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O Vibrating Gloves, Lead Me to the Cereal | MIT Technology Review

O Vibrating Gloves, Lead Me to the Cereal | MIT Technology Review | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
When your eyes have trouble spotting an object, the latest in vibrotactile gear could speed up your search.
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Cyborg Lives
Understanding our Cyborg lives, redescribing our reality
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Listen Up! Hearable Computing Is the Next Big Thing! - Datamation

Desktop. Mobile. Wearable. What’s next?

In the movie “Her” (starring Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams), the lead character falls in love with a Siri-like virtual assistant.

The only difference between Siri and “Her” is that the movie version is simply more advanced -- as advanced as such assistances will inevitably get. It’s only a matter of time before Siri, Google Now, Cortana and others can all pass the Turing test.

In the movie, Joaquin Phoenix's character develops what he believes is a satisfying relationship with the virtual assistant entirely through a Bluetooth earpiece that fits almost entirely into his ear. He puts it in his ear and forgets about it. He talks, the assistant listens. The assistant talks, he listens. They have conversations.

If you can imagine sufficiently advanced A.I., you can imagine that this interface to the world of computers and the Internet is just about all you would need. Think about what you do with computers -- browse the Internet, do social networking, make calls, buy things, schedule meetings, maintain contacts, create business reports -- it could and I believe will be handled almost entirely by talking to a virtual assistant.

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Project Plans Brain-Control Exoskeleton Kickoff for the 2014 World Cup | MIT Technology Review

Project Plans Brain-Control Exoskeleton Kickoff for the 2014 World Cup | MIT Technology Review | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
A Brazilian neuroscientist says brain-controlled robotics will let the paralyzed walk again.

In less than 60 days, Brazil will begin hosting soccer’s 2014 World Cup, even though workers are still hurrying to pour concrete at three unfinished stadiums. At a laboratory in São Paulo, a Duke University neuroscientist is in his own race with the World Cup clock. He is rushing to finish work on a mind-controlled exoskeleton that he says a paralyzed Brazilian volunteer will don, navigate across a soccer pitch using his or her thoughts, and use to make the ceremonial opening kick of the tournament on June 12.

The project, called Walk Again, is led by Miguel Nicolelis, a 53-year-old native of Brazil and one of the biggest names in neuroscience. If it goes as planned, the kick will be a highly public display of research into brain-machine interfaces, a technology that aims to help paralyzed people control machines with their thoughts and restore their ability to get around.

“It’s going to be like putting a man on the moon—it’s conquering a level of audacity and innovation that the people outside Brazil aren’t used to associating with Brazil,” Nicolelis has told audiences. The kick, he has said, “will inaugurate a new era of neuroscience, [that of] neuroengineering.”

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Robots and sex: creepy or cool?

Robots and sex: creepy or cool? | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Tauriq Moosa: Sex robots, as far-fetched as they may seem, could end up being commonplace. A mature response to this would be best all round

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Consenting adults’ private activities seem to get a lot of other people very cross. Almost nowhere is this more pronounced than activities involving sex: the position, placement and management of people’s genital activities seem to keep a lot of other adults awake – but in an unhealthy, conservative way.

Many people don’t like two men doing romantic things together; many dislike women doing things too; and even if it’s the “proper” combination of sexes, there are rules about monogamy and marriage and money and so forth – that must not be violated, lest you incur the wrath of judgmental columnists and incomprehensible comment sections (or, unfortunately, the law itself).

Even otherwise progressive individuals are troubled by things such as non-monogamous relationships, child-free people (mostly child-free women, because wombs must always be filled with future babies, apparently), and men using sex toys.

So when considering, for example, sex robots, we should expect hatred, antagonism, and judgement. That attitude, in particular and in general toward adult consensual sex, should change. We can use sex robots as a good case-study to demonstrate why.

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The future of brainwave-enhanced media | SharpBrains

The future of brainwave-enhanced media | SharpBrains | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Perils and pleasures of mood-sensing technology (New Scientist): "What happens when we link films and music to devices that capture small changes in our

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Industry heavyweights come together to standardize the Internet of Things

Industry heavyweights come together to standardize the Internet of Things | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel are the latest companies to band together with the aim of standardizing interoperability across smart machines and ultimately, drive adoption of an Internet of Things. Announced last week, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is a not-for-profit open membership group created to establish common frameworks for development of inter-connected digital and physical worlds.

While the notion of device-to-device communication holds great potential across a range of industries, with different manufacturers using different engineering standards, development has been slow-moving in the eyes of some.

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The Dream of Intelligent Robot Friends

The Dream of Intelligent Robot Friends | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Learning about smart objects from the Karotz Internet-connected toy rabbit thing

..The Karotz, with its simple, truncated cone body embodies some of the Brancusian minimalism that has become particularly elusive in today's world of endless app grids and scrolling text tickers. With the addition of dynamic, if minimalist, attributes—a single glowing surface, rotating ear forms–this sculptural object imbues semantic messages and subtleties of meaning. Karotz offers connection without consumption, to give us a way to interact with the Internet without leaving our current physical and social context.

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Smart Home Trends - Erik Overbeeke's curator insight, March 31, 10:16 AM

' to give us a way to interact with the Internet without leaving our current physical and social context.'

aanve's curator insight, March 31, 11:04 PM

www.aanve.com

 

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Unbeatable chess cyborgs pave way for insurance underwriting

Unbeatable chess cyborgs pave way for insurance underwriting | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

The strength of these models comes not from their ability to replace underwriters, but rather their ability to complement human decision-making. After getting an initial estimate, human experts typically tweak the model to account for their unique experience, in the same way a regular might correct for the dents and creases in the local pub’s billiards table (as Nate Silver suggests). The merits of humans and algorithms working together were not lost on Kasparov either. After the loss to Deep Blue, Kasparov himself helped popularise Centaur Chess, a variant where cyborg teams of one human and one computer compete against each other.

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Reading to Have Read-Spritz doesn't strive to fix speed reading's flaws, but to transcend reading entirely.

Reading to Have Read-Spritz doesn't strive to fix speed reading's flaws, but to transcend reading entirely. | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Spritz doesn't strive to fix speed reading's flaws, but to transcend reading entirely.

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If you’re a person who reads, you may have read about Spritz, a startup that hopes to “reimagine” reading. Like most tech startups, reimagining entails making more efficient. Spritz promises to speed up reading by flashing individual words in a fixed position on a digital display. Readers can alter the speed of presentation, ratcheting it up to 600 words per minute (about three times the speed the average reader scans traditional text). 

This method, called rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), isn’t new, but Spritz has added an “Optimal Recognition Point” or ORP to this display technique. They claim it helps readers recognize each word most effectively by focusing their attention on a red letter representing its optimal point of recognition. Public response to the technology has been tremendous. According to Spritz, over 10,000 developers have already signed up to develop “Spritzified” products.

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The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix | Wired Business | Wired.com

The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix | Wired Business | Wired.com | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
The book business is merging into the magazine business as more publishers sell literature via subscription to highly targeted clusters of readers. High-profile literary studio Plympton is leading the charge with its $5-a-month iOS service Rooster.
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Lucid dreaming made easier with the Aurora EEG headband

Lucid dreaming made easier with the Aurora EEG headband | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
iWinks aims to make lucid dreaming easier and more fun with the dream-enhancing Aurora headband, using EEG sensors and other hardware to detect when a sleep...
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Out in the Open: This Farmbot Makes Growing Food as Easy as Playing Farmville | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Out in the Open: This Farmbot Makes Growing Food as Easy as Playing Farmville | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
One way to address our farming challenges is through various high-tech practices collectively known as precision agriculture. Precision farmers use technology such as self-steering tractors and aerial drones to find ways of more efficiently using water, fertilizer, and other resources. Farmbot is an open source precision agriculture machine, meaning anyone can take the designs and build their own.
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Augmented Reality allowing us to live in a real life game could be closer than you think.

Augmented Reality allowing us to live in a real life game could be closer than you think. | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Robot Genius (Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo) are the creative duo behind the sci-fi short film, Sight.
Sight focuses on the manipulation of reality. Imagine if...

