Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com

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 …

Environment

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

Solar Microgrids That Use the Blockchain Expand to Australia

The “Brooklyn Microgrid,” an experiment in solar power owned by and shared among consumers that uses the blockhain for payments, was only implemented …

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

Coming soon to India: Electric buses that can swap batteries at petrol pump-like facilities

A storied truck-maker and an ambitious upstart are coming together, in further proof that India’s electric mobility ecosystem is gaining traction.<p>On July 18, Ashok Leyland, the country’s second-largest truck-maker, announced a strategic partnership with SUN Mobility, a transportation solutions …

Electric Vehicles

Reporter's notebook: China's shedding its copycat image with innovation after innovation

<i>This article is part of a "Reporter's Notebook" series, wherein CNBC journalists submit tales and observations from the field.</i><p>China's shift from a …

China

India's first solar-powered train makes its debut

India's diesel-powered train network has a new kid on the block. The gas-guzzling Indian Railway system has just debuted its first solar-powered train, called the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). It will operate in the city of New Delhi.<p>Placement of the solar panels on the train car was …

Clean Energy

There's a new version of Google Glass, and it's been secretly used by hundreds of factory workers for the last two years

You may have thought Google Glass was dead, but the search giant has quietly resurrected its once-controversial smart glasses.<p>A new version of Glass has secretly been used by hundreds of employees at companies like GE, Boeing, DHL, and Volkswagen for the last two years, according to a report by …

Java

Two Bay Area counties sue oil companies over sea-rise

Two Bay Area counties sued 37 oil, gas and coal companies Monday asserting the companies knew their fossil fuel products would cause sea level rise …

Climate

China Set to Launch the World’s First Quantum Communication Network

By the end of August, China plans to rollout the Jinan Project — the world’s first <i>unhackable</i> computer network, which is based on quantum principles. …

Quantum Mechanics

New corporate titans are rising faster than ever, but they’re also fading faster, too

The forces governing business today might just come down to understanding the difference between “weapon” and “tool.”<p>In last year’s hit film “Arrival,” there was a fundamental misunderstanding between aliens and humans over the words “weapon” and “tool,” with the fate of the world balancing …

Innovation

Meet the International Space Station’s adorable camera drone

Astronauts on board the International Space Station have a new robotic companion to play around with. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has released the first images shot by the "Int-Ball," a spherical camera that floats around alongside the rest of the crew. With its monochrome paint …

Space

Police body cams will soon use AI to find missing people

Motorola Solutions -- not to be confused with Lenovo's Motorola, that makes smartphones -- is adding machine learning to its surveillance equipment used by law enforcement personnel. Cops in Chicago's Waukegan police department are already suiting up with the company's Si500 body cams. But those …

Motorola

Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘Why,’ About the Science of Curiosity

The physicist Richard Feynman once wrote of the universe’s vastness: “It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined!” In his new book, “Why? What Makes Us Curious,” the astrophysicist and best-selling author …

Creativity

A Chinese scientist thinks the country could be using nuclear fusion power in 50 years

Significant progress could be made on artificial sun technology by 2023 – and it could be used to generate clean energy for China in 50 to 60 years, a senior government nuclear scientist says.<p>Song Yuntao, a lead scientist on the country’s largest fusion energy project, told the official <i>Science and</i> …

Energy

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Europe's Huge New Vertical Farm

The Eindhoven High Tech Campus, a 90-minute train ride south of Amsterdam, consists of two rows of nondescript mid-rise office buildings on either …

Farming

Young American Men Are Choosing Video Games Over Work in Staggering Numbers

New research has found a surprising culprit for the serious decline in working hours among young American men over the last 15 years: video games.<p>The …

Labor Economics

New law paves way for companies to mine asteroids

Mining companies pull valuable material out of the earth and sell it. That’s their job, and while there’s plenty of controversy over where, when, and …

Space Exploration

Arctic heat is becoming more common and persistent

Warmer air and water is fueling a negative feedback loop — temperatures rising faster than rest of the world<p>The Arctic is a bastion of cold, blustery weather. But in the latest sign of how quickly changes are happening, new research published this week shows that the Arctic has seen more frequent …

Climate Change

Does Silicon Valley have a moral responsibility to stop developing robots?

The debate about the impact of new technology, particularly AI, on society continues to rage.<p>Last month, for example, the current front runner to replace Jerry Brown as Californian Governor in 2018, Gavin Newsom – traditionally one of Silicon Valley’s most vocal supporters – warned graduating …

Silicon Valley

25 Fossil Fuel Companies Produced Half Of Global Emissions In The Last 30 Years

Thanks, guys.<p>In the years since the world first started considering climate change as a major existential threat, it’s tended to focus on what governments can do about the problem. Through big meetings in Kyoto, Copenhagen, and Paris, governments have negotiated what they can do to quell greenhouse …

Climate