Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 158
We're only 15 years away from the year 2030, where we're expected to see human brains assisted by nanobot implants that will turn us into "hybrids", according to one of the world's leading thinkers.
The Director of Engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, has said that in the 2030s, we will see implants connecting humans to the cloud. We would then be able to pull information from the cloud, from our own brains, all while information will be allowed from your brain to the cloud, letting you back your brain up to the cloud. You know, in case of a bad hangover one night, you could just restore your brain to the night before. #backsupforlife
Kurzweil has said that as the cloud accessing our brain improves (and before Skynet takes over), our thinking and cognitive abilities would expand quicker than we can imagine. At first, it would be a "hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking", but as we shift into the 2040s, most of our thinking will be done off-brain, and would thus be non-biological. Think, "OK Google, can I afford to buy pizza tonight" or "OK Google, what is 5.2 million divided by 2.39".
Scientists in China were able to train mice in less than one week to be able to sniff out explosives, narcotics, and other items. The mice, trained by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Kunming Institute of Zoology, said they were able to accurately identify targets 98 percent of the time.
Researchers trained the mice by withholding water resources, and then put a custom sensor in the cage that released water droplets after it was touched. After being moved to a box that offered two different smells, water was given as a reward when they pressed the sensor. It took five days for the mice to learn they would receive a water reward every time they detected the appropriate smell.
It's much cheaper to train and store mice over dogs, and could see widespread use in the future, after additional testing is completed.
Screenwriter and director Alex Garland, the mastermind behind Ex-Machina, recently answered questions regarding artificial intelligence. Of particular interest was when Garland spoke regarding sentient and non-sentient technology - sentient is a term used to describe the ability to perceive or feel things.
When asked about the idea that non-sentient technology has the capacity for good or danger, he offered the following thoughts:
"No. It wouldn't be capable of good or evil in that way, because it is not sentient," Garland said during a recent conference call. " And [whether] they have a good or evil aspect [...] would be defined by the humans, the sentient things that are defining it, and controlling it and using it, essentially. [... Our] whole system of right and meaning [...] behind intention and in our action is based on [being] sentient."
NASA wants to launch a mission to Jupier's moon Europa, as it seems like the most logical place in the Earth's solar system able to support life. Beneath Europa's icy surface, researchers believe they will be able to find liquid oceans.
Despite being about half the size of our planet's moon, some scientists estimate there could be twice as much water as the Earth has. Based on the NASA Galileo Mission that studied Jupiter in the late 1990s, it would appear Europa has all the necessary ingredients for life: plenty of salt water, a rocky sea floor, and tidal heating that contribute necessary energy and chemistry.
If everything goes according to plan, NASA wants to launch a spacecraft sometime in the 2020s, which would take the several year journey. Orbiting the entire planet of Jupiter every two weeks, NASA researchers would have plenty of chances to capture data about Europa.
NASA and General Motors are testing its humanoid robot, dubbed the Robonaut, aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The Robonaut was designed so it can complete simple and repetitive tasks that allow astronauts to take care of other action items. Specifically, NASA hopes the Robonaut is able to reduce the number of dangerous tasks that the ISS must complete.
Researchers are curious about how the Robonaut can survive in a minimal gravity environment. If it does well, future editions could be used on missions outside the ISS.
SoftBank publicly launched its Pepper humanoid robot on Saturday, and 1,000 units sold in just one minute. Each robot costs around $1,600 and a support plan for about $120 includes app store access and cloud voice-recognition software.
Pepper can impressively develop its own personality and can detect human emotions. SoftBank designed the humanoid robot so it can remember faces, along with being able to pick up speech patterns.
The company said it planned on manufacturing 1,000 Pepper units per month, but after selling out so quickly, it'll be curious to see if SoftBank wants to accelerate its plans. There is such high interest in Pepper, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son says partners told the company they are willing to sell the robot at a loss, if need be, over the next four years.
Forget news that North Korea has landed a man on the sun, the reclusive country claims it has done something to benefit mankind. North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-Un, says his country has successfully cured AIDS, Ebola, SARS and MERS using a single "miracle drug."
The Korean Central News Agency of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea made the announcement at the same time South Korea is facing a growing number of MERS cases. However, using the Kumdang-2 drug, which North Korea says is injectable, could also be used to help treat "a number of cancers."
"The researchers insert rare Earth elements (REE) into insam (ginseng) by applying the micro-elementary fertilizers of REE to the fields of insam," said Dr. Jon Sung Hun, in a statement to the KCNR. "The injection is made of extracts from those complex compounds. As a strong immune-activator, the injection has been recognized to prevent different malignant epidemics."
SoftBank will begin selling its Pepper humanoid robot in Japan on Saturday, with each unit available for $1,600. It'll be possible to rent a Pepper unit for about $12 per hour, in an effort to draw attention from the public. The company expects to manufacture around 1,000 robots per month, with sales in the US and Europe opening in 2016.
Along with the robot, SoftBank will include a support plan for around $120 per month, providing access to an app store and voice-recognition software. Interested customers can expect around 100 apps at launch, with additional software currently in development.
The robot is able to remember faces identify human emotions, and could be programmed to spot speech functions.
Did the United States really land on the moon? Well, it looks like that's a topic Russian Investigative Commission spokesman Vladimir Markin thinks should be investigated.
In his op-ed, Markin begins speaking about FIFA corruption, and somehow eventually finds his way to discussing the Apollo missions:
"We are not contending that they did not fly [to the moon], and simply made a film about it. But all of those scientific - or perhaps cultural - artifacts are part of the legacy of humanity, and their disappearance without a trace is our common loss. An investigation will reveal what happened," Markin said in a published column for the Izvestia newspaper.
We all know how incredible the minds over at Dyson are, but their new CSYS line of lamps will run for 37 years. How? The CSYS lamps use Heat Pipe technology, similar to what is used on satellites, in order to keep the eight LEDs cool.
The heat is ripped away from the bulbs, and down into an aluminum heat sink that runs the entire span of the CSYS lamp's shaft. Each LED sits in a conical reflector, where it cuts down on glare, and the usual eye strain. Dyson has baked in 3 Axis Glide Motion that lets you position the CSYS vertically, horizontally, and rotationally, with a quick flick.
Dyson has also provided touch-based dimming, so you can adjust the brightness to your personal liking very easily. The company will be charging $649 for the CSYS, with a taller floor model to be made available for $899.