DARPA pushes autonomous Mach 20 drone program underground

DARPA pushes autonomous Mach 20 drone program underground

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The race for hypersonic speed has never been hotter.   In August 2011 a superfast unmanned military drone, the Falcon HTV-2 (Force Application and Launch from the Continental US Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2) travelling at 20 times the speed of sound, or 13,000 miles per hour, managed to...

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Meet Ross, the world’s first AI lawyer

Meet Ross, the world’s first AI lawyer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If AI can automate the legal profession is any job safe?   Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI “Ross” to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers. According to CEO and co-founder of...

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Under the skin of Ross the worlds first AI lawyer

Under the skin of Ross the worlds first AI lawyer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Lauded as the world’s first AI lawyer the story of “Ross” began with a divorce.     When Jimoh Ovbiagele was 10 years old, his parents decided to separate. His mother started seeking out divorce lawyers, but was quickly halted by the astronomical hourly rates....

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Humanoid ATLAS robot crams millions of years of evolution into two years

Humanoid ATLAS robot crams millions of years of evolution into two years

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotisists just crammed hundreds of millions of years of natural evolution into just two years.   Boston Dynamics has unveiled a hugely upgraded version of its ATLAS humanoid that is smaller, lighter, and more agile. Furthermore it’s been amazing to see the advancements the team has made...

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Robot surgeon STAR bests its human counterparts in world first

Robot surgeon STAR bests its human counterparts in world first

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One step for a robot, one giant leap for robot kind.   In a recent study Oxford University and others estimated that between 35% and 45% of all of todays’ jobs would be automated by AI, robots and, or, software robots (bots) within the next...

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New metamaterial lays the foundation for light based computing

New metamaterial lays the foundation for light based computing

A new on chip metamaterial paves the way for than today’s platforms For the first time, physicists have designed an on-chip ‘metamaterial’ – a class of materials that display properties not found in nature – with a refractive index of zero, paving the way for light-based computers to transmit information at infinitely...

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Bomb sniffing UAV’s can thwart terrorist bombs

Bomb sniffing UAV’s can thwart terrorist bombs

Security forces are about to get a new tool in the fight against terror Scientists at a US university have developed “bomb sniffing drones” which are being lauded as the ultimate weapon against terror attacks involving explosives. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin Madison have managed to miniaturize a Gamma...

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Researchers build the world’s first 1,000 core CPU

Researchers build the world’s first 1,000 core CPU

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The Kilocore chip represents a step change in CPU power and efficiency.   Most of todays great advances in science and technology have been the direct result of the massive increase in computing power that we’ve seen over the past 40 years. AI, for example wouldn’t...

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Scientists develop Matrix style technology capable of ‘uploading knowledge’ to your brain

Scientists develop Matrix style technology capable of ‘uploading knowledge’ to your brain

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A lifetime of education might one day be condensed into minutes.   Scientists believe they may have taken the first steps towards making Matrix-style ‘instant learning’ a reality.     A team of researchers from HRL Laboratories in California conducted experiments in which they studied the brain...

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Scientists pull images from peoples minds using AI and fMRI

Scientists pull images from peoples minds using AI and fMRI

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Let us salute the end of criminal line ups and berate the loss of our future privacy.   If you only remember one thing about technology then remember this – over time it gets faster and it gets better and for those of you who...

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ALPHA AI just changed the balance of global warfare

ALPHA AI just changed the balance of global warfare

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new form of AI demonstrates that humans will be no match for intelligent weapons.   Retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee recently went up against ALPHA, an Artificial Intelligence flight combat system developed by a University of Cincinnati doctoral graduate running on nothing...

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Researchers create a kill switch to terminate rogue AI agents

Researchers create a kill switch to terminate rogue AI agents

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers have a new weapon in the war against the rogue AI’s of the future.   Scientists from Google’s Artificial Intelligence division, DeepMind, and Oxford University are developing a “kill switch” for AI that will allow human operators to repeatedly and safely interrupt an AI...

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Researchers listen in to crack 4096-bit encryption

Researchers listen in to crack 4096-bit encryption

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers have used sound to break the worlds’ toughest encryption standard.   Security researchers have successfully broken one of the most secure encryption algorithms, 4096-bit RSA, by listening — yes, with a microphone — to a computer as it decrypts some encrypted data. The attack is...

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Google’s Project Magenta wants to be a musician

Google’s Project Magenta wants to be a musician

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Project Magenta will do for music what Google Deep dream does for images.   It’s a long way to Carnegie Hall, but we bet that Google researchers are already thinking of the day when their Artificial Intelligence protege “Magenta” can cut an album that beats...

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HIV defeats revolutionary gene editing technology CRISPR

HIV defeats revolutionary gene editing technology CRISPR

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Questions are appearing over CRISPR’s ability to cure HIV.   HIV can defeat efforts to cripple it with CRISPR gene editing technology, researchers say and furthermore the very act of editing which involves snipping at the virus’s genome may actually introduce mutations that help it to...

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JJ Abrams Moon Shot shorts show off the scientists behind Google’s Lunar XPRIZE

JJ Abrams Moon Shot shorts show off the scientists behind Google’s Lunar XPRIZE

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Access to space was once the preserve of rich government institutions but with costs falling the sky’s the limit as private entrepreneurs set their sights on landing on the Moon.   It can be easy to forget the human element behind robotic spaceflight. When we...

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Google reinvents hyperscale storage

Google reinvents hyperscale storage

Organisations that operate hyperscale cloud data centers, such as Alibaba, AWS, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Tencent have always pushed the limits of what’s technically possible with yesterday’s hardware so in 2011 it came as no surprise that they formed the Open computing Project alliance, a program that set about to...

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The Creative Machines are coming

The Creative Machines are coming

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Creativity is said to be a uniquely “Human” gift but while we can argue the semantics it appears that increasingly machines share the same gift, albeit algorithmic rather than chemical.   Many people believe that creativity is a uniquely human trait but what about self...

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Companies are starting to connect the next 4 billion people

Companies are starting to connect the next 4 billion people

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Connect another 4 billion people to the internet. Check. Disrupt the communications industry. Check.   Approximately 40% of the world is connected to the internet and of those who aren’t, many are offline for one major reason – connectivity is expensive.     If you think...

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Inside SpaceX’s mission to Mars

Inside SpaceX’s mission to Mars

This week Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX said it would put its Dragon spacecraft on the red planet “as soon as 2018″ making it the first private company to go interplanetary. While it’s easy to get impatient with crackpot plans to head for the red planet SpaceX is unique in...

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