H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
Researchers funded by the US military are developing appliances to record neural activity and automatically stimulate the brain to treat mental illness.
Brain implants that deliver electrical pulses tuned to a person’s feelings and behaviour are being tested in people for the first time. Two teams funded by the US military’s research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), have begun preliminary trials of ‘closed-loop’ brain implants that use algorithms to detect patterns associated with mood disorders. These devices can shock the brain back to a healthy state without input from a physician.
No one should have to compete with robots. That is why everyone should strive to do what robots cannot.
Flipping burgers and taking orders are quite easy tasks for robots. We have already seen touchscreens offer an alternative to human cashiers. Now robots are starting to replace the backroom staff.
Flippy still requires some human help, but its learning. Flippy’s boss though says he is already better at his job than most workers.
A little quicker, he doesn’t mess up as much. The funny thing is that when you watch him scrape the grill after these burgers are done, he actually does it better than my average employee.
The added benefit is that Flippy can’t feel pain, and so no one is at risk of getting burned by the hot grill. And the owner doesn’t have to worry about getting sued or short-staffed. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if robot unions aren’t far behind.
Easy to laugh now, right? But Flippy is learning fast. Flippy and his cousins will start by taking over the service industry. But they won’t stop there.
Google’s artificial intelligence technology may sometimes seem like it’s reading our mind, but neuroscientists at Canada’s University of Toronto Scarborough are literally using A.I. for that very purpose — by reconstructing images based on brain perception using data gathered by electroencephalography (EEG).
In a test, subjects were hooked up to EEG brainwave-reading equipment and shown images of faces. While this happened, their brain activity was recorded and then analyzed using machine learning algorithms. Impressively, the researchers were able to use this information to digitally re-create the face image stored in the person’s mind. Unlike basic shapes, being able to re-create faces involves a high level of fine-grained visual detail, showcasing a high level of sophistication for the technology.
Via: Defense News:
Rapid advances in artificial intelligence and military robotics have some concerned that the development of Terminator-like killer robots will be humankind’s downfall. But that doesn’t seem to worry Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet, who addressed the impact of technology on democracy at the Feb. 16-18 Munich Security Conference.
“Everyone immediately then wants to talk about all the movie-inspired death scenarios, and I can confidently predict to you that they are one to two decades away. So let’s worry about them, but let’s worry about them in a while,“ Schmidt said.
H/t reader Squodgy:
Why not just stop there and use them for peaceful purposes?”
* * *
Chinese scientists are reportedly at work constructing a mega-laser that is so powerful, it could literally tear apart empty space. How can a laser tear apart the absence of matter?
Physicists hailing out of Shanghai, China are building what they refer to as a “Station of Extreme Light,” a device that they claim could be fully functional as early as 2023, about 5 years from now. The Station of Extreme Light appears to be a CERN-level project that could create temperature extremes not typically found on planet Earth. They say the technology it utilizes could one day be used to conduct a particle accelerator similiar to CERN.
Their stated goal is to create a laser so incredibly powerful, it can generate 100-petawatt laser pulses. That is actually 100 million billion watts. For some context, that is 10,000 times the power of the entire Earth’s electrical grids combined. What could even power such a thing?
Tesla wants the upcoming Model 3 to be the first electric car for everyone, but to do so, it’ll need a seriously amount of infrastructure in place. Fast charging is critical to the electric car’s success — drivers need to be able to top up the car’s juice in an emergency — but Tesla’s network of fast chargers might not be adequate for the company’s production targets.
We don’t know for sure how long the Model 3 will take to charge, but we can reach an approximation based on Tesla’s current range. The 90kWh Model S, with a range of 294 miles as tested by the EPA, takes around 10 hours to charge from a NEMA 14-50 power outlet. From a wall connector, that can drop to as low as five hours and 30 minutes.
Canada’s largest oil company announced last week that it will be cutting about 400 heavy-equipment operator positions over the next six years as they phase in a new fleet of self-driving trucks. Suncor Energy, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, announced on Wednesday that it plans to deploy over 150 driver-less trucks, leading to job cuts starting as soon as 2019.
Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
In the first of two papers published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, the engineers report that they’ve devised a process that transforms shale gas into products such as methanol and gasoline—all while consuming carbon dioxide. This process can also be applied to coal and biomass to produce useful products.
Under certain conditions, the technology consumes all the carbon dioxide it produces plus additional carbon dioxide from an outside source.
Physicists are getting close to building lasers powerful enough to rip matter out of a vacuum.
According to a report published Jan. 24 in the journal Science, a team of Chinese scientists is getting ready to start construction this year on a 100-petawatt laser in Shanghai known as the Station of Extreme Light, or SEL. That puts them at the front of a wide field of scientists around the world who are working to realize a prediction published in the journal Physical Review Letters in 2010 by a team of American and French physicists that a sufficiently powerful laser could cause electrons to appear out of a vacuum.
It might seem weird to imagine that electrons could appear out of empty space. But it makes a lot more sense in light of a strange claim of quantum electrodynamics: “Empty” space isn’t empty at all, but rather is made up of densely packed pairs of matter and antimatter. Those pairs tightly fill up the gaps between everything, quantum electrodynamics states — they just don’t interact in any noticeable way with the rest of the universe, because they cancel one another out. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
Advancements in a fuel cell technology powered by solid carbon could make electricity generation from resources such as coal and biomass cleaner and more efficient, according to a new paper published by Idaho National Laboratory researchers.
The fuel cell design incorporates innovations in three components: the anode, the electrolyte and the fuel. Together, these advancements allow the fuel cell to utilize about three times as much carbon as earlier direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) designs.
The fuel cells also operate at lower temperatures and showed higher maximum power densities than earlier DCFCs, according to INL materials engineer Dong Ding. The results appear in this week’s edition of the journal Advanced Materials.
A recent presentation by a Lockheed Martin Skunk Works executive has defense observers speculating in a frenzy about the possibility that the supersonic SR-71 Blackbird spy plane’s successor has been built.
“Without the digital transformation, the aircraft you see there could not have been made,” Jack O’Banion, a vice president at Lockheed’s Skunk Works, said at an aerospace conference last week while pointing to an artist’s drawing of the SR-72 plane. “In fact, five years ago, it could not have been made,” O’Banion declared.