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Is this the biggest breakthrough in propulsion since the jet engine? | KurzweilAI

Is this the biggest breakthrough in propulsion since the jet engine? | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Hot air passes over the fine piping, plunging to -150C in just 1/100th of a second (credit: Mark Ford et al./Reaction Engines Ltd.) Reaction Engines Ltd.

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Reaction Engines Ltd. has announced what is says is the “biggest breakthrough in aerospace propulsion technology since the invention of the jet engine.”

Critical tests have been successfully completed on the key technology for SABRE, an engine that will enable aircraft to reach the opposite side of the world in under four hours, or to fly directly into orbit and return in a single stage, taking off and landing on a runway.

Ultra-lightweight heat exchangers are the key enabling components in SABRE engines for Mach 5 cruise and aircraft-like access to space (credit: Reaction Engines)

SABRE, an air-breathing rocket engine, uses a combination of jet turbine and rocket technology. Its innovative pre-cooler technology is designed to cool the incoming airstream from over 1,000⁰C to minus 150⁰C in less than 1/100th of a second without blocking with frost.

The recent tests have proven the cooling technology to be frost-free at the crucial low temperature of -150⁰C.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has evaluated the SABRE engine’s pre-cooler heat exchanger on behalf of the UK Space Agency, and has given official validation to the test results:

“The pre-cooler test objectives have all been successfully met and ESA are satisfied that the tests demonstrate the technology required for the SABRE engine development.”

This advanced combined cycle air-breathing SABRE rocket engine enables aircraft to operate easily at speeds of up to five times the speed of sound or fly directly into Earth orbit (credit: Reaction Engines)

The U.K. Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: “This is a remarkable achievement for a remarkable company.

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The Genesis Engine,Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.

The Genesis Engine,Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up. | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Spiny grass and scraggly pines creep amid the arts-and-crafts buildings of the Asilomar Conference Grounds, 100 acres of dune where California's Monterey Peninsula hammerheads into the Pacific. It's a rugged landscape, designed to inspire people to contemplate their evolving place on Earth. So it was natural that 140 scientists gathered here in 1975 for an unprecedented conference.

They were worried about what people called “recombinant DNA,” the manipulation of the source code of life. It had been just 22 years since James Watson, Francis Crick, and Rosalind Franklin described what DNA was—deoxyribonucleic acid, four different structures called bases stuck to a backbone of sugar and phosphate, in sequences thousands of bases long. DNA is what genes are made of, and genes are the basis of heredity.

Preeminent genetic researchers like David Baltimore, then at MIT, went to Asilomar to grapple with the implications of being able to decrypt and reorder genes. It was a God-like power—to plug genes from one living thing into another. Used wisely, it had the potential to save millions of lives. But the scientists also knew their creations might slip out of their control. They wanted to consider what ought to be off-limits.
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Science/AAAS | Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence

Science/AAAS | Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
#Science/#AAAS is ready- #ArtificialIntelligence
http://t.co/n5sDfrULZf
#Developers #Robotics #Cybernetics #AI #CIO #Technology #ITLeaders
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Personal Robots Are Charming, But Don’t Expect Help with Chores | MIT Technology Review

Personal Robots Are Charming, But Don’t Expect Help with Chores | MIT Technology Review | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
If you visit Softbank’s flagship store in downtown Tokyo, you may be greeted by a charming, slightly manic new member of the staff: a gleaming white humanoid robot that gestures dramatically, cracks odd jokes, and occasionally breaks out dancing to music emanating from its own body. If you laugh at these antics, and the robot can see your face, it will quite likely giggle along with you.

With significant progress currently being made toward safer and more intuitive industrial robotics, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the idea of personal home robots is gaining momentum. Toy robots that interact with people in simple ways have been around for some time. Now, several companies are developing more capable robots designed to live in the home. Although these machines don’t do physical chores, they aim to win your affections with a mix of charm and a stilted social intelligence.

Softbank sold a thousand of its robots, called Pepper, in Japan in less than a minute this June; a thousand more will go on sale next week. “We have people who are interested in testing them in their businesses, for welcoming people; we have families, also elderly people interested in companionship,” says Magali Cubier, global marketing director for Aldebaran, the French company that developed Pepper for Softbank.
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'Earth 2.0' found in Nasa Kepler telescope haul - BBC News

'Earth 2.0' found in Nasa Kepler telescope haul - BBC News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A haul of planets from Nasa's Kepler telescope includes a world sharing many characteristics with Earth.