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The Outsourced Lover-Romantimatic

The Outsourced Lover-Romantimatic | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

Why an app that reminds you to text your partner might not be the best idea. If you’re looking to add a digital spark to your relationship this Valentine’s Day, you can download the new app Romantimatic. Romantimatic will send you scheduled reminders to contact your significant other and give you pre-set messages to fire off. The pre-set messages include simple, straightforward classics like “I love you” and “I miss you.”Or maybe that doesn’t sound appealing. It sure doesn’t to me. In that case, I recommend you follow my lead: Take a solemn oath before the Greek god Eros and vow to never, ever go this far down the outsourced sentiment rabbit hole.

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You'll soon have 16+ different smart glasses to choose from. Here's how to pick the right one

You'll soon have 16+ different smart glasses to choose from. Here's how to pick the right one | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
We help you sort through the variety of smart glasses that are coming to the market in the near future.
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Human biology inspires "unbreakable" encryption

Human biology inspires "unbreakable" encryption | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

Researchers at Lancaster University, UK have taken a hint from the way the human lungs and heart constantly communicate with each other, to devise an innovative, highly flexible encryption algorithm that they claim can't be broken using the traditional methods of cyberattack.

Information can be encrypted with an array of different algorithms, but the question of which method is the most secure is far from trivial. Such algorithms need a "key" to encrypt and decrypt information; the algorithms typically generate their keys using a well-known set of rules that can only admit a very large, but nonetheless finite number of possible keys. This means that in principle, given enough time and computing power, prying eyes can always break the code eventually.

The researchers, led by Dr. Tomislav Stankovski, created an encryption mechanism that can generate a truly unlimited number of keys, which they say vastly increases the security of the communication. To do so, they took inspiration from the anatomy of the human body.

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Want Some $2,000 Gloves That Turn Gestures Into Music? | Design | WIRED

Want Some $2,000 Gloves That Turn Gestures Into Music? | Design | WIRED | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Imogen Heap and her team have developed gloves that allow you to make music through simple gestures.

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With most concerts, what you see is what you hear: A guitarist cozying up to a speaker for feedback, a drummer tapping the high-hat, a singer breathing into the mic. There’s a visual, interactive element to the show that plays a huge role in how much fun it is for the audience.

Not all musicians have that luxury. Go to an electronic music concert and most of the time you’ll find the artist hunched over a computer, turning knobs and poking buttons. You hear sounds, but rarely do you know how they’re made or where they’re coming from. At best, this effect is mysterious; at worst, it’s boring. “When you see a musician on a laptop, they’re often doing amazing things, you just have no idea because it’s on a screen,” says Imogen Heap. “Usually it just looks like they’re sending an email.”

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Approach your laptop mindfully to avoid digital overload

Approach your laptop mindfully to avoid digital overload | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

Information overload has become an everyday experience for anyone who works with computers, owns a smartphone or waits at a bus stop with minute-by-minute updates about arrival times.

And this information overload has been cited as a major factor in the rise of stress-related diseases. Some advocate a digital detox as the antidote to the curse of email, social media and constant communication but for many, that is just isn’t practical.

Others are turning to traditional mindfulness meditation techniques as a way of managing their digital dependence without having to switch off from their everyday lives entirely. It’s seen as a way to calm the mind and help the body to cope with the overwhelming amount of data coming our way from all different directions and sources.

As long ago as June 1983 Time magazine ran a cover feature on stress as a modern anxiety. Three decades later, answers to the problem are being put forward by that same magazine. A February 2014 issue of Time featured a cover that read: The mindful revolution: The science of finding focus in a stressed-out, multitasking culture.

In 2014, Time readers, like many others, want practical solutions to their stress. We answer work emails while waiting in a supermarket queue, we pay bills while preparing dinner and we follow our favourite celebrity’s tweets while we eat it. We can begin to feel like we couldn’t escape all the stimuli even if we wanted to.

Answer your work email on the weekend often enough and you can feel like it’s expected of you to do so all the time. Once you are used to receiving a constant stream of news, you start to feel lost without it. That can cause anxiety and depression.

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Who needs humans? Computers used to teach other computers

Who needs humans? Computers used to teach other computers | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Researchers at Washington State University have devised a method by which computers can teach each other, freeing humans from having to do so.

