Exponential Technology Report – 11 March 2020

There are amazing advances of exponential technology taking place all the time.  Every week Idea Storm brings you the latest news stories in this easy to read report.  Just click on the image or “Read article” to open the news story that interests you.

This village for the homeless just got a new addition: 3D-printed houses

For the last few years, Tim Shea has lived in an RV in a small community outside Austin that was designed for people who were once chronically homeless. In early May, he’ll move from the RV into one of the community’s first 3D-printed homes—a small house with walls made from a concrete-like material that were automatically extruded from a giant, 33-foot-long machine.

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Artificial intelligence is making artificial intelligence easier to build

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will automate many business and life tasks, from driving trucks to piloting ships to handling customer calls — and actually carrying on rudimentary chats with them. What’s not discussed often enough, however, is the actual impact on the jobs of AI creators and administrators themselves — developers, analysts, and data administrators and everyone else in the information technology orbit charged with building out these revolutionary systems. In essence, AI will play a role in helping to smooth out the rough spots of AI development.

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Nreal is adding hand tracking to its mixed reality glasses

Nreal is adding hand tracking to its upcoming mixed reality headsets. It’s partnering with a company called Clay AIR, which makes a camera-based system for tracking gestures like pinching, pointing, grabbing, and swiping. That gives the Nreal Light glasses a feature that’s standard in headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens, but in a smaller and (somewhat) less attention-grabbing package.

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Waymo Unveils Its 5th Generation Autonomous Driving Technology

In a recent blog post, Waymo says it has cut the cost of the sensors for its suite of autonomous driving hardware by half and doubled how far it can see ahead, behind, and to the sides of a vehicle. Before it was Waymo, the company was an offshoot of Google. With engineer Lawrence Burns as its leader, the team began by building a car to compete in the DARPA Urban Challenge in 2004. From there, it created the cute little 2-seat Google car.

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India’s Supreme Court Ruling Is a Win for the Whole Blockchain Industry

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India overturned the Central Bank’s ban on trading in virtual currencies. This order is clearly a major victory not only for the digital asset industry but also for India’s fast-growing fintech and technology industries. This progressive decision paves the way for measured and progressive regulation that will allow India, a leading software exporter and market for fintech, to benefit from rapid innovation in blockchain technology and digital assets.

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Honeywell Is Now Tracking $1 Billion In Boeing Parts On A Blockchain

Boeing has added more than $1 billion in excess airplane parts to GoDirect Trade, a blockchain platform designed to prove the origin of the parts and ensure they comply with safety standards, according to the manager of the platform, designed by aerospace giant Honeywell.

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EY, ConsenSys, Microsoft unveil Baseline, a path for enterprises to public blockchain

To date, the vast majority of enterprise blockchain applications have been built on private permissioned blockchains. Security and privacy are the most significant reasons for enterprise resistance to public blockchains. Today EY, Microsoft and ConsenSys unveiled the Baseline Protocol. The aim is to empower enterprises to adopt the public Ethereum blockchain for complex and confidential processes, without storing sensitive data on-chain.

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Which Industries Will Be Transformed By Blockchain (and the Ensuing Data Glut That Follows)?

For all the attention that the Bitcoin cryptocurrency has garnered over the last decade, its most exciting contribution may be blockchain — the technological breakthrough that made a viable, decentralized currency even possible.

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This New Coronavirus Spy Drone Will Make Sure You Stay Home

China’s vast surveillance industry fuels the biggest and boldest experiment in population monitoring and control the world has ever seen. Whether it’s trivial deployments of facial recognition to enforce jaywalking, AI-driven citizen scoring based on acceptable behaviors, or the dystopian regime in Xinjiang, China’s security and surveillance giants have a real-world laboratory to conduct their research and hone their technologies that is not available anywhere else.

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China adapts surveying, mapping, delivery drones to enforce world’s biggest quarantine and contain coronavirus outbreak

China’s government, in enforcing the world’s largest quarantine to contain the coronavirus outbreak, has adapted and co-opted industrial drones to help ensure that an estimated 50 million residents are kept at home and indoors across a dozen cities.

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Is Turkey’s Military a Drone Superpower?

The success of Turkish armed drones and its push into Syria in February and March 2020 has shone a spotlight on Turkey’s indigenous drone and armament industry. Turkish drones reportedly destroyed multiple Russian-made but Syrian-operated air-defense vehicles, though Russian sources dispute this. However, their effectiveness at pummeling other targets is undisputed.

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EasyReach launched IoT sensors to monitor retail assets

India-based EasyReach, which specialises in enabling IoT applications for the retail and industrial sectors, has recently developed a new energy and use status monitoring solution targeted for connected retail appliances.

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Honeywell Launching A Powerful Quantum Computer And Signs JPMorgan As First Customer

Honeywell has been generally known for its thermostats, but now the company is rolling out a groundbreaking quantum computer. This project has been in the works for over a decade.

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Opinion: The incredible potential of soft robotics

In January of 2019, Assistant Professor Ellen Mazumdar arrived in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering with the intention of building a robotic actuator without using a single hard component or material – a feat that, to her knowledge, had never been done before.

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Boston Dynamics and OTTO Motors demo robotic warehouse of the future

Boston Dynamics and OTTO Motors have teamed up for a demonstration of the warehouse of the future. In a newly released video, a Boston Dynamics Handle robot rushes about a storage area at speed as it picks boxes and builds pallets atop an OTTO Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) platform.

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Breakthrough Self-Assembly Innovation Enables Cheaper Solar Energy Production

Material, synthesized by Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), Lithuania scientists, which self-assemble to form a molecular-thick electrode layer, presents a facile way of realizing highly efficient perovskite single-junction and tandem solar cells.

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