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Today Falcon Heavy

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket could help humans mine more asteroids

The world’s most powerful rocket may be good for more commercial missions than Mars supply trips. One astronomer says it could open access to lots of asteroids on which humans could strike it rich mining metals.

Backstory: Earlier this month, SpaceX… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • SpaceX

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company will start digging a tunnel in Washington DC

Permission to excavate in the city could be a first step to building an East Coast Hyperloop, or just an expensive folly.

Backstory: Last July, Musk announced "verbal government approval" for an underground Hyperloop between New York City and Washington… Read more

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  • Boring Company

Editor's Pick

“We’re in a diversity crisis”: cofounder of Black in AI on what’s poisoning algorithms in our lives

Artificial intelligence is an increasingly seamless part of our everyday lives, present in everything from web searches to social media to home assistants like Alexa. But what do we do if this massively important technology is unintentionally, but fundamentally,...

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Mark Zuckerberg

Russian meddling charges stoke fear that midterms will bring more of the same

Indictments against Russia reveal the nation’s skills at creating chaos online, and it’s unclear if Big Tech can yet fight off another onslaught.

David vs. Goliath: On one hand, 13 Russian nationals charged with inflicting “information warfare” on America.… Read more

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  • Facebook
Sheep-human chimeras won't provide big benefits just yet.

Human-sheep chimeras won’t grow us replacement organs just yet

Researchers say they've grown sheep embryos containing human cells—but the benefits that the work could bring are still a way off.

The news: Scientists report that they've fused human stem cells into sheep embryos, and grown the resulting "chimeras"… Read more

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  • Megan Johnston
February 16, 2018 Rober Mueller

Russians accused of information warfare used tech to whip up controversy and cover their tracks

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller (pictured above) has charged 13 Russians and three organizations, including the Internet Research Agency, with alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Misinformation Inc.: The meddling was widely known,… Read more

Image credit:
  • Alex Wong | Getty Images
Higher income inequality takes cash out of an economy. While the top 20% of Americans save 23.6% of their income, the top 1% save 51.2%

Here’s how automation will hollow out the American economy

A new study by Bain & Company found that automation could exacerbate inequality in the US.

Why? The study shows that automation will disproportionately hit middle- and low-income jobs. Its benefits—such as productivity gains and new investment—accrue… Read more

Editor's Pick

Missing the Paris climate target by just a little means raising the odds of extreme weather by a lot

While the lofty goal of the landmark Paris climate agreement was to prevent global temperatures from rising 2 °C, it’s increasingly unlikely the world will pull that off (see “Global warming’s worst-case projections look increasingly likely”).


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February 16, 2018 A US military drone

Germany says it won’t use killer robots, but soldiers are torn

Autonomous weapons remain incredibly controversial, and the debate even extends to the soldiers that might be working with them.

Germany says no: At this week’s Munich Security Conference, notes Reuters, the head of Germany’s Cyber and Information Space… Read more

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  • Airman Magazine

A detailed virtual house will help robots train to become your butler

A new digital training ground that replicates an average home lets AI learn how to do simple chores like slicing apples, making beds, or carrying drinks in a low-stakes environment.

Background: We all want a robot to run around our home and fetch us… Read more

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  • Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2)