Tag Archives: pandora

Extreme Eventualities


Most of this site is hopefully positive about the increasing speed of Exponential Technologies and the potential outcomes. The big question is, what fate will humanity choose?

It seems we can either transcend the scarcity and limits we have evolved within or craft our own tragic fate. Technology is neither good nor bad. A hammer can be a tool used for building or a weapon of destruction. So it is with all tools and technologies.

I think any reasonable person should be awed by the speed of the advance of many sectors in the news feed of this site. We arguably more significant innovations every year than we had in our history. And, the speed of advance or human prowess through technology just gets faster and faster.

Most things advance through the will, efforts and accomplishments of a select segment of our population. Just as there are world class athletes, business people, and other segments, a few people drive change, evolution and advancement of our species.

So, where are the brilliant few that will help us to change our habits, proclivities and perhaps our very nature? We need them. We need them now.

Children seem to come into the world with awe, openness, and wonder. With needs, but without hate. With opportunity.

Most of us survive the random nature of our birth situation and circumstances. Most of us can show the scars we know and hide from the hidden ones. Many of us thrive and create, survive and love.

Each new generation is an opportunity for us to raise a better generation. But our broken one is the one that must do that.

Our technological power demands that. If we don’t, soon we will crash into ourselves at such a force or with such tyranny that life and beauty will surely take a tragic hit. Perhaps not to complete destruction but surely less than what lies down the other path of advancing our humanity at least a bit as we master the rest of our landscape.

Surely that decision deserves something better than we are giving it. Where are the geniuses of that part of destiny? Anyone?

