Science & Technology

Preparing for our posthuman future of artificial intelligence

March 14, 2017

What will happen as we enter the era of human augmentation, artificial intelligence and government-by-algorithm? James Barrat, author of Our Final Invention, said: “Coexisting safely and ethically with intelligent machines is the central challenge of the twenty-first century.” A lot of folks are earnestly exploring the topic. “Will scientists soon be able to create supercomputers that can read a newspaper with understanding, or write a news story, or create novels, or even formulate laws?”

Smartphones Outpacing Humans in Literacy

March 14, 2017

Currently, 758 million adults around the world and 32 million Americans are illiterate, according to a new report issued by the project, "2027: Human vs. Machine Literacy." These are individuals who are unable to read "a road sign, a voting form or a medicine label." At the same time, technological advances in artificial intelligence and voice recognition will soon enable more than two billion smartphones to read and write.

China Tech Plan Threat to Foreign Firms

March 13, 2017

A European business group says China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers of electric cars and other goods to hand over technology under an industry development plan that is likely to shrink access to its markets.

IEEE-USA Commends Congress for Passing NASA Bill Facilitating Journey to Mars

March 13, 2017

NASA’s goal to send a manned spacecraft to Mars should get a big boost from the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017. IEEE-USA commends Congress for passing the bipartisan legislation this week.

China's tech giants are pouring billions into US start-ups

March 12, 2017

Collectively known as the BAT, China's giant technology companies that dominate search, e-commerce and mobile messaging in their home market are going global. The United States is their primary shopping place to diversify and build out their brands. The hunt is on to acquire or buy into fast-growing young companies in a broad range of the hottest tech sectors, such as virtual reality, fintech, social media, video games and mobile apps.

UC Berkeley suffers big loss in CRISPR patent fight: What's next for the powerful gene-editing technology?

March 10, 2017

UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her European collaborator, Emmanuelle Charpentier, have racked up a slew of awards for their work, which makes it very easy to alter the DNA of living things. But their efforts to patent their discovery have been hung up by a competing claim from Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

IBM plans to build the first commercially available universal quantum computer

March 09, 2017

Quantum hardware has already been made available by the likes of D-Wave, but its hardware is limited in the kinds of computation it can achieve. IBM Q marks the first time that a universal quantum computer is being offered up. A universal quantum computer is capable of tackling problems that are too large for a conventional system, so IBM Q would have many applications beyond what's possible with current technology.

Elon Musk: tech dreamer reaching for sun, moon and stars

March 08, 2017

SpaceX recently announced that two private citizens have paid money to be sent around the Moon in what would mark the farthest humans have ever traveled to deep space since the 1970s. In a sector where entrepreneurs often speak of "moonshots," Musk is one of the biggest dreamers.

Trump renominates FCC chairman

March 08, 2017

President Trump has renominated Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to a new five-year term, a White House spokesman told The Hill. The White House submitted the necessary paperwork on Tuesday, the source said, the day after Pai met with the president.

Technology as a Force for Inclusion

March 07, 2017

As a company with a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, these are just some of the questions we ask ourselves at Microsoft. We believe it’s no longer enough to measure success simply in terms of how quickly technology advances. More important is how many lives are improved and whether people are prepared for jobs that require skills ranging from basic digital literacy to advanced computer science.

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