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Russia is building its own space station as Nasa replaces Roscosmos with SpaceX

The Independent - Tech

Russia is building its own $6 billion space station that it plans to launch in 2030, the head of the country's Roscosmos space agency has said. "If in 2030, in accordance with our plans, we can put it into orbit, it will be a colossal breakthrough," Interfax news agency quoted Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin as saying, as reported by Reuters. "The will is there to take a new step in world manned space exploration." The Russian station is likely to be manned by robots with artificial intelligence, while human cosmonauts would periodically visit the craft. This is because the Russian station's orbit path would expose it to higher radiation. Deputy prime minister Yuri Borisov reportedly saying that Russia will give notice to its international partners in 2025.

Microsoft and the UK will build the world's 'most powerful' weather supercomputer


The British are taking their obsession with the weather to new heights. Today, the UK announced it is advancing its project to build the world's most powerful climate and weather supercomputer with the help of Microsoft. The country's weather service, the Met Office, has struck a multimillion-pound agreement with the tech company on the project, which was previously earmarked to receive £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) of government funding. While the UK already boasts a weather supercomputer -- which can perform 16,000 trillion calculations a second -- the new machine will be twice as powerful. By gaining access to more detailed climate modeling, the UK is hoping to future-proof its city and transport infrastructure to protect them against extreme weather events.

5 AI tools that can think and write like humans


These five tools can actually think and write just like humans! It would have been hard to miss the buzz around AI-powered text generation, and in spheres like content marketing a host of tools are now broadly used for day-to-day tasks. Journalists are no doubt next, so it's with trepidation that we call out some of the top tools currently in use to generate articles, blogs, and relevant words automatically (and without, ahem, a well-trained writer at the switch). But the praise comes with a caution, as well: Be realistic about the capabilities of GPT-3 and other text generation tools. It's not a magical salve for all your company's writing woes but rather a useful tool that can be integrated within a professional content generation structure.

Camera with onboard deep learning tackles difficult apps - Drives and Controls Magazine


Sick has launched its first machine vision camera with a pre-installed deep learning app, making it easy to create custom inspections of complex or irregular-shaped goods, packaging and assemblies, especially those that have previously defied automation. The Sick Intelligent Inspection Deep Learning App runs on the company's recently-launched Inspector P621 2D programmable camera. The combined package allows machine-builders and end-users to set up vision classifications using AI (artificial intelligence) in a fraction of the time and cost needed to program traditional vision systems to perform challenging inspection tasks based on recognising preset rules and patterns. The new system can tackle applications where it was previously difficult to achieve consistent, repeatable quality inspections. It makes automation practical and affordable for complex tasks such as sorting fresh fruit and vegetables, checking the orientation of timber profiles by recognising the annual ring structure, checking leather car seats for creases or flaws, or inspecting the integrity of solder in surface-mount assemblies.

Europe ramps up global race to regulate artificial intelligence


Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology. Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk." In the U.S., the federal government has yet to pass legislation specifically addressing AI, though some local governments have enacted their own rules, especially around facial recognition. Acting FTC chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter told Axios: "I am pleased that the European Commission shares the FTC's concerns about the risks posed by artificial intelligence... I look forward to reviewing the EC's proposal as we learn from each other in pursuit of transparency, fairness, and accountability in algorithmic decision making."

Google Cloud and Siemens To Bring AI Into Factories


Manufacturing sectors are still stuck with legacy systems and on-premise technologies that stop them from leveraging the benefits of disruptive techs and automation. Siemens has been a leading provider of automated, digitized, and smarter business solutions to different industries. Siemens has been leading the manufacturing industry by providing best-in-class automation and technological innovations. The company's extensive portfolio of industrial automation combined with Google Cloud's efficient data analytics and other AI functions will enable factories to implement and manage AI at scale. Predicting the wear-and-tear of machines and improving visual inspection of products are two major areas where AI deployment can be beneficial.

Perfecting self-driving cars – can it be done?


Robotic vehicles have been used in dangerous environments for decades, from decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant or inspecting underwater energy infrastructure in the North Sea. More recently, autonomous vehicles from boats to grocery delivery carts have made the gentle transition from research centres into the real world with very few hiccups. Yet the promised arrival of self-driving cars has not progressed beyond the testing stage. And in one test drive of an Uber self-driving car in 2018, a pedestrian was killed by the vehicle. Although these accidents happen every day when humans are behind the wheel, the public holds driverless cars to far higher safety standards, interpreting one-off accidents as proof that these vehicles are too unsafe to unleash on public roads.

Farmers have more mouths to feed. Bring in the robots.

Washington Post - Technology News

"In the past, labor was relatively cheap compared to technology. Today the cost of labor has risen. So technology and labor costs are getting much closer," said Josh Ruiz, vice president of agricultural operations at Church Brothers Farms, which employs 60 full-time workers. He runs the firm's innovation department, which brings in tech from other companies and toys with building in-house farm contraptions. "While I wish I could pay everybody who works for me $100 an hour, the problem is our consumers are not willing to pay that kind of food price," he said.

Oscars Spotlight: The 2021 Nominees for Best Picture

The New Yorker

In 1969, as revolutionary fires burned, the Academy gave its Best Picture award to "Oliver!" Hollywood, still ruled by the crumbling studio system, was almost willfully blind to the nineteen-sixties; even breakthrough films such as "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Rosemary's Baby" were left off the Best Picture list, which included representatives of such superannuated genres as the big-budget musical ("Funny Girl") and the medieval costume drama ("The Lion in Winter"). Under the newly devised rating system, "Oliver!" became the first G-rated film to win Best Picture, and it remains the last. By the next year, movies like "Midnight Cowboy" and "Easy Rider" finally injected the ceremony with a dose of sixties counterculture--but the decade was over. Two of this year's eight Best Picture nominees are set largely in 1969, and they show what Hollywood wouldn't bring itself to see back then. "The Trial of the Chicago 7" dramatizes the politicized court proceedings against activists who, the year before, protested the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Google's Live Caption feature comes to Chromebooks


Google's Live Caption feature uses AI to auto-generate onscreen subtitles for any media that plays audio on your device. The tool is designed to help deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but can also be useful in noisy environments. After launching on Android in 2019, Google has gradually expanded the assistive feature across its ecosystem, bringing it to calls on Pixel devices and to Chrome. Thanks to the latest Chrome OS release, Live Caption is now rolling out to Chrome browsers on most Chromebooks. Google previously explained that the automatic captions will work for website and video players on Chrome, along with your local files when opened in the browser.