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19
Nov

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Snow scooters and fully automatic toothbrushes


At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

BoxLock Home — anti-porch pirate padlock

Amazon recently rolled out a new program called Amazon Key — a service that allows delivery people to enter your house and place packages inside, where they’re safe from so-called “porch pirates,” otherwise known as assholes that steal stuff that is left on your doorstep. The only problem with Amazon’s approach? Well, you have to give delivery people access to the inside of your house — which raises obvious concerns for most of us. But what if there was a way to protect your parcels from thieves without giving strangers access to your house?

That’s exactly what the BoxLock Home aims to achieve. The device is essentially an internet-connected, app-enabled padlock that’s equipped with a barcode scanner. You’ll need to provide your own lock box, but after that, it’s outrageously simple to use. Upon arrival, your delivery person simply lifts the lock and uses it to scan the package they’re hoping to deliver. So long as the package is legit, and scheduled for delivery on that day, BoxLock will unlock — thereby allowing the delivery person to place it inside your box, and re-lock the padlock to secure it. Check out the video for details.

Somnox — robotic pillow

Ever had trouble getting to sleep at night? You’re not alone. Millions of people across the globe suffer from some form of sleep deprivation, and a large percentage of the population reports difficulty falling asleep. For most, the answer is sleeping pills or other pharmaceuticals that knock you out for the night. But what if you could achieve the same effect without putting unnecessary chemicals in your body? Well, that’s exactly what Somnox aims to do. It’s a soft, pillow-like robot that lulls you to sleep with rhythmic breathing and calming sounds.

“Our company was started in the robotics institute of the University of Technology Delft,” Julian Jagtenberg, one of the Netherlands-based founders of Somnox, told Digital Trends’ Luke Dormehl in an interview. “As four robotics engineers, we wanted to create a soft robot that could solve a personal issue: That of sleep deprivation.”

Jagtenberg said the team started by looking at ways to solve the problem, but most of them seemed to involve medication — sometimes with addictive side effects. “This was the moment the Somnox sleep robot was born,” he said.

Luminoodle Task — flexible utility light

A couple of years ago, a startup by the name of Power Practical launched a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign for a versatile string of LED lights called the Luminoodle. About a year after that initial launch, the company returned to Kickstarter with a refresh, offering two new Luminoodles that were brighter and more colorful than ever before. But Power Practical isn’t stopping there. This week, the company took to Kickstarter to launch yet another noodle-like LED utility light — and this one is the brightest and most versatile yet.

The Luminoodle Task, as it’s called, is “an ultra-thin, bendable, 3,600-lumen work light that wraps, magnets, and snakes where you need it most.” Unlike its predecessors, the Task light is equipped with magnets on either end, as well as a pair of oversized loops, making it a breeze to hang, secure, and reposition on the fly. It’s basically the most flexible, portable work light ever.

“We designed the Luminoodle Task to bend to your will, tack on to any metal surface, pack up small and easy, and fill any room with natural-looking, feel-good light,” the creators explain on Kickstarter.

Unico — ultrafast tooth brushing device

Tired of all the squeezing, scrubbing, spitting, rinsing, gargling, and flossing required to keep your pearly whites clean? For decades now, your only recourse from this mildly laborious task has been the electric toothbrush. But while these automatically oscillating tooth scrubbers are definitely a step in the right direction, they still don’t remove all the tediousness and time consumption from the act of brushing your teeth. What if there was a way to get the same job done, achieve the same level of cleanliness, and do it in a fraction of the time?

Enter the Unico brush, the first fully automatic toothbrush that (allegedly) finishes the job in just three seconds, giving you more time to do … well, anything else. Here’s how it works. The device itself is essentially a big, bristly mouthpiece. You start by placing it in your mouth and switching it on, at which point it oscillates at a high frequency and scrubs your pearly whites with an array of moving bristles. While this happens, micro-channels built into the mouthpiece deliver toothpaste directly to where it’s needed. The whole process allegedly takes just three seconds, with claims that it cleans your teeth just as thoroughly as normal brushing.

