This Week’s Superior Tech Tales From Across the Internet (By way of August 20)



ROBOTICS

Google’s New Robotic Discovered to Take Orders by Scraping the Internet
Will Knight | Wired
“Probably the most spectacular factor about [the] demonstration, held in Google’s robotics lab in Mountain View, California, was that no human coder had programmed the robotic to know what to do in response to Xia’s command. Its management software program had realized learn how to translate a spoken phrase right into a sequence of bodily actions utilizing thousands and thousands of pages of textual content scraped from the net.”

FUTURE

The Future May Be Blissful—If People Don’t Go Extinct First
Matt Reynolds | Wired
“In a brand new e-book referred to as What We Owe the Future, the thinker William MacAskill argues that…we within the twenty first century are uniquely positioned to form the long-term future for higher or for worse. If we will keep away from extinction and work out a extra morally harmonious solution to stay, then a blissful future awaits the trillions of people poised to exist in centuries to return. However to get there we’ve got to take the philosophical leap that we must always care strongly concerning the lives and welfare of future people.”

BLOCKCHAIN

Ethereum’s ‘Merge’ Is About to Put Each Ether Miner Out of Work
Tim Lee | Ars Technica
“Subsequent month’s change to a brand new technique referred to as ‘proof-of-stake’ is predicted to chop Ethereum’s power consumption by an element of 1,000. …However the change to proof-of-stake is way more than simply an energy-saving measure—it’s a serious overhaul of the Ethereum community. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin believes the Merge will lay the muse for a collection of future upgrades that can enable the community to deal with a a lot bigger quantity of transactions within the coming years.”

COMPUTING

This Man Set the Report for Carrying a Mind-Laptop Interface
Emily Mullin | Wired
Nathan Copeland considers himself a cyborg. The 36-year-old has lived with a brain-computer interface for greater than seven years and three months. As of right this moment—August 17—that’s the longest anybody has had an implant like this. …That Copeland’s implant remains to be working—and hasn’t precipitated any main uncomfortable side effects or issues—is promising for the sphere. It’s an indication that the gadgets, which have been in growth because the Nineteen Sixties however are nonetheless experimental, are shifting nearer to industrial actuality for sufferers with extreme disabilities.”

LONGEVITY

Epigenetic ‘Clocks’ Predict Animals’ True Organic Age
Ingrid Wickelgren | Quanta
“However these have been merely steps towards the completion of Horvath’s bold moonshot of a mission: a common clock that might measure the organic age of any mammal. …Horvath and his colleagues accomplished a model of the pan-mammalian clock earlier this yr. Now he and different researchers are hoping to establish the molecular processes widespread to numerous creatures that make such a clock potential. Understanding why clocks like this one work, Horvath believes, may assist lead us to what he calls ‘the true root reason behind getting old.’i

ROBOTICS

Q&A: Marc Raibert on the Boston Dynamics AI Institute
Evan Ackerman | IEEE Spectrum
“Final week, Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics introduced an preliminary funding of over US $400 million to launch the brand new Boston Dynamics AI Institute. The Institute was conceptualized (and will probably be led) by Marc Raibert, the founding father of Boston Dynamics, with the purpose of ‘fixing crucial and troublesome challenges dealing with the creation of superior robots.’ …And fortuitously, IEEE Spectrum was capable of communicate with Marc Raibert himself to get a greater understanding of what the Institute will probably be all about.”

SPACE

Rocket Lab will self-fund a mission to seek for life within the clouds of Venus
Eric Berger | Ars Technica
“Assuming a Might 2023 launch—there’s a backup alternative in January 2025—the spacecraft would attain Venus in October 2023. …The purpose is to seek for natural chemical compounds within the clouds and discover their habitability. ‘The mission is the primary alternative to probe the Venus cloud particles instantly in practically 4 many years,’ states a paper, printed this week, describing the mission structure. ‘Even with the mass and information fee constraints and the restricted time within the Venus ambiance, breakthrough science is feasible.’i

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