Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 334
China has solidified themselves in the human history books for being the first country to ever grow any biological life on the Moons surface.
China recently launched their space mission titled 'Chang'e 4', the mission's goal was to land successfully on the far side of the moon to gather intelligence and perform tests that have never been done before. 'Chang'e 4' had a successful soft landing and within its cargo there was soil containing cotton and potato seeds, yeast and fruit fly eggs. Now, information has been relayed back to China from the craft with news that the cotton seeds have now grown buds, marking "the completion of humankind's first biological experiment on the Moon".
Why is this relevant and extremely important? Well, now that we have proof that biological life can begin growing in extremely different levels of gravity, future astronauts with goals of colonizing the moon now have the option of growing food naturally in controlled environments. This would be useful when the human race decides to start building infrastructure on the moon with the ultimate goal in mind of eventually using the moon as a space port to travel to and from Earth to Mars or surrounding planets.
NASA is getting in on all of the fun and hype of Marvel's upcoming 'Avengers: Endgame' and its recently released teaser trailer, with the US space agency diving in and lending a hand offering advice on how to save a stranded Tony Stark.
In the Avengers: Endgame trailer, Stark is stranded on the ship and says he has XXX of oxygen left. NASA's social media account is on fire right now, tweeting out to Marvel about Tony Stark, where they said: "Hey @Marvel, we heard about Tony Stark. As we know, the first thing you should do is listen in mission control for "@Avengers, we have a problem." But if he can't communicate, then we recommend ground teams use all resources to scan the skies for your missing man".
Appreciate any help you can provide 🙏— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) December 10, 2018
Better yet, in the distance you can see one of the desks at NASA has a sign on the desk that reads 'THOR' with a little hammer and a US flag on it. This is a nice touch but not MCU-related, as NASA explained in a follow-up tweet: "The THermal Operations and Resource (THOR) officer is truly one of Mission Control's mightiest heroes. They ensure the operation of multiple @Space_Station subsystems which collect, distribute & reject heat from critical equipment and payloads for the success of the mission".
Qualcomm Ventures has just announced a $100 million investment into the future of artificial intelligence, with the corporate venture capital arm of the Snapdragon giant putting the gauntlet down on AI.
While most other companies are working on AI that sits in the cloud, Qualcomm is getting things working closer to home: on-device AI. Qualcomm will be using its $100 million investment to give startups funding for on-device AI that runs on the actual device, whether it be a smartphone or a self-driving car, versus the cloud. The future of AI isn't in the cloud according to Qualcomm, but rather on-device AI.
Albert Wang, Qualcomm Investment Director, explained: "Today's AI processing is very computationally intensive. When you're talking to Alexa, nothing is processed on your device, it gets taken to the cloud and gets scrunched there. There are a few problems with that - performance deteriorates, it consumes a lot of bandwidth and there are privacy issues. Imagine you have an Alexa that is more private and user-friendly, you ask the questions and can get the answers instantly. It doesn't take the round trip all the way to the cloud".
Elon Musk is done with this planet it seems, with the SpaceX and Tesla founder saying there is a 70% chance he'll go to Mars, something he recently said in an interview for the Axios on HBO documentary series.
The real life Tony Stark added that leaving for Mars won't be an "escape plan for the rich" in its current form, where he said the marketing spin on a Mars trip would be "like Shackleton's ad for going to the Antarctic" and underlined the fact that travelling to the South Pole wasn't an easy one. It wouldn't be a quick journey, nor would it be comfortable, and you'd have to download your Netflix content offline because I've heard they don't have great Wi-Fi on Mars.
Musk said the time spent on Mars in the first years would be establishing bases and exploring the Red Planet and its harsh conditions, a challenge that would be for the most part, a one-way journey. Anyone going to Mars in the first few trips wouldn't be coming back, and if they survived the trips there the journey back would always be a concern. It would be the next-gen One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind moment... something that plenty of people would sign up instantly, with no hestitation.
SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced that the first private customer to ride around the Moon on SpaceX's new futuristic rocket: the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR). The person in question is Japanese billionaire and founder of Zozotown, Japan's largest online clothing retailer, Yusaku Maezawa.
Maezawa will be jetting off to the Moon inside of SpaceX's new BFR sometime in 2023 in an art project called #dearMoon, where he will take artists on the trip with him, and then ask them to create pieces of art that will inspire the human race once they get back. Maezawa said: "Finally, I can tell you that I choose to go to the Moon! I choose to go to the moon with artists!"
