Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com

We have unrealistic expectations of a tech-driven future utopia

It’s time to talk about the potential value of limits on technology.<p><i>A version of this essay was originally published at</i> <i>Tech.pinions</i><i>, a website dedicated to informed opinions, insight and perspective on the tech industry.</i><p>No one likes to think about limits, especially in the tech industry, where the …

Intelligence

Canadian airlines aim to be biofuel superpower, reduce carbon footprint

The country’s top airlines say resource-rich Canada has the potential to become a biofuel superpower by transforming forest residue and agricultural crops into energy that can help the industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions.<p>“Canada actually has an opportunity like no other country where it can …

AI May Soon Replace Even the Most Elite Consultants

Amazon’s Alexa just got a new job. In addition to her other 15,000 skills like playing music and telling knock-knock jokes, she can now also answer economic questions for clients of the Swiss global financial services company, UBS Group AG.<p>According to the <i>Wall Street Journal</i> (WSJ), a new …

Artificial Intelligence

Nanomaterial charges everyday batteries in seconds

If you want a battery that charges in seconds rather than hours, you go for a supercapacitor. There are some catches to that, though: either you give up the long-lasting energy of a chemical battery (like the lithium pack in your phone) or have to resort to exotic storage tech to get a long …

Batteries

Sucking Up CO2 Will Cost Hundreds of Trillions - MIT Technology Review

Start saving your money, kids.<p>Unless we start cutting carbon dioxide emissions soon, it’s going to cost today’s young people as much as $535 trillion …

Climate Change

Central South African Bank Will Experiment With Bitcoin Regulation

South African Bitcoin Experiment<p>The South African Reserve Bank, which functions as the country’s central bank, is partnering with blockchain-based …

Bitcoin

Global warming will increase poverty in the southern US, a new study says

A new study estimates that southern areas of the US, many of which are already poor, could face a 20 percent decline in economic activity if carbon emissions continue unabated through the 21st century.<p>The study was issued by economists with the Climate Impact Lab, a consortium of experts from the …

Climate Change

Startup Gets Funding to Clean Up Our Orbital Space Junk

The space surrounding Earth is long overdue for spring cleaning. According to the most recent estimates from the NASA, there are more than 500,000 …

NASA

'The idea is coming of age': Indigenous Australians take carbon farming to Canada

The Aboriginal Carbon Fund has signed an agreement with Canadian First Nations peoples to share lessons from successful land management program<p>Australia’s world-leading Indigenous land management and carbon farming programs are spreading internationally, with a formal agreement signed to help build …

Climate

Technology vs Humanity: the coming clash of man and machine

"Gerd Leonhard is most definitely a member of Team Human. Here's his convincing and heartfelt call for the reinstatement of people and purpose into …

Carbon Prints Amazing Materials - MIT Technology Review

A sleek mechanical arm plunges into a pool of what looks like milky gray ink in Carbon’s lab in Redwood City, California. The black arm slowly moves …

Engineering

Feeding Cows diet with 2% seaweed can eliminate 2-4 billion tons of CO2 per year

The study, by a team of researchers at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, found in live trials with sheep that recorded methane levels …

A Toolkit for Community Shared Power

<i>This post by Ashley Taylor was originally published on Medium.com</i><p>The centralized energy grid of today is moving towards a more decentralized …

China allowing top high speed rail speeds to go back to 350 kph

China authorizing the maximum speed of the Shanghai-Beijing high-speed rail line to increase to 350 kilometers per hour. China is upgrading its high …

Banks and companies plan expansion in Frankfurt after Brexit

US investment bank Morgan Stanley is latest to choose city as it vies to become EU’s principle financial centre and win back jobs lost in banking crisis<p>Several hundred banks and companies have contacted German authorities about expanding in Frankfurt, as the city vies to become the EU’s principal …

Brexit

China Plans to Use Artificial Intelligence to Gain Global Economic Dominance by 2030 - MIT Technology Review

Artificial intelligence may have been invented in the West, but China seems determined to own its future. Its rising AI community just got a …

Artificial Intelligence

Blame the Internet of Things for Destroying the Internet Today

An army of hacked Internet of Things devices could be one of the reasons why your internet sucks today.<p>A massive botnet of hacked Internet of Things devices has been implicated in the cyberattack that caused a significant internet outage on Friday.<p>The botnet, which is powered by the malware known …

Internet of Things

Climate Change Is Here. It’s Time to Talk About Geoengineering

Let's pretend that the US didn't recently pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Let's also pretend that all the other countries that scolded it …

Climate Change

China says it'll be world AI leader by 2025

China today announced plans to become the global leader in AI research and development. It will increase government spending on core AI programs to $22 billion in the next few years, with plans to spend nearly $60 billion per year by 2025.<p>The announcement sends a clear message: this is the age of …

Artificial Intelligence

Scientists Discover Method to Turn CO2 Into Methane

A new catalyst can turn carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide into methane.<p>Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is at an all-time high, and it's not enough for us to simply stop emitting more. In order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we'll have to start taking lots of CO2 out of the …

Engineering

China has pulled off a 'profound' feat of teleportation that may help it 'dominate the way the world works'

• <b>A new Chinese experiment shows that quantum teleportation works between the ground and space.</b>• <b><br>The experiment was performed using a quantum research satellite called Micius, which China launched in 2016.</b>• <b><br>It worked at a distance of 870 miles (1,400 kilometers), many times as far as the previous</b> …

Quantum Mechanics

The Idea-Generating, Problem-Solving Technique That Every Boss Needs Now

You've heard about design thinking but you're still not practicing it. Here's how to get up to speed.<p>Design thinking isn't a new concept, but it's continued success amongst some of the world's leading brands has sustained the interest of business leaders big and small. It has remained equally an …

Design Thinking

Plastic pollution risks 'near permanent contamination of natural environment'

First global analysis of all mass–produced plastics has found humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or oceans<p>Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents …

Recycling

Goodbye, Blood Tests. Electronic Noses Can Analyze Your Breath and Diagnose Diseases

A Breath Test In Place of Blood Test<p>A team of researchers from the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas are working on a device …

Kalashnikov Will Make an A.I.-Powered Killer Robot

What could possibly go wrong?<p>Russian weapons maker Kalashnikov is working on an automated gun system that uses artificial intelligence to make "shoot/no shoot" decisions. But exactly how this AI or any other decides who is a combatant and who isn't is at the heart of a raging debate over allowing …

Machine Learning

Pioneering Solar Microgrid Leaves Brooklyn to Take On Australia

It's an innovative system with worldwide appeal.<p>The “Brooklyn Microgrid,” an experiment in solar power owned by and shared among consumers that uses …

Renewable Energy

What’s Driving the Machine Learning Explosion?

Machine learning systems have been around since the 1950s, so why are we suddenly seeing breakthroughs in so many spanerse areas? Three factors are at play: enormously increased data, significantly improved algorithms, and substantially more-powerful computer hardware. Over the past two decades …

Machine Learning

Climate change will force today's kids to pay for costly carbon removal technologies, study says

The longer humans continue to pour carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the closer we draw to leaving the next generation with an unmanageable climate problem, scientists say. A new study, just out Tuesday in the journal Earth System Dynamics, suggests that merely reducing greenhouse gas emissions …

Climate Change

New Battery That Could Be Charged in Seconds Developed at Drexel University

In a paper published last week, researchers at Drexel University described the development of a battery that could be charged in seconds.<p>Late last year I stated that I believed that 2017 would be the tipping point year for electric cars. With improvements in motor technologies and batteries, …

Batteries