Snow White — snow scooter

What do you get when you mix a snowboard, a mountain bike, and a Razor scooter? We don’t know the answer to that question — but we assume that if such an unholy union were consummated, the resulting offspring would probably look a lot like this ridiculous contraption from Gravity Scooters. It’s basically the most tricked-out snow scooter you’ve ever laid eyes on.

With big handlebars, a wide standing platform, and a low learning curve, “Snow-White instantly let’s you enjoy the amazing feeling of skiing, snowboarding and being on a board without having previous experience of skiing or riding a bike.”

“We have created a snow kit that can be mounted on a mountain scooter of Gravity Scooters brand,” Judith Garcia, managing director of Gravity Scooter, told Digital Trends in an interview. “With our snow scooter, you can surf the mountains or you can practice mushing [by tying your dogs to it and using] it as if it were a sled.”

In the offseason, it’s also possible to convert the Snow White into a road scooter by swapping the skis out for wheels.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The Snow White scooter is easily the coolest way to travel this winter
  • Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Secret key vaults, ice ballers, yogurt makers
  • Keep the whole family dancing and brushing for 2 minutes with Benjamin Brush
  • Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Instant prints from your phone, snake fences
  • Ditch waxing your skis forever with DPS Skis’ new Phantom wax treatment




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19
Nov

Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Snow scooters and fully automatic toothbrushes


At any given moment, there are approximately a zillion different crowdfunding campaigns happening on the web. Take a stroll through Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find no shortage of weird, useless, and downright stupid projects out there – alongside some real gems. We’ve cut through the fidget spinners and janky iPhone cases to round up the most unusual, ambitious, and exciting new crowdfunding projects out there this week. That said, keep in mind that any crowdfunding project — even the best intentioned — can fail, so do your homework before cutting a check for the gadget of your dreams.

BoxLock Home — anti-porch pirate padlock

Amazon recently rolled out a new program called Amazon Key — a service that allows delivery people to enter your house and place packages inside, where they’re safe from so-called “porch pirates,” otherwise known as assholes that steal stuff that is left on your doorstep. The only problem with Amazon’s approach? Well, you have to give delivery people access to the inside of your house — which raises obvious concerns for most of us. But what if there was a way to protect your parcels from thieves without giving strangers access to your house?

That’s exactly what the BoxLock Home aims to achieve. The device is essentially an internet-connected, app-enabled padlock that’s equipped with a barcode scanner. You’ll need to provide your own lock box, but after that, it’s outrageously simple to use. Upon arrival, your delivery person simply lifts the lock and uses it to scan the package they’re hoping to deliver. So long as the package is legit, and scheduled for delivery on that day, BoxLock will unlock — thereby allowing the delivery person to place it inside your box, and re-lock the padlock to secure it. Check out the video for details.

Somnox — robotic pillow

Ever had trouble getting to sleep at night? You’re not alone. Millions of people across the globe suffer from some form of sleep deprivation, and a large percentage of the population reports difficulty falling asleep. For most, the answer is sleeping pills or other pharmaceuticals that knock you out for the night. But what if you could achieve the same effect without putting unnecessary chemicals in your body? Well, that’s exactly what Somnox aims to do. It’s a soft, pillow-like robot that lulls you to sleep with rhythmic breathing and calming sounds.

“Our company was started in the robotics institute of the University of Technology Delft,” Julian Jagtenberg, one of the Netherlands-based founders of Somnox, told Digital Trends’ Luke Dormehl in an interview. “As four robotics engineers, we wanted to create a soft robot that could solve a personal issue: That of sleep deprivation.”

Jagtenberg said the team started by looking at ways to solve the problem, but most of them seemed to involve medication — sometimes with addictive side effects. “This was the moment the Somnox sleep robot was born,” he said.

