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Submission + - Designing Robots that Learn Just Like Babies (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Researchers are developing new methods of machine learning inspired by human development. A team at the University of Washington developed an algorithm that enables a robot to assess outcomes based on different actions. Other researchers have developed a computational model that applies new visual concepts to build models from just a few examples, similar to how babies learn. Together, these efforts are enabling engineers to look to human intelligence for inspiration on data processing and predictive analytics.

Submission + - Scientists Reconstruct a 3D Structure from a Single Image (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Scientists have developed a method to determine the 3D positions of atoms in a crystal from a single image. Using an electron microscope, a high resolution scan is taken of a magnesium oxide crystal aligned such that the atoms fall into columns. Quantum interactions with the electron wave are detected and mapped by depth. The method is even able to differentiate the magnesium and oxygen atoms as well as atoms from impurities.

Submission + - Burger Robot Poised to Disrupt Fast Food Industry (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: The company that makes a robot that produces a quality burger in 10 seconds is taking greater responsibility for the disruptive force of their bot to the fast food industry. Momentum Machines recently announced an offer to help retrain workers displaced as a result of their robotic technology. Their proposal involves partnering with vocational schools to assist in the education of former workers in technician and engineer programs. Whether the company's intent will propel the further development and ultimate adoption of robotics and AI into the industry remains to be seen.

Submission + - Crafting a Gameplan to End Age-Related Diseases (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: The underlying reasons for aging in the body are known, so the focus now shifts to solutions, especially within biotechnology. This, according to Aubrey de Grey — cofounder and chief science officer of the SENS Research Foundation — is why the organization provides funding for research off the mainstream. While once the lone torch bearer for longevity extension, SENS is now joined by Google and other startups tackling the challenge through analysis of healthcare and genomic data.

Submission + - Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect to Create Cool Body Swap Illusion (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, Microsoft Kinect, a camera, and a handful of electrical stimulators, a London student's virtual reality system is showing users what it's like to swap bodies. Looking down, they see someone else's arms and legs; looking out, it's someone else's point of view; and when they move their limbs, the body they see does the same (those electrical stimulators mildly shock muscles to force a friend to mirror the user's movements). It's an imperfect system, but a fascinating example of the power of virtual reality. What else might we use VR systems for? Perhaps they'll prove useful in training or therapeutic situations? Or what about with robots, which would be easier to inhabit and control than another human? The virtual body swap may never fully catch on, but generally, virtual reality will likely prove useful for more than just gaming and entertainment.

Submission + - How Will We Know When Computers Can Think for Themselves? (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Recently, a computer program named Eugene Goostman posing as a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy fooled 10 of 30 judges into thinking it was human. A University of Reading press release claimed the program was the first to pass the Turing test, computing pioneer Alan Turing's famous objective test to see if a machine can think. But what the Turing test can tell us is nuanced and hard to pin down. And no computer program has yet achieved the level of advancement associated with Turing's famous test.

Submission + - ChefJet 3D Sugar Printer Showcased At CES (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Pastry chefs who want to wow their clients with intricate sugar sculptures can now embrace the future of manufacturing, 3D printing thanks to the ChefJet 3D Sugar Printer. A firm called Sugar Lab, now part of 3D Systems, created the $5-10k printer which prints intricate sugar-based sculptures and showcased their creation at this year's CES. This is just another example of how 3D printing continues to expand the range of fabrication domains even as prices for the devices continue to drop.

Submission + - Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Vehicles Are Finally Arriving (singularityhub.com) 1

kkleiner writes: Long promised hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are finally arriving from major car manufacturers. Honda has started to make its FCX Clarity available for lease, and both Toyota and Hyundai are promising their versions next year. With a 300-mile range before needing a refill, these vehicles are appealing though their current cost won't be to most consumers (prices are expected to drop over the next decade). Still, it's the infrastructure to support these vehicles that will likely dictate their adoption rate, as has been seen with electric recharging stations.

Submission + - Google Glass Making Its Way Into Operating Rooms (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Among the possible uses for Google Glass that early adopters are dreaming up, you can now add "surgical assistance" to the list. With approval from the institutional review board, a UCSF cardiothoracic surgeon recently utilized Glass during procedures by utilizing its voice activation features to refer to patient x-ray scans. Aimed at providing surgeons with the most up-to-date patient data, a startup named VitaMedicals is building apps to stream in patient records and live scans to the device. Even though it's early days for Glass, its potential in the medical space is huge and could revolutionize how doctor's access and apply information from patient records.

Submission + - Bionic Eye Implant Available In U.S. Next Month (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Starting next month, Americans suffering from degenerative eye diseases can get excited about the launch of the Argus II, a bionic eye implant to partially restore vision. Designed for those suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, the Argus II is a headset that looks akin to Google Glass but is actually hard wired into the optic nerve to transmit visual information from a 60 electrode array. The device opens the door for similar "humanitarian" implants that both reduce the difficulty in getting government approval and increase the adoption of brain implants.

Submission + - Affordable Blood Work In Four Hours Coming To Walgreens (singularityhub.com) 4

kkleiner writes: With the cost of healthcare services increasing, it's welcome news that a recent deal between Walgreens and Theranos will bring rapid, accurate, low-cost blood testing to the local pharmacy. A pinprick of blood from a finger is enough to run any number of a la carte diagnostic tests with results in four hours or less. The automation of blood testing in one convenient machine may mean that the demand for clinical technicians may decline, but the benefits of making blood analysis more accessible to everyone is enormous.

Submission + - Web-Connected Pill Bottlecap Dispenses Meds, Tracks Compliance (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Serving as yet another example of the Internet of Things, a company has developed a WiFi-enabled cap for pill bottles called CleverCap that dispenses the correct timely medicine dosage and transmits data to healthcare providers. With an increasing number of people taking meds (thanks to an aging population) and lack of compliance continuing to be a major detriment to proper health care, the cap shortens the gap between patient and doctor. What insurance companies will do with this data should they be granted access remains to be seen.

Submission + - FDA Approves Wearable "Artificial Pancreas" (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: The FDA has approved a device that acts as an "artificial pancreas", which both continuously monitors a patient's glucose levels and injects appropriate amounts of insulin when needed. When blood-sugar levels become low, the device from Medtronics warns the wearer and will eventually shut down. The MiniMed 530G looks to offer an on-the-go solution for the growing number of people suffering from Type 1 diabetes who have to test their blood and inject insulin throughout the day. The company plans to improve the device to make a fully automated version down the road.

Submission + - Amazon Opens Up Storefront For Home Automation (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: If you've spent years envying high-tech cribs where automated lighting, locks, and electronics are standard but you didn't know how to get started, Amazon's got your back. The company recently set up a designated storefront for all things related to home automation. While many of the products aren't necessarily new, providing a one-stop shopping spot and a handy "getting started" guide shows that Amazon continues to go after dollars from the niche DIY techy types, just as it did with a 3D printing storefront released a few months ago.

Submission + - Researchers Debut Software That Extract 3D Objects From Photos (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Forget about CAD — software developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University called 3-Sweep allows the extraction of 3D objects from regular photographs rapidly and intuitively. Using standard drawing tools, 3D objects are defined by starting with a basic shape and drawing a line through each axis. The software then builds the model allowing the user to transform the object in a variety of ways. When coupled with 3D printing, this method could lead to the ability to create physical 3D models of objects in regular photographs with ease.

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