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

Google on the Verge of Giving Machines Human-like Intelligence

Prominent artificial intelligence scientist Professor Geoff Hinton predicts computers will develop “common sense” within a decade.

Hinton is helping …

Google

US warns 'next step' could be to test Beijing's territorial claims in South China Sea

US surveillance aircraft and naval ships have yet to test China’s territorial claims around artificial islands built in the South China Sea, but the Pentagon warned Thursday that could be “the next step”.

Although the United States does not recognise China’s claims of sovereignty around the manmade …

Asia

Data farming. Literally.

Keith Larrabee's farm sits on 4,000 acres of California's Sacramento Valley, between a coastal range of mountains to the west and the tall Sierra Nevadas to the east. It's an area that traditionally gets much more rain than most of the drought-stricken state. Even so, Larrabee is always worried …

Agriculture

California’s getting desperate: Unprecedented water restrictions target previously immune farmers

As the drought drags on, not even senior rights holders will be spared any longer

California’s drought isn’t going anywhere soon, and as the state heads into a long, dry summer, it’s pursuing ever more drastic measures than ever to preserve its dwindling groundwater supply. Nearly two months after …

California

Solar energy batteries set to transform electricity industry

Australia's electricity industry is about to undergo a massive transformation, with the advent of cheap storage batteries for solar energy.

US …

Renewable Energy

Meet Ether, The Bitcoin-Like Cryptocurrency That Could Power The Internet Of Things

Plus, the devices will make money on their own.

At CES this past January, IBM researcher Veena Pureswaran described the company's joint plan with Samsung to get home appliances to exchange cryptocurrency with one another. The currency, called Ether, is similar to Bitcoin, except that the traded …

Ether

Astronomer Royal Martin Rees: How soon will robots take over the world?

An explosion in artificial intelligence has sent us hurtling towards a post-human future, warns Martin Rees

In Davos a few years ago, I met a well-known Indian tycoon. Knowing I had the title Astronomer Royal, he asked: “Do you do the Queen’s horoscopes?” I responded, with a straight face: “If she …

Robots

This Futuristic Concrete Heals Itself With Built-In Bacteria

A solid idea

Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It’s durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There’s just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.

There are a lot of different reasons that concrete cracks, but in general, it gets stressed either from the load …

Concrete

Young blood helps repair fractured bones of ageing mice

Young blood has once again shown its promise as an elixir of youth: blood from young mice helps bones of older animals heal.

Over the past few years, …

Mice

North Atlantic circulation slowing down already?

Scientists have long predicted that North Atlantic Ocean circulation will slow down in the future in response to climate change, but new research …

North Atlantic

China begins charm offensive in South America amid controversy over Amazonian railway

Beijing denies that Li Keqiang's eight-day visit to South America, which begins in Brazil, means China is muscling in on the United States "backyard"

Plans for a controversial 3,300-mile railroad linking the continent's Atlantic and Pacific coasts are expected to be announced by Li Keqiang, the …

Asia

This Interactive System Lets Doctors See Your Guts in Virtual Reality

Even with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans and ultrasounds, it's still a bit awkward for doctors to get a three-dimensional perspective of a patient's insides. A company called EchoPixel hopes to change that by bringing medical imaging into the virtual reality era with its True 3D …

Virtual Reality

Single-Cell Genomics Allows Identification of New Cell Types

How many types of cells are there in the human body? Textbooks say a couple of hundred. But the true number is undoubtedly far larger.

Piece by piece, …

Stanford University

ILO says only one-fourth of the world's workers have solid jobs

Geneva (AFP) - Only a fourth of the world's workforce have stable contracts, leading to growing job insecurity, a UN report said Tuesday.

The International Labour Organization report revealed a clear shift away from reliable full-time jobs, as short-term contracts and irregular hours become more …

Employment

Climate change: Americans crowding into future heatwave zones, study says

The combination of global warming and a shifting US population will by mid-century deliver a “double whammy” that greatly increases the number of Americans exposed to extremely hot days, a new study says.

People are migrating into areas where the heat is likely to increase more, said the authors of …

Climate Change

Impact Investing Grows, But There's Still A Dearth Of Deals

A new study found that 146 of the world’s largest impact investors manage a big hunk of change: $60 billion. But they also continue to bemoan a lack of high-quality investment opportunities. And finding a way to exit isn’t easy.

The research, conducted by Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and …

Investing

Climate change threatens electric power supply in California, report warns

Californians may have to start rationing more than water, including how much they turn on their lights and how often they use their hairdryers.

By 2050, extended years of drought in the state could lead to an electricity shortage as well as a water shortage, according to a study published on Monday …

Energy

Medium Is Building The Future Of Brand Storytelling

For a brand portrait, like this one about Nashville nightlife published under the Marriott International byline, the brand gets significant control …

Storytelling

Paul Allen Just Got One Step Closer To Mapping The Human Brain

The Allen Institute for Brain Science, founded more than a decade ago and backed by $500 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, said today it has launched a new database that marks a major step towards creating a comprehensive map of the human brain. It’s called the Allen Cell Types …

The Brain

What If Everybody Didn't Have to Work to Get Paid?

Advocates say that a guaranteed basic income can lead to more creative, fulfilling work. The question is how to fund it.

Scott Santens has been thinking a lot about fish lately. Specifically, he’s been reflecting on the aphorism, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to …

Income

A German Startup Has Created Carbon-Neutral Diesel From CO2, Water, And Renewable Power

The technology is there. The big challenges will be finding customers and dealing with government regulations.

If you were to draw up a list of really useful inventions that could help fight climate change, a CO2-neutral fuel that can be used in conventional automobiles might be somewhere near the …

Energy

Electroloom Is A 3D Fabric Printer In The Making

3D printing is pushing into all sorts of areas, allowing for rapid prototyping of plastic and metal components, circuit boards and even putting putting an alternative spin on food production — or offering a lower cost way to construct living tissue structures for drug testing. Well here’s another …

Printing

Robot Revolution Initiative launched by Japan heralds a new machine age

Japan is well known for a number of things including anime, weird TV commercials, and of course, robots. While the western part of the world keeps …

Robots

5 ways universities have already changed in the 21st century

Global higher education underwent a period of remarkable change in the first 15 years of the 21st century. Five key trends affecting universities …

Education

L’Oreal’s plan to start 3D printing human skin

L’Oreal needs human skin. Lots of it. That’s why the French cosmetics giant earlier this month announced that it’s partnering with bioprinting startup Organovo to figure out how to 3D print living, breathing derma that can be used to test products for toxicity and efficacy. “We’re the first beauty …

Makeup

Connecting Big Data, Cloud and Watson to the Car for a Safer Ride Home

Ralf Lenninger, Head of Innovation and Strategy, Continental’s Interior Division.Even with the popularity of crowd-sourced traffic apps, motorists …

Big Data

Driverless car technology just got a huge boost

In a limited sense, cars have been "driverless" for a long time — ever used cruise control? — but they are about to become far more capable, and soon, revolutionizing the way people get around.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx promised last week that the federal government will smooth the …

Car Tech

We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril

As a species, we don’t seem to be very good at dealing with nonlinearity. We cope moderately well with situations and environments that are changing gradually. But sudden, major discontinuities – what some people call “tipping points” – leave us spooked. That’s why we are so perversely relaxed …

Innovation

4 Tips For Cultivating Design Leadership At Big Companies

When design teams are dropped into corporate environments, success hinges on creating great leaders, writes EffectiveUI's Peyton Lindley.

Recognizing the impact of design on the bottom line, big companies have gotten in the habit of simply swallowing up smaller design studios. Last year, for …

Leadership