Science, Space, Health & Robotics News - Page 425

All the latest Science, Space, Health & Robotics news with plenty of coverage on space launches, discoveries, rockets & plenty more - Page 425.

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China's space station is going to crash into the Earth

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 23, 2016 1:28 AM CDT

It won't be long from now that China's first space station, Tiangong-1, will plunge from space and back into the Earth in the second half of 2017 - where keen-eyed viewers will be looking for that 'Made in China' sticker.

Senior officials have confirmed the news, with Tiangong-1's re-entry and uncertainty about falling debris worrying because China is providing a broad timeline for the events. Speculation has started that China has possibly lost communication to Tiangong-1, the result of a possibly damaged module, meaning it's no longer capable of controlling its descent.

Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astrophysicist, told The Guardian that parts of the debris could be as large as 100kg/220lbs, adding: "Not knowing when it's going to come down translates as not knowing where its going to come down". If a large piece were to fall into a house, building, or crowded place - it could cause a fair amount of damage, and even worse - people could be hurt, or killed.

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6% of all jobs in the US replaced with robots in 2021

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 15, 2016 4:26 AM CDT

If you're a truck or taxi driver, an Uber driver or work in customer service, your days of employment could be numbered - with robots taking out 6% of these jobs in the US by 2021 according to a new report from market research firm Forrester.

The intelligent agents will be powered by artificial intelligence technology, where they will be capable of understanding human behavior, and then making decisions, for you. We're already dabbling in it now with AI-based services like Google Now, Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and more - which for the moment mostly simple, but they will get much more advanced in the coming decade.

Once this breakthrough happens, the world of AI assistants, self-driving cars and computer hardware that can think for you, the changes to the world will be enormous. The Guardian reports that it's "not so good if you're an employee working in a simple-to-automate field". This is reiterated by Forrester's report by Brian Hopkins, who said: "By 2021 a disruptive tidal wave will begin. Solutions powered by AI/cognitive technology will displace jobs, with the biggest impact felt in transportation, logistics, customer service and consumer services".

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The first ever movie trailer made by an AI is here

Anthony Garreffa | Sep 2, 2016 3:08 PM CDT

I really think the marketing behind Terminator: Genisys could've used this to better effect, but Kate Mara's upcoming movie, Morgan, has a new trailer released that was made by AI. Yes, you read that right - an artificial intelligence made the trailer you're about to watch.

Morgan is a story of a corporate risk management consultant who has to decide whether to end the 'life' of an AI being, with the studio apporoaching IBM to see if they could use Watson to make the scariest promotional video it could. IBM's team then allowed Watson to create a trailer to Morgan after watching the footage, using its computer-powered logic, algorithms and math to make the trailer.

The IBM research time had Watson analyze 100 classic horror movies, closely looking at each scene for consistencies and triggers that lead to the scarier parts of the movies. There was a visual analysis of what was happening on screen, and a separate audio analysis of what was being said, or the reaction sounds actors made.

Continue reading: The first ever movie trailer made by an AI is here (full post)

Defense Department wants AI war technology expansion

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 29, 2016 8:37 AM CDT

The world continues marching towards the warm embrace of machines in the formation of Skynet, so it should come as no surprise that a new Defense Department report says the United States need to take "immediate action" to increase the development of its AI war technology.

The US military is behind in AI research and autonomous technology when compared against academic and private research, reports Engadget, which also adds that the US has been primarily focused on launching heavy, physical attacks like previous wars, that it has left itself behind the AI and autonomous technology race. Well, that needs to stop - and we can be sure that over the coming years US taxpayers' money will be spent on it, in a big way.

In the report, the Defense Department said that the Pentagon needs to gather intelligence on other nations' AI capabilities, and work on "counter-autonomy" solutions. So in other words, the bully didn't do his homework or bring lunch money, so he's going to cheat off your test and steal your lunch money and claim victory.

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SpaceX's next-gen Raptor engine is aimed at Mars

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 13, 2016 3:24 PM CDT

SpaceX has confirmed it has sent its next-generation rocket engine, codenamed Raptor, in for testing at a facility in Texas.

The new Raptor engine could be up to 3x as powerful as the current Merlin engines that power SpaceX's Falcon 9 and upcoming Falcon Heavy rockets, but details on the next-gen Raptor engine are thin right now. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell made the announcement of the testing of Raptor at the Small Satellite Conference in Utah.

