Charting technology’s new directions: A conversation with MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson “We’re finally getting at that seminal moment in human history when we can talk to our machines and our machines will understand us in regular, natural language,” says Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Erik Brynjolfsson. In this video, he explores the role of big data in business performance, the rise of robotics, and the decoupling of the historical relationship between gains in productivity, incomes, and jobs. He is the coauthor, with MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee, of Race Against the Machine (Digital Frontier Press, October 2011). This interview was conducted by McKinsey Publishing’s Rik Kirkland. Interview transcript Technologies to watch We see a slew of amazing innovations already in the pipeline. Andy [Andrew McAfee] and I have done a lot of work on looking at how big data is changing companies. We’ve spent some time looking at different kinds of robotics. Another very striking example is the Google self-driving car. Man and machine Productivity paradox
Shape-shifting mobile devices This prototype phone screen can bend to provide privacy when needed (credit: University of Bristol) Prototype mobile devices that can change shape on-demand and lead to high “shape resolution” devices of the future.were presented on Monday at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris. In the presentation, Dr. Anne Roudaut and Professor Sriram Subramanian, from the University of Bristol‘s Department of Computer Science used shape resolution to compare six prototypes their team has built using the latest technologies in shape changing material, such as shape memory alloy and electroactive polymer. What are “Morphees”? One concept devices they presented, Morphees are self-actuated flexible mobile devices that can change shape on-demand to better fit the many services they are likely to support (see video). In the future the team hope to build higher-shape-resolution Morphees by investigating the flexibility of materials.
Rethinking Scale: Moving Beyond Numbers to Deep and Lasting Change Cynthia E. Coburn , Assistant Professor + Author Affiliations Abstract The issue of “scale” is a key challenge for school reform, yet it remains undertheorized in the literature. Article Notes Printable “bionic” ear melds electronics and biology Scientists used 3D printing to merge tissue and an antenna capable of receiving radio signals. Credit: Photo by Frank WojciechowskiScientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can "hear" radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability. The researchers' primary purpose was to explore an efficient and versatile means to merge electronics with tissue. The scientists used 3D printing of cells and nanoparticles followed by cell culture to combine a small coil antenna with cartilage, creating what they term a bionic ear. "In general, there are mechanical and thermal challenges with interfacing electronic materials with biological materials," said Michael McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton and the lead researcher. "Previously, researchers have suggested some strategies to tailor the electronics so that this merger is less awkward. A 3D Printed Bionic Ear
ITS Realities How are humans going to become extinct? 24 April 2013Last updated at 05:42 ET By Sean Coughlan BBC News education correspondent Prepare to meet your maker: Will humans become extinct at our own hand? What are the greatest global threats to humanity? Are we on the verge of our own unexpected extinction? An international team of scientists, mathematicians and philosophers at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute is investigating the biggest dangers. And they argue in a research paper, Existential Risk as a Global Priority, that international policymakers must pay serious attention to the reality of species-obliterating risks. Last year there were more academic papers published on snowboarding than human extinction. The Swedish-born director of the institute, Nick Bostrom, says the stakes couldn't be higher. Been there, survived it So what are the greatest dangers? First the good news. The femur of a dodo: An estimated 99% of all species that have existed have become extinct Lack of control Unintended consequences “Start Quote
4. YRDSB DIRECTION 3D printing just got a lot more colorful with the ProDesk3D We’re seeing rapid adoption of 3D printers from both engineers and modeling enthusiasts alike, and now we’re entering the stage of full-color 3D printing for the masses. botObjects, a New York-based hardware and software company, has recently announced that it will be shipping what they are calling the world’s first full-color desktop 3D printer. Dubbed the ProDesk3D, this desktop 3D printer uses a proprietary five-color polylactic acid (PLA) cartridge to create 3D objects using any combination of colors you wish. Combined with a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) support material, the ProDesk3D allows colorful, strong, and elaborate objects to be created quickly and easily. Not only does the ProDesk3D promise plug-and-play ease of use, but it will be incredibly precise as well. With the ability to print down to 25 microns, it is capable of doing much more than printing rough prototypes. (For reference the MakerBot Replicator 2 has a resolution of 100 microns.)