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Robot vs. human: Drum cover of classic punk hit by The Ramones — from singularityhub.com by David J. Hill


 

Cheetah Robot runs 28.3 mph; a bit faster than Usain Bolt

 

Robotic cheetah

DARPA’s robotic cheetah, developed by Boston Dynamics, runs faster than Usain Bolt. (DARPA)

 

Bonus postings! 🙂

 

 

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The middle class falls further behind -- part of the perfect storm for higher ed in the US

 

From DSC:
Along with a host of other trends, this is a piece of the perfect storm in higher ed. People will find a way to make a living — whether this involves “traditional” higher education or not. From a career development side of things, robotics may make these graphics even more pronounced as jobs move from being done by humans to jobs being done by robots.

Also see:

 

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Addendums:

 

13-foot 12,000-pound mechanized robot suit now for sale in Japan — from venturebeat.com by John Koetsier

Also see:

and:

 

Enormous 13 foot tall, 4 ton robot

 


 

From DSC:
These items cause me to reflect yet again on the state of our hearts...as it doesn’t take much to think of the next steps in terms of using such robots as instruments of war. Do you think I’m stretching a bit too far here?  How about after considering the following interactive visualization that Google just created?

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Small Arms Trade Graphic by Google - August 2012

 

Addendums:

 

The Avatar Economy– from Technology Review by Matt Beane
Are remote workers the brains inside tomorrow’s robots?

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In warehouses, Kiva’s robots do the heavy lifting – from Technology Review by Verne Kopytoff
Fast pace, low margins have online retailers looking to automation to keep up.

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This Week In Bots: Will robots cause even more human unemployment? — from FastCompany.com byKit Eaton

 

The expanding landscape of tech support opportunities — from parksassociates.com

Excerpt:

The connected home phenomenon – where products and services are linked together to share computing resources and information – is reshaping the competitive landscape among service providers, retailers, and consumer electronics companies.

The lines that defined and separated the different roles for each consumer product have blurred. No longer does a service provider remain the sole provider of communications or entertainment services. A retailer or OEM may have been the primary beneficiary of extended warranty revenues; now, some service providers are offering these plans as part of their premium tech support services. These changes are creating new opportunities to provide tech support services to consumers to help manage/support these devices in the home.

The less glamorous careers: Advice and fact — from by Stephanie Brooks — with special thanks to Kelsey Doyle for bringing this to my attention

Excerpt:

Few children tout that they want to be an accountant or a petroleum engineer when they grow up, even if the expertise required by those jobs make them amongst the highest paying careers. Rather, children have big dreams about becoming actors, artists, or writers with a little bit of fame, animal care workers, and firemen, rescuing babies from blazing houses. Such careers seem glamorous to children, as they are fraught with adventure and romanticism. However, as you get older, you realize that some of your childhood career choices are not as glamorous as they originally seemed. The pay in these career paths often leave something to be desired. It can be difficult to find a legitimate job within the field, with lower demand. Some of the jobs that once seemed heroic only seem dangerous and risky. Adult practicality sets in, steering many college students towards business, marketing, and other fruitful majors with relatively high success rates within the job world.

With the recession, new graduates flounder to find jobs, accepting positions that help them pay their bills rather than fulfill their dreams. However, there are still a brave few that pursue their childhood aspirations. These tough career paths require tremendous personal drive, a touch of luck, and in many cases, the ability to handle failure, excessive stress, and potential pay cuts. The following jobs are just a handful of the most popular career choices strived for by children. Upon further examination, many of them may not be all they’re cracked up to be.

 

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From DSC:
Note the job descriptions further on down the page at shapetheworld.frThese are the types of jobs that may likely be in demand in the near future. Are we ready?

See also:

 

From DSC:
The above video reminds me why I posted this one.

 

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The Future of Work
When machines do your job — from  TechnologyReview.com by Antonio Regalado
Researcher Andrew McAfee says advances in computing and artificial intelligence could create a more unequal society.

Excerpt:

Are American workers losing their jobs to machines?

That was the question posed by Race Against the Machine, an influential e-book published last October by MIT business school researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The pair looked at troubling U.S. employment numbers—which have declined since the recession of 2008-2009 even as economic output has risen—and concluded that computer technology was partly to blame.

Advances in hardware and software mean it’s possible to automate more white-collar jobs, and to do so more quickly than in the past. Think of the airline staffers whose job checking in passengers has been taken by self-service kiosks. While more productivity is a positive, wealth is becoming more concentrated, and more middle-class workers are getting left behind.

Apple’s revolutionary move into robotic manufacturing — from seekingalpha.com

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Apple (AAPL) is about to become one of the world’s biggest buyers of industrial robots. The company has announced a 78% increase in its non-retail capital expenditure to $7.1bn. Analysts in Asia and America believe that the size of Apple’s robot purchases could tie up the market for several years, making it difficult for companies such as Samsung (SSNLF.PK), Nokia (NOK) and HTC (HTCXF.PK) to compete.

Up to 700,000 people are employed in China, making products like the iPhone and iPad for Apple. It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone and each iPad will, over the course of the 5 days that it takes to build it, pass through 325 pairs of hands. Although labor only represents about 3% of the cost of building these products for Apple, the wages of Chinese factory workers have been rising at about 15% a year for much of the last decade. Problems managing this workforce have also harmed Apple’s image in a region that has become the most important engine of its growth.

Apple’s move represents an important step in the use of robots in manufacturing. Robots have long been used to build cars, but not so widely used in consumer electronics because these products are more difficult to make.

From DSC:
Some questions that come to my mind:

  • What happens to jobs in this new environment?
  • What needs to happen to people in this new workplace/environment?
  • How do we educate and train students to enter this ever-changing workplace?
  • How can we make STEM-related subjects more approachable and less “weeder” like?

 

 

Braver, newer literary worlds — from futurebook.mit.edu by Debra Di Blasi

Description of videos:

The following video (in two parts) was part of my presentation to the Louisville Conference of Literature, February 2012. I am presenting a more extensive multimedia paper at the International Book Conference in Barcelona, June 29-July 2, 2012.

Six things to know about the robots in your future — by futurist Richard Worzel, C.F.A.

Excerpt:

Accordingly, we’re about to be surprised, for real robots and their non-physical counterparts, computer intelligences, are about to enter our lives in a very real way. And initially at least, our reactions to them are likely to be that they are either creepy, or infuriating. Let’s start with the ways in which we are likely to encounter robots and computer intelligences, and then let me move on to where the evolution of robots is headed.

Also see Richard’s The Innovation Revolution

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

We are standing at the edge of the next revolution, one that will shake the foundations of the corporate world. It will both create and destroy jobs, and build and decimate organizations, and at speeds that will catch people – and organizations – by surprise. The winners will be those who foresee what’s ahead, think clearly about how to take advantage of these emerging trends, and act decisively. We are witnessing the end of “business as usual” in any sense of the phrase.

In the corporate world, we tend to think of innovation as a corporate process. It typically involves a team looking for improved ways of doing things the organization already does, then implementing them to increase the corporation’s profitability, or competitive advantage, or both.

Yet, one long-term trend is clear, undisturbed, and will be markedly disruptive: power is devolving from large organizations to individuals and small groups.

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Automated grading software in development to score essays as accurately as humans — from singularityhub.com by David J. Hill

See the iphone – Diorama piece at mike-ko.com

Beam me up Scotty: Life-size hologram-like telepods revolutionize videoconferencing — from the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University

Disney Research invents amazing new touch sensing tech — from DVICE.com

A smart city

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When we think of computer networks, we think of routers and servers and fiber optic cables and laptops and smartphones — we think of the internet. In actuality, though, the visible internet is just the tip of the iceberg. There are secret military networks, and ad hoc wireless networks, and utility companies have sprawling, cellular networks the track

 

30 specialist (and super smart) search engines — from thenextweb.com by Adam Vincenzini

The home 3-D printer is more real than ever–and costs as much as an iPad — from fastcompany.com by Kit Eaton

A ride on MIT Media Lab’s digital bandwagon — from CNET.com by Martin LaMonica
Digital technologies are reaching deeper into the physical world, opening up new ways for people to interact with their surroundings, say researchers at MIT’s Media Lab.

 

 

Also see:

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Opinion from DSC:
Technologies — by themselves — are neither good nor bad.  It’s what we do with them that makes them good or bad. The concerns I have are when people try to play God.   His ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts are higher than our thoughts. So when the We Robot Conference puts up a banner that would normally look like the hand of God touching a human hand — but in their case, they put a robot’s hand reaching out to touch a man’s hand — something just doesn’t set well with me re: that image.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think robotics can be very helpful — especially in manufacturing, fire safety, other.  But in some of the robotics space/spheres of work, when we think we can “do better” than the LORD — to make a better mind than what He gave us  — I get a bit nervous.

 

 

Healthcare-related innovations

Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream — from Stanford University by Andrew Myers
Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream

Excerpt:

For fifty years, scientists had searched for the secret to making tiny implantable devices that could travel through the bloodstream. Engineers at Stanford have demonstrated a wirelessly powered device that just may make the dream a reality.

 

Tiny, implantable medical device can propel itself through bloodstream

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Controlling Protein Function With Nanotechnology — from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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CIMIT — example posting:  

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Sensable sustomers showcase touch-enabled surgical, medical simulation and robotics innovations at MMVR Conference

 

Addendums on 7/24/12:

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R2 Robotnaut — NASA

R2 Robonaut
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Also see:

Aldebaran Robotics - Feb 2012

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