Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 155
Stephen Hawking, a well-known English physicist, and cosmologist has announced that he has accepted Sir Richard Branson's invitation to fly to space on board Virgin Galactic's new spacecraft.
In an interview on Monday with the British program Good Morning Britain, Hawking said he's been waiting to visit space for a while.
"My ambition is to fly into space. I thought no one would take me, but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes", said Hawking.
Skynet is coming, and it'll be here sooner than you think: 2029. That's at least according to Google's Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil - who said: "By 2029, computers will have human-level intelligence".
This new claim is a big one, as the Singularity has been teased by the smartest people in the world - the point where computers become smarter than humans. Others have said that the Singularity would take place in 2045 or so, with British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking staking claims on the Singularity happening in 2045.
Softbank recently acquired ARM Holdings, with plans of bringing the Singularity to us within the next 30 years. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son explained in a press conference last October: "I think a big paradigm shift is coming. The biggest theme in my view is the Singularity. I think it is coming into reality in the next 30 years. For that vision, I am exercising that strategy. $100 billion is an interesting size of ammunition. In my view, that is the beginning. My passion is bigger than many people think".
Then we have people like Tesla's Elon Musk, or Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, worried about AI and the future of the human race - but Kurzweil isn't. He added: "That's not realistic. We don't have one or two AIs in the world. Today we have billions".
We all know what happens when Skynet is turned on, and it feels like we continue to get closer each week - with Google now teasing its new AI, after it learned "highly aggressive" behavior.
Google had its AI technology in a wolfpack hunting game scenario, where the AI had to gather fruit - with the concept of the game based around cooperation, but it went bad. AI were represented by colored squares that moved on a grid collecting fruit squares of differing colors.
As they collected fruit, the AI collected points - while the fruit squares would regenerate. But then the AI began to change, as they were capable of damaging the other AI players in the game with laser beams. The AI was fine when there were plenty of fruit squares, but when the fruit squares became scarce - the AI started attacking other AI, just like we would against other gamers in a video game.
ExtremeTech reports: "Guess what the neural networks learned to do. Yep, they shoot each other a lot. As researchers modified the respawn rate of the fruit, they noted that the desire to eliminate the other player emerges "quite early." When there are enough of the green squares, the AIs can coexist peacefully. When scarcity is introduced, they get aggressive. They're so like us it's scary".
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star, called TRAPPIST-1. The system is named after The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile, which first discovered three of these planets.
At their press event, NASA has confirmed that three of those planets are located in the habitable zone. All of the seven planets could have liquid water, meaning there is a chance that some form of life might have developed on them. Scientists believe that the highest chances of finding extraterrestrial life are the three planets in the habitable zone.
The discovery also sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system.
NASA has announced that they will hold a news conference at 1 PM Wednesday, February 22nd, to "present new findings on planets that orbit stars other than our sun, known as exoplanets." NASA's announcement didn't reveal any further details.
There are thousands of known exoplanets that scientists discovered in the past two decades. Scientists believe that exoplanets are our best chance to find an extraterrestrial life.
There is special interest in planets that orbit in a star's habitable zone, where it is possible for liquid water, a prerequisite for life on Earth, to exist on the surface.
After a postponed launch on Saturday, SpaceX successfully launched the Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday at 9:39 EST.
SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the first commercial launch from Kennedy's historic pad. The first-ever launch from Kennedy's Pad 39-A was Apollo 4. Lifting off on November 9th, 1967, it was the first test flight of the Saturn V rocket that took Apollo astronauts to the moon. The SpaceX CRS-10 launch of a Dragon spacecraft is the first from Pad 39-A since the final space shuttle mission on July 8th, 2011.
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft is now on its way to International Space Station where it will arrive on Wednesday, February 22nd. Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of the ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station's robotic arm to capture it.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch its tenth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station on Saturday, February 18th.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is targeting liftoff on the company's Falcon 9 rocket at 10:01 AM from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will carry supplies and hardware needed for the scientific research of the Expedition 50 and 51 crew members.
After a two-day trip, the spacecraft should arrive at the Station where Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station's robotic arm to capture it.
The world is quickly stumbling into the world of fully autonomous everything, and it looks like factories are going to really win with robots if the results of a Chinese factory are anything to go by.
Changying Precision Technology Company (CPTC) replaces 600 human workers with robots, and saw a gigantic 250% increase in productivity, while they also noted an 80% decrease in defects. Factory workers can't be happy with that, as I don't think that even with the best training, they could provide a 250% productivity boost overnight like their robotic overlords did.
CPTC has 60 human workers remaining, which will be sliced down to just 20 in the coming months. Now we've all got to sit back and think: where will we all be in 10-20 years, and is your job truly safe from robotics or a fully advanced AI-based system?
Amazon is making big moves to take over the skies with drone deliveries, teasing its purported Prime Air delivery service during the Super Bowl this year.
The company ran what would've been a very expensive ad spot, showing a couple sitting on the couch - with the man licking the Doritos' dust from his fingers, with the woman then gives a sarcastic reply to Amazon Echo. She says: "Alexa, reorder Doritos from Prime Air", with Echo replying with: "Ok, look for delivery soon" and then a drone comes into focus... beautiful, convenient - and the future of me being even lazier.
Amazon makes note that the Prime Air drone delivery isn't a real thing... yet, but expect that drone deliveries - and what should end up as Prime Air, will be the future of Amazon's delivery dominance in the future.
During their Q4 earnings report, Facebook announced that it is growing its revenue and user base well, with profits also diving into their lap.
Facebook reported $8.8 billion in revenue, with $3.56 billion in profits - with 1.23 billion using Facebook daily, and 1.15 billion logging in with mobile devices per day. Analysts had pegged the social network with $8.51 billion revenue, so Facebook beat that - with revenue growth of 51% year-over-year.
At this rate of growth, Facebook should reach 2 billion monthly users in the next few months.