Luminoodle Task — flexible utility light

A couple of years ago, a startup by the name of Power Practical launched a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign for a versatile string of LED lights called the Luminoodle. About a year after that initial launch, the company returned to Kickstarter with a refresh, offering two new Luminoodles that were brighter and more colorful than ever before. But Power Practical isn’t stopping there. This week, the company took to Kickstarter to launch yet another noodle-like LED utility light — and this one is the brightest and most versatile yet.

The Luminoodle Task, as it’s called, is “an ultra-thin, bendable, 3,600-lumen work light that wraps, magnets, and snakes where you need it most.” Unlike its predecessors, the Task light is equipped with magnets on either end, as well as a pair of oversized loops, making it a breeze to hang, secure, and reposition on the fly. It’s basically the most flexible, portable work light ever.

“We designed the Luminoodle Task to bend to your will, tack on to any metal surface, pack up small and easy, and fill any room with natural-looking, feel-good light,” the creators explain on Kickstarter.

Unico — ultrafast tooth brushing device

Tired of all the squeezing, scrubbing, spitting, rinsing, gargling, and flossing required to keep your pearly whites clean? For decades now, your only recourse from this mildly laborious task has been the electric toothbrush. But while these automatically oscillating tooth scrubbers are definitely a step in the right direction, they still don’t remove all the tediousness and time consumption from the act of brushing your teeth. What if there was a way to get the same job done, achieve the same level of cleanliness, and do it in a fraction of the time?

Enter the Unico brush, the first fully automatic toothbrush that (allegedly) finishes the job in just three seconds, giving you more time to do … well, anything else. Here’s how it works. The device itself is essentially a big, bristly mouthpiece. You start by placing it in your mouth and switching it on, at which point it oscillates at a high frequency and scrubs your pearly whites with an array of moving bristles. While this happens, micro-channels built into the mouthpiece deliver toothpaste directly to where it’s needed. The whole process allegedly takes just three seconds, with claims that it cleans your teeth just as thoroughly as normal brushing.

Snow White — snow scooter

What do you get when you mix a snowboard, a mountain bike, and a Razor scooter? We don’t know the answer to that question — but we assume that if such an unholy union were consummated, the resulting offspring would probably look a lot like this ridiculous contraption from Gravity Scooters. It’s basically the most tricked-out snow scooter you’ve ever laid eyes on.

With big handlebars, a wide standing platform, and a low learning curve, “Snow-White instantly let’s you enjoy the amazing feeling of skiing, snowboarding and being on a board without having previous experience of skiing or riding a bike.”

“We have created a snow kit that can be mounted on a mountain scooter of Gravity Scooters brand,” Judith Garcia, managing director of Gravity Scooter, told Digital Trends in an interview. “With our snow scooter, you can surf the mountains or you can practice mushing [by tying your dogs to it and using] it as if it were a sled.”

In the offseason, it’s also possible to convert the Snow White into a road scooter by swapping the skis out for wheels.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The Snow White scooter is easily the coolest way to travel this winter
  • Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Secret key vaults, ice ballers, yogurt makers
  • Keep the whole family dancing and brushing for 2 minutes with Benjamin Brush
  • Awesome tech you can’t buy yet: Instant prints from your phone, snake fences
  • Ditch waxing your skis forever with DPS Skis’ new Phantom wax treatment




19
Nov

Top 5 Apps for Your Drone Technologies


Are you interested in the world of drone and drone technologies? Have you wondered what the best apps are that you can use in conjunction with your drone? While flying your drone with a remote is cool, using an app can make the experience even better.

From being able to capture amazing videos and photos, to allowing others to operate your camera while you are using it, the technology is expanding and ever growing. It can be hard to keep up with the latest technology, but we try! Below, we will show you the top 5 apps that we have found to be useful with drone technologies, so you can enhance your fun outdoors.

Hover

If you are looking for an app that will help you find not only good weather, but giving great launching points to take off. Hover takes information from a database of no-fly zones as well as live weather information. With the live weather information, the app can also give you a tracking of how the weather will change over coming hours. This helps you determine when you should fly and for how long.