Kepler-452b orbits at a very similar distance from its star, though its radius is 60% larger.

Mission scientists said they believed it was the most Earth-like planet yet.

Such worlds are of interest to astronomers because they might be small and cool enough to host liquid water on their surface - and might therefore be hospitable to life.

Nasa's science chief John Grunsfeld called the new world "Earth 2.0" and the "closest so far" to our home.

It is around 1,400 light years away from Earth.

John Jenkins, Kepler data analysis lead at Nasa's Ames Research Center in California, added: "It's a real privilege to deliver this news to you today. There's a new kid on the block that's just moved in next door."

The new world joins other exoplanets such as Kepler-186f that are similar in many ways to Earth.

Determining which is most Earth-like depends on the properties one considers. Kepler-186f, announced in 2014, is smaller than the new planet, but orbits a red dwarf star that is significantly cooler than our own.
Kepler-452b, however, orbits a parent star which belongs to the same class as the Sun: it is just 4% more massive and 10% brighter. Kepler-452b takes 385 days to complete a full circuit of this star, so its orbital period is 5% longer than Earth's.
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If we are to find life beyond Earth, we need to be explorers, not hunters

If we are to find life beyond Earth, we need to be explorers, not hunters | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The news that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is to receive increased funding and data through the $100m (£64m) Breakthrough Listen project is welcome news for astrobiologists like myself. Launched by Stephen Hawking, it particularly helps to allay growing concerns in the field about having too narrow a focus in our search for life in the universe.

Last week I attended the Pathways Towards Habitable Planets conference in Switzerland, where leading scientists in the search for habitable planets shared their results and ideas for the future. What was especially interesting was the relatively strong consensus on the problems with our definition of the habitable zone – the area around a star which is neither too hot nor too cold for orbiting planets to support liquid water on the surface. Even its name is misleading, as we’ll see in a moment. If we aren’t careful, obsessing about this zone could prevent us from reaching our ultimate goal of finding extraterrestrial life.

For as long as we have considered planets orbiting other stars, we have speculated over their propensity to host living organisms in the way that the Earth does. The habitable zone concept has helped astronomers to define where, in all those quintillions of acres of galactic real estate, we should search for planets that might be inhabited.

It may seem sensible to look for extraterrestrial life in regions where any Earth-like planet would have liquid water on the surface. Liquid water is an essential solvent for the chemical reactions that Earth biology relies on. If we find planets with liquid water, they satisfy a key criterion for being conducive to life as we know it.

Yet being in the zone neither automatically means that a planet will have water, nor that it could support life. It needs to have a “healthy” atmospheric composition – usually assumed to mean similar to Earth’s – and ideally a healthy magnetic field to shield it from high-energy particles belched forth by its parent star.

We might also demand that the planet’s orbit and rotation is stable and that any planetary neighbours kindly leave it alone. We don’t have enough data on the planets we have found to date to know if they meet all these criteria. Even if we did, we would most likely have to run a sophisticated computer simulation to model their climate before we could determine what conditions were really like on the surface.
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Rewilding isn't about nostalgia – exciting new worlds are possible

Rewilding isn't about nostalgia – exciting new worlds are possible | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The restoration of natural ecosystems – “rewilding” – ought to be a chance to create inspiring new habitats. However the movement around it risks becoming trapped by its own reverence of the past; an overly nostalgic position that makes rewilding less realistic and harder to achieve.

The recent launch of Rewilding Britain is certainly exciting and timely. However George Monbiot’s vision of bringing back 15 iconic species falls short of the rewilding visions being discussed in universities.

These are emerging from advances in functional ecology and Earth system science. The vision of rewilding is more ambitious: it is about restoring ecological processes through reassembling the species that drive them. For example rooting by wild boars has repercussions throughout a woodland ecosystem. Such animals shouldn’t be reintroduced simply because they were once there, but because they could do something productive in future.
Don’t go native

Monbiot’s quest to restore “lost” species harks back to a past age. However many conservation scientists are more relaxed concerning the question of “nativenes”. They are willing to consider introducing non-native species if they contribute a functional role in ecosystems, and they view the past not as a benchmark to preserve or replicate but as an inspiration for ecosystem restoration.

For instance, “Monbiot’s 15” omits the auroch and tarpan which are classed as extinct. However in the 1980s progressive Dutch ecologists realised that their functional analogues survived as cattle and ponies and their ecological role could be restored through “de-domestication”.