Automation: Top Articles and News

Roomba-like tech heads for the garden ​For people who hate vacuuming, there’s already the Roomba. However, what if weeding is the task that you hate? Well, there may soon be something for that, too. Entrepreneur Joe Jones – inventor of the Roomba – is now developing a little weed-whacking robot known as Tertill.
A Robot Revolution, This Time in China | RealClearFuture A Robot Revolution, This Time in China | RealClearFuture
Amazon could be working on an on-demand clothing service | TechRadar Amazon has recently been granted a patent for an on-demand clothing manufacturing system
Robots Take Over Tedious Chore: Mowing Lawns « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth Dallas lawn care startup, Robin has installed 50 robotic lawnmowers in North Texas, with plans to roll out 50 to 100 more every month.
Breakthrough brick-laying robot to put millions of brick layers out of work
Robots versus bureaucrats: Why public sector work is ripe for automation | Financial Post Only 20% of government staff do cognitive work that requires human thinking, at least while artificial intelligence remains imperfect, says a new report
Inside Amazon’s robot-run supermarket that needs just 3 human workers | New York Post
This Underwater Drone Takes Fishing to the Next Level The PowerRay is a remote control underwater drone that can dive to depths of 30m to help you detect, film and catch fish.
Self-propelled lifesaving buoy zips out and retrieves drowning swimmers Here’s a nifty lifesaving idea from Noras Performance out of Portugal. U-Safe is a lifesaving buoy that can drive itself around in the water by remote control, meaning it can reach a victim quickly, and transport them to safety if need be.
Amazon’s robot army has grown by 50% – Business Insider The e-commerce giant is adding roughly 15,000 robots to its warehouses each year.
The FarmBot Genesis Brings Precision Agriculture To Your Own Backyard – Modern Farmer This open-source agbot will tend your perfect home garden.
Automation and Robots Could Permanently Disrupt Capitalism While some may be able to coast into office with the promise of bringing jobs back from oversees, they fail to realize that there may be no jobs to bring back. Automation is set to replace 5 million human jobs by 2020, with poorer countries being impacted significantly more than developed nations.
Amazon completes its first drone-powered delivery | TechSpy
Warehouses promised lots of jobs, but robot workforce slows hiring – Los Angeles Times Automated machines and software have been taking up more and more space in the region’s warehouses, and taking over jobs that were once done by humans.
Amazon unveils smart convenience store sans checkouts, cashiers | The Seattle Times The 1,800-square-foot store, dubbed “Amazon Go,” is the latest beach in brick-and-mortar retail stormed by the e-commerce giant. It’s clearly a sign Amazon sees a big opportunity in revolutionizing Main Street commerce.
Stephen Hawking: Automation and AI Are Going to Decimate Middle Class Jobs A report put out in February 2016 predicted that 47% of US jobs are at risk of automation. In the UK, 35% are. In China, it’s a whopping 77%. Stephen Hawking adds his voice to the growing list of scientists concerned about the effects that technology will have on workforce in the coming years and decades.
Robot Farmers Could Be the Future of Food – Seeker Machines could make fields more productive and solve farm labor shortage.
Domino’s Completes First Successful Pizza Delivery By Drone | Mental Floss The future of pizza delivery is here.
Cormorant/AirMule UAV completes first autonomous flight The Cormorant is a prototype VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft that features internal rotor blades. It recently made its first full untethered autonomous flight … although there were a couple of hiccups.
UN report says robots threaten two thirds of jobs in developing countries The UN has considered the threat of weaponized AI, but now the body is looking at a more mundane robot invasion. A new report has outlined how the increasing use of industrial automation is impacting jobs in developing countries, and what strategies may help in overcoming the problem.
Giant Leap for Pizza? Not sure if this is Exponential Technology or the sign of the Apocalypse. 
Robot engineered in Bristol EATS organic matter and could clean contaminated water | Daily Mail Online Developed by a team of engineers based in Bristol, the machine is able to gain the energy it needs to keep it ‘alive’ by filtering and consuming biomatter from its watery surroundings.” name=”description
The first ship designed to take autonomous operations offshore The UK’s Automated Ships Ltd and Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime have announced plans to construct Hrönn, a vessel they claim will be the world’s first autonomous ship for offshore operations.
WATCH: Drones Are Herding Sheep in Ireland – Drone 360 : Drone 360 Anything you can do, drones can do better. Now, that list of things drones are excelling at includes sheep-herding.
Automation to claim 850,000 public sector jobs by 2030 – Business Insider The change could shave £17 billion from the UK’s public sector wage bill.
Robotic process automation: A disruptive, not destructive technology | ZDNet Let’s face it — many aspects of office jobs are tedious, mindless, and repetitive. Software robots can handle rule-based tasks so that employees can use their brain power for more complicated responsibilities.
Researchers: AI Could Take Over Much More Than Blue Collar Jobs There’s a standing belief that some human experts—like doctors, lawyers, and accountants—cannot be replaced by robots equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). These researchers, however, believe AI does have a role in non-blue collar jobs, considering there’s already a big dependence on tech-based services.
Microsoft’s Speech Recognition Tech Is Officially as Accurate as Humans Microsoft’s new speech recognition technology is able to transcribe conversational speech as well as (or even better than) humans. The technology scored a word error rate (WER) of 5.9%, which was lower than the 6.3% WER reported just last month.