The detail that this app offers is amazing, and you can safely fly in areas, knowing they are open fly zones. You can operate this app with your drone simply and designate how high you want your drone to fly and when to capture the imagery or beauty of nature. Overall, you won’t be disappointed when pairing this app with your new drone.

This app works surprisingly well and is simple to operate. You can even check your flight logs. It is a must-have app for both drones and UAV piloting. You get a flight readiness indicator too as well as a news feed to keep you updated. Find Hover on both Android and Apple products.

Autopilot

Great for spy drones and regular drones, the Autopilot app that works with various brands to expand the versatility of your experience. You can move the camera in several ways and even track objects with it. It offers a smooth way to take amazing shots and video.

You will definitely feel like a professional while using this app with your drone. The imagery is amazing and you can use either the autonomous or semi-autonomous modes of flight. You can also use control sequences!

This app also takes in more information as you fly your drone, and you can use this information in many ways, including technical issues and locating certain problems. Overall, this is a great app that is detailed and can be found at the Apple store.

Parrot Flight Plan

If you purchased a Parrot drone, you get access to the free app called FreeFlight Pro. This gives you the basics of flying the drone, using the controls and giving you previews of the images. However, you can upgrade to the Parrot Flight Plan for just $20 and get more function out of it.

Not only can you plan a flight with this app but you can send it to the drone and it will automatically fly that path. You control how high you want the drone to fly and find waypoints so that the drone can complete the flight path.

With this version, you can control the camera and when you want to record video. You can create flights and save flight plans, too. Find this app at the Apple store and it is updated regularly to keep your app up to date.

GoPro Passenger

When you are out using your GoPro Karma drone, you can use the app for it called GoPro Passenger. This allows other people to view the video you are taking that is attached to your new drone. As if that isn’t cool enough, the person viewing your video can control the camera by zooming, panning and tilting the camera just like a pilot.

So, if you go on vacation and climb a mountain, your friends can watch you succeed, in real time, and can also control the camera so they can take in the beauty around you as you share your adventures with them! You can find this app on both the Android and Apple store. Your friends will love you for it.

Pix4D

If you are looking for more out of a drone app, then Pix4D might be for you! Using photogrammetry, you can create a 3D model from an image that is 2D, like your drone videos! The app creates a path for your drone to fly, and then it uploads the video and all data to the Pix4D server.

The Pix4D app seems to take your regular drone and make it seem professional with the mapping tools. It’s great that it captures images by itself, as well as other data such as multi-spectral, thermal and RGB information. This helps you get the best mapping and 3D models for your drone.

Keep in mind that this app will not work with all drones, so you should check to see if yours is compatible. However, it is a free app that works well and gives you top-notch software.

Now you can have an image of something that your drone flew over, which can stand as a memory or piece of art for your home. All you need is a drone, 3D printer and this app to engage more with drone technologies! You can find this app for both Apple and Android devices.

Conclusion

So that’s it! You now have the top 5 apps that can work in conjunction with your phone to enhance your drone adventures! There is new technology coming out all of the time, but with these apps you can feel like you are in the future now, with all of the great enhancements! Now that you know a few things about drones and using apps, we hope these can be helpful to you on your next adventure!

 

About Author:

Jack is a true drone passionate and he focused his education on this amazing field. Thus, he graduated the Drone/UAV Pilot Training Certificate program and now he’s a member of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. His main purpose right now is to find and develop new features and help others discover the wonderful experience of flying a drone. For this, he is the main editor and content creator at MyDroneLab Blog where you can find everything you want to know about drones.

19
Nov

UK budget will clear the way for self-driving cars


The UK doesn’t want to sit by the wayside while the US, Japan and other countries streamline the adoption of self-driving cars. The country’s finance ministry has revealed that its upcoming budget (due on November 22nd) will include measures intended to spurt the adoption of self-driving and electric cars. There will be rule changes that let automakers test vehicles on public roads without an operator on standby, and a £400 million (about $529 million) fund to help companies establish charging station networks. Officials will also offer £100 million ($132 million) in incentives to lower the cost of buying an EV.

