1.2 million jobs to vanish as Foxconn unveils plans for fully autonomous factories

1.2 million jobs to vanish as Foxconn unveils plans for fully autonomous factories

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Foxconn is one of the world’s largest employers, and its pursuit of 100% automation at all of its factories will put millions out of work and give China a headache   We’re hearing a lot recently about how most of our jobs are going to...

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Velodyne’s new miniature LiDAR means many more autonomous things

Velodyne’s new miniature LiDAR means many more autonomous things

  WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Most of the new smart things that we are creating rely on sensors to map, move around and interact with our world, and LiDAR is a key sensing technology that helps things see, Velodyne’s new product will accelerate the creation of smart, autonomous things...

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As machines replace jobs new White House report prioritises education

As machines replace jobs new White House report prioritises education

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As analysts predict that more jobs will be replaced by automation and machines a new White House report plays down Universal Basic Incomes and prioritises investment and education.   A new 55 page White House report that investigates the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation...

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The UN is going to debate banning killer robots

The UN is going to debate banning killer robots

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The increasing weaponisation and automation of new, advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, drones and robots has the UN worried, now it wants a debate about banning them before it’s too late.   This week the UN announced that next year over 100 nations who are...

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Huge Pacific Rim robot to help clean up Fukushima nuclear disaster site

Huge Pacific Rim robot to help clean up Fukushima nuclear disaster site

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots have a multitude of applications but up until now most of them have been quite small, a new mech from a Korean company just broke the mould.   This week a team in Seoul demonstrated a 13 ft (4m) tall robot, or “mech,” that, unlike it’s diminutive...

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New breakthrough will give prosthetic limbs a human sense of touch

New breakthrough will give prosthetic limbs a human sense of touch

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many people take the sense of touch for granted but for those people with neurodegenerative disorders, or who have prosthetic limbs, it’s the sense they miss the most, now a new breakthrough could give them, as well as future robots, that sense of touch back....

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Uber pulls the covers off of its new AI lab

Uber pulls the covers off of its new AI lab

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the capability of new artificial intelligence systems improve more organisations are leveraging AI products and tools to help them maintain and extend their competitive edge   Uber have announced that they’ve launched an artificial intelligence (AI) lab and acquired Geometric Intelligence, an AI startup,...

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MIT researchers have taught their AI to recognise sounds

MIT researchers have taught their AI to recognise sounds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Developing AI’s that can recognise and understand raw sound could have implications for autonomous vehicles, elderly care, entertainment, home security and much more   In recent years, computers have gotten remarkably good at recognizing speech and images. Think of the dictation software on most smartphones,...

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Nimble Atlas robot ups its game again to conquer tricky terrain

Nimble Atlas robot ups its game again to conquer tricky terrain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We take many of the things we do as humans for granted, such as balancing, but our bodies make thousands of adjustments every second just standing still and getting a robot to mimic what comes naturally to us isn’t as easy as you think  ...

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The US Navy announced it will build a global network of undersea drone highways

The US Navy announced it will build a global network of undersea drone highways

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New technologies, combined with a renewed global focus on defence and security, have kicked off a new arms race and every corner, every theatre and every environment on Earth, and in space, seems to be fair game.   As unmanned aerial drones have become a...

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New Deloitte study says 861,000 UK public sector jobs can be automated

New Deloitte study says 861,000 UK public sector jobs can be automated

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technologies including AI, bots, drones and robots will lead to the automation of large parts of the global workforce   More than 861,000 public sector jobs could be lost by 2030 through automation, according to a study that comes as a further blow after hundreds...

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Dubai to replace real police with robocops in 2017

Dubai to replace real police with robocops in 2017

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Street police in the UAE are going to be replaced with real life, ahem, “Robocops”   Dubai’s government – who are on a tear at the moment to adopt and invest in anything futuristic – from blockchain to energy grids – via their $175 Billion ICD sovereign wealth fund and...

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World first as a brain chip implant helps paralyzed man feel again

World first as a brain chip implant helps paralyzed man feel again

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In a world first scientists have helped a paralyzed man experience the sense of touch in his mind-controlled robotic arm.   The cutting edge experiment, a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, implanted electrodes smaller than a grain of...

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Inside Ginkgo, the gene factory where robots help make new weird synthetic organisms

Inside Ginkgo, the gene factory where robots help make new weird synthetic organisms

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Creating new lifeforms sounds like fun and they taste great too.   Raising glasses of genetically modified beer, the synthetic biologists at Ginkgo Bioworks celebrated the launch of their new automated lab last month and you can take a virtual tour of their facility here. By...

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Google teaches robots to learn from each other using a hive mind

Google teaches robots to learn from each other using a hive mind

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots learning from other robots will ultimately mean robots will learn new skills faster, accelerating the robot revolution.   The robots of the world are uniting – and that’s either a great thing or a terrifying thing depending on your view. Google has a plan to...

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NASA demos RASSOR their “Blue collar” robot that will mine Mars for rocket fuel

NASA demos RASSOR their “Blue collar” robot that will mine Mars for rocket fuel

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF NASA is prepping robots for Mars so humans can get on with the important stuff.   A NASA robot which is programmed to dig for water, oxygen and rocket fuel could be the first step in colonising Mars – whether that’s via a NASA mission,...

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Japanese company Spread set to open worlds first fully autonomous farm in 2017

Japanese company Spread set to open worlds first fully autonomous farm in 2017

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The only humans these Lettuces see will be the one who eats them.   The Japanese lettuce production company Spread believes the farmers of the future will be robots – so much so that Spread is creating the world’s first farm manned entirely by robots. Instead of relying on...

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Researchers have created synthetic artificial skin

Researchers have created synthetic artificial skin

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF New artificial skin can transmit different amounts of pressure, just like real skin.   Many of us take our sense of touch for granted, perhaps because we can never turn it off, but it’s surprisingly complex. An intricate network of nerves brings different types of...

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Stanford’s humanoid robotic diver recovers treasures from King Louis XIV’s flagship

Stanford’s humanoid robotic diver recovers treasures from King Louis XIV’s flagship

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Built to go where human divers can’t Stanfords OceanOne takes the plunge.   Oussama Khatib held his breath as he swam through the wreck of La Lune, 100 meters below the Mediterranean. The flagship of King Louis XIV sank here in 1664, 20 miles off...

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The future of jobs in a Machine World

The future of jobs in a Machine World

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We are all aware that technology is capable of replacing particular categories of jobs, but often those jobs “belong to someone else” and the impact on our own jobs is minimal. Today though new classes of emerging technologies, from artificial intelligence to machine vision are...

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