They set about de-domesticating them at the famous Oostvaardersplassen reserve located a 40 minute drive from Amsterdam. This produced a “Serengeti-like” landscape: a type of nature unknown to Europe since humans settled down and started farming.
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Why a technologically enhanced future will be less good than we think | OUPblog

Why a technologically enhanced future will be less good than we think | OUPblog | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Today there are high hopes for technological progress. Techno-optimists expect massive benefits for humankind from the invention of new technologies. Peter Diamandis is the founder of the X-prize foundation whose purpose is to arrange competitions for breakthrough inventions. His aim is “a world of nine billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and nonpolluting, ubiquitous energy”. The Internet is a special focus for techno-optimists. According to the Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen “future connectivity promises a dazzling array of ‘quality of life’ improvements: things that make you healthier, safer and more engaged”. K. Eric Drexler’s preferred instrument of universal prosperity is nanotechnology. He envisages a future in which miniature robots produce “a radical abundance beyond the dreams of any king, a post-industrial material abundance that reaches the ends of the earth and lightens its burden.”

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Why do humans kiss each other when most animals don't?

Why do humans kiss each other when most animals don't? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
When you think about it, kissing is strange and a bit icky. You share saliva with someone, sometimes for a prolonged period of time. One kiss could pass on 80 million bacteria, not all of them good.

Yet everyone surely remembers their first kiss, in all its embarrassing or delightful detail, and kissing continues to play a big role in new romances.

At least, it does in some societies. People in western societies may assume that romantic kissing is a universal human behaviour, but a new analysis suggests that less than half of all cultures actually do it. Kissing is also extremely rare in the animal kingdom.

So what's really behind this odd behaviour? If it is useful, why don't all animals do it – and all humans too? It turns out that the very fact that most animals don't kiss helps explain why some do.
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Marriage Won't Make Sense When Humans Live for 1,000 Years

Marriage Won't Make Sense When Humans Live for 1,000 Years | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
I was jubilant the US Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of gay marriage. Events that lead to more freedom and equality are positive progress.

However, what doesn’t seem to be making the news is the fact that marriage—especially to many young people—isn’t as attractive as it once was.

There are a number of reasons for this. People want to focus on their careers, not spouses. Getting married and having a traditional wedding costs a lot of money (besides, around 40 percent of those who wed will go through at least one divorce in their lives, causing potential harm to their ideals, children, and finances). Finally, having kids out of wedlock is becoming more socially acceptable.

But there’s another reason that is increasingly relevant. It has to do with transhumanism.

In the transhumanist age of extended lifespans, where many people will live beyond 100 years of age, the question of being married until “death does us part” has real consequence.
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Imagination Institute Awards Nearly $3 Million to Advance the Science of Imagination

Imagination Institute Awards Nearly $3 Million to Advance the Science of Imagination | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Imagination has many different components: idea generation, mental imagery, mental simulation, future thinking, pretend play, personal meaning-making, episodic memory, perspective taking, empathy, narrative generation, and narrative understanding.

Unfortunately, we spend so much time on standardized testing and measuring the ability to learn what is, we don’t track how much we’re developing the key competencies that enable us to imagine what could be. This has real implications for human innovation and creativity, as well as social and emotional well-being, peace and compassion. The latest research suggests that the ability to transport your mind into the mind of others draws on the same mental machinery that it takes to transport your own mind into the future.

To spur research on more innovative methods for better understanding this important human resource, The Imagination Institute, based at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center, has announced nearly $3 million worth of grants to researchers at 16 institutions. The grants are aimed at the development of better ways of assessing and promoting imagination and creativity.
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The Real Threat Posed by Powerful Computers

The Real Threat Posed by Powerful Computers | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
In October, Elon Musk called artificial intelligence “our greatest existential threat,” and equated making machines that think with “summoning the demon.” In December, Stephen Hawking said “full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” And this year, Bill Gates said he was “concerned about super intelligence,” which he appeared to think was just a few decades away.

But if the human race is at peril from killer robots, the problem is probably not artificial intelligence. It is more likely to be artificial stupidity. The difference between those two ideas says much about how we think about computers.

In the kind of artificial intelligence, or A.I., that most people seem to worry about, computers decide people are a bad idea, so they kill them. That is undeniably bad for the human race, but it is a potentially smart move by the computers.

But the real worry, specialists in the field say, is a computer program rapidly overdoing a single task, with no context. A machine that makes paper clips proceeds unfettered, one example goes, and becomes so proficient that overnight we are drowning in paper clips.