Agricultural robot could be outstanding in its field The more that farmers know about the exact state of their crops, the less they have to indiscriminately apply fertilizer, pesticide or even water. That’s part of the thinking behind the Thorvald agricultural robotic platform, which is now being made into even more of a farmer’s helper.
Uber Vows to Put Self-Driving Otto Trucks on the Road by 2017 Uber purchased self-driving truck startup Otto this summer for $680 million and has now announced they’ll bring Otto’s trucks to the road by 2017. Uber and Otto want to disrupt the trucking industry by making long-haul freight transport more efficient via autonomous systems.
Autonomous robot takes the hard work out of yard work Gardens can be a double-edged sword: when they’re thriving, so is the work required to keep them in shape. A new autonomous robot helper by the name of Kobi, however, can take the edge off by mowing the lawn, collecting leaves and clearing snow for you.
The New Age of Automation: How Robots Produce 100,000 Computers A Week In 2015, Raspberry Pi reached 10 million sales. This year, the company’s founder wants to reach a four million production mark. Automation allows us to produce materials cheaper than before, but also impacts the economy and all sectors of society.
UPS seeks out Roomba-maker to help put delivery drones in the sky Following the lead of Amazon, DHL and even retail chains like Dominos and 7-Eleven, global shipping giant UPS has partnered with drone-maker CyPhy Works to put aerial couriers to the test.
Autonomous boats to set sail on Amsterdam’s canals Autonomous cars aren’t the only vehicles being freed from the shackles of human control. In what is billed as the world’s first research program on autonomous floating vessels in metropolitan areas, autonomous boats will soon be deployed in the winding canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Add-on Will Make Your Car Semi-Autonomous for Just $999 Comma.ai, an automotive AI startup, unveiled it’s first official product, a $999 autonomous driving add-on that can be installed to a small range of selected car models. The product will work with a small selection of vehicles, with hopes to expand to more models in the future.
How can we prepare our workforce for the automation crisis?  When the movie WALL-E was released less than a decade ago, it depicted a dystopian world few seriously imagined possible:
Nest’s updated security cameras automatically pull suspicious frames Nest has today released a software update for its security cameras that might be a decent timesaver, automatically packaging highlights together so you can more quickly get to the bottom of a potential home invasion.
Robo-Tractor: The Autonomous Agricultural Vehicle | CW39 NewsFix Listen up, city slickers, because you`re about to get a lesson in farming technology. A company called Case IH in Idaho has definitely reaped what they sowed and designed an autonomous tractor, which acts a lot like a crop-tending Roomba.
France rolls out ‘world’s first’ driverless buses – The Local Driverless minibuses will begin taking passengers in the eastern French city of Lyon at the weekend in a year-long experiment that officials are calling a world first.
Robots are becoming security guards. ‘Once it gets arms … it’ll replace all of us’ – LA Times Security robots are edging into the private security industry, patrolling parking lots, a shopping center and corporate campuses in California. The company’s ambitions, though, are much bigger.
Self-driving tractors promise to get themselves to work, plow without complaint There’s been a lot of focus on self-driving technology recently, but autonomy promises to shake things up in the agricultural world too. CNH Industrial’s latest concepts aim to demonstrate how self-driving tractors can deliver faster, more precise results than their human controlled counterparts.
Ship Operators Explore Autonomous Sailing – WSJ Ship designers, their operators and regulators are equipping for a future in which cargo vessels sail the oceans with minimal or even no crew, which could herald the biggest change in shipping since diesel engines replaced steam.
The Future of Writing? China’s AI Reporter Published 450 Articles During Rio Olympics Chinese search engine and news outlet Toutiao is using an artificial intelligence known as Xiaomingbot to publish articles on the Olympics. The bot was able to write a total of 450 articles during the 15-day event.
Facebook Removes Human Curators From Trending Module Today, Facebook announced that human curators will no longer write short descriptions that accompany trending topics on the site. Instead, the company will rely on an algorithmic process to “pull excerpts directly from stories.” The company also said it will stop using human curators to sort through the news.
Computer program writes like famous people – or even like you Is it possible to receive a newly hand-written letter from Abraham Lincoln? Of course not, but thanks to research being carried out at University College London, you could now get a computer-written facsimile of one.
Apple picking robots headed for the farm FreshPlaza is the number one portal for the fresh produce industry, offering the latest news, job advertisements, pricewatch, and photo albums
Robot Customer Service Will Dominate Travel in the Future | Motherboard Traveling to Sydney from New York might become a weekend trip, with martinis mixed by robot bartenders.
Delphi to Begin Testing On-Demand Robot Taxis in Singapore – Bloomberg
Lockheed Martin’s Spider bot skims blimps to plug holes Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airship is one beast of a heavy hauler. Naturally, maintaining a vehicle almost as long as a football field takes a lot of man hours, but the technology company has a new little helper on deck.
Pepper robot gets new job selling insurance – The Japan News A major life insurance company will deploy humanoid robots nationwide this autumn, using them to wait on customers at its offices and sending them out on sales calls.