While it may be getting easier for humans to teach robots how to perform new tasks, there's still one potential problem – when a new robot is introduced to a work environment, its user may have to teach it the task over again, from scratch. That might soon no longer be the case, however. Researchers at Washington State University have devised a method by which computers can teach each other, freeing humans from having to do so.

The technique mirrors the way in which a human teacher and student would interact, and has so far been used to teach "student" computers how to play Pac-Man and StarCraft.

The algorithms utilized are based around telling the "teacher" computer – the one that already knows how to play the games – when to advise the student computer to take action, and when to let it simply learn by doing. This is a crucial component of any teacher/student relationship, as the student won't know what to do if too little advice is offered, yet they'll never truly understand what's involved in a task if they're always simply following instructions.

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Robopoetics: The Complete Operator's Manual

Robopoetics: The Complete Operator's Manual | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Here’s a game: which of these poems was written by a human, and which by a computer?

A wounded deer leaps highest,
I've heard the daffodil
I've heard t
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A Toaster That Begs You to Use It: Welcome to the Bizarro Smart Home | Wired Design | Wired.com

A Toaster That Begs You to Use It: Welcome to the Bizarro Smart Home | Wired Design | Wired.com | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
Brad, a toaster susceptible to peer pressure, is the star of "Addicted Products," a design experiment recently named Best in Show at the 2014 Interaction Awards.

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His name is Brad, and he’s an addict. And a toaster.

Brad is the star of “Addicted Products,” a design experiment recently named Best in Show at the 2014 Interaction Awards. As a connected toaster, he’s in constant contact with other connected toasters like him–and thus keenly aware of how much action they’re getting. If he’s not being used as much as his friends, Brad gets upset. He’ll wiggle his little handle to get your attention, begging you to make some toast or at least to give him a reassuring pat on the side. Ignore him long enough, and he’ll take a more drastic measure: pinging a network of potential owners to find a new home. Hey, at least he didn’t burn down your kitchen.

Conceived by Italian designer Simone Rebaudengo, Brad is a glimpse into a bizarro near-future, one where the internet of things leads not to harmoniously interconnected gadgets but rather a house full of junkies–appliances hopelessly addicted to being used. The fanciful premise evolved from a simple idea: What if the smart objects of the future aren’t just smart, but also potentially jealous, petty or vindictive? What if, connected to and benchmarked against their peers, their relationships with each other start to inform their relationships with us?

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Perfect memory, enhanced vision, an expert golf swing: The future of brain implants

Perfect memory, enhanced vision, an expert golf swing: The future of brain implants | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
How soon can we expect to see brain implants for perfect memory, enhanced vision, hypernormal focus or an expert golf swing? We're closer than you might think.

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What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud? Or for a memory chip, wired directly into your brain's hippocampus, that gave you perfect recall of everything you read? Or for an implanted interface with the Internet that automatically translated a clearly articulated silent thought ("the French sun king") into an online search that digested the relevant Wikipedia page and projected a summary directly into your brain?

Science fiction? Perhaps not for very much longer. Brain implants today are where laser eye surgery was several decades ago. They are not risk-free and make sense only for a narrowly defined set of patients—but they are a sign of things to come.

Unlike pacemakers, dental crowns or implantable insulin pumps, neuroprosthetics—devices that restore or supplement the mind's capacities with electronics inserted directly into the nervous system—change how we perceive the world and move through it. For better or worse, these devices become part of who we are.

Neuroprosthetics aren't new. They have been around commercially for three decades, in the form of the cochlear implants used in the ears (the outer reaches of the nervous system) of more than 300,000 hearing-impaired people around the world. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first retinal implant, made by the company Second Sight.

Both technologies exploit the same principle: An external device, either a microphone or a video camera, captures sounds or images and processes them, using the results to drive a set of electrodes that stimulate either the auditory or the optic nerve, approximating the naturally occurring output from the ear or the eye.

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LaTisha Hockensmith's curator insight, March 16, 6:17 PM

Oh, my! What has this world come to?

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Perjurers and fake reviews train software to spot lies - tech - 07 March 2014 - New Scientist

Perjurers and fake reviews train software to spot lies - tech - 07 March 2014 - New Scientist | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it
An artificial-intelligence system has learned to spot the telltale language people use when lying in court or in fawning online book reviews

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LAWYERS and judges use skill and instinct to sense who might be lying in court. Soon they may be able to rely on a computer, too.