There are a few other tech-related budget measures, such as £160 million ($211 million) for 5G networks, £100 million for computer science teachers, £76 million ($100 million) for skill development and £75 million ($99 million) for the UK’s budding AI industry.

The budget contributions may be necessary given the UK’s ambitious goals. Finance minister Philip Hammond wants self-driving cars to roam British streets as soon as 2020 — that’s not a lot of lead time when companies like Nissan only recently started conducting public tests. And while EV funding isn’t new (that was present in the Spring Budget, for instance), but the additional money could help create the infrastructure needed to keep autonomous vehicles running. There’s no guarantee that any of these measures will put the UK ahead of the curve on driverless tech, but it should at least keep the nation from falling behind.

Source: Reuters

19
Nov

One of Tesla’s first Semi truck buyers is a Canadian grocery chain


Tesla only just unveiled its Semi electric truck, but it’s already lining up honest-to-goodness customers — and we don’t just mean for testing, either. Canadian grocery chain Loblaws has pre-ordered 25 of the giant EVs to haul food to its stores across the country. That’s a larger purchase than Walmart (which ordered 15 for its test), and no small commitment when Tesla hasn’t even revealed the (likely high) price. It may seem odd for Tesla to score one of its most important orders beyond the US, but it makes more sense knowing Loblaws’ strategy.

The supermarket giant recently committed to a 30 percent reduction in its overall carbon footprint by 2030, and it sees electric trucks playing an important role. It estimates that pulling diesel from its vehicles would be the equivalent of pulling 20,000 cars from the road. Tesla’s Semi would clearly help toward that goal, and it might be a better option than existing electric trucks (like one Loblaws bought from BYD) if it lives up to claims of faster trips and greater safety.

This is very unlikely to be Tesla’s largest order, but it gives a sense of who its early customers are likely to be: well-heeled companies that have plenty of cargo to transport and pressure to fulfill environmental commitments. The real challenge comes after that: Tesla will have to persuade companies that either don’t have a huge budget or are only interested in how electric trucks will affect their bottom line. Tesla has anticipated that to some extent (it’s promising $200,000 in fuel savings for every 1 million miles), but success is far from guaranteed.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Financial Post

19
Nov

Pentagon left public intelligence gathering data on exposed server


Even intelligence gatherers aren’t immune to making mistakes that leave data wide open. Researchers at UpGuard have revealed that the US military’s Central Command and Pacific Command left “at least” 1.8 billion collected internet posts exposed on a misconfigured Amazon Web Services S3 server. Some of the data goes as far back as 2009. There doesn’t appear to be any private content in the mix, and it’s not clear that malicious intruders accessed it before the Department of Defense locked things down on October 1st (after notification from UpGuard). However, the exposure still raises concerns about both the government’s approach to security and the kind of information it’s collecting.

A large part of the data includes content that you’d expect the military to scrape, such as news articles and social network posts relating to ISIS as well as politics from hotbeds like Iraq and Pakistan. Some of it included social posts from Americans, however, and the discussions included relatively innocuous subjects like American music stars and the Pope. That raises questions about what criteria triggered the data collection (certain keywords, for example) and whether or not its search is overly broad. While it can be important to cast a wide net, this could hurt more than it helps.

And of course, the misconfiguration suggests that officials weren’t diligent in keeping information secure. It might have been public data, but a hostile country could have studied the information to see what the US military was looking for and taken steps to keep its public material under the radar.

The good news: this could be less common going forward. Amazon recently added indicators and other measures to make it patently clear that S3 server data is publicly accessible. Even so, the incident suggests that intelligence collectors may need to rethink their security policies to make sure this kind of exposure can’t happen again.

