Mar 28, 2017

AI to dominate banking, says report

posted by Larra Morris

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Artificial intelligence will be the main way that banks interact with their customers within the next three years, a report from consultancy Accenture has suggested.

Banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are increasingly using chatbots to answer customer queries.

The report examined the views of 600 bankers and other experts.

Many, perhaps ironically, felt that AI would help banks create a more human-like customer experience.
via BBC News

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Mar 28, 2017

Scientists grow human heart cells in spinach leaves

posted by Larra Morris

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Don't let that headline give you any crazy ideas: this isn’t about some kind of horror-inspired Frankensalad. Scientists are simply capitalizing on plants’ robust natural vein structure, which may someday let them grow human heart tissue for transplant. The researchers published their findings online in the journal Biomaterials.

The organ transplant process in use today needs some serious improvement. We need more organs and tissue than we have, and patients who do get transplants face a lifetime of immune system–suppressing drugs and the risk that their bodies might reject the new organ. So scientists around the world have been brainstorming ways to fill organ- and tissue-shaped scaffolding with patients’ own cells.
via Mental Floss

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Mar 27, 2017

Sensor-laden fake fruit ensures you get fresh produce

posted by Larra Morris

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It's challenging for shippers to check the quality of fruit on its way to your grocery store. Most sensors won't reflect the conditions inside the boxes, and plucking a sample isn't going to give you a comprehensive look. That's where some Swiss researchers might come to the rescue. They've created artificial, sensor-packed fruit whose composition is enough like the real thing to provide an accurate representation of temperatures when placed alongside real food. If the fruit in the middle of a delivery isn't properly refrigerated, the shipping company would know very quickly.
via Engadget

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Mar 23, 2017

A battery powered chomping Super Mario piranha plant made from LEGO

posted by Larra Morris

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This is a video demonstration of the LEGO Super Mario Piranha Plant built by Jason Allemann of JK Brickworks (previously: his flying bat model). It was actually pretty interesting to hear him discuss the design challenges of making the piranha plant chomp properly.
via Geekologie

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Mar 23, 2017

An improvisational robotic marimba player performs onstage with a talented jazz band

posted by Larra Morris

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In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 25th anniversary of VSA arts of Georgia, an amazingly improvisational robotic marimba player named Shimon took the stage at Kennedy Center and performed several songs with a talented jazz band. Also accompanying Shimon, were other performing robots including an amazing drumming protheses. all All of these “autonomous instruments” were created by engineers of the Center for Music Technology at Georgia Tech.
via Laughing Squid

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Mar 22, 2017

US grand jury decides that a GIF counts as a deadly weapon in Twitter seizure case

posted by Larra Morris

 

A GIF counts as a deadly weapon, a Texas grand jury has agreed this week. The decision came as part of the case against John Rayne Rivello, who stands accused of sending a flashing GIF to journalist Kurt Eichenwald in a bid to cause an epileptic seizure. The GIF in question was classed as an assault weapon in an indictment against Rivello, issued on Monday by a Dallas grand jury and the US Department of Justice.
via The Verge

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Mar 21, 2017

Tree on a chip could lead to sugar-powered robots

posted by Larra Morris

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Now, a team of MIT researchers has gone outside the human body in its chip enthusiasm and put an entire tree on a chip, sort of. The development could lead to improved hydraulics in tiny robots and maybe even allow them to be powered by simple sugar cubes.

Modeling elements from biology on chips allows scientists to run experiments, test out treatments and make observations that wouldn't necessarily be possible in other ways. The new chip from MIT allowed researchers to mimic the natural pumps inside trees. The device was able to move fluids without any power source or mechanical parts for several days in the lab.
via New Atlas

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