Category Archives: Science and Technology

Video: TMRO Discovery 01.02: Why Artificial Intelligence will change our future

The second Discovery program is on line – Science: Why Artificial Intelligence will change our future – Discovery 01.02

In the second episode of TMRO:Science, Lisa, Jade and Athena discuss the current state of artificial intelligence, the ethical dilemmas possible, how AI can both help and hinder humanity and what this might mean for our future. Live episodes air the first Saturday of each month at 20:00 UTC. News: Baby Bruce Lees: Womb Kicks Strengthen Fetal Skeletons Spintronic diamonds! Microbes turn human waste into Vegemite Do video games cause violence? NOPE. Quantum race!

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SciTech video: Commercial fusion power ventures panel – General Fusion, Tri-Alpha Energy, & Lockheed-Martin

An interesting discussion for a general public audience about three different commercial approaches to nuclear fusion power systems that could go on line within 10-15 years: Nuclear Fusion: Reacting To Commercialization – VLAB

  • Moderator: Rachel Slaybaugh, APRA-E Program Director and Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
  • Michel Laberge, Founder and Chief Scientist, General Fusion
  • Matthew Thompson, Director of Physics, Tri Alpha Energy
  • Tom McGuire, Research Engineer and Scientist, Lockheed Martin
  • Ray Rothrock, Former General Partner, Venrock, Chair of NVCA, and  CEO of Redseal


Space book: “Treknology” by Ethan Siegel

In astrophysicist Ethan Siegel’s new book Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive, he looks at the impact of Star Trek and science fiction in general on technological innovation and development : Star Treknology: Imagining The Future Into Being : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

And how about that most Star Trek of Star Trek transport modalities — the transporter? Siegel manages to be both concise and complete in his discussion of the various ways a transporter might work. Do you actually move all the atoms of your body from one place to another? Or do you just transport the information about those atoms and then rebuild the body? These questions allow Siegel to unpack some basics of quantum physics, like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. From there, he opens discussions of information and quantum computing with questions like: How can you map the atoms in your body for transport when you can’t know exactly where they are leading? All of these ideas are laid out at just the right level for a light-hearted science book about science fiction.

Treknology is pretty complete. It has a section on weapons and defense (deflector shields, phasers), a section on computing (the holodeck, androids) and a section on medicine and biology (recorders, cybernetics). There is a lot more, too, and each chapter in each section is richly illustrated with images from the shows and well-composed scientific diagrams. That means a lot of eye-candy here for both Trek and science fans.


Sci-Tech Video: Uber’s self-driving cars have improved with experience

An interesting update on Uber’s testing in Pittsburgh of self-driving cars: While Uber Burns, Its Self-Driving Car Project Carries On | WIRED


In another machine-learning uptick, check out the samples of computer generated speech using algorithms developed by Google researchers: