US researchers have found a safe way to 3D print explosives

US researchers have found a safe way to 3D print explosives

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to 3D print explosives is a turning point for the military and other industries that rely on explosives, but it also opens up a debate on the potential dangers of the uses of the technology.   According to new research out of the...

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MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

MIT’s new neural network can explain its decisions

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As AI gets more deeply embedded into the world’s digital fabric, in everything from self-driving cars to high frequency stock trading, it’s crucial we know how it makes its decisions.   A child is presented with a picture of various shapes and is asked to...

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Scientists have created the blackest material ever, and it’s great for gaming

Scientists have created the blackest material ever, and it’s great for gaming

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are certain situations, such as calibrating satellite systems, or in cinemas where nearly dark doesn’t cut it, Vantablack is the darkest material ever produced.   Have you ever gotten up to use the restroom during a movie screening, then struggled to find your seat...

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The Pentagon hires the world’s best poker playing AI to play War Games

The Pentagon hires the world’s best poker playing AI to play War Games

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Poker is a game of bluff, and acting without perfect information, and so too is war.   Over the past year the US Pentagon has installed an autonomous Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robo-hacker called Mayhem to monitor and protect its most critical systems from cyber attacks,...

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Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

Luxury space hotel preps for launch in 2021

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of getting to space falls, and access to space becomes more democratised, it will eventually become a tourist destination.   Well heeled space tourists will have a new orbital holiday destination four years from now, that is if one company’s plans come to fruition,...

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DARPA propose creating an AI that can monitor the whole world for threats

DARPA propose creating an AI that can monitor the whole world for threats

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF An AI capable of monitoring the whole world for threats, of any kind, is a huge undertaking and could become the world’s first “global” intelligence platform.   DARPA already has a reputation as the mad scientist lab of the US military, thanks to a range of...

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DARPA announces plans to build conscious robots using insect brains

DARPA announces plans to build conscious robots using insect brains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF On the one hand you can write advanced AI software to control your robots, or we can use what nature’s already given us…   There’s a field called Neurobiotics that, unsurprisingly, many people haven’t heard of that I came across recently where scientists try to...

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Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

Joint China-Russia atmospheric experiment spikes temperatures over Europe by 100 Celcius

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There are many ways we can modify our atmosphere but microwave manipulation produces some of the most extreme results.   China and Russia have jointly announced that they modified an important layer of the atmosphere above Europe in order to test a controversial new military...

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US proposes to regulate AI the same way it regulates weapons exports

US proposes to regulate AI the same way it regulates weapons exports

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI can be both very beneficial, but also in the wrong hand very dangerous, and the US is thinking about regulating it in the same way they regulate military hardware.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has the capability to be one of, if not the,...

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New Russian laser weapon obliterates targets in seconds

New Russian laser weapon obliterates targets in seconds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The next generation of warfare will include many things, from autonomous hunter killer robots and intelligent hypersonic weapons, and lasers.   As what’s being termed the new Cold War hots up I’m seeing a surge in the pace of development of fully and semi-autonomous weapons...

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NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

NASA’s ISS robot companion CIMON gets caught copping an attitude

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As more machines and humans work alongside one another how we interact with one another will become increasingly crucial.   As he entered his final month on the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday, Alexander Gerst could be proud that he’s helped given birth to...

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Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of transportation is fast, very fast, and companies are once again getting serious about building commercial hypersonic aircraft.   It’s a vision of the future that could someday jet people from the Los Angeles to Tokyo in just three hours or cut the...

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US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

US military genetics program to turn marine life into giant living sensor networks

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we learn more about the genetic code and how to modify it organisations around the world are starting to look into new ways of turning nature to their advantage.   A few months ago I wrote about how DARPA, the bleeding edge research arm...

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US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

US researchers get $1.7m grant to create wonder bio-material that lasts 500 million years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Everything in the universe is made from material, whether it’s biological or synthetic, and as we unravel natures mysteries we could create products that, literally, last forever.   It’s the most durable biological material you’ve never heard of, Sporopollenin, and it makes plastics and other materials...

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Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

Here’s how NASA plans to build on Mars and the Moon

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the cost of launching equipment and people into space plummets the reality of colonising other planets is getting closer.   It’s one thing to send an astronaut to Mars to be an extraterrestrial tourist for a few hours. But if humanity wants to actually...

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Elon Musk unveils the future of urban transport, and living on Mars

Elon Musk unveils the future of urban transport, and living on Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Urban transportation is often a nightmare of clogged and congested roads, Musk believes he has a solution, and it’s going underground.   Elon Musk unveiled his vision for the Boring Company last night with the unveiling of the company’s first 12 ft wide test tunnel...

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Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

Virgin Galactic soars into space and the record books with succesful test flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the costs of accessing space fall we’re seeing the start of a new era in tourism – space tourism.   Late last Thursday a Virgin Galactic rocket plane blasted to the edge of space, capping off years of difficult testing to become the first US commercial...

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Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

Russia unveils new nuclear powered spacecraft destined for Mars

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many countries have tried to develop miniaturised nuclear reactors for space flight applications, but Russia’s by far the closest.   Elon Musk wants to travel to Mars using SpaceX’s planned monolithic rocket booster, the Big Falcon Rocket. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in...

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US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

US military identifies virtual nations as a potential security threat to US sovereignty

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The internet means citizens can now become part of large, virtual collectives, or nations, and there are fears these nations, with their own rules, welfare and support systems, could threaten the power and influence of sovereign nations.   When is a nation not a nation?...

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After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

After four year wait Cape Canaveral gets its license to launch commercial space planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the past you would need a rocket to get into space, but today there are more planes taking on that role, and Cape Canaveral wants to dominate the future of commercial space flight.   As the race for space heats up, Cape Canaveral is...

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