Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com ...strategic foresight... ...breakthrough innovations... ...global trends...

The Struggle To Define What Artificial Intelligence Actually Means

'Artificial' is the easy part

When we talk about artificial intelligence (AI) – which we have done lot recently, including my outline on The Conversation of liability and regulation issues – what do we actually mean?

AI experts and philosophers are beavering away on the issue. But having a usable …

Intelligence

Startup claims a breakthrough in brain-like computing on chips

Your move, IBM.

A small, Santa Fe, New Mexico-based company called Knowm claims it will soon begin commercializing a state-of-the-art technique for building computing chips that learn. Other companies, including HP HPQ and IBM IBM , have already invested in developing these so-called brain-based …

Startups

IBM just signed a brilliant deal with ARM to 'watch' billions of devices on the Internet

IBM has scored a sweet new partnership with ARM, the company best known for designing the chips that power our smartphones and tablets. This deal will let IBM's cloud watch and analyze data from billions of devices on the internet.

The Internet of Things is the trend of adding chips and sensors to …

IBM

Goodbye Moore's Law! Intel invests $50 million into quantum computing partnership

What would Gordon Moore say?

Intel, the chip giant, has committed $50 million and engineering resources as part of a 10-year partnership with a Dutch university to advance research in quantum computing. The partnership with Delft University of Technology and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied …

Quantum Computing

NASA: Rising Seas About to Catch Up With the West Coast

Rising Seas are about to become a bigger issue for the West Coast, according to scientists.Using satellite and other data, NASA scientists have been …

El Niño

Robots Lay Three Times as Many Bricks as Construction Workers

Creators of a new bricklaying robot say its purpose is to leverage human jobs, not entirely replace them. SAM and a human mason work together. SAM …

Robots

What Driverless Cars Mean for Today’s Automakers

The rumors have finally been confirmed: Apple is building its own autonomous car. With Apple’s entry, it’s clear. The automotive industry has opened up again. The manufacturers we’ve become so familiar with over the last century — Daimler, Ford, BMW, Volkswagen, Toyota, and General Motors — aren’t …

Automotive Industry

Edenworks Is Building The Future Of Food On Urban Rooftops

Avocados from Mexico. Apples from Chile. Broccoli from China. If you take a look at the stickers on the produce you’re buying at the grocery store, chances are they’ll read something like this.

Fast-forward twenty years. Instead of driving to Whole Foods to pay top dollar for produce that was picked …

Food

Japan is building a fully-automated indoor farm capable of producing 30,000 heads of lettuce per day

Japan’s Spread Vegetable Factory is working on a novel way of producing high quantities of lettuce using factory automation, reports the Wall Street …

Lettuce

Could diesel made from air help tackle climate change?

Making diesel out of thin air sounds like something from science fiction.

But small companies in Germany and Canada are doing precisely this - capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) and finding ways to sell it.

German company Sunfire produced its first batches of so-called e-diesel in April. Federal Minister …

Climate Change

Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming for Robotics?

Illustration: IEEE SpectrumThe author argues that when the growth of robot capabilities begins in earnest, it will likely be explosive—a Cambrian …

Robots

Breakthrough in 3D-printing? MIT unveils device molding 10 materials at once

A group of MIT scientists says they have developed the world’s first 3D-printer capable of making ready-to-use objects from 10 different materials at once. The new device, supplied with powerful software, boasts nearly human-free operation.

A research team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial …

MIT

Here's how much the world's forests could vanish by 2050

A new report about deforestation and climate change contains a dire warning: If the world continues along its business-as-usual path, an amount of tropical forest nearly equal to the size of India could be lost between 2016 and 2050.

The study, from the nonprofit research organization Center for …

Environment

IoT for food and water: Here’s what the future looks like

GUEST:

In the near future, IoT will drive tremendous innovation in the way our food is grown, processed, distributed, stored, and consumed. Plants and animals will literally have a “voice.” Not a human voice, per se, but a voice based on data that can tell people, computers, and machines when, for …

Agriculture

Oldest Human DNA Reveals Mysterious Branch of Humanity

The oldest known human DNA found yet reveals human evolution was even more confusing than thought, researchers say.

The DNA, which dates back some …

DNA

Administration developing sanctions against China over cyberespionage

The Obama administration is developing a package of unprecedented economic sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals who have benefited from their government’s cyber theft of valuable U.S. trade secrets.

The U.S. government has not yet decided whether to issue these sanctions, but a final …

Asia

The Future of Work: Who Will Thrive, and Who Will Not

(Photo: RioPatuca/Shutterstock)Predicting workforce trends in the United States is a hazardous business. Today, 40 percent of the GDP relies on …

The Future

5 ways technology is transforming finance

For decades, banks and insurers have employed the same relatively static, highly profitable business models. But today they find themselves …

Financial Technology

The algorithm that can learn to copy ANY artist

• Researchers trained their neural network to be able to work out what makes each artists style unique• 
They were able to feed each virtual 'artist' the

Artificial Intelligence

A manifesto for conscious cities: should streets be sensitive to our mental needs?

Picture yourself on a habitual walk through town, perhaps to work or a local grocery store. Consider how much thought has gone into planning the streets and spaces you pass on this journey to maximise its efficiency. For transit, a successful street is above all one that saves us time – or, in …

Urbanism

Modified bacteria work together in a living circuit

A living circuit made from multiple types of bacteria can prompt the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression.

The subject of a new paper in …

Life Sciences

All Netherlands Railways trains will be 100% wind powered by 2018

When its citizens demanded clean energy, The Netherlands responded in the best possible way. Following a ruling earlier this year when 886 citizens …

Wind Power

The Earth Is Now “Locked In” To A 3 Foot Sea Level Rise, NASA Says

“The best science today says it is going to happen and that we’re not ready for it,” a climate scientist told BuzzFeed News. “That, unfortunately, is bad news.”

The earth is now “locked in” to a sea level rise of several feet, a brewing disaster that could happen by the turn of the century thanks to …

Space

The Impacts Of Big Data That You May Not Have Heard Of

Big Data is a buzzword amongst businessmen nowadays. Regardless of industry or company size, it manages to squeeze into every nook and cranny. There are at least three ways that Big Data has been impacting companies that everyone should understand moving forward.

It has revolutionized old-school

Big Data

6 Ways The Internet Of Things Is Creating The City Of The Future

Internet of Things

Johnson & Johnson goes to Silicon Valley with new hardware partnership

The partnership will provide everything from office space to regulatory help to hardware startups.

Johnson & Johnson JNJ has partnered with PCH, a San Francisco hardware specialist, to help startups create innovative health care devices. The deal pairs two subsidiaries of the companies, Johnson & …

Silicon Valley

When Everyone Is Doing Design Thinking, Is It Still a Competitive Advantage?

Design thinking has come a long way since I wrote about it here in 2008. The most valuable company in the world places design at the center of everything it does. Designers are on the founding team of countless disruptive startups. Domains such as healthcare, education, and government have begun to …

Design Thinking

Consumer Reports: The Tesla Model S P85D is so good it 'defies the laws of physics'

The Tesla Model S P85D performed well on Consumer Reports' road tests — so well that the 80-year-old publication is calling the Tesla the best car it has ever tested.

It generated a raw score of 103 on a scale that only goes up to 100.

The high-performance Tesla's incredible showing actually forced …

Theoretical Physics

These Are the Cities Most Vulnerable to the Next Katrina

'The entities that were most resilient were the ones who are best at preparing for the worst'

Where should we expect the next Hurricane Katrina to hit? Despite 10 years of work and some $15 billion in investment in disaster preparedness, experts say we may still want to look to New …

New Orleans