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Homes and buildings chilled without air conditioners. Car interiors that don't heat up in the summer sun. Tapping the frigid expanses of outer space to cool the planet. Science fiction, you say? Well, maybe not any more. A team of researchers at Stanford has designed an entirely new form of cooling structure that cools even when the sun is shining. Such a structure could vastly improve the daylight cooling of buildings, cars and other structures by reflecting sunlight back into the chilly vacuum of space.
IBM’s question-answering Watson supercomputer is building quite the résumé. First it won a much-publicized showdownagainst the two greatest Jeopardy! champions of all time, then it went to medical school and emerged as a budding oncologist. Now Watson has a new job–as a customer-service agent with the mostest. The help desk is a bit of a step down from fighting cancer, but IBM is nothing if not pragmatic. U.S. organizations spend $112 billion on call center labor and software, yet half of the 270 billion customer-service calls go unresolved each year, presenting a fairly sizable opening for an enhanced cognitive computer. Let’s face it: Rare is the occasion when you a) reach a live person and b) they know what they’re talking about. Why not give silicon a chance?
Rethink doesn't want to be just a robot maker. It wants to use Baxter as platform that anyone can use to improve on existing applications as well as develop completely new ones. To achieve that, Rethink needs to open up its technology, and last week, the company announced a major step in that direction: a version of Baxter designed for researchers.
It's not an accredited university, and it doesn't actually teach the singuarity, the supposed superintelligence that will result when man merges with machine, due (according to prolific inventor and author Ray Kurzweil) sometime around 2045. Still, the official welcome at Singularity University's (SU) opening executive-programme class this fresh December afternoon in Nasa's Ames research campus, at Moffett Federal Airfield, California, is delivered -- appropriately -- by a 60cm-tall NAO humanoid robot. "I am so excited to see you all here," the robot beams to about 80 investors, inventors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and otherwise future-curious students who have committed up to $12,000 (£7,650) each to spend seven days here exploring advances in biotech, nanotech, AI, robotics, neuroscience, energy systems and other accelerating technologies. The week's takeaways, declares SU's CEO Rob Nail, will be the opportunities offered by abundance, disruptive convergence, "109 thinking", problem-solving and "exponential technological challenges". "It gets really interesting," Nail says, "at the borders of, say, robotics and medicine, or nanotech and neuroscience." Even the course Wi-Fi password is "12481632" -- chosen because "it's exponential".
Google has always been an artificial intelligence company, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading scientists in the field, joined the search giant late last year. Nonetheless, the hiring raised some eyebrows, since Kurzweil is perhaps the most prominent proselytizer of “hard AI,” which argues that it is possible to create consciousness in an artificial being. Add to this Google’s revelation that it is using techniques of deep learning to produce an artificial brain, and a subsequent hiring of the godfather of computer neural nets Geoffrey Hinton, and it would seem that Google is becoming the most daring developer of AI, a fact that some may consider thrilling and others deeply unsettling. Or both.
After the joy of the birth itself, parenthood sometimes brings the unwelcome news that a newborn has jaundice and must wear goggles and be placed under special lights. Imagine how different this experience might be if there were no goggles, just a warm blanket covering the tiny body, a healing frequency of blue light emanating from its folds. That comforting scene, already a reality in some hospitals, is evidence of the fundamental rethinking of lighting now under way in research labs, executive offices and investor conferences. Digital revolutionaries have Edison’s 130-year-old industry, and its $100 billion in worldwide revenue, in their sights. Color, control and function are all being reassessed, and new players have emerged like a wave of Silicon Valley start-ups.
Researchers at TU Delft in the Netherlands have managed to bring two electrons, three meters from each other, into a quantum- entangled state. This result marks a major step towards realizing a quantum network that can be used to connect future quantum computers and to send information in a completely secure way by means of 'teleportation'.
Quantum computers could more easily become a reality if they incorporated the silicon semiconductor processing used by the modern electronics industry. Physicists in Australia have recently taken a new step toward that vision by reading and writing the nuclear spin state of a single phosphorus atom implanted in silicon.
In a breakthrough reported in the 18 April edition of the journal Nature, physicists have finally achieved an idea first proposed in 1998 by Bruce Kane, a physicist at theUniversity of Maryland, in College Park. Such success could lead to quantum computers based on the same silicon-processing technology used for computer chips.
Google’s Star Trek machine will be so good that you’ll ask it a question and expect a correct answer at least twice a day. “And in five years you won’t believe you ever lived without it. You’ll look back at today’s search engine and you’ll say, ‘Is that really how we searched?’"
The Global Information Technology Report 2013, the 12th in the series, analyses the impact and influence of ICTs on economic growth and jobs in a hyperconnected world. Read the full news release for more information. At the core of the report, the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) measures the preparedness of an economy to use ICT to boost competitiveness and well-being. The report highlights the lack of progress in bridging the new digital divide – not only in terms of developing ICT infrastructure but also in economic and social impact. Despite rapid adoption of mobile telephony, most developing economies lag behind advanced economies due to environments that are insufficiently conducive to innovation and competitiveness. On the other hand, the report shows the progress that countries are making to fully use ICT to boost higher productivity, economic growth and quality jobs in the current economic environment. Finally, the report reveals an apparent investment threshold in ICT, skills and innovation beyond which return on investment increases significantly.
