IEEE Spectrum's weekly selection of awesome robot videos; Report claims that the AI leader in 2030 will obtain world dominance for the century; Researchers use genetic manipulation to reverse age-related decline in mouse brains; Internal mobility, changing jobs within an organization, is a growing trend in business; and a Steem essay describing a collaborative effort to 3D print incubators for Mason Bees
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Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.
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- Video Friday: India Sending Humanoid Robot Into Space - IEEE Spectrum's weekly selection of awesome robot videos includes: Mythbusters' Adam Savage evaluating Spot, the quadruped from Boston Dynamics and concluding that it's "an astonishingly capable platform"; Vyommitra, a humanoid robot that's going into space in 2022 for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO); An automated sensor design, by Disney Research, that makes soft robots "proprioceptive" (intrinsically capable of perceiving movement); A Dragonfly rotorcraft and lander from HoneyBee Robotics that will explore Saturn's moon, Titan along with Draco, a robotic drilling system that acquires samples and delivers them for examination; CompanionPro, an automated dog-training system; and more
Here is the dog-training system
- Report: Whichever country claims AI supremacy this decade will rule the Earth - According to a report by Indermit Singh Gill for the Brookings Institution, whichever country dominates the artificial intelligence (AI) landscape in 2030 will dominate the globe for the rest of the 21st century. According to the report, AI is the fourth great "general purpose technology" after the 1800s, following after steam power, electricity, and information technology. Countries that are currently in the running include the United States, China, and the European Union. Gill says that the US is currently the strong leader, but that inequality may undermine its position. In contrast, the report says that China's advantage is its massive spending, and the EU's strength is that it has robust infrastructure and superior taxation policies. The full report is here. -h/t Communications of the ACM: Artificial Intelligence
- Increasing neurogenesis refines hippocampal activity rejuvenating navigational learning strategies and contextual memory throughout life - As the brain ages, it naturally loses plasticity, which impairs its ability to learn, remember, and focus. By genetic manipulation to increase creation of new neurons in mice, researchers have reversed this decline in plasticity. They say this shows a possibility to reverse age-related declines in the hippocampus through the use of stem cells that are naturally occurring in the brain. -h/t Daniel Lemire
- Google and Facebook let employees try different jobs and teams. Here's how any company can use this strategy to keep high performers from getting bored and quitting. - Changing jobs within an organization is a concept that is known as "internal mobility". It was pioneered by firms like Facebook and Google, but is quietly spreading across the business landscape. According to LinkedIn data, job changes within companies increased by 10% from 2015 through 2019. One reason for the trend's emergence may be that companies are learning that its easier to retrain their own work force than to recruit new talent and start from scratch with outsiders. In order to encourage job mobility, Google has temporary fill-in opportunities when employees leave for things like family leave and vacation, and the firm also has its widely known "20% time" policy allowing workers to focus on projects of their choosing. More recently, Hootsuite, Spotify, Accenture, Amazon, and PwC have all launched programs aimed at the same types of goals. According to the article this flurry of activity is good for employees because it prevents bordeom, and it's good for the firms who benefit from having cross-functional talent and save costs on recruiting, hiring, and training. As noted in Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 18, 2020, this may also benefit the firm because recent work from Harvard suggests that generalists are more innovative than specialists, and this article adds that a recent LinkedIn study found that people with cross-functional experience are more likely to reach the executive level.
- STEEM 3D Printed Mason Bee Incubation Boxes - You may recall that Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 11, 2020 included a post from @solominer that covered the harvesting of Mason Bee cocoons. Well, yestereday's post by @solominer describes another phase in the same project, showcasing a collaborative effort between the author and another Steemizen, @whangster79. The pair used 3D printing to create four Mason Bee incubators for actual use. @solominer found the plan on the Internet and @whangster79 refined the plan for a better fitting lid, and printed out four of the incubators. In about a month, when the Mason Bees begin to hatch, @solominer will be able to see how the creation works and how densely it should be packed. As an aside, the linked post also showcases one of Steem's unique capabilities, as @solominer assigned a 50% beneficiary setting in order to automatically share blogging rewards with @whangster79. (Beneficiary settings of 10% have been assigned to this post for both @solominer and @whangster79.)
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