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Don’t fear superintelligent AI

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New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don’t need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we’ll teach, not program, them to share our values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to consider how artificial intelligence will enhance human life.

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Ted Talks

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https://www.youtube.com/

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These New Robots Look Freaky But Can Do Amazing Things

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In labs around the world, robots are sprouting legs. Engineers are fine-tuning their abilities to walk, climb, and stay balanced so they can carry heavy loads or scout hazardous environments.

Just a few years ago, many of the elite robots at the DARPA Robotics Challenge struggled with simple tasks. But robots are becoming more nimble all the time, and the age of awkward, clumsy machines is receding.

Many of these impressive robots don’t look particularly humanoid — or friendly. Handle, the newest limbed robot from Boston Dynamics, has even been described as “nightmare-inducing” by company founder Mark Raibert. Others scuttle along with an unsettling resemblance to spiders, ostriches, and mammals.

But their freaky designs are meant to help these robots move about more easily, both in remote wilderness and human cityscapes. Soon, legged robots will walk among us, and their inventors are already planning how they will make our lives easier and safer. Here are a few of the newest generation of bizarre-looking but mobile robots.

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Image: Cassie Agility Robotics is planning to use Cassie for future tasks including telepresence, inspecting industrial sites, and curb-to-doorstep package delivery. Agility Robotics

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Click link below for article video:

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/technology/these-new-robots-look-freaky-can-do-amazing-things-n731151

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Look Inside the SpaceX Capsule That Will Take Two Beyond the Moon

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SpaceX has shared scant details about its newly announced plan to send private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year.

The company hasn’t disclosed the space tourists’ identities or said how much they’ll pay for the chance to buzz the moon and go far beyond before returning to Earth. Nor did SpaceX say exactly what training the tourists will undergo or how they will occupy themselves during the week or so between lift-off from Kennedy Space Center’s near Cape Canaveral, Florida and their return to Earth.

But no matter what, the tourists are in for an experience almost beyond imagining.

So says Richard Garriott, an Austin, Texas-based video game entrepreneur who in 2008 became one of only a tiny handful of private citizens to go into space when he spent 12 days in low Earth orbit aboard the International Space Station.

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The capsule’s seats are made of fabric and carbon fiber. SpaceX

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Click link below for article and video:

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/look-inside-spacex-capsule-may-take-two-beyond-moon-n728336

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Amazing inventions lost through time

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Science has progressed amazingly in recent years, but a handful of spectacular inventions have remained lost to knowledge. Whether it’s the Greek Fire, Roman Nanotechnology or a wonder-material desired by NASA, we’ve lost some great things along the way – these are just some of them.

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Greek Fire

Image via Wikipedia

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Click link below for article:

http://www.zmescience.com/research/inventions/amazing-inventions-lost-14022017/

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14 People Who Broke Barriers to Make Black History

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In honor of Black History Month, here’s a look at 14 people who broke color barriers to become the first Black Americans to achieve historic accomplishments in politics, academics, aviation, entertainment and more

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Image: Gordon Parks, a professional photographer, author, poet and composer, is seen in Hollywood, California on April 4, 1968. Gordon Parks in Hollywood on April 4, 1968. Associated Press

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Click link below for article and list:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/14-individuals-who-made-black-history-n722051

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NASA Announces Major Exoplanet Discovery

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Astronomers from NASA and the European Southern Observatory announced Wednesday that four new Earth-sized exoplanets have been discovered orbiting a star about 40 light-years away, and that three may contain liquid water and be able to sustain life.

This star’s small grouping of planets now boasts the most Earth-sized worlds of any system astronomers have discovered, and the most exoplanets that may be able to support surface life and water.

A Belgian-led team was able to spy these planets using space- and ground-based telescopes as each passed in front of its host, a red dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. These so called transits created dips in the Jupiter-sized star’s light output that helped astronomers determine the sizes, compositions, and orbits of each of the celestial bodies.

“Whether or not TRAPPIST-1 has inhabitants, its discovery has underlined the growing conviction that the universe is replete with real estate on which biology could both arise and flourish,” says Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute, an expert in the search for extraterrestrial life. “If you still think the rest of the universe is sterile, you are surely singular, and probably wrong.”

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 NASA Discovers Four New Exoplanets That Could Possibly Sustain Life

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Click link below for article and videos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/mach/space/watch-live-nasa-announces-major-exoplanet-discovery-n724111

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MIT built a gel-based claw robot that can catch and release live fish

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techcrunch1

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MIT’s latest robot looks a bit like one of those claw machines you find at the front of an arcade, only instead of metal, the claws are made of a clear, membranous substance. And instead of stuffed Minion dolls, they pick up live fish. But other than that, the principles are pretty similar.

The robot’s limbs are made from hydrogel, an extremely pliable material that’s composed primarily of water, formed into structures using 3D printing and laser cutting. When water is pumped into the limbs, they stretch or curl, opening and closing like a hand.

Using the eel-inspired robot, the researchers were able to make the claw close fast enough to grab a goldfish without harming it in the process, while a more traditional robotic hand would likely crush the fish in the process, and nobody wants that.

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Click link below for article and video:

MIT built a gel-based claw robot that can catch and release live fish

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