In other words, something really dumb happens, at a global scale. As for those “Terminator” robots you tend to see on scary news stories about an A.I. apocalypse, forget it.
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Can Information Rise From Randomness? | Quanta Magazine

Can Information Rise From Randomness? |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Ready for our first conundrum?

Through a Random Looking-Glass

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

Today’s puzzle asks you to believe something that seems impossible — that you can somehow win at a number guessing game in which you have absolutely no information:

I write down two different numbers that are completely unknown to you, and hold one in my left hand and one in my right. You have absolutely no idea how I generated these two numbers. Which is larger? You can point to one of my hands, and I will show you the number in it. Then you can decide to either select the number you have seen or switch to the number you have not seen, held in the other hand, as your final choice. Is there a strategy that will give you a greater than 50 percent chance of choosing the larger number, no matter which two numbers I write down?

Since you know nothing whatsoever about the two numbers, the only thing you can do, it seems, is make random guesses. But can randomness generate information?
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The Work We Do While We Sleep - The New Yorker

The Work We Do While We Sleep - The New Yorker | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
It’s strange, when you think about it, that we spend close to a third of our lives asleep. Why do we do it? While we’re sleeping, we’re vulnerable—and, at least on the outside, supremely unproductive. In a 1719 sermon, “Vigilius, or, The Awakener,” Cotton Mather called an excess of sleep “sinful” and lamented that we often sleep when we should be working. Benjamin Franklin echoed the sentiment in “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” when he quipped that “there’ll be sleeping enough in the grave.” For a long time, sleep’s apparent uselessness amused even the scientists who studied it. The Harvard sleep researcher Robert Stickgold has recalled his former collaborator J. Allan Hobson joking that the only known function of sleep was to cure sleepiness. In a 2006 review of the explanations researchers had proposed for sleep, Marcos Frank, a neuroscientist then working at the University of Pennsylvania (he is now at WSU Spokane) concluded that the evidence for sleep’s putative effects on cognition was “weak or equivocal.”

But in the past decade, and even the past year, the mystery has seemed to be abating. In a series of conversations with sleep scientists this May, I was offered a glimpse of converging lines of inquiry that are shedding light on why such a significant part of our lives is spent lying inert, with our eyes closed, not doing anything that seems particularly meaningful or relevant to, well, anything. (The meetings were facilitated by a Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship.)
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Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human?

Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Start-ups say they can eliminate biases and create more skilled and diverse workplaces, but data science will probably need human supervision.
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What’s the point of education if Google can tell us anything?

What’s the point of education if Google can tell us anything? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Can’t remember the name of the two elements that scientist Marie Curie discovered? Or who won the 1945 UK general election? Or how many light years away the sun is from the earth? Ask Google.

Constant access to an abundance of online information at the click of a mouse or tap of a smartphone has radically reshaped how we socialise, inform ourselves of the world around us and organise our lives. If all facts can be summoned instantly by looking online, what’s the point of spending years learning them at school and university? In the future, it might be that once young people have mastered the basics of how to read and write, they undertake their entire education merely through accessing the internet via search engines such as Google, as and when they want to know something.

Some educational theorists have argued that you can replace teachers, classrooms, textbooks and lectures by simply leaving students to their own devices to search and collect information about a particular topic online. Such ideas have called into question the value of a traditional system of education, one in which teachers simply impart knowledge to students. Of course, others have warned against the dangers of this kind of thinking and the importance of the teacher and human contact when it comes to learning.

Such debate about the place and purpose of online searching in learning and assessments is not new. But rather than thinking of ways to prevent students from cheating or plagiarising in their assessed pieces of work, maybe our obsession with the “authenticity” of their coursework or assessment is missing another important educational point.
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Artur Coelho's curator insight, July 25, 5:44 AM

sempre achei este argumento uma idiotice pegada. o google não nos ensina nada que nós não saibamos já. traduzindo: para se ir pesquisar tem pelo menos que se ter a noção de que aquilo que queremos saber mais existe. um analfabeto na maior biblioteca do mundo não deixa de não conseguir perceber patavina daqueles desenhos estranhos nas folhas de papel encadernadas. e depois há a questão da sociedade de informação versus apatia. se quisermos regressar ao velho mundo de elites hiper-conhecedoras e um vasto lumpen meramente treinado a carregar nos botões certos, então este é o caminho...