Via: CNN, PCMag

Source: UpGuard

19
Nov

Apple’s iMac Pro may have hands-free Siri voice control


Those rumors of Apple using custom ARM chips for more features inside Macs? They’re true… and you might not have to wait long to witness it in action. Jonathan Levin has combed through BridgeOS code that should accompany the iMac Pro, and it looks as if Apple will be using a cut-down version of the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion chip as a co-processor. While its full functionality isn’t clear yet, developer Steve Troughton-Smith notes that the A10 appears to handle macOS’ boot and security processes, such as passing firmware to the main Xeon processor and managing media copy protection. More importantly, Guilherme Rambo has found references to “hey Siri” support — as with Cortana on Windows 10, you might not have to click an icon or invoke a keyboard shortcut just to ask about the weather.

It’s possible that the A10 chip is always running, which would represent a break from the custom T1 chip driving the Touch Bar in some recent MacBook Pro models. That would line up with leaks which had custom ARM chips handling macOS’ Power Nap feature, which fetches data while the system is sleeping. The iMac Pro wouldn’t have to spool up its power-hungry Xeon processor just to grab your email. And of course, that could be very important for “hey Siri” commands, which could theoretically run even if the Mac is dormant.

The findings don’t necessarily mean that the iMac or macOS will be more restrictive than before. You may not know exactly what the A10 does until the iMac Pro ships, which is expected before the end of 2017. However, this does show that Apple is putting its mobile experience to use in the computer realm, even if it’s just to save power and processing overhead. And the iMac Pro may be a good testbed for this functionality. As Troughton-Smith points out, Apple could gauge how the companion A10 works without the bulk of users “freaking out.” You could get a more refined experience if and when the A10 finds its way to mainstream Macs — particularly MacBooks, where the chip could let Siri and Power Nap run without significantly affecting your battery life.

Confirmed: “Hey, Siri” is coming to the Mac pic.twitter.com/Dw9bRAzbxD

— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) November 18, 2017

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Jonathan Levin, Steve Troughton-Smith (Twitter), Guilherme Rambo (Twitter)

19
Nov

The Elusive Targets of ‘Hitman’ will return for an encore performance


Elusive Targets, one of the most appealing (and annoying, to some) features of the latest Hitman game, are making a second appearance over the next several months. During the episodic release of Hitman in 2016, 26 Elusive Targets were available for a one-time kill opportunity during a limited window. If you died during the attempt, or even once you’ve killed your target, there was no second chance.

With the release of the Game of the Year Edition earlier this month, IO Interactive has also announced the return of the elusives, starting with the Forger on Friday. He’ll be available in Paris for 10 days. If you missed your opportunity the first time around, or you’re new to the game, this is your chance. However, if you’ve already tried and failed (or succeeded, for that matter) then you don’t get the chance to try again.

There’s been no schedule for upcoming elusives announced, but one of the favorites will surely be Gary Busey, who won an online “Choose Your Hit” contest against Gary Cole to appear as an addled action star diva who wanders the streets of Sapienza rather than fulfill his obligation to appear in a commercial. You can keep abreast of upcoming targets by downloading the Hitman Companion app for Android or iOS, or by following Hitman on Twitter.

The elusive targets were somewhat controversial when they were first released, as many players accidentally died and then found themselves unable to retry the contract. As developer Torben Ellert explained to PCGamesN back in 2016, the elusive contracts were sort of slapped together and wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate for the extensive replayability that Hitman players expect. “Being able to replay them, they wouldn’t necessarily stand up,” he said. “So we make compromises to keep a production cadence based on the aspiration that I would rather have a few more memorable targets and live with some wonkiness.”

Completing elusive targets contributes towards suit unlocks, with the most desirable being the signature suit with gloves (13 completed elusives) and the winter suit with gloves (5 elusives with a Silent Assassin rating).

The release of the Game of the Year edition follows a messy breakup between the studio and Square-Enix. IO Interactive retained the rights to Agent 47 it’s promised that a second season is on the way, although we don’t know when. A new TV series from Hulu based on the Hitman franchise is also in the works.

