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Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate

In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc te...

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Embodied Zeitgeist
Exploration of The Zeitgeist as embodied in Humans
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The sharing economy could end capitalism – but that's not all

The sharing economy could end capitalism – but that's not all | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The sharing economy could bring about the end of capitalism: that’s the provocative claim made by economic journalist Paul Mason, among others. But my ongoing research indicates that there are many possible futures for the sharing economy: it could transform the world of work as we know it – or it could gradually fade from the public eye.

The exact nature and impacts of the sharing economy are still disputed. The organisers of social movements, entrepreneurs, established businesses and politicians all have very different ideas of what the sharing economy is, and what it should become. For example, Share the World’s Resource (a not-for-profit civil organisation) talks about building a sharing economy based on “shared” public services, which are funded by taxation.

Meanwhile, the UK government speaks of building a sharing economy based on online peer-to-peer platforms, which enable citizens to become micro-entrepreneurs by renting out assets such as homes, driveways and pets. So it seems that a diverse range of actors can see their own hopes, fears and values reflected in the sharing economy. But one thing is for sure: online platforms such as Airbnb and Uber have grown from Silicon Valley startups to global corporations, and this trend will probably continue.

Research on the economic, environmental and social impacts of these enterprises is scarce. As a result, there is very little evidence to help us understand how the sharing economy will develop. So I analysed approximately 250 sharing-economy-related articles and reports, which contained contrasting views from advocates and critics. Based on this evidence, I mapped out four possible paths for the sharing economy: and only one of them predicts that the sharing economy will bring capitalism to its knees, as Mason holds.

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Researchers Create a High Viscosity SLA 3D Printer That Can Print Teeth, Metals & More

Researchers Create a High Viscosity SLA 3D Printer That Can Print Teeth, Metals & More | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Typically when we think of desktop 3D printers, we either picture an FDM/FFF, extrusion based machine, or an SLA (steterolithographic) machine. Both of these pr
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Virginia Tech scientist develops model for robots with bacterial brains | Virginia Tech News | Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech scientist develops model for robots with bacterial brains | Virginia Tech News | Virginia Tech | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Forget the Vulcan mind-meld of the Star Trek generation — as far as mind control techniques go, bacteria is the next frontier.
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About Us

About Us | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The School of Life is devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture. We address such issues as how to find fulfilling work, how to master the art of relationships, how to understand one’s past, how to achieve calm and how better to understand, and where necessary change, the world.
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Holacracy, Explained: An Illustrated Guide to Management-Free Organizations - Page19

Holacracy, Explained: An Illustrated Guide to Management-Free Organizations - Page19 | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Have you heard about Holacracy? If you’re watching the startup and tech scene, then there’s a pretty good chance you have. Holacracy is a management-free way to run a company. It’s been around for a few years, but it may...Continue reading
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Zuckerberg: telepathy is the future of Facebook (Wired UK)

Zuckerberg: telepathy is the future of Facebook (Wired UK) | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg thinks that you will soon be able to send emotions directly to your friends.

In a Q&A session held (where else) on Facebook, the 31-year-old billionaire said that in the relatively near future it would be possible to send anything -- including the feedback from our senses -- to friends as easily as we send a picture, video or text today. Such a tool would represent "the ultimate communication technology" Zuckerberg said.

"One day, I believe we'll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology. You'll be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you like," he said

"In the future video will be even more important than photos. After that, immersive experiences like VR will become the norm. And after that, we'll have the power to share our full sensory and emotional experience with people whenever we'd like."

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What's the Meaning of Life If Society Doesn't Need You Any Longer? - Singularity HUB

What's the Meaning of Life If Society Doesn't Need You Any Longer? - Singularity HUB | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
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... read more
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Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood? | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The rich array of microbiota in our intestines can tell us more than you might think.
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What counting 3987 grains of rice with Marina Abramovic taught me

What counting 3987 grains of rice with Marina Abramovic taught me | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The temperature is nine degrees but there are 26 other people counting thousands of black lentils and grains of rice in this draughty harbourside pier in the name of art.
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Open Data - why it is better to know than not to know? | Alicja Peszkowska | TEDxWarsaw - YouTube

A talk about the significance of open data and the impact of open data based applications on our everyday life. Alicja Peszkowska is not only a new technolog...
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Driverless cars are a catch 22: we do none of the driving, but take all of the responsibility

Driverless cars are a catch 22: we do none of the driving, but take all of the responsibility | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Driverless cars might require just as much driving as those we already use.
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Do Corporations Have Minds?

