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First Ever Human Robots Invented By Japanese Scientists

Written by Steven Bancarz

Human robots have recently been invented by Japanese scientist, inventor, and professor Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro, and they pose a striking resemblance to human beings.  In fact, they almost look more real than human beings.  This was the goal of Hiroshi when he was creating the humanoid robot: to make it as indistinguishable in behaviour and appearance from a human being as possible.  Here are a few of these things in action:

The introduction of these robots into our society could create some problems.  As a presenter of these androids said at a conference, he sees them as being the future of telecommunications.

Will we begin to see these robots fill job spots involving repetitive tasks and data management?  What about factory jobs?  The creation of fully operational and functional human robots could have some serious economic implications.

They are nowhere near that advanced in their behaviour yet however.  In fact, they don’t even control themselves yet.  They are controlled by someone behind the scenes who speaks through them and moves their mouths and arms with computer software. They are nonetheless a huge milestone for human ingenuity.

What was his inspiration for creating these humanoids? Here is professor Ishiguro talking his reasons for taking on such a project.

These things are a scientific marvel.  Although they lack things like freedom of the will, rationality, and subjectivity, they seem to be capable of basic human interactions.  He recently revealed 2 more at the National Museum of Merging Science and Innovation this year.  Here they are being interviewed:

What would happen if we were one day able to give these androids human-like processing capabilities?  What if we could somehow replicate human intelligence within them, and program them to be behaviourally identical to us?

IBM is famous for creating a supercomputer that they call “Watson”, which is a cognitive technology that can do exactly what humans do.  It uses programmatic computing plus the combination of three additional capabilities: natural language processing, hypothesis generation and evaluation, and dynamic learning.

Through repeated use, Watson literally gets smarter by tracking feedback from its users and learning from both successes and failures.  So this cognitive computer can literally read, generate hypotheses, learn, and hold a conversation.  Here is a video of Watson beating humans in Jeopardy:

If I were professor Ishiguro, I would be contacting IBM to try to combine the world of androids with the world of cognitive technology.  We have all of the technology we need to create a world similar to that in I Robot.  The only question is, do we want that?  Imagine having a robot driving your taxi, or acting as your assistant at work.  What impacts would that have on our civilization, both socially and existentially?

A question that personally interests me is, are they persons? Would they deserve to be treated fairly and lovingly? What do you guys think about this?

 

Sources: Listed within the article

About the Author:  My name is Steven Bancarz, and I am the creator of ‘Spirit Science and Metaphysics’.  Thanks for taking the time to read this article!  If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, you can do so HERE.

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Science & Technology

Here’s How Cars Are Secretly Making You Sleepier

Most of us have probably felt sleepy on a car journey, but it’s not always due to an early start, or a long day, or a lack of caffeine.

New research shows that something in the actual act of car travel can make even the most alert of us start to feel drowsy.

It’s all to do with the vibrations a car makes as it moves: they can bring on sleepiness in just 15 minutes, the new study shows.

That’s something for both car manufacturers and road safety experts to think about, according to the researchers from RMIT University in Australia. They want to conduct further studies into how car seat vibrations could be secretly bringing on sleep.

“When you’re tired, it doesn’t take much to start nodding off and we’ve found that the gentle vibrations made by car seats as you drive can lull your brain and body,” says one of the team, Stephen Robinson.

sleep drive 2The virtual simulator. (RMIT)

“Our study shows steady vibrations at low frequencies – the kind we experience when driving cars and trucks – progressively induce sleepiness even among people who are well rested and healthy.”

Robinson and his colleagues hooked 15 volunteers up to a virtual simulator that they could vibrate at different frequencies. The volunteers were tested twice, once with no vibration, and once with low-frequency 4-7KHz vibrations.

They then measured the heart rate variability (HRV) of the participants over the course of each 60-minute session. HRV is an indicator of drowsiness because it shows the body tweaking its central nervous system as it gets tired.

The monitors showed drowsiness kicking in for the drivers after just 15 minutes. On average, the drowsiness was “significant” by 30 minutes, and the volunteers continued to feel sleepier and sleepier until the tests finished.

