Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 159
Researchers are creating robotic technology that can help faster automate food processing, using technology that could have major long-term ramifications. Working with the FTNON food-processing equipment manufacturer, new technology could be used in chillers to help process lettuce, cabbage, and other vegetables prior to packaging.
"In industry, only humans can do that at the moment," confirmed van der Linde, co-founder and CEO of Lacquey, in a statement published by the MIT Technology Review.
One robot can successfully manipulate a chicken, able to slice shoulder tendons before breasts and wings are cut in a processing plant. The new automated system can match the same speed as humans, and developers want to see the speed increase. Also inside of a food processing facility, the Baxter robot from Rethink Robotics are tasked with putting chicken carcasses onto a holder before they are shipped elsewhere in the plant.
It's possible 47 percent of jobs in the United States could be at risk because of robotics taking over, according to a report from Citigroup and the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. Trying to find solutions to better train and educate employees will be required, and humans in the workforce must be willing to expand their skills.
The education system's poor preparation of workers transitioning from high school or university in the workforce has to be changed. Automation is expected to displace even more workers in the future, according to Joe Seydl, senior associate of the Citi Global Economics Team.
"This time, bigger portions of our economy are being disrupted by new technology," Seydl said in a statement to the Christian Science Monitor. "I think it's going to come down to policy: supply-side and demand-side policies. Supply-side means making sure workers have the skills to compete for jobs in the 21st century. This is going to come down to education and whether we can upgrade workers' skills fast enough."
Unmanned drones and other military vehicles aren't new, and it looks like robots and autonomous hardware could be the future. However, there are legal and ethical questions when it comes to weapons systems that are able to identify and engage targets with no human interaction.
The idea that a robot or drone can detect its target and begin firing at the target without a human operator is frightening - but something that more researchers believe is feasible. There is a concern, however, that robots would be unable to accurately identify enemy combatants and civilians. Though there is a counter-argument that robots would cause less collateral damage than humans remotely operating the drones.
"Technologies have reached a point at which the deployment of such systems is - practically, if not legally - feasible within years, not decades," said Stuart Russell, an AI researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, in a commentary published in "Nature." The AI weapons "have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms."
Senior citizens are finding motivation and entertainment out of a 22-inch humanoid robot leading physical therapy classes. The Zora robot was originally poised to become an assistant in hotels, but designers and programmers found a more appealing market in healthcare.
Previously, Zora has been used to interact with young children, helping teach them basic motor function and keep them stimulated. There are more than 6,000 elderly citizens in Belgium, France and the Netherlands use the robot to stay engaged, listening to news articles, weather forecasts, and following dance and exercise routines.
"A lot of elderly people are actually feeling alone. Solitude is something which is horrible for the moment for a lot of elderly people," said Fabrice Goffin, co-creator of the Zora robot, in a statement to Washington Post. "People don't have all the time to visit their families and they can find some kind of relationship with the robot and that is a nice thing to do."
Will artificial intelligence pose a threat to mankind? Around 18 percent of AI experts feel there could be an 'existential threat' to mankind, a new report from Oxford University indicates. Oxford University researchers interviewed 500 AI experts and half of those surveyed appear optimistic, saying AI should be "good" or "extremely good" for humans.
AI will match human ability between 2040 and 2075, with an eventual transition to "super intelligence" within the next century.
... this creation could, in turn, create yet higher intelligence, which could, in turn, create yet higher intelligence, and so on... so we might generate a growth well beyond human ability and perhaps even an accelerating rate of growth: an 'intelligence explosion,'" according to the paper.
Whether we want it or not, the transition from human workers to robots is expected to cause mayhem among a number of different industries.
The following industries are expected to face the highest likelihood of being replaced, according to a 2013 study from Oxford University - telemarketers (99 percent), umpires and referees (98.3 percent), cooks (96.3 percent), manicurists and pedicurists (94.5 percent), and roofers (89.7 percent).
It seems careers that require a mix of creativity, negotiation skill and strong communication will be safer than other positions - and there are plenty of concerns about how acceptable humans will be to jobs being carried out by robots.
NASA has just found a new galaxy that is shining as brightly as, wait for it... 300 trillion suns. That's a lot of zeroes: 300,000,000,000,000 suns. One sun is bright, but 300 trillion? Ugh, I need some new sunglasses.
The discovery has been so large for NASA that they've had to create a new classification for it, and the 19 other galaxies they discovered. These new galaxies are extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs for short. NASA has said that the new ELIRGs are "the most luminous galaxy found to date". NASA scientists spotted the ELIRGs with their Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope.
The ELIRGs that NASA found are located 12.5 billion light years away, which is why it's so damn bright. NASA JPL scientist Chao-Wei Tsai says that it "may be from the main growth spurt of the galaxy's black hole".
Even though there is new concern that artificial intelligence may lead to robots taking over, it's plausible to think that robots will always need humans.
"Pilots, physicians and other professionals routinely navigate unexpected dangers with great aplomb but little credit," states a recent editorial published by he New York Times. "Even in our daily routines, we perform feats of perception and skill that lie beyond the capacity of the sharpest computers."
While that is true, some have wondered if that will begin to change when AI is able to learn - and adapt - to daily life. No one is really sure what is lies ahead for mankind and robotics, however, humans can work to ensure there are proper boundaries in place that robots must adhere to.
Researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK have developed an interesting new, noninvasive drug test that can detect cocaine in your system through your fingerprints. The system looks for two common cocaine metabolites: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine.
These two metabolites can be found in blood, sweat, and urine using a "mass spectrometry technique known as Desorption Electrospray Ionisation (DESI)", reports Engadget. Metabolites dissipate from our sweat much quicker than they do in blood and urine, so law enforcement will one day in the near future be able to know if a suspect is high right then and there, or was high a few nights ago.
The study's lead author, Melanie Bailey, told Motherboard: "We can distinguish between cocaine having been touched and cocaine having been ingested". With fingerprints being unique, it's hard to swap out a urine sample or test, which will make this type of technology fast-tracked beyond belief. The team has added that their research is still in its early stages, as they'll need to secure much more data on the effects of dosage and timing before they can move to more reliable testing. They still say that this technology will be made available to law enforcement within 10 years.
According to British philosopher Nick Bostrom, the reality that surrounds us is thanks to a highly-advanced computer program, similar to the events of The Matrix.
Dr Bostrom proposed his theory in a paper that he wrote, saying that an evolved race of aliens have "imprisoned the human race" in what Bostrom refers to as "digital imprisonment". You might think he is crazy, but NASA scientist Rich Terrile agrees with Bostrom in a way. Terrile is the director of the Centre for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Terrile spoke with VICE, where he said: "Right now the fastest NASA supercomputers are cranking away at about double the speed of the human brain. If you make a simple calculation using Moore's Law [which roughly claims computers double in power every two years], you'll find that these supercomputers, inside of a decade, will have the ability to compute an entire human lifetime of 80 years - including every thought ever conceived during that lifetime - in the span of a month".
He continued: "In quantum mechanics, particles do not have a definite state unless they're being observed. Many theorists have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how you explain this. One explanation is that we're living within a simulation, seeing what we need to see when we need to see it. What I find inspiring is that, even if we are in a simulation or many orders of magnitude down in levels of simulation, somewhere along the line something escaped the primordial ooze to become us and to result in simulations that made us - and that's cool".