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The Rise of Computer-Aided Explanation | Quanta Magazine

The Rise of Computer-Aided Explanation |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Imagine it’s the 1950s and you’re in charge of one of the world’s first electronic computers. A company approaches you and says: “We have 10 million words of French text that we’d like to translate into English. We could hire translators, but is there some way your computer could do the translation automatically?”

At this time, computers are still a novelty, and no one has ever done automated translation. But you decide to attempt it. You write a program that examines each sentence and tries to understand the grammatical structure. It looks for verbs, the nouns that go with the verbs, the adjectives modifying nouns, and so on. With the grammatical structure understood, your program converts the sentence structure into English and uses a French-English dictionary to translate individual words.

For several decades, most computer translation systems used ideas along these lines — long lists of rules expressing linguistic structure. But in the late 1980s, a team from IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., tried a radically different approach. They threw out almost everything we know about language — all the rules about verb tenses and noun placement — and instead created a statistical model.
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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 | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The research: Yale doctoral candidate Matthew Fisher and his colleagues Mariel Goddu and Frank Keil asked people a series of questions that seemed answerable but were actually difficult. The questions concerned things people assume they know but actually don’t—such as why there are phases of the moon and how glass is made. Some people were allowed to look up the answers on the internet, while others were not. Then the researchers asked a second set of questions on unrelated topics. In comparison with the other subjects, the people who’d been allowed to do online searches vastly overestimated their ability to answer the new questions correctly.
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Scientists at work: understanding human cooperation in a changing world

Scientists at work: understanding human cooperation in a changing world | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Deep into the Arctic Circle in the far north of Norway, Finland, Sweden and north-west Russia, a few thousand indigenous minority people known as the Saami continue to follow a lifestyle of reindeer husbandry. But their profession is increasingly under threat from a number of developments ranging from climate change to globalisation.

We travelled north to spend some time with this marginalised group to try to understand how they cooperate with each other, from an evolutionary standpoint. The results may help us understand how they can best protect their lifestyle from being crowded out in the future, like many other traditional cultures across the world.
A lifestyle under threat

The Saami are pastoralists who work in groups formed from a mixture of family and others sharing the burden of herding by keeping an eye on each other’s reindeer, protecting them from predators and working the land.

Over the years, this traditional way of life has absorbed many non-traditional features, from snowmobiles to GPS and from smartphones to Game of Thrones (I watched it for the first time with my Saami field assistant).
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New York’s Kennedy airport builds world’s first animal terminal – complete with flat-screen TVs

New York’s Kennedy airport builds world’s first animal terminal – complete with flat-screen TVs | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Jet-setting stallions and high-flying hounds at New York’s Kennedy airport can look forward to a new luxury terminal that will handle the more than 70,000 animals flying in and out every year.

The ARK at JFK, its name inspired by Noah’s biblical vessel, will more than measure up to terminals for humans: horses and cows will occupy sleek, climate-controlled stalls with showers, and dogs will lounge in hotel suites featuring flat-screen TVs. A special space for penguins will allow them mating privacy.

The ARK is billed as the world’s first air terminal for animals.

Set to open next year, the $48m, 178,000-square-foot (16,500-square-meter) shelter and quarantine facility will take in every kind of animal imaginable — even an occasional sloth or aardvark. From The ARK, they’ll head to barns, cages, racetracks, shows and competition venues in the United States and abroad.

Many arriving animals are quarantined for a period of time (for horses, it’s normally about three days) to make sure they’re not carrying contagious diseases. And The ARK is designed to make their stay as pleasant as possible, with hay-lined stalls for up to 70 horses and 180 head of cattle, plus an aviary and holding pens for goats, pigs and sheep.
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A World Without Work

A World Without Work | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
In the past few years, even as the United States has pulled itself partway out of the jobs hole created by the Great Recession, some economists and technologists have warned that the economy is near a tipping point. When they peer deeply into labor-market data, they see troubling signs, masked for now by a cyclical recovery. And when they look up from their spreadsheets, they see automation high and low—robots in the operating room and behind the fast-food counter. They imagine self-driving cars snaking through the streets and Amazon drones dotting the sky, replacing millions of drivers, warehouse stockers, and retail workers. They observe that the capabilities of machines—already formidable—continue to expand exponentially, while our own remain the same. And they wonder: Is any job truly safe?