SpaceX founder and real life Tony Stark, Elon Musk, has said that Raptor could have a thrust of around 500,000 pounds, which puts it in the same category as the main engine on a space shuttle. But unlike the shuttle, which uses three main engines and two booster rockets, the future Mars Colonial Transporter would be powered by nine Raptor engines, giving it plenty of power.

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Google wants to make your bathroom more intelligent

Sean Ridgeley | Aug 10, 2016 7:36 PM CDT

Google has applied for a patent on bathroom devices that monitor your health. Among them: a pressure and electrical-sensing mat, a color-sensing bathroom mirror, an ultrasonic bathtub, a pressure-sensing toilet seat, and a radar-field device.

Some monitor your body by sending out sound waves, electromagnetic waves, electrical signals, and various forms of radiation, among other techniques, the data from which could be sent to health professionals. The devices can monitor your blood pressure and various parts of your body to determine specific health issues, like an impaired knee or overworked heart.

This isn't Google's first foray into the medical technology field: previously it explored Google Lens, a device that monitored sugar levels via an electronic eye lens.

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Google-owned company Verily and big pharma ink $700 million deal

Anthony Garreffa | Aug 4, 2016 9:34 AM CDT

Google is getting all six degrees of separation with parent company Alphabet, and its life sciences company Verily - yeah, see - has announced it entered a new joint venture with GSK, one of the pharmaceutical powerhouses, called Galvani Bioelectronics.

Galvani Bioelectronics will be working on experimental medicine that uses will use electric signals and much smaller devices, in comparison to the current system of chemical drugs in order to treat chronic diseases. Verily, owned by Google along with GSK said they would invest over $700 million across 7 years, with GSK owning a 55% equity in the newly formed Galvani Bioelectronics. GSK is already familiar with bioelectronics, as it began work in the exciting new field back in 2012.

Verily has been working with much smaller medical devices, such as smart contact lens right after Google's X research labs formed. Verily has worked with another large part of big pharma, with a joint venture into medical robots with Johnson and Johnson. There have been reports from biotech insiders and former staff that have not agreed with Verily for working on too many 'far-fetched health care projects without focus", reports Recode.

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China is the first with a 3D printed house, was built-in 45 days

Anthony Garreffa | Jun 28, 2016 4:19 AM CDT

In the future, all of our houses might be 3D printed - especially if it takes just 45 days, like the world's first 3D printed house that was recently build in China.

According to the reports, the entire house was 3D printed in one go, rather than being built with multiple pieces. Experts over at Huashang Tengda in China oversaw the project, which took 45 days to complete in Beijing's Tongzhou District.

After 45 days, what we have is a large 400-square-meter home, with the two-story villa featuring walls that are up to 8.2 feet thick. Each flooor has a height of 10 feet, so you can be super tall and not have to worry about getting around the house. The 3D printing side of things was completed by the company, with specialists overlooking the project, but there wasn't much physical work to be done as it did most of it on its own.

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SpaceX landing streak ends with Falcon 9 rocket explosion

Sean Ridgeley | Jun 16, 2016 11:00 AM CDT

SpaceX has been on a roll lately with three consecutive successful rocket launches and landings. It all came to an end yesterday though when its Falcon 9 rocket failed to land on a floating drone ship at sea and promptly exploded (or suffered a "rapid unscheduled disassembly" as founder Elon Musk puts it), but not before it successfully launched two satellites into orbit.

SpaceX landing streak ends with Falcon 9 rocket explosion

Musk says the explosion was caused by low thrust in one of the rocket's three primary engines, and that the company is now working on upgrades to the rocket in order to handle the same situation in the future.

SpaceX has a carg resupply mission for the International Space Station next month, followed closely by a Falcon 9 ground landing in Cape Canaveral, Florida and a satellite launch in August.

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China's plan for 10,000 feet underwater lab gains acceleration

Sean Ridgeley | Jun 9, 2016 11:06 AM CDT

China's current five-year economic plan came to light in March, and in it saw mention of the country's intent to build a manned deep-sea platform nearly 10,000 feet underwater. Now authorities have examined the particulars and decided to accelerate the project.

The purpose of the lab is multi-fold: to help hunt for treasure, evaluate mineral deposits (particularly oil), and to put it to military use (likely within the field of sensor and communication systems).

"Having this kind of long-term inhabited station has not been attempted this deep, but it is certainly possible," said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. "Manned submersibles have gone to those depths for almost 50 years. The challenge is operating it for months at a time."

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