Could autonomous trucks be the next weapon for terrorists? Autonomous trucks are hitting the road globally, raising fears that terrorists will use them as remotely guided weapons. But just how likely is it?
Mercedes’ autonomous Future Bus just drove through Amsterdam Mercedes’ autonomous Future Bus concept drove a 12-mile route through Amsterdam to demo the future of emissions-free and connected public transportation.” data-page-subject=”true” name=”description
Millions of SE Asian jobs may be lost to automation in next two decades: ILO | Reuters More than half of workers in five Southeast Asian countries are at high risk of losing their jobs to automation in the next two decades, an International Labour Organization study found, with those in the garments industry particularly vulnerable.
Automation will not just hit IT jobs but 10 other sectors as well. Are you working in any? – The Economic Times IT industry worldwide would see a net decrease of 9% in headcount, or about 1.4 million jobs due to automation. But that is just one part of the story.
Starship will test its autonomous delivery robot in Washington, DC this fall | The Verge Starship — the company behind the adorable, six-wheeled delivery robot we met this year at Mobile World Congress — has received approval from the Washington, DC Department of Transportation to…
World’s first ‘robot lawyer’ overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York – Mirror Online The free chatbot has saved users an estimated £2.9 million in just 21 months
Automation, not cheap labor, is reshaping outsourcing | Computerworld Automation tools are coming, and quickly. And they promise to re-shape the working world.
42% of Canadian jobs at high risk of being affected by automation, new study suggests – Business – CBC News More than 40 per cent of the Canadian workforce is at high risk of being replaced by technology and computers in the next two decades, according to a new report.
ROBOT airport check-in assistants weigh your luggage and even CARRY it for you – Mirror Online The company behind the robot, which can weigh bags, print baggage tags and carry two suitcases, have described it as the ‘future of baggage handling in airports’
Stanford University’s Jackrabbot can navigate tricky pedestrians to make local deliveries | Daily Mail Online Researchers from Stanford University have designed a robot, named Jackrabbot, that can learn from human behaviour. It could soon be available for £345 ($500).
Could computers replace humans in maths research? – ScienceAlert It’s complicated. 
Apple Supplier Just Cut 60,000 Jobs. Replaces Factory Workers With Robots Foxconn is axing more employees in a bid to automate their work, bringing down the workforce from 110,000 to just 50,000. This comes as part of a concerted push from companies in the area to replace routine workers with automatic systems.
A Major Law Firm Will Soon Be Using A Robotic Lawyer An “artificial-intelligence attorney” created using technology from IBM’s Watson has snagged its first customer, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be appearing in the courtroom anytime soon.
Universal Basic Income: The Answer to Automation? 57% of the world’s jobs are at risk of being automated. Universal Basic Income may be our only way out. Here’s why.
Robot surgeon outperforms human colleagues doing same procedure | TechCrunch It’s another victory for the machines: a robotic surgical system outperformed humans and robot-assisted human operators in a soft-tissue procedure, bringing..
Coffee delivery by drone for $3? It’s coming | ZDNet Amazon gets all the headlines, but drone delivery might work on a smaller scale.
OceanOne Is The Humanoid Robotic Diver That Just Revolutionized Deep-Sea Archeology Controlled remotely by deep-sea archeologist Oussama Khatib, OceanOne is able to send him live haptic feedback, essentially feeling what the robot “feels.”
Bloomberg turning to robots to deliver the news | New York Post
Momentum Machines Burger Robot – Business Insider A company called Momentum Machines has built a robot “meant to completely obviate [employees].”
The driverless truck is coming, and it’s going to automate millions of jobs | TechCrunch A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs — or drive more..
Hands, heads and robots work in sync at Amazon warehouses | The Seattle Times Amazon’s DuPont fulfillment center is a sort of laboratory for how the company is using robots to do much of its heavy lifting. But it also shows how the human workforce is not only necessary but superior in some respects.
World Bank Report outlines countries at risk for automation – Tech Insider Developing countries are at greater risk for job automation.
Massive Robots Keep Docks Shipshape – WSJ TraPac LLC’s Los Angeles shipping terminal offers a window to how coming global trade will move: using highly automated systems and machinery to handle a flood of goods amid new free-trade accords.
Starship Technologies ground drone starts delivery trails in the UK | Daily Mail Online After more than 3,000 hours of testing in London, Starship Technologies’ delivery bots (pictured) are scheduled to start local deliveries in Greenwich next month.
Humanoid robots to manufacture planes – E & T Magazine Humanoid robots that can carry out difficult tasks during plane manufacturing are being developed by Airbus and the Joint Robotics laboratory.
America now has a record breaking 260,000 robots working in its factories  | Daily Mail Online
Your next insurance agent will be a robot – CNET Smarter machines mean more jobs are at risk of automation. Yours may be next.
U.S. Federal Government Recognizes Google’s Driverless Car as a Legal Driver The federal government in the United States is going to treat Google’s driverless car system as a legal driver.
Spread’s robot farm will open soon – Tech Insider It could represent the future of farming.
Concerns Increase Over Automation and Job Loss | Automation Concerns about technology replacing workers isn’t new, but digitization is helping spread the changes farther and faster than before.