For centuries, the threat and selective use of brute force has steered the international balance of power. In the last couple decades, the system has increasingly accommodated economic power as a means of non-violent leverage between states. Now, says Singularity University’s Marc Goodman, we must add technology into the mix. Technological power is not new, of course, but information technology’s exponential pace and declining cost is changing how the global game is played and who the players are. Control of technology is passing from the richest states and governments to smaller groups and individuals, and the results are both inspiring and terrifying. As Goodman says, “The ability of one to affect many is scaling exponentially—and it’s scaling for good and it’s scaling for evil.”
Some engineers are dusting off an old idea for storing energy—using electricity to liquefy air by cooling it down to nearly 200 °C below zero. When power is needed, the liquefied air is allowed to warm up and expand to drive a steam turbine and generator. The concept is being evaluated by a handful of companies that produce liquefied nitrogen as a way to store energy from intermittent renewable energy sources. Liquefied air might also be used to drive pistons in the engines of low-emission vehicles.
Against all probability, a device that purports to use cold fusion to generate vast amounts of power has been verified by a panel of independent scientists. The research paper, which hasn’t yet undergone peer review, seems to confirm both the existence of cold fusion, and its potency: The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline. Even allowing for a massively conservative margin of error, the scientists say that the cold fusion device they tested is 10 times more powerful than gasoline — which is currently the best fuel readily available to mankind. The device being tested, called by Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat for short), was created by Andrea Rossi. Rossi has been claiming for the past two years that he had finally cracked cold fusion, but much to the chagrin of the scientific community he hasn’t allowed anyone to independently analyze the device — until now. While it sounds like the scientists had a fairly free rein while testing the E-Cat, we should stress that they still don’t know exactly what’s going on inside the sealed steel cylinder reactor. Still, the seven scientists, all from good European universities, obviously felt confident enough with their findings to publish the research paper.
As we begin to scratch at the basic workings of life, we’ll also inevitably come up against the mechanics of death. Real life extension science is on the horizon, and we should have a belief in place about how to approach these areas of science, because progress is not going to wait while we grapple with imponderables.
Amon Kalkin is a cognitive scientist, electronic artist and founder of Zero State. He is 40 years old, born in New Zealand and living in the UK, where he spends his time raising a young family and gardening when he isn’t working to create a sphere of influence for positive futurist values.
While we can measure the degree to which technologies transcend physical and physiological boundaries, we can merely speculate about the ethical consequences of these developments and about their effect on human self-perception. The merging of human consciousness and technology changes not only the latter, but also the former. And the question is whether technology will become more human in the long run, or whether humans will become more technical.
Molecular Nuclear Medicine is a medical specialty using trace amounts of active substances, called radiopharmaceuticals, to create images of organs and lesions and to treat various diseases, like cancer. This documentary explains how SPECT and PET work, and how Radio Metabolic Therapy can treat cancer. A 22' journey from the history of radioactivity and cancer to the most modern Theragnostic techniques.
As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it's simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us ... if we think of computers as our teammates.
Our abilities in sequence-reading have been improving along an exponential curve since pretty much the day we published the molecule’s structure, and in that time we’ve made our reading about a hundred thousand times more efficient. It used to cost about $0.01 to sequence a base pair; now it costs about $0.0000001. Synthesis, on the other hand, used to cost about $3 per base pair; now it costs roughly $0.50. This week, though, a talk by Cambrian Genomics at a DARPA-funded event brought widespread attention to a technology that promises to make DNA synthesis thousands of times cheaper, potentially offering the first real price drop the process has ever seen.
Liz Bonnin delves in to the world of invention, revealing the people and technologies set to transform all our lives. She examines the conditions that are promising to make the 21st century a golden age of innovation and meets some of the world's foremost visionaries, mavericks and dreamers. From the entrepreneurs that are driving a new space race, to the Nobel Prize wining scientist leading a nanotech revolution, this is a tour of the people and ideas delivering the world of tomorrow, today.
Original Broadcast Date: April 11th, 2013 Tomorrow's World: A Horizon Special - BBC
Douglas Linman, PhD., Solar Energy Science Innovator, Founder/Chief Executive, SUNTCO is the pioneer behind the leap in electrochemistry and nano science capturing solar energy in a new way and delivering it as Liquid Power. As its inventor he has become the Father of Solar Liquid Power (SLP). This TEDx talk will be on the state of the art in Nano-Science and how this relatively new science of matter will continue to change the way we live, work and play for the next 100 years.
120804-N-ZZ999-001 SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Jul. 30, 2012) The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) in San Diego, Calif., is a technology demonstrator built by the Naval Sea Systems Command from commercial fiber solid state lasers, utilizing combination methods developed at the Naval Research Laboratory. LaWS can be directed onto targets from the radar track obtained from a MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon system or other targeting source. The Office of Naval Research's Solid State Laser (SSL) portfolio includes LaWS development and upgrades providing a quick reaction capability for the fleet with an affordable SSL weapon prototype. This capability provides Navy ships a method for Sailors to easily defeat small boat threats and aerial targets without using bullets. (U.S. Navy video by Office of Naval Research/ Released)