A Virtual Playground Lets AI Practice Complex Tasks And Chores

As the classic saying goes, “if you want to make a chore-bot, you’ll need to crack some plates.” The old adage encapsulates a major problem facing those working on robotic household assistants: how do you build a robot that completes all the tiny steps in a task humans do with ease, like setting the table […]

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The FDA Puts the Brakes on A Major CRISPR Trial in Humans

You’ve heard it before: CRISPR has the potential to change our lives for the better. But first, we have to give it a chance. In December, gene-editing company CRISPR Therapeutics announced a partnership with biotech company Vertex to develop CTX001, the world’s first gene-based treatment for sickle cell disease (SCD). Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration […]

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This Aerial Robot Can Change Its Shape Mid-Flight

When you need a model for how to make something that flies, there’s no need to look to science fiction. Nature’s got plenty of examples. A pretty good one? Birds. Flying is kind of their thing (for most of them, anyway). So when researchers from the Étienne Jules Marey Institute of Movement Sciences (CNRS / […]

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A California City Is Gearing Up To Test Universal Basic Income

For years, the citizens of Stockton, California, have faced rampant unemployment, poverty, and hardship. For some, a new experiment could change that. In the coming months, mayor Michael Tubbs plans to launch a universal basic income trial that will — without any conditions or work requirements — give monthly payments to about 100 families over […]

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Embattled GMO Golden Rice Is Now Allowed in US Food Supply

20 years ago, Time Magazine put a goateed man and some plants on its cover, declaring a breed of rice would save the world’s children. The claim didn’t age well. In the years since, that crop, named golden rice, hasn’t saved any lives. No farmers grow it, so no one eats it. But now, that […]

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Hackers Commandeered 3 Cryptocurrency Networks, Stole Millions

This week, three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin Gold, Verge, and Monacoin — were hit with a rarely-seen cyber attack. The hack, called a 51 percent attack, allowed the hackers to steal about $20 million, mostly from the Bitcoin Gold ledger. If you’ve never heard of a 51 percent attack, that’s because for the most part, crypto experts weren’t particularly worried about […]

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The Cyborgs Are Here: Researchers Put Living Cells In A Robotic Finger

The line between humans and machines is blurring. Researchers from the University of Tokyo Institute of Industrial Science have now created a biohybrid robot — a robotic device that incorporates living tissue — that remained functional for more than a week. They published their study Wednesday in the journal Science Robotics. Video Credit: 2018 Shoji Takeuchi, Institute […]

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Facebook Will Start Making Its Own AI Chips To Stop Violent Livestreams

When you give people a channel to send out live videos, some will use it to broadcast the most horrendous, disgusting things imaginable. Facebook has learned this first hand; the site has become infamous for livestreams of violent acts, murder, and even suicide. To keep these kinds of violent videos off the platform, Facebook introduced systems, […]

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We’ve Reached A New Level In Bionics: Artificial Limbs We Forget Are Artificial

Improved amputation techniques are giving amputees with advanced prosthetic limbs a feeling of control comparable to that of their original arms and legs, according to new research out of MIT. A team of biophysicists and engineers was able to create a natural-feeling prosthetic by taking a smarter approach to amputation. In this new approach, the […]

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China Isn’t Taking Our Recycling. Here’s What We Could Do With It Instead.

Last year, China announced that it is officially done accepting “foreign garbage.” That is: plastic and paper recycling scraps from the U.S. and Europe. Since March 1, the country has barred 24 materials, including plastic and paper, from entering its borders. The few items the nation will take, like scrap metal, have to be super clean (to be […]

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Two States Are Trying To Give People Control Over Their Online Data

Companies all over the world spent months preparing for last Friday, when the European Union began to enforce its sweeping data privacy act, the General Data Protection Regulation. During that time, privacy advocates were hoping, were led to believe, that tech companies would grant the rest of the world those same improved protections afforded to European […]

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