“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”

Human beings are another form of information technology

#Future

Thu, Nov 15th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

If I am understanding this correctly, SingularityHub seems to indicate that with our understanding of the genome and our ability not just to read it but to write it and modify it, designer babies may be the norm.

To compare genotypes and phenotypes at scale—first millions, then hundreds of millions, then eventually billions, Metzl said—we’re going to need AI and big data analytic tools, and algorithms far beyond what we have now. These tools will let us move from precision medicine to predictive medicine, knowing precisely when and where different diseases are going to occur and shutting them down before they start.

But, Metzl said, “As we unlock the genetics of ourselves, it’s not going to be about just healthcare. It’s ultimately going to be about who and what we are as humans. It’s going to be about identity.”

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"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."

Google confident to launch self-driving taxi in December

#Driving

Wed, Nov 14th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

According to The Verge, Google's subsidiary Waymo is feeling confident enough in having its self driving taxis ready to collect fares without any drivers— at least in some of them. Some vehicles will offer a backup driver, while others will have the option for a remote operator to connect if things do not work out. More info here.

Offering paid rides is a big milestone for the service, but this is otherwise an incremental step. Initially, Bloomberg speculates that availability will be restricted to Waymo’s existing 400-person “Early Rider Program” — although they’ll no longer be bound by a secretive NDA. The location is also not set to change from the same 100 square mile area around Phoenix already used for testing. Finally, although many of the autonomous taxis will not have backup drivers, this…

51More

“The era of climate wars has begun.”

Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

#Politics

Tue, Nov 13th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Fascinating lecture from Dr. Christian Parenti warning of failed states as a consequence of climate change and that taking a hard military stance is the wrong way to tackle this issue.

Parenti argues that this incipient "climate fascism"--a political hardening of wealthy states-- is bound to fail. The struggling states of the developing world cannot be allowed to collapse, as they will take other nations down as well. Instead, we must work to meet the challenge of climate-driven violence with a very different set of sustainable economic and development policies.

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“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”

Renewables consistently cheaper than coal and gas

#Technology

Mon, Nov 12th, 2018 17:35 by capnasty NEWS

According to Ars Technica, the cost of traditional coal or gas plants is higher than the cost of a brand-new renewable installation. The problem, then, isn't really the production, but the storage.

The cost of coal-fired electricity per megawatt-hour hasn't budged a bit from 2017, while wind and solar costs per MWh are still falling. That spells bad news for an American coal revival, especially in places where the cost of building brand-new renewable installations is cheaper than the cost of operating existing coal and gas plants—a situation that Lazard says is happening with increasing frequency (PDF).

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Origami Lunchbox

Oriyami

#Products

Sun, Nov 11th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Currently seeking your financial support on Kickstarter, the Oriyami lunchbox is capable of elegantly carrying your lunch. When you are done just toss out the disposable paper sleeve and fold it down to occupy minimal space. You can also use its built-in magnets to stick it on your fridge.

Oriyami is a lunchbox that folds down as slim as your notebook — 13% its original thickness! The origami experience takes on snapping good fun with the integration of magnets.

In just a few folds, our one-piece lunchbox makes three transformations: collapsed, opened up, and covered. From a flat square, simply release the smaller bottom flaps and open up into a box. Then lift the bigger flaps and you’ve gotten it all covered.

Oriyami comes with a set of disposable, inner sleeves to line your lunchbox. They are…

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“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”

Austerity, Inequality, and Automation

#Future

Sat, Nov 10th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

At the AI Now 2018 Symposium, Virginia Eubanks from the Universty of Albany, Philip Alston, from the NYU School of Law, and Vincent Southerland,from the Centre on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU, discuss the topics of the year that have put AI, ethics, organizing, and accountability in focus.

Over the past year, research and advocacy have continued to expose bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies–from law enforcement’s use of facial recognition to healthcare algorithms that drastically and erroneously cut benefits for the sick. Yet even in the face of increased public awareness and concern, the rapid adoption of these systems across sensitive social and political domains continues, with little oversight or transparency.

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“We need to make algorithms transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them.”

An argument in favour of an FDA for algorithms

#Technology

Fri, Nov 9th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Nautilus speaks with Hannah Fry from the University of College in London about her recent book, Hello World. In her book, Fry talks about the positives that algorithms can brings, but is also being cautious demanding they be "transparent, regulated, and forgiving of the flawed creatures that converse with them."