An AI system trained on false statements is highly accurate at spotting deceptive language in written or spoken testimony. It can also be used to weed out fake online reviews of books, hotels and restaurants.

The system is the work of computational linguists Massimo Poesio at the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, and Tommaso Fornaciari at the Center for Mind/Brain sciences in Trento, Italy. It is based on a technique called stylometry, which counts how often certain words appear in a passage.

The method is often applied to determine who wrote a piece of text, but software can employ it to pick out deception instead. The strategy is to seek out the overuse of linguistic hedges such as "to the best of my knowledge", or overzealous expressions such as "I swear to god".

"But all previous studies had used deceptive texts created in the lab," Poesio says. "What has been missing was a system that could work on real-world lies."

So he and Fornaciari trained a machine learning system by feeding it Italian courtroom depositions and statements by defendants known to have committed perjury. The researchers say it is now nearly 75 per cent accurate at indicating whether a defendant or witness is being deceptive. "We can achieve an accuracy that is way above chance," says Poesio.

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IBM uses thinking computer to generate chocolate burritos and other weird food

IBM uses thinking computer to generate chocolate burritos and other weird food | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

Cognitive computers — machines capable of learning, rather that simply following programming — may one day be able to mimic human brains. But first, they're being used to invent chocolate burritos and Swiss-Thai asparagus quiche. IBM, a leader in the field of cognitive computing who has been working with DARPA since 2008 on a project to create a computer that thinks as people do, has partnered with the Institute of Culinary Education to take the IBM Food Truck on a tour round the United States. On its travels, top chefs will be serving meals dreamed up by a computer.

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Giorgio Fontana's curator insight, March 2, 12:52 PM

Un computer a Masterchef ?

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Legal Heroin: Is Virtual Reality Our Next Hard Drug?

Legal Heroin: Is Virtual Reality Our Next Hard Drug? | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

So video games are addictive—this we know.

It comes down to dopamine, one of the brain’s basic signaling molecules. Emotionally, we feel dopamine as pleasure, engagement, excitement, creativity, and a desire to investigate and make meaning out of the world. It’s released whenever we take risks, or encounter novelty. From an evolutionary standpoint, it reinforces exploratory behavior.

More importantly, dopamine is a motivator. It’s released when we have the expectation of reward. And once this neurotransmitter becomes hardwired into a psychological reward loop, the desire to get more of that reward becomes the brain’s overarching preoccupation. Cocaine, widely considered the most addictive drug on the planet, does little more than flood the brain with dopamine and block its reuptake (sort of like SSRI’s block the reuptake of serotonin).

Video games are full of novelty, risk-taking, reward-anticipation, and exploratory behavior. They’re dopamine-production machines dressed up with joysticks and better graphics. And this is why video games are so addictive.

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Dutch scientists flap to the future with 'insect' drone

Dutch scientists flap to the future with 'insect' drone | Cyborg Lives | Scoop.it

Dutch scientists have developed the world's smallest autonomous flapping drone, a dragonfly-like beast with 3-D vision that could revolutionise our experience of everything from pop concerts to farming.

"This is the DelFly Explorer, the world's smallest drone with flapping wings that's able to fly around by itself and avoid obstacles," its proud developer Guido de Croon of the Delft Technical University told AFP.

Weighing just 20 grammes (less than an ounce), around the same as four sheets of printer paper, the robot dragonfly could be used in situations where much heavier quadcopters with spinning blades would be hazardous, such as flying over the audience to film a concert or sport event.

The Explorer looks like a large dragonfly or grasshopper as it flitters about the room, using two tiny low-resolution video cameras—reproducing the 3-D vision of human eyes—and an on-board computer to take in its surroundings and avoid crashing into things.

And like an insect, the drone which has a wingspan of 28 centimetres (11 inches), would feel at home flying around plants.

"It can for instance also be used to fly around and detect ripe fruit in greenhouses," De Croon said, with an eye on the Netherlands' vast indoor fruit-growing business.

"Or imagine, for the first time there could be an autonomous flying fairy in a theme park," he said.

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