Do Corporations Have Minds? | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Not really. But we often think and talk about them as though they do, and that is cause for concern.
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Philosophy booms with popular answers to life's big questions | Culture | DW.DE | 29.05.2015

Philosophy booms with popular answers to life's big questions | Culture | DW.DE | 29.05.2015 | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The immense success of writers such as Richard David Precht, festivals of ideas and philosophy magazines is has made thinking hip again. But is this legitimate philosophy, or more a lifestyle trend?

As a European cultural center, Cologne is used to being overrun. During Carnival the city doubles in population and a bevy of landmark festivals, fairs and fiestas hosted in the western German city cater to interest groups of every stripe. While the attendees of the third phil.Cologne, which opened this week and runs until June 3, may not be sporting striking costumes, their numbers are impressive. Organizers expect 10,000 visitors to attend the festival where people come to listen to intellectual discourse.

The public image of philosophy had long been in crisis. The last philosophical schools to prove a social sensation were Existentialism and the Frankfurt School, both originating in the 1940s. After a brief public explosion during the student protests of the 1960s, the discipline of thinking withdrew once again to its ivory tower. At the end of the 1960s German news weekly "Der Spiegel" asked: "What is philosophy today?"

From the ivory tower to the masses

In recent years there has been a noticeable paradigm shift. Videos from the international "ideas lectures" such as the TED Talks are certified YouTube hits and frequently go viral on social networks, alongside the flood of cat videos. Philosophy in 2015 has little to do with the hermit-like tendencies of Martin Heidegger - today it's more about ideas for everyday use rather than esoteric evaluations and complex concepts.

Via Wildcat2030
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Philae Lander Finds Organic Compounds on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Philae Lander Finds Organic Compounds on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it

In a research article by Dr Fred Goesmann from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany and his colleagues, the team analyzes the composition of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using the COmetary SAmpling and Composition (COSAC) instrument, designed to identify organic compounds in the comet and thus contribute to a deeper understanding of the history of life on Earth.


The instrument collected molecules from 10 km (6.2 miles) above the comet surface, after the initial touchdown, and at the final site. 16 organic compounds were identified, divided into six classes of organic molecules (alcohols, carbonyls, amines, nitriles, amides and isocyanates). Of these, four organic compounds were detected for the first time on a comet (methyl isocyanate, acetone, propionaldehyde and acetamide).


Almost all the compounds detected are potential precursors, products, combinations or by-products of each other, which provides a glimpse of the chemical processes at work in a cometary nucleus, and even in the collapsing Solar Nebula in the very early Solar System.


COSAC identified a large number of nitrogen compounds but no sulfur compounds, contrary to what the ROSINA instrument on board Rosetta had observed. This suggests that the chemical composition varies depending on the area sampled.


A special issue of the journal Science highlights seven new studies that delve into the data that has been collected by ESA’s probe Philae on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Open letter petitions UN to ban the development on weaponized AI

Open letter petitions UN to ban the development on weaponized AI | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
The Future of Life Institute has presented an open letter signed by over 1,000 robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers urging the United Nations to impose a ban on the development of weaponized AI with the capability to target and kill without meaningful human intervention. The letter was presented at the 2015 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), and is backed with the endorsements of a number of prominent scientists and industry leaders, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Noam Chomsky.

To some, armed and autonomous AI could seem a fanciful concept confined to the realm of video games and sci-fi. However, the chilling warning contained within the newly released open letter insists that the technology will be readily available within years, not decades, and that action must be taken now if we are to prevent the birth of a new paradigm of modern warfare.

Consider now the implications of this. According to the open letter, many now consider weaponized AI to be the third revolution in modern warfare, after gunpower and nuclear arms. However, for the previous two there have always been powerful disincentives to utilize the technology. For rifles to be used in the field, you need a soldier to wield the weapon, and this in turn meant putting a soldiers life at risk.