Maezawa "bought all the seats" on the BFR and will be looking for 6-8 artists from a round the world to take the week-lone trip to the Moon and back. He explains: "I would like to invite six to eight artists from around the world to join me on this mission to the Moon. These artists will be asked to create something after they return to Earth, and these masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us".
Coca-Cola is looking into cannabis-infused drinks, a new market that they could quickly dominate with the legalization of marijuana spreading throughout the world, except in Australia where Reefer Madness plays 24/7 in all government offices.
BNN Bloomberg reports that Coca-Cola is "in talks" with Canadian marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis, with Coca-Cola spokesman Kent Landers telling Bloomberg News: "Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly. No decisions have been made at this time". The two companies are in "serious talks" with each other according to the sources. The cannabis-infused drink would "ease inflammation, pain, and cramping".
Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor told BNN Bloomberg that the company is looking at the infused-beverage market and has plans for products in that market, but wouldn't comment on the purported deal with Coca-Cola. MacGregor said: "As a rule, we do not discuss business development initiatives until they are finalized, however we have a responsibility to our shareholders to give proper consideration to all relevant opportunities that are presented".
If you are in need of a large injection of funds, you can always put your white coat on and work something out for NASA in their newly-announced CO2 Conversion Challenge.
NASA's new CO2 Conversion Challenge will see a team of scientists and inventors discover a way to convert CO2 into molecules that can be used to produce many other things... if this discovery happens, there will be a winner who secures a huge $750,000.
The initial focus NASA has on the CO2 Conversion Challenge is for teams to convert CO2 to Glucose, in any way they can. NASA explains: "Help us discover ways to develop novel synthesis technologies that use carbon dioxide (CO2) as the sole carbon source to generate molecules that can be used to manufacture a variety of products, including "substrates" for use in microbial bioreactors".
I pumped in some serious hours into Quake III Arena when it first launched, so I hereby challenge the DeepMind AI to a game of Quake III and I know I'll destroy it.
As for the story itself, the OpenAI bots were playing Dota 2 last week and moved into the FPS world with Quake III where their training agents were able to beat humans in a game of capture the flag in Quake III Arena. The training agents had to run through the 3D environment of Quake III which isn't the easiest for code to do, but DeepMind's researchers train the AI through reinforcement learning: training by trial and error, in a larger scale.
The AI bots aren't provided instructions on how to play the game in question, so it's serious trial and error on how to win. It takes up to 500,000 games lasting 5 minutes each to train the DeepMind AI bots, and they don't just learn the basic rules of CTF, they'll also define strategies like guarding their flag, camping enemies' bases, and following teammates so that you can attack the enemy in larger numbers.
I didn't think we'd be here already but here's where we are now: we're living in a world where a Chinese firm has the aspirations to arm the country's police forces with the next generation of weapons: an assault rifle that fires lasers that burn clothes and skin at 800m away.
If that wasn't scary enough the lasers themselves are silent, and invisible, and they can pass through glass windows as well. ZKZM Laser developed the laser in collaboration with Xi'an Institute Optics and Precision Mechanics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The purposes of this rifle if were in the hands of the good guys would be the police in hostage situations, where they could use a precision laser to take the kidnapper down, without hurting the victim.
A research that worked on the super-powered ZKZM-500 rifle said that "the pain will be beyond endurance" and that it will be "non-lethal" as it doesn't kill on impact. The laser rifle weighs around the same 6.6lb of an AK-47, with a lithium battery that is good to fire over 1000 'shots' that last for two second each.
University of Michigan has reached a new technological milestone, with researchers producing a temperature sensing 'computer' that measures just 0.04 cubic millimeters, which is magnitudes smaller than a single grain of rice.
IBM was the previous record for the world's smallest computer, but U-M researchers had some tricks up their sleeves for reducing the effect of light. The researchers used switched capacitors instead of diodes, where they worked against the relative increase in electrical noise that is created from a device running on low amounts of power.
The sensor that the University of Michigan created is capable of measuring changes in super-small regions, such as groups of cells in your body. Scientists have said for a while now that tumors are ever-so-slightly hotter than healthy tissue, but it has been hard to detect that... until now. This new device could be used in cancer treatments, opening the door to very exciting developments.