What might be happening, the researchers say, is that the brain becomes synchronised to the vibrations and enters an early stage of sleep – hence why you might get a whole car full of people nodding off on a long trip.

The study does have some limitations we should talk about: only 15 people were tested, and at only one narrow range of frequencies.

They were also sent down a rather monotonous, two-lane virtual highway, without the distractions of a real drive.

But with tiredness a factor in around 1 in 5 fatal accidents on the road, it’s important that we find out exactly what’s going on. The researchers want to continue their work by looking at bigger groups of people and more ranges of frequencies.

Even if the effect can’t be negated completely, changes in car seat design could minimise it. In fact, the study team thinks the opposite effect could be engineered – at least until self-driving cars arrive and we can all fall asleep in peace.

“Our research also suggests that vibrations at some frequencies may have the opposite effect and help keep people awake,” says Robinson.

“So we also want to examine a wider range of frequencies, to inform car designs that could potentially harness those ‘good vibrations’.”

The research has been published in Ergonomics.

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Science & Technology

New BlackFly flying car prototype that anyone can pilot

A Silicon Valley startup has developed a flying car prototype that it claims ‘anyone can pilot.’

Called BlackFly, the single-seat, all-electric aircraft doesn’t require the flyer to have a pilot license in order to operate it in the US, according to Palo Alto-based Opener.

Opener first drew up concepts for BlackFly nine years ago and has now built an early prototype that can travel 25 miles at speeds of up to 62mph.

A Silicon Valley startup has developed a flying car prototype that it claims ‘anyone can pilot.’ Called BlackFly, the single-seat, all-electric aircraft doesn’t require a pilot’s license to fly

BlackFly is an ultralight vehicle that consumes less energy than a traditional electric car and is also built to be steathily quiet.

The battery can be recharged in as little as 25 minutes.

Users don’t need a pilot’s license to operate it, but they must take part in minimal training, including sitting in a simulator for about five minutes.

It’s powered by eight, small electric motors and controlled using a responsive joystick.

Opener CEO Marcus Leng hopes that the BlackFly flying car will be ready to go on sale as soon as next year.

Unlike other flying car models, Leng plans to keep BlackFly affordable, with a price tag near the cost of a traditional SUV.

Earlier models may be more expensive, however.

‘Opener is re-energizing the art of flight with a safe and affordable flying vehicle that can free its operators from the everyday restrictions of ground transportation,’ Leng said in a statement.

The hope is to democratize ‘three-dimensional transportation’ such as flying cars, while maintaining safety.

Opener has conducted rigorous testing on BlackFly, including 1,000-plus flights and 10,000-plus miles flown.

‘We first flew 10,000 miles. We did a thousand-plus flights,’ Leng told CBS. ‘Autonomous. And we had a payload of 2,000 pounds.’

Users don’t need a pilot’s license to operate it, but they must take part in minimal training given by Opener, including sitting in a simulator for about five minutes

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Science & Technology

Video Shows Car-Like Acceleration of Tesla’s Electric Truck

I happen to find trucks, big rigs or whatever you prefer to call them, very fascinating. I’ve always been awe struck by them since I was younger, and still have the same fascination to this day. Similar to trains, I think part of that fascination is the power. Thanks to Elon Musk, trucks are now taking advantage of the tremendous leaps that have been made in electric power technology.

This is quite incredible!

via Science Alert:

In Elon Musk’s future, you’ll never have to change lanes to avoid being stuck behind a truck at the lights again.

Here’s some more footage of someone having an excellent time testing Tesla’s electric truck in a residential area recently:

You might notice the hammer goes down as soon as the driver hits the 25mph (40km/h) zone.

And it’s not just because it’s unladen that the truck is pulling stunts you’ll only otherwise see at a drag strip.

Tesla claims the truck can hit 100 km/h in 20 seconds, even when fully loaded.

We can’t wait to see more.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

Additional Video via johannes h. – YouTube

The new Tesla Semi Truck:
+ 0-60 mph (96km/h) in 5 sec
+ 500miles (800km) of range
+ $180.000

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