘When Robots Are Everywhere, What Will Humans Be Good For?’ [Video]

Lately, media around the web has been bracing for robots — not time-traveling robots per se, but robot workers. Specifically, the increased sophistication of artificial intelligence and improved engineering of robotics has spurred a growing concern about what...

On Robocars and Ultracapacitors (and other energy sources)

I was recently asked about the synergies between autonomous vehicles or robocars and ultracapacitors/supercapacitors. It turns out they are not what you would expect, and it teaches some of the surprising lessons of robocars. Ultracapacitors are...

L’Oreal Goes After 3D Printed Human Skin to Test Beauty Products

In Lyon, France, cosmetics company L’Oreal is growing human skin. Each year, some 60 scientists cultivate 100,000 paper-thin skin samples in nine varieties simulating different ages and ethnicities—and then they test beauty products on them. Long...

Are Google’s 11 Driverless Car Accidents Scary—or Really Impressive?

If you drive enough, chances are you’ll be involved in an accident. For the best drivers, perhaps it’s more likely than not the other car’s at fault. But most of us will have occasional lapses....

Daimler’s Driverless 18-Wheelers Approved to Cruise Nevada’s Highways

This summer, while road tripping through Nevada, you may pull up to the sleek silver cab of an 18-wheeler, and get a shock—the driver isn’t looking at the road, and his hands aren’t on...

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