These Tidying Robots Clean Up Toys, Put Roomba to Shame

Cleaning House Think kids move slowly when asked to clean their rooms? They probably look like Usain Bolt next to these robots. On Monday, Tokyo-based robotics company Preferred Networks showed off a pair of fully autonomous room-tidying robots at CEATEC 2018, a Japanese tech exhibition. And while they are a huge technical step up from the…

An AI Research Supergroup Just Added Its First Chinese Firm

China in the House Depending who you ask, artificial intelligence (AI) could either save humanity or destroy it. In an effort to make sure we’re headed toward the former future and not the latter, a group of AI researchers from six major tech companies formed the Partnership on AI (PAI) in 2016. On Tuesday, the…

An AI Research Supergroup Just Added Its First Chinese Firm

China in the House Depending who you ask, artificial intelligence (AI) could either save humanity or destroy it. In an effort to make sure we’re headed toward the former future and not the latter, a group of AI researchers from six major tech companies formed the Partnership on AI (PAI) in 2016. On Tuesday, the…

Jeff Bezos: Amazon Won’t Stop Helping the Military

DOD + Amazon 4Ever You might not think Amazon should work with the U.S. government, but guess what? Jeff Bezos don’t care. The CEO channeled his inner honey badger during a WIRED event on Monday, telling the audience that, despite both internal and external protests, Amazon would continue to work with the U.S. military on…

The Percentage of Unvaccinated U.S. Toddlers Has Quadrupled Since 2001

Disease Please Things vaccines do: train our immune systems to battle life-threatening diseases. Things vaccines don’t do: cause health problems. Yet like bed bugs in a seedy motel, the anti-vaccination movement in the U.S. simply refuses to die. In fact, based on a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the…

China Wants Google’s Help Persecuting Muslims. Google Appears Ready to Give It.

Targeted Focus Government surveillance is a way of life in China, but the situation is even more intense for the nation’s Muslim population. On Tuesday, the government of a region of China with a large Muslim population passed new local laws detailing exactly how it expects tech companies to facilitate surveillance — and they could foreshadow the role…

China Wants Google’s Help Persecuting Muslims. Google Appears Ready to Give It.

Targeted Focus Government surveillance is a way of life in China, but the situation is even more intense for the nation’s Muslim population. On Tuesday, the government of a region of China with a large Muslim population passed new local laws detailing exactly how it expects tech companies to facilitate surveillance — and they could foreshadow the role…

China Wants Google’s Help Persecuting Muslims. Google Appears Ready to Give It.

Targeted Focus Government surveillance is a way of life in China, but the situation is even more intense for the nation’s Muslim population. On Tuesday, the government of a region of China with a large Muslim population passed new local laws detailing exactly how it expects tech companies to facilitate surveillance — and they could foreshadow the role…

China Wants Google’s Help Persecuting Muslims. Google Appears Ready to Give It.

Targeted Focus Government surveillance is a way of life in China, but the situation is even more intense for the nation’s Muslim population. On Tuesday, the government of a region of China with a large Muslim population passed new local laws detailing exactly how it expects tech companies to facilitate surveillance — and they could foreshadow the role…

China Wants Google’s Help Persecuting Muslims. Google Appears Ready to Give It.

Targeted Focus Government surveillance is a way of life in China, but the situation is even more intense for the nation’s Muslim population. On Tuesday, the government of a region of China with a large Muslim population passed new local laws detailing exactly how it expects tech companies to facilitate surveillance — and they could foreshadow the role…

The World’s Largest Collection of Rice Is Now Permanently Funded

Of Rice and Men Roughly half the people in the world eat rice every day. Soon, we’ll be able to put aside any worries about running out of samples of this dietary staple — samples researchers can use to help us deal with the consequences of climate change and a growing population. The International Rice Research…

The World’s Largest Collection of Rice Is Now Permanently Funded

Of Rice and Men Roughly half the people in the world eat rice every day. Soon, we’ll be able to put aside any worries about running out of samples of this dietary staple — samples researchers can use to help us deal with the consequences of climate change and a growing population. The International Rice Research…

The Boston Dynamics Robot Atlas Is Now a Parkour Master

Running With Style They grow up so fast. Seems like just yesterday we were marveling at the ability of Boston Dynamics’s Atlas robot to walk on rough terrain. Then our jaws dropped as we watched the humanoid bot execute flawless backflips. And now Boston Dynamics has upped the ante again, by showing off Atlas’s ability to…

Virtual Reality Is “Reuniting” Immigrants With Their Families

Homeward Bound Going home for the holidays or a family reunion is no big deal for many Americans. But for millions of undocumented immigrants, returning to the place they grew up simply isn’t an option — if they leave the U.S., their immigration status could prevent them from coming back. One workaround: a nonprofit is using VR to give immigrants an alternate…

Virtual Reality Is “Reuniting” Immigrants With Their Families

Homeward Bound Going home for the holidays or a family reunion is no big deal for many Americans. But for millions of undocumented immigrants, returning to the place they grew up simply isn’t an option — if they leave the U.S., their immigration status could prevent them from coming back. One workaround: a nonprofit is using VR to give immigrants an alternate…

SpaceX Just Landed Its First Rocket in California

California Skies California just joined a very exclusive club. On Sunday, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a satellite for Argentina’s national space agency from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California. California launches have become routine for the spacetech giant, but what happened next made history: Eight minutes after the launch, the reusable…

Report: Unless We Make Dramatic Changes, We’re Headed for Climate Catastrophe

Worse Than Expected What an alarming difference a few years can make. According to a report released Sunday by the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change, the 2015 Paris Agreement won’t be enough to stop the most serious damage from climate change. “There is nothing opaque about this new data,” former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres told The Guardian. “The…

We Need a Backup Supply of the World’s Helpful Germs, Say Researchers

Party Germ When you think of bacteria, infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance might come to mind. But bacteria can be helpful, too — the microbes found naturally on and in our bodies (our microbiota) actually help us stay healthy. Researchers now believe not only that it’s beneficial to your health to have a wide range of bacteria in…

This Brain-Analyzing AI Could Kill Your Dream of Being a Professional Athlete

Sorry, Fry In the pilot episode of “Futurama,” the character Philip J. Fry wakes up in the year 2999 after a millennia-long slumber in a cryogenic tank. Soon after, a computerized device called a “probulator” assesses the former pizza delivery boy’s skillset to assign him a new job: delivery boy. Now, life imitates art: Researchers have created a…

This Brain-Analyzing AI Could Kill Your Dream of Being a Professional Athlete

Sorry, Fry In the pilot episode of “Futurama,” the character Philip J. Fry wakes up in the year 2999 after a millennia-long slumber in a cryogenic tank. Soon after, a computerized device called a “probulator” assesses the former pizza delivery boy’s skillset to assign him a new job: delivery boy. Now, life imitates art: Researchers have created a…

Pour One out for MASCOT, the Asteroid-Exploring Lander

Gone MASCOT’s lifespan was shorter than the average mayfly’s, but we’d like to see an insect accomplish half of what this robot did during the 17 hours it bounced around the asteroid Ryugu. The German Aerospace Center built MASCOT, which is short for Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, with help from the National Centre for Space Studies, France’s space agency,…

Pour One out for MASCOT, the Asteroid-Exploring Lander

Gone MASCOT’s lifespan was shorter than the average mayfly’s, but we’d like to see an insect accomplish half of what this robot did during the 17 hours it bounced around the asteroid Ryugu. The German Aerospace Center built MASCOT, which is short for Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, with help from the National Centre for Space Studies, France’s space agency,…