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One More Thing We (Probably) Won’t Have to Deal With in the Future

One More Thing We (Probably) Won't Have to Deal With in the Future 86

We’ll pay you for 3D scans of your body.

No, it’s not a proposition you’d find on Craigslist. We’re asking for a friend — that is, for Amazon.

Those scans are part of the company’s latest (almost) too-weird-to-be-true project. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is offering $250 gift cards to people willing to send in 10 3D body scans over the course of 20 weeks. The goal of the project, Amazon says, is to improve the retailer’s understanding of how bodies change shape over time.

The WSJ claims to have seen the online survey Amazon is using to solicit participants for this project. The survey reportedly includes questions about the person’s current weight, their fitness level, and any plans for future weight loss. It also notes that the 3D body scans would require 30 minutes each and occur in New York City.

When asked about the body scan project, an Amazon spokeswoman told the WSJ she “couldn’t comment on rumor or speculation.”

Amazon’s 3D body scanning unit, which sprung out of its 2017 acquisition of Body Labs, a New York-based computer vision startup, sent invites asking people if they were interested in participating. If so, those people needed to fill out an online survey. From those survey results, the unit will choose its participants.

Prior to its acquisition, Body Labs’ website reportedly noted its tech could “be used by fashion e-commerce retailers wanting to offer sizing recommendations,” and that might have played a part in Amazon’s interest in the company.

Because of free shipping and lax return policies, people are returning stuff they bought online pretty darn often — 20 percent of purchases bought online are returned, compared to the 9 percent for items purchased in store. Essentially, people are using their homes like fitting rooms, ordering multiple sizes of items and returning whatever doesn’t fit.

Digital Commerce 360 has a suggestion for e-retailers looking to decrease returns: make sure the customer knows exactly what they’re buying. That’s difficult because clothing sizes — especially for women — vary pretty widely. A person who wears a medium in one brand might find a small more suitable in another.

Startups have popped up to address the problem of trying to buy something online that fits when S, M, and L are effectively meaningless.

Savitude, an online marketplace for women, is using visual recognition technology to match items in a retailer’s inventory with one of nine body types. The idea is that customers will then purchase items expected to suit their shape, not necessarily their size. Meanwhile, Swedish startup Virtusize created a platform that lets users compare the dimensions of clothes they already own with online items they’re considering.

For the best fit possible, startup CALA lets users upload photos of themselves. Those photos are then matched to one of the 1,000 3D body scans in CALA’s database, and fashion designers customize pieces to fit those specifications (and for prices like that, they better).

Until Amazon decides to speak on its 3D body scan project, though, there’s no way of knowing just how it plans to use its body scans. For now, though, we’ll optimistically assume they’re for a project like CALA’s, and not something else much creepier.

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The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 95

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 96

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 97
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 98
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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This video will forever change the way you think about time

This video will forever change the way you think about time 99

Business Insider, one of the world’s leading news portals, made a three-minute video that depicted the Earth’s timeline as a journey from Los Angeles to New York.

So, the beginning of the journey is 4.54 billion years ago, when the Earth was formed from the accumulation of gases and stardust. After some time, a significant event occurs – a giant space body crashes into the still not cooled Earth, as a result of which the breakaway part becomes its satellite – the Moon.

Further, the route runs through the mountains of Arizona, formed about 3.95 billion years ago. A few more kilometers to the east and we are at the 3.8 billion year mark. This is where the first evidence of life in the form of replicating molecules appears.

The next “stop” Kansas – 2.7 billion years ago. Cyanobacteria that produce oxygen appeared on Earth. It took the next 200 million years for the atmosphere of our planet to accumulate sufficient reserves of this most important gas.

Halfway through, we reach Pennsylvania. We are separated from it “only” by 660 million years. Life is developing rapidly: the Earth is covered with vegetation, amphibians are evolving. Unusual time travel is coming to an end – to the point “Now”. By the time the dinosaurs become extinct, we finally reach the outskirts of New York.

And where is the most important thing – people? To find out, you need to carve out three minutes and watch the entire video.

Source: Business Insider

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