Via Wildcat2030
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We Are Not Human Individuals

We Are Not Human Individuals | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Unbeknownst to many people, our emotions, cognition, behavior, and mental health are influenced by a large number of entities that reside in our bodies while pursuing their own interests, which need not coincide with ours. Such selfish entities include microbes, viruses, foreign human cells, and imprinted genes regulated by viruslike elements. This article provides a broad overview, aimed at a wide readership, of the consequences of our coexistence with these entities. Its aim is to show that we are not unitary individuals in control of ourselves but rather “holobionts” or superorganisms—meant here as collections of human and nonhuman elements that are to varying degrees integrated and, in an incessant struggle, jointly define who we are.

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The Internet Makes You Think You’re Smarter Than You Are: An Interview with Matthew Fisher

The Internet Makes You Think You’re Smarter Than You Are: An Interview with Matthew Fisher | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Is the ability to look things up online inflating our sense of intelligence?
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When Firms Become Persons and Persons Become Firms: outstanding lecture

When Firms Become Persons and Persons Become Firms: outstanding lecture | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it

Via Artur Coelho
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'Her' Is Coming To Real Life: Meet Google's Chat Box | Big Think

'Her' Is Coming To Real Life: Meet Google's Chat Box | Big Think | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
A conversation with the new Google bot can go something like this:
Human: What is the purpose of dying? Machine: To have a life. Human: What is the purpose of being intelligent? Machine: To find out what it is. Human: What is the purpose of emotions? Machine: I don’t know.
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Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction?

Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction? | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
In the last half-billion years, life on Earth has been nearly wiped out five times—by such things as climate change, an intense ice age, volcanoes, and that space rock that smashed into the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, obliterating the dinosaurs and a bunch of other species. These events are known as the Big Five mass extinctions, and all signs suggest we are now on the precipice of a sixth.

Except this time, we have no one but ourselves to blame. According to a study published last week in Science Advances, the current extinction rate could be more than 100 times higher than normal—and that’s only taking into account the kinds of animals we know the most about. Earth’s oceans and forests host an untold number of species, many of which will probably disappear before we even get to know them. (See pictures of 10 of the earth's rarest animals.)

Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert’s book The Sixth Extinction won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. We talked with her about what these new results might reveal for the future of life on this planet. Is there any chance we can put the brakes on this massive loss of life? Are humans destined to become casualties of our own environmental recklessness?

The new study that's generated so much conversation estimates that as many as three-quarters of animal species could be extinct within several human lifetimes, which sounds incredibly alarming.

Via Wildcat2030
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The Architect of Germany's Third Industrial Revolution: an Interview with Jeremy Rifkin

The Architect of Germany's Third Industrial Revolution: an Interview with Jeremy Rifkin | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
On May 11 of this year, 74% of Germany's electricity was produced from a combination of solar and wind power, driving electricity prices into the negative for much of the afternoon. Meanwhile, in the United States, fossil fuels accounted for 67% of this country's electricity.
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‘Brain-to-Text’ system converts speech brainwave patterns to text | KurzweilAI

‘Brain-to-Text’ system converts speech brainwave patterns to text | KurzweilAI | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Brain activity recorded by electrocorticography electrodes (blue circles). Spoken words are then decoded from neural activity patterns in the blue/yellow
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Deep Learning Machine Beats Humans in IQ Test | MIT Technology Review

Deep Learning Machine Beats Humans in IQ Test | MIT Technology Review | Embodied Zeitgeist | Scoop.it
Just over 100 years ago, the German psychologist William Stern introduced the intelligence quotient test as a way of evaluating human intelligence. Since then, IQ tests have become a standard feature of modern life and are used to determine children’s suitability for schools and adults’ ability to perform jobs.

These tests usually contain three categories of questions: logic questions such as patterns in sequences of images, mathematical questions such as finding patterns in sequences of numbers and verbal reasoning questions, which are based around analogies, classifications, as well as synonyms and antonyms.

It is this last category that has interested Huazheng Wang and pals at the University of Science and Technology of China and Bin Gao and buddies at Microsoft Research in Beijing. Computers have never been good at these. Pose a verbal reasoning question to a natural language processing machine and its performance will be poor, much worse than the average human ability.

Today, that changes thanks to Huazheng and pals who have built a deep learning machine that outperforms the average human ability to answer verbal reasoning questions for the first time.

Via Wildcat2030
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