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December 12th, 2018 at 10:52 am

5 important Artificial Intelligence predictions (for 2019) everyone should read



Artificial Intelligence – specifically machine learning and deep learning – was everywhere in 2018 and don’t expect the hype to die down over the next 12 months.

The hype will die eventually of course, and AI will become another consistent thread in the tapestry of our lives, just like the internet, electricity, and combustion did in days of yore.

But for at least the next year, and probably longer, expect astonishing breakthroughs as well as continued excitement and hyperbole from commentators.

This is because expectations of the changes to business and society which AI promises (or in some cases threatens) to bring about go beyond anything dreamed up during previous technological revolutions.

AI points towards a future where machines not only do all of the physical work, as they have done since the industrial revolution but also the “thinking” work – planning, strategizing and making decisions.

The jury’s still out on whether this will lead to a glorious utopia, with humans free to spend their lives following more meaningful pursuits, rather than on those which economic necessity dictates they dedicate their time, or to widespread unemployment and social unrest.

We probably won’t arrive at either of those outcomes in 2019, but it’s a topic which will continue to be hotly debated. In the meantime, here are five things that we can expect to happen:

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December 12th, 2018 at 10:49 am

Chinese company says it will soon cross $100 battery threshold, slaying the gasoline car




Envision Group analysts discovered the price curve after purchasing Nissan’s battery division, Envision CEO Lei Zhang said. Getty photoGETTY

Envision Energy will produce batteries for $100 per kilowatt hour by 2020, the Shanghai company’s founder and CEO said at Stanford University, predicting the price will drop to $50 only five years later and end the reign of the internal-combustion engine.

Envision’s analysts realized they could achieve these goals after the company purchased Nissan’s battery division earlier this year, CEO Lei Zhang said at Stanford University’s Global Energy Forum. Stanford just released video of Lei’s remarks, which came in response to a slightly more conservative prediction by Stanford’s Arun Majumdar.

“I have something to add on to Arun’s comment,” Lei said. “He mentioned by 2022 we are able to reach $100 per kilowatt hour, but I say we are able to arrive much earlier. By 2020 we are able to deliver the cost of $100 U.S. Just recently we bought a Japanese battery company, so we have very detailed analyzed this trend of cost, so we are able, probably by 2025, to achieve $50 U.S. dollar per kilowatt hour.”

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December 12th, 2018 at 2:42 am

Bell says latest helicopter was designed 10 times faster with VR

Bell Helicopter challenged its Innovation Team to accelerate its aircraft design process. Turning to VR as a key improvement to their design pipeline, the team created the FCX-001, the company’s first “concept aircraft,” in just six months.

Typically it takes five to seven years to design a helicopter, according to a case study published by Bell and HTC. Within that period there’s typically multiple iterations being explored between draft drawings, pilot testing, and focus groups. Thanks to VR, the FCX-001 ended up taking less than six-months to create, Bell says.

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December 11th, 2018 at 12:33 pm

Plastics recycled for use on roads


As plastic increasingly chokes the world’s landfills, and China announced last year it didn’t want to buy recycled plastic anymore, the what to do with it all has become a pressing question.

Why not recycle it and use it to build roads?

Bound together with plastic polymers, the asphalt will be cheaper and last longer than conventional pavement, according to independent experts.

One European firm already is combining plastic pellets with hot-mix asphalt to resurface roadways. A U.S. company says that once it finds financial backing, its product “could be deployed within six months” with a process that combines asphalt milled from the road’s surface with plastic urethane.

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December 11th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Battery idea: Hydroelectric pumped storage, but with bricks


Company called Energy Vault has an agreement to build a pilot tower in India in 2019.

A mock-up of what Energy Vault’s tower looks like.

Energy Vault

A company called Energy Vault has proposed a new utility-scale battery that is both old and new at the same time. The “battery” is mechanical, rather than chemical, and stores energy much like pumped hydro does, but it does it with bricks.

If you’re not familiar with pumped hydro, it works like this. The system pumps water from a lower elevation to a higher elevation when electricity is plentiful and cheap. When electricity becomes more expensive, operators release that water through a hydroelectric turbine to give the grid some extra juice. Similarly, Energy Vault wants to build a system of six cranes, which will electrically stack heavy bricks into a tower when electricity is cheap and plentiful. When electricity becomes more scarce and expensive, the cranes will release each brick and harvest the energy from their fall.

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December 11th, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Rocket launch in New Zealand brings quick, cheap space access

  • Launch sends Rocket Lab to lead in global space competition
  • Six satellites carried into low orbit from sheep farm launchCheap, quick access to space has officially arrived — and in some serious style.On a late Sunday afternoon in New Zealand, Rocket Lab successfully launched its third rocket. Dozens of employees gathered at the company’s headquarters in Auckland clad in Rocket Lab’s black-and-red colors and let out a series of primordial screams as the rocket took off, flew into space and dropped its satellite payload into orbit. Continue Reading »
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December 10th, 2018 at 11:31 am

Google and Disney partner to bring storybooks to life

A new Google and Disney partnership brings Disney Storybooks to life. When reading out loud select Disney Little Golden Books, Google Home will add sound effects and soundtracks to accompany the story as it is read aloud. The new feature uses voice recognition to be able to tell when a reader has skipped ahead or gone back, and adjust the sound effects accordingly. If the user pauses reading, ambient music will play until the user begins reading again. This feature works on Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max speakers in the US. To activate the action, say, “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.”

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December 10th, 2018 at 11:13 am

Here are the states where a robot is most likely to steal your job


Bad news for workers in the American South and Great Plains: A robot could likely come for your job.

A newly released study by fintech company Smart Asset found that those regions are the ones most likely to experience serious job losses due to automation. And, even more disheartening, they’re the ones that appear least prepared to take the hit.

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December 10th, 2018 at 10:05 am

This is what the world might look like in 100 years

Samsung commissioned these predictions in the SmartThings Future Livings Report.

Via Futurism


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December 9th, 2018 at 3:56 am

IBM Predictions: Life in 2022

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Here are a few of IBM’s predictions about what life will look like in 2022.

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