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Google's incredibly scary robo-dog was enjoying its walk outdoors in September, where the Skynet-infused robot dog was training with the Marines.
Boston Dynamics, which Google acquired in December 2013, had the Marines testing Spot's abilities of traversing rougher terrains like hills, woodlands, and cities while they controlled it from 500 meters (0.31 miles) away on a laptop with a game controller. They said it was so easy to control that a four-year-old could do it, which should scare us all.
During the test, the Marines were able to teach the robot dog to peek around corners to spot enemies - a nice trick for a robot dog. Spot also weighs a hefty 160 pounds (72.5kg).
NASA has announced that it has ordered a crew rotation mission for the ISS from SpaceX, which will start in 2017. As it stands, astronauts leave from Russia in order to get to the International Space Station.
This has become NASA's Commercial Crew Program's second mission, with the first being awarded to Boeing earlier this year. NASA has said it is looking forward to working with SpaceX, adding that commercial launches will reduce the costs of getting astronauts and supplies to and from the ISS.
Games and toys company Hasbro has launched its first line under the Joy for All brand. Known as Companion Pets, it comprises animatronic pet cats and is specifically aimed at seniors seeking companionship who are perhaps not in a position to take care of a living cat.
The cats are said to respond to motion and touch and have lifelike fur, mannerisms, and sounds.
Ever wondered what real-life science superheroes would be like? Well, wait no longer. 'Tinman Creative Studios' has released an incredible 16 minute video to show what the description claims to be "Just the right amount of smart, just the right amount of stupid."
Coming off the back a funded Kickstarter campaign in 2014, this video depicts "time-travelling super scientists" lead by no one other than Winston Churchill himself. There are many adventures to be had, with this super group battling against Nazi's, zombies and other various villains.
Sitting at over 35,000 views, watch episode one for yourself here.
In something that sounds completely stunning, researchers from the University of Wisconsin Medical School have published a preliminary study in the journal Science Translational Medicine, where they have successfully created 170 sets of vocal cords in a lab.
The created vocal cords don't require the normal set of immunosuppressants that normal transplants require, with study senior author Nathan Welham telling Buzzfeed: "We never imagined that we would see the impressive level of function that we did". The researchers started off with collecting cellular samples from four volunteers and one cadaver, then grew them on collagen scaffolds.
It took just two weeks for the sample cells to grow into functional vocal cords, and once they did, the researchers began testing the bioengineered larynxes by grafting them onto the kidneys of lab mice to prove the grown vocal cords wouldn't be rejected by their new hosts. These initial tests were completely successful, with the next step for the researchers is to hold longer immune response trials in mice before moving onto larger animals in the near future.
Japan's National Institute of Informatics has said that its AI program has achieved an above average score on the country's standardized college entrance exam.
Corporate and university researchers have been developing the AI system since 2011, with the latest exam by the AI scoring 511 out of a possible 950. The national average is 416, with the institute adding that the AI system would have an 80% chance of being accepted into the 33 national universities, and 441 private colleges.
The text covers five subjects, with the AI program performing the best when it comes to history and math. In physics, the AI system wasn't so great, which is said to be because of its shortcomings in processing language.
A new algorithm has been developed in order to read human facial expressions better than anything else could possibly do. This technology has been designed to read 'micro expressions', a term described as small facial cues and expressions which can give away internal thoughts or feelings.
This artificial intelligence can recognize and analyze these facial movements, something which the MIT Technology Review points out as often occurring "when individuals hide their feelings under conditions of relatively high stakes."
Recording a video at 100 frames per second, this machine was utilized by the researchers to study 20 subjects while they were watching an emotional video, this new discovery was able to pinpoint and analyze every time something was trying to break out from within.
It looks like Facebook's investments into artificial intelligence are going to be quite important in the years to come, with Mark Zuckerberg confirming that Facebook's AI could outperform humans within 10 years. Facebook's AI system has been dubbed M, after James Bond's secretary, Moneypenny.
During an interview with Fast Company, the Facebook CEO and founder said that the social network's investments into AI are extensive. Zuckerberg hoped that the AI would eventually organize diaries, and recognize pictures of friends and family automatically. Zuckerberg said: "One of our goals for the next five to 10 years. is to basically get better than human level at all of the primary human senses: vision, hearing, language, general cognition". Zuckerberg added: "Taste and smell, we're not that worried about".
Facebook wants to take advantage of the huge amount of data that people producing every day, with Facebook's VP of Engineering Jay Parikh adding: "There's just going to be a lot more data generated about what's happening in the world, and the conventional models and systems that we have today won't scale. If there's 10x or 20x or 50x more things happening around you in the world, then you're going to need these really, really intelligent systems like".
Japan wants to show off the latest in its lander technology, so the Japanese government's space agency has announced plans for an unmanned mission to the moon for 2019.
Once it touches down on the moon, Japan will be the fourth country to have conducted an unmanned moon landing. Before them, China touched down in 2013, and before that we saw the US and Russia with missions to our moon. Japan's lunar lander will be developed with brand new technology that will allow it to land within 100m of its initial mark. Previous missions from competing countries have a much wider margin.
Japan will also use other technologies to improve the accuracy, with a facial recognition system that will observe the surface of the moon to help make its required adjustments. The development of the new lander will begin next year.
A little more than a year ago, Orbital Sciences and NASA teamed up to launch the Antares rocket from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The unmanned mission -- intended to deliver food and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS) -- was not successful: the rocket exploded within seconds of launching. The ISS was said to be "in no danger of running out of food or other critical supplies", however.
While unfortunate, the event did produce some stunning photographs, which NASA released last week. Our choice favourites are below; you can see the full batch of photos in extremely high resolution here.