NEWS  |  Automation of Oilfield Operations to Double by 2020  |  Rigzone IDC expects the top 50% of oil and gas companies will double down on oilfield operation automation, but limitations still exist for digital oilfield initiatives in terms of people and processes.
Automation Threatens Meatpacking Jobs | VDARE – premier news outlet for patriotic immigration reform
Artificial intelligence making some bosses nervous: Study An Accenture Strategy study surveyed managers across the world and various industries to see how they felt about the automation trend.
Adidas Running Shoes to be Made by Robots Starting in 2016 – Futurism This new “Speed-factory” will open at the start of 2016, and it is set to bring jobs back from overseas (but not human jobs). 
Zero to Expert in Eight Hours: These Robots Can Learn For Themselves – Bloomberg Business A yellow robotic arm pauses over a pile of metal cylinders, snaps a photo, then proceeds to confidently pick pieces out of the jumble. What’s impressive is that just eight hours ago, its bin-picking skills were about zero.” data-ephemeral=”true
Robots could steal 80 million US jobs: Bank of England 80 million jobs in the United States are at risk of being taken over by robots in the next few decades, a Bank of England (BoE) official warns.
Can retail robots make brick and mortar shops competitive again? | ZDNet Analytics, automation, and connectivity. The tools of online shopping make their way to the corner store.
AUTOMATION: Autonomous fleet performs 12% better than manned fleet – Canadian Mining JournalCanadian Mining Journal Autonomous Solutions provides third party fleet automation systems at reasonable prices.
Why a fruit sorting robot will disrupt industrial automation | ZDNet Adaptable, smart, and cheap. Welcome to the future of automation.
Robot revolution: rise of ‘thinking’ machines could exacerbate inequality | Technology | The Guardian Global economy will be transformed over next 20 years at risk of growing inequality, say analysts
Self-driving cars will cruise the factory floor before they’re big on the open road | ZDNet Clearpath Robotics, a Canadian maker of field and service robots, has a new self-driving car named OTTO. But it’s not for the road.
Robot hand uses light to sense force, paving way to collaborative humanoids | ZDNet Optical sensors may be the key to highly dexterous robots that can safely interact with humans.
How Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize Our Lives On one hand, it may help cure cancer and let robots rather than humans fight wars; on the other, doctors and lawyers may be out of a job.
Man vs. machine circa 2018: A reality check on Gartner’s crystal ball | ZDNet The relationship between people and machines will go from cooperative to co-dependent to competitive in the years ahead. This’ll be fun.
Rising minimum wages make automation more cost-effective | Brookings Institution The movement pushing for a $15 per hour minimum wage has coincided with falling prices for computers that can replace human labor in some low-skill jobs.
Robot Revolution Sweeps China’s Factory Floors – ABC News Robot Revolution Sweeps China’s Factory Floors
10 ways automation may open up new IT job opportunities – TechRepublic Automation is taking off, and many IT pros are worried about the future of their profession. Check out these 10 reasons automation could actually mean more jobs in IT.
Forbes: Automation For The People
Three $150k robots replaced 60 welders: how Cox Industries keeps making mowers in Queensland Ride-on lawn mower manufacturer Cox Industries might only employ 60 people today from 160 a decade ago, and has suffered three break-even years because it hasn’t rained enough, but co-owner Ken McColl says the Australian economy still can’t afford businesses like his to disappear.
Here’s why productivity lags behind automation – The Globe and Mail The gains in per capita value added in the tradable sector for advanced economies were not large enough to overcome the effect of moving labour from manufacturing jobs to service jobs
AFR TV | Artificial intelligence takes over accounting departments Automation of back office accounting and HR roles is now a reality, with ANZ driving the advance of robots into traditional white collar jobs.
Biophysicists take small step in quest for ‘robot scientist’: Practical algorithm for inferring laws of nature from time-series data of dynamical systems — ScienceDaily Biophysicists have taken another small step forward in the quest for an automated method to infer models describing a system’s dynamics — a so-called robot scientist.” id=”metasummary
Automation in the Newsroom – Nieman Reports Covering thought leadership in journalism
Will technologists digitize themselves out of jobs someday? | ZDNet New Deloitte study asserts technology has created more jobs than those destroyed. IT opportunities have grown substantially, but will automation, cloud and mobile sustain or reverse this trend?
Robots Are Coming to Take Your McJobs | Co.Exist | ideas + impact As food and labor costs rise in the restaurant industry, some businesses are looking for technological solutions to the annoying problem of expensive…
Intelligent Automation: What it is. Why it matters. | CIO Want fast deployment with high quality?
Can Big Data Algorithms Tell Better Stories Than Humans? – Forbes What if the computer algorithms could tell more compelling stories than journalists, writers or business analysts? Well, this is increasingly becoming a reality. A new generation of Big Data tools are being put to automate story telling. The ideas behind this application of analytics were first put to use generating automated […]
What is robotic process automation? – Definition from WhatIs.com This definitions explains what robotic process automation is and how it is different from traditional information technology (IT) automation.
Hacklet 55 – Home Automation Projects | Hackaday
Gadgets help to clean teeth, pour drinks and teach code | The Columbus Dispatch NEW YORK — Imagine staring deep into the foam of your favorite espresso drink and seeing a face looking back at you. Or how about using the charge in your fingers to clean your teeth?


