Humans should not worry about robots taking their jobs

When futurists talk about things that haven’t happened yet, they are free to parade educated guesses as fact. But before we take their word for it, we might remember the old adage: … in God we trust, all others bring data. In a recent article, the MIT Technology Review tabulated…

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This is how today's digital technology is making us more lonely

The UK government recently appointed its first minister of loneliness. The move came in response to increasing concern of a loneliness epidemic sweeping Western society. Psychologists define loneliness as a subjective, unpleasant experience that occurs when the desired level of meaningful social contact is less than what is available. The…

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Be careful not to automate the fun out of life

Imagine you are about to go on vacation. You have been looking forward to it for some time. But your robotic personal assistant has other ideas. It calmly explains to you that it will be cheaper, safer and more efficient for it to take your place on the holiday trip.…

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Technologically enhanced humans

What exactly do we mean by an “enhanced” human? When this possibility is brought up, what is generally being referred to is the addition of human and machine-based performances (expanding on the figure of the cyborg popularised by science fiction). But enhanced in relation to what? According to which reference…

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Robot mathematics

For us humans, a healthy brain handles all the minute details of bodily motion without demanding conscious attention. Not so for brainless robots – in fact, calculating robotic movement is its own scientific subfield. My colleagues here at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design have figured out how…

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