future tech

Elon Musk warns artificial intelligence is “summoning the demon”

Elon Musk warns artificial intelligence is “summoning the demon”

Elon Musk is all about keeping the human race alive, even if that means abandoning Earth at some point. He went into details about this not long ago when discussing Mars colonies and things of an existential nature. Any number of technologies could prove a threat to that survival, with artificial intelligence being counted among them, necessitating plans to prevent possible bad outcomes. Google reportedly formed an ethics board after acquiring AI startup DeepMind, for example, but things like that might not be enough to keep the technology from spiraling out of control.

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Are we ready to embrace robots in everyday life?

Are we ready to embrace robots in everyday life?

Sentient machines have long been considered an inevitable part of our future, and every year we come a little closer to seeing that belief become reality. DARPA has resulted in an impressive array of powerful machines, and researchers across the globe have tasked themselves with ever-improving our mechanical counterparts. Though there's still a long way to go before humanoid bots are working alongside us, the reality of interacting with robots in our everyday life has never been closer, and that poses a serious question: are we ready?

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Learn a language by…eating a pill?

Learn a language by…eating a pill?

The task of learning a language has never been simple, despite efforts to make it so. Hundreds of programs, methods, and pseudoscience applications have cropped up over the course of spoken existence aiming to simplify the acquisition of the skill, but few have succeeded. MIT Media Lab's founder Nicholas Negroponte is confident that will change in the future, however, and how he anticipates we'll acquire new languages is very unique.

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Smart cities: present tech efforts hint at our collective future

Smart cities: present tech efforts hint at our collective future

The tech industry is scrambling to make us all smarter. Electrode-laden headsets have been crafted promising boosts in brain power. Homes are being connected to the wireless hivemind one accessory at a time. Cars are being taught to drive themselves. And amongst it all is the bigger picture as a whole, one that has received comparably less attention but that will affect us all together, for better or worse.

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Waiters need not apply: New Zealand cafe uses pneumatic tubes for straight-to-table delivery

Waiters need not apply: New Zealand cafe uses pneumatic tubes for straight-to-table delivery

The C One Espresso (sometimes called the C1 Cafe) in New Zealand has brought a bit of The Jetsons' world to its customers, ushering in an altogether futuristic dining-out experience while giving those afraid of the future reason cower under the efficient foreshadowing of our eventual robotic overlords. How did the company do this? With a direct-to-the-table pneumatic food delivery system.

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What are developers doing to bring us all back together in meatspace?

What are developers doing to bring us all back together in meatspace?

This past Monday, Apple released a commercial depicting what initially appears to be a disaffected teenager ignoring his whole family on a holiday get-together as he stares and thumb-pecks at his iPhone the whole time. In the end, it turned out he was actually shooting footage of his family as a Christmas gift. He edits the footage into a home movie, screencasts it to the living room TV via AirPlay, and the whole family has a Tiny Tim moment as they watch themselves interacting onscreen. Even Grandma is crying tears of joy.

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