It used to be the case that you could just put any old colored liquid in a glass bottle and sell it as medicine and make an absolute fortune. And then not worry about whether or not it’s poisonous. We stopped that from happening because, well, for starters it’s kind of morally repugnant. But also, it harms people. We’re in that position right now with data and algorithms. You can harvest any data that you want, on anybody. You can infer any data that you like, and you can use it to manipulate them in any way that you…

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“Pack Behaviors in Autonomous Robots.”

Manus

#Robots

Thu, Nov 8th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Albeit I wish there was more information than a teaser, the behaviour of these Manus robots is both disturbing and fascinating.

Manus is a set of ten industrial robots that are programmed to behave like a pack of animals. While each robot moves independently, they share the same central brain. So instead of acting in isolation, they have intertwined behaviors that ripple through the group as people walk by. Manus uses 12 depth cameras to detect and track the body language of approaching visitors. The robots then use this depth data to decide who to move towards, and whether to look at a their hands or face. Like many of today’s intelligent autonomous machines, the robots in Manus don’t look like or act like us. However, we hope to show that these machines can broadcast a…

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“Free the mind from the limitations of even healthy bodies.”

DARPA's ambitious goals to program soldiers' brains

#Technology

Wed, Nov 7th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Atlantic looks at the fascinating work taking place at DARPA where researchers are attempting to find ways to turn the limitations of the human body into a powerful tool that can control and manipulate things just by using their thoughts. What could go wrong?

To this, Bialy and Loeb offer a counter-explanation. If 'Oumuamua were in fact a comet, why then did it not experience outgassing when it was closest to our sun? In addition, they cite other research that showed that if outgassing were responsible for the acceleration, it would have also caused a rapid evolution in 'Oumuamua's spin (which was not observed).

Basically, Bialy and Loeb consider the possibility that 'Oumuamua could in fact be a light sail, a form of spacecraft that relies on radiation pressure to generate propulsion – similar…

81More

“Oumuamua may actually be a light sail of extra-terrestrial origin.”

No word yet on when the alien invasion is to take place

#Space

Tue, Nov 6th, 2018 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

Remember ‘Oumuamua, that cigar-shaped interstellar object that quickly passed through our solar system? According to a pair of Harvard stargazers, it may have been an extra-terrestrial solar sail. Neil deGrasse Tyson disagrees.

To this, Bialy and Loeb offer a counter-explanation. If 'Oumuamua were in fact a comet, why then did it not experience outgassing when it was closest to our sun? In addition, they cite other research that showed that if outgassing were responsible for the acceleration, it would have also caused a rapid evolution in 'Oumuamua's spin (which was not observed).

Basically, Bialy and Loeb consider the possibility that 'Oumuamua could in fact be a light sail, a form of spacecraft that relies on radiation pressure to generate propulsion – similar to what Breakthrough Starshot is working on. Similar to what is…

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Oct 10“Authoritarianism depends upon people getting used to hearing the things that they want to hear.” #Internet
Oct 08Gravity Defying “Clair de lune” #Music
Oct 09What if Star Wars Was Actually Good? #StarWars
Oct 22“Companies like Google seem to have a dangerous disconnect from those of us in the world outside their confines.” #Opinion
Oct 24The Pocketable Chewable Reusable Spin-Dry Straw #Products
Oct 11“Computer algorithms increasingly control and decide our future.” #Video
Oct 17“The prospects and future of AI.” #Video
Oct 28“Go get yourself a hi-vis vest. And that's all you need to know about life.” #Life
Oct 27“Heavy multitaskers have reduced memory.” #Health
Oct 29“Norway was recognized in 2016 as having the highest percentage of of electric cars car ownership in the world.” #Environment
Oct 31If Sir David Attenborough Restored Vintage Toys #HowTo
Oct 07Give Your Smartphone a Finger #Telephone
Nov 12“The direction of the cost of storage is less clear and depends on metals prices.”
Nov 13“The era of climate wars has begun.”
Feb 25Facebook, Twitter Users Could Face Insurance Hikes
Nov 14"Waymo is reportedly planning to take the next step towards offering a commercial driverless car service in early December."
Nov 15“Forget reading the book of life—we’re now learning how to write it.”
Jan 04The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit
Jan 11How to Avoid Jury Duty
Nov 01“Once artificial-intelligence software is good enough to drive a car, it will be good enough to do a lot of other things too.”
Mar 06Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]
Nov 03Boardwalk Empire: Time Lapse Video
Jan 22Fake Name Generator
Nov 10“Bias, error, and misuse of Artificial Intelligence technologies.”