Futurists and science-fiction writers have at times looked forward to machines’ workplace takeover with a kind of giddy excitement, imagining the banishment of drudgery and its replacement by expansive leisure and almost limitless personal freedom. And make no mistake: if the capabilities of computers continue to multiply while the price of computing continues to decline, that will mean a great many of life’s necessities and luxuries will become ever cheaper, and it will mean great wealth—at least when aggregated up to the level of the national economy.
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Moore's Law is 50 years old but will it continue?

Moore's Law is 50 years old but will it continue? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
It’s been 50 years since Gordon Moore, one of the founders of the microprocessor company Intel, gave us Moore’s Law. This says that the complexity of computer chips ought to double roughly every two years.

Now the current CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, is saying the days of Moore’s Law may be coming to an end as the time between new innovation appears to be widening:

The last two technology transitions have signalled that our cadence today is closer to two and a half years than two.

So is this the end of Moore’s Law?

Moore’s Law has its roots in an article by Moore written in 1965, in which he observed the complexity of component development was doubling each year. This was later modified to become:

The number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months.
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Hankook's high-speed tests inch airless tires closer to production

Hankook's high-speed tests inch airless tires closer to production | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Airless tires are one step closer to becoming a production reality, after Hankook successfully put its iFlex tire through a series of high speed tests. The iFlex is Hankook's fifth attempt at non-pneumatic tires, and brings with it a number of environmental benefits compared to conventional tires.

As you might have guessed from the name, non-pneumatic tires don't require any air. Instead, Hankook's iFlex eschews conventional construction for a material that the company says is energy-efficient to manufacture and easy to recycle. The material also has allowed Hankook to halve the number of steps involved in manufacturing.
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Do we need new laws for rise of the robots? - Futurity

Do we need new laws for rise of the robots? - Futurity | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Robotics is shaping up to be the next transformative technology of our time, says legal expert Ryan Calo, who argues in a new paper that we need laws to deal with the rise of robotics and artificial intelligence.

“Technology has not stood still. The same private institutions that developed the internet, from the armed forces to search engines, have initiated a significant shift toward robotics and artificial intelligence,” writes Calo, assistant professor in the School of Law at University of Washington.

“Courts that struggled for the proper metaphor to apply to the internet will struggle anew with robotics.”
Terminators and HAL

Though mention of robotics and artificial intelligence can prompt images of unstoppable Terminators and mutinous HAL 9000 computers, Calo dismisses such drama early on.

“And yet,” he says, “the widespread distribution of robotics in society will, like the internet, create deep social, cultural, economic, and of course legal tensions” long before any such sci-fi-style future.

Robotics is essentially different than the internet and so will raise different legal issues, Calo says.

“Robotics combines, for the first time, the promiscuity of data with the capacity to do physical harm. Robotic systems accomplish tasks in ways that cannot be anticipated in advance, and robots increasingly blur the line between person and instrument.”
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Can We Control Our Technological Destiny—Or Are We Just Along For the Ride? - Singularity HUB

Can We Control Our Technological Destiny—Or Are We Just Along For the Ride? - Singularity HUB | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A standard assumption of technological progress is that new innovations are born in our mind, and we humans choose which of those visions to bring into existence. We imagine stuff, we want stuff, we build stuff, and repeat.

We assume that our brains are the center of the innovation universe.

But just as Copernicus’s sun-centered model of our solar system taught us how physically marginal our place in the cosmos really is, a new class of techno-philosophy is similarly displacing our understanding of technological innovation.
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Should Google Always Tell the Truth?

Should Google Always Tell the Truth? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
What is Google’s responsibility to its searchers? In a Thursday panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Jonathan Zittrain*, a professor of Internet law at Harvard law school, offered a hypothetical that captured why that question is so difficult to answer.

Before getting to that hypothetical, let’s assume that Google commits––whether formally or informally––to the notion that it has some responsibility to look out for its users. For example, if someone searches for the best way to drive from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, it will direct them to the fastest or safest route, not the route that takes them past an out-of-the-way fast food chain that paid off the search engine.

That’s an easy case: The best interests of the searcher is clear.

In contrast, Zittrain’s hypothetical raised larger questions about what it means to act in a searcher’s best interests. “Suppose Google is a fiduciary to us, they and Bing decide that they're going to look out for us. And I happen to believe that vaccines are probably bad,” he began. “And I Google ‘should I vaccinate my child?’”

“If Google is ‘looking out for me,’” he continued, “should they interpret that in the best way as, you've got to shake this person by the lapels, the way that I presume a doctor would?”

Or should a benevolent Google’s approach be, “We're looking out for you, we know what kinds of articles you're looking for, let us speed you to your destination?”
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