Look Out, Scientists! AI Solves 100-Year-Old Regeneration Puzzle An artificial intelligence (AI) system has solved a puzzle that has eluded scientists for more than 100 years: how a tiny, freshwater flatworm regenerates its body parts.

China’s Troubling Robot Revolution

Wal-Mart offers a peek at robot grocery pickers and other innovations | Business, Political, and Cultural News in Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas If there is a measure for how focused Wal-Mart is on using technology to dig deeper into the pockets of consumers, this may be it: 2,500 Wal-Mart employees at “labs” in California and Bentonville tests hundreds of innovations at any given time around the globe. Many of those tests geared toward improving the shopping experience for Millenials and other demographic disruptors.


Robot check-in: The hotel concierge goes hi-tech – BBC News One hotel in Japan is due to open with a mainly robot staff, and the rest of the accommodation industry is rapidly going digital.



This Machine Studied Over 10,000 Rap Songs to Do Something No Human Rapper Can – Mic This is unprecedented.



5 super easy tips to make your support processes more human. – Desk.com Blog Desk.com Edit the default Snippets and Auto-Acknowledgement Subject. Desk gives you complete control over your Auto-Acknowledgements. This includes the look and fee



AP expands its computer-written news program. Should reporters be worried? – CSMonitor.com Automated Insights’ software can automatically generate data-driven stories on sports, business, and, soon, other industries.



If robots replace half of US workers, what role will humans play? – CSMonitor.com Nearly half of US jobs – including telemarketing and secretarial work – could be automated within the next 20 years. But even as computers take over certain industries, new industries such as software development and renewable energy are creating jobs.



Amazon is Looking for the Perfect Warehouse Worker – Bloomberg Business Robot with a human grasp is Web challenge to students” data-ephemeral=”true



Driverless cars: closer and safer than you think The age of driverless cars and trucks is rapidly approaching and will help improve road safety by wiping out human error, a global transport summit has heard. …



Can I tell Narrator how I want a particular character to be pronounced? – Microsoft Windows UI Automation Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs Windows UI Automation, UIA, UI Automation, Windows Automation API



Marines test augmented reality battlefield | Computerworld Thanks to augmented glasses, the U.S. Marines on Thursday were able to turn a golf course in Virginia into a simulated battlefield.



 Computer-assisted sedation reduces patient recovery time by almost 20 percent



Google’s Built From Scratch Autonomous Cars to Test on Public Roads | Re/code As its very own self-driving cars prepare to hit the pavement, Google shares more about its secrets.