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August 16th, 2018 at 11:44 am

AI will create as many new jobs as it loses


PwC, the business consultancy, reckons that as many UK jobs will be created by AI as will be lost by AI.

A PwC report forecasts that about 20% of UK jobs will be automated by 2037—but 20% more jobs will also be created.

That’s 7 million jobs lost and 7.2 million jobs gained.

PwC reckons that manufacturing sector jobs could be reduced by around 25% – a net loss of nearly 700,000 jobs.

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August 16th, 2018 at 11:37 am

Robot laws: Why we need a code of conduct for AI – and fast


From election-rigging bots to potentially lethal autonomous cars, artificial intelligence is straining legal boundaries. Here’s what we need to keep it in check.

THE car’s computer saw Elaine Herzberg pushing her bicycle across the highway a full six seconds before it struck her. Travelling at just under 70 kilometres per hour, it had more than enough time to stop or swerve. But it did neither, hitting her head on. Herzberg died in hospital, the first pedestrian to be killed by an autonomous vehicle.

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August 16th, 2018 at 10:04 am

Companies are buying these portable soundproof rooms like crazy to fix the worst thing about their open floor offices


Room is a new company that’s created private, semi-soundproof phone booths for noisy, crowded offices.

Already, the company has snagged high profile clients like NASA, Salesforce, and Nike.

Room says they’re on track to sell $10 million worth of product in their first year of business.

If you work in an open office, it’s likely that you’ve ducked into a hallway, a closet, or even the bathroom to get a few moments of quiet to make a phone call.

With the move to the open office and the collective banishment of cubicles, finding a quiet, private place can sometimes be close to impossible.

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August 15th, 2018 at 9:49 am

Drink that! An edible water orb


Using reverse spherification, a biotech researcher in Bengaluru is making edible water orbs.

Bengaluru-based biotechnology researcher Richard Gomes, who has created an “edible water orb” from natural materials, has a modest disclaimer: the technique used by his team is not unique or even particularly new; it’s used in many biotech labs to hold delicate cells together. “The orb provides a stable and sterile environment for cells to grow,” says Gomes, resident biologist at Workbench Projects, a co-working makerspace in Bengaluru. Gomes and his team wanted to take the idea forward and create an alternative to plastic water bottles, potentially replacing them with edible and biodegradable globules that can hold around 50ml of water. They are exploring options to make these orbs bigger, so that they can hold around 100ml, and manufacture them commercially and at scale.

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August 15th, 2018 at 9:39 am

4 futuristic transport methods that will change how we travel around the world


Since the invention of air travel, the world has felt like a smaller place – it’s now possible for pretty much anyone to fly around the globe, learning about different countries and cultures. It’s pretty amazing.

But some companies aren’t satisfied with this – they want to make the world seem even smaller, with faster, more efficient and more comfortable methods of transport.

Ever dreamed of exploring the Australian Outback but been put off by the long flight? A Virgin Galactic flight from London to Sydney might take two hours within the next decade.

Here are four methods of futuristic transportation that are going to change how we travel around the world.

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August 15th, 2018 at 9:10 am

Bird is the fastest startup ever to reach a $1 billion valuation


Electric scooter startup Bird is the fastest company to reach a valuation of $1 billion.

Bird, one of many scooter startups currently sweeping the US, was last valued at $400 million after closing $100 million in series B funding in early March. In late May, Bird was reported to be raising $150 million in series C funding led by Sequoia Capital, at a $1 billion valuation.

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August 14th, 2018 at 9:56 am

Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) are now valued at a combined $1 trillion USD.


Alibaba and Tencent alone now account for almost one-third of the MSCI China Index, fueling its 47 percent gain in 2017.

As of this past March, China had skyrocketed to 164 unicorns, worth a combined $628.4 billion USD. Roughly 50 percent are controlled or backed by BAT.

But BAT isn’t keeping ambitions local. Worldwide, BAT invests in over 150 companies, spanning the gamut from AI to biotech.

And with access to more internet users than the U.S. and all of Europe combined, BAT is fueled by the greatest treasure trove of data on the planet.

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August 14th, 2018 at 9:37 am

The worker in the robot suit: New industrial orders reignite exoskeleton interest


It’s been a technology without a clear customer for about a decade, but wearable robotic suits are finally finding a market in legacy manufacturing and construction.

Robotic exoskeletons are back in the news after Ford ordered 75 robotic suits from Ekso Bionics, as reported by my colleague.

The relatively small number of orders belies the significance of this moment for a fantastically advanced set of technologies that have been searching for a viable market for over a decade now. Wearable robots that augment human strength have attracted big investment money, but the use case has been harder to pinpoint.

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August 14th, 2018 at 9:16 am

3D-printed nerve stem cells could help patch up spinal cord injuries


A 3D-printed device, loaded with neuronal stem cells, that can be implanted into an injured spinal cord to help “bridge” the damage,

Spinal injuries can be like downed power lines – even if everything on either side of the injury is perfectly functional, the break can effectively shut down the whole system. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have designed a device that could link everything back together again. A silicone guide, covered in 3D-printed neuronal stem cells, can be implanted into the injury site, where it grows new connections between remaining nerves to let patients regain some motor control.

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August 13th, 2018 at 11:55 am

What would U.S money look like, given the proper attention of an industrial designer


Bills so pretty you’d never spend them.

Industrial designer Andrey Avgust hails from Belarus, a country whose currency I admit I’ve never seen. But he’s seen our yankee dollars and recognizes that their design kind of stinks.

For fun Avgust gave U.S. bills a redesign, starting with the material: Polymer.

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