The Elusive Target missions are surprisingly tense little episodes, and although you can retry anytime as long as you haven’t died (or killed the target), you’ll still find yourself creeping around the map with an extra dose of trepidation. The target(s) don’t show up on your mini-map or with your Hitman vision. The Forger is out there now, and he’s got an appointment with your silenced Silverballer.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Dominate multiplayer with our ‘Destiny 2’ Crucible guide
  • Meet Apple’s Animoji, custom-animated 3D messages for iOS 11
  • Dominate the galaxy with our ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ multiplayer guide
  • Google Home review
  • ‘Hitman: Game of the Year Edition’ comes with new campaign missions




19
Nov

‘Slaughterbots’ video warns of the future of fully autonomous weapons


“Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge,” announced Amandeep Gill, India’s disarmament ambassador, at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons. The Guardian provided some details about the conference’s discussion of autonomous weapon systems that many nations are on the verge of developing, which can identify and eliminate targets without human control.

Activists such as UC Berkeley professor Stuart Russell, an artificial intelligence expert, disagree with Gill. They warn that time is running out and that a ban on autonomous weapons is urgently needed.

Russell and the Future of Life Institute have produced the chilling short video Slaughterbots, depicting an attack by swarms of drones as small as a bird. It was presented at an event at the UN convention hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. “This short film is just more than speculation,” Russell says. “It shows the results of integrating and militarizing technologies that we already have.”

Elon Musk and other tech luminaries have previously urged the UN to ban autonomous weapons in an open letter to the organization, referring to it as the “third revolution in warfare.” Just recently, more than 200 Canadian and upwards of 100 Australian scientists signed open letters to Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull, urging support of the killer robot ban.

“The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is not trying to stifle innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics and it does not wish to ban autonomous systems in the civilian or military world,” said Noel Sharkey of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. “Rather we see an urgent need to prevent automation of the critical functions for selecting targets and applying violent force without human deliberation and to ensure meaningful human control for every attack.”

“Countries do not have time … to waste just talking about this subject,” added Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch.

With more than 70 countries participating, this month’s conference marked an important first step towards curtailing fully robotic weapons, but many industry experts say quicker action is needed. They hope for a historic international treaty such as the current ban on chemical and biological weapons. “The bioweapon ban created such a powerful stigma that, despite treaty cheating, we have almost no bioterror attacks today and almost all biotech funding is civilian,” said MIT Professor Max Tegmark.

Toby Walsh of the University of South Wales calls killer robots “weapons of mass destruction,” but he’s confident that a ban will eventually come about. “My only concern is whether [countries] have the courage of conviction to do it now, or whether we will have to wait for people to die first,” he said.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Australian tech expert issues dire warning about the dangers of killer sex robots
  • 6 ways humankind might accidentally bring about the ‘techpocalypse’
  • Samsung is the latest tech giant to open an AI lab in Canada
  • Carnegie Mellon’s new robot can use its legs as arms, arms as legs




19
Nov

‘Slaughterbots’ video warns of the future of fully autonomous weapons


“Ladies and gentlemen, I have news for you: the robots are not taking over the world. Humans are still in charge,” announced Amandeep Gill, India’s disarmament ambassador, at the United Nations Convention on Conventional Weapons. The Guardian provided some details about the conference’s discussion of autonomous weapon systems that many nations are on the verge of developing, which can identify and eliminate targets without human control.

Activists such as UC Berkeley professor Stuart Russell, an artificial intelligence expert, disagree with Gill. They warn that time is running out and that a ban on autonomous weapons is urgently needed.

Russell and the Future of Life Institute have produced the chilling short video Slaughterbots, depicting an attack by swarms of drones as small as a bird. It was presented at an event at the UN convention hosted by the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. “This short film is just more than speculation,” Russell says. “It shows the results of integrating and militarizing technologies that we already have.”

Elon Musk and other tech luminaries have previously urged the UN to ban autonomous weapons in an open letter to the organization, referring to it as the “third revolution in warfare.” Just recently, more than 200 Canadian and upwards of 100 Australian scientists signed open letters to Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull, urging support of the killer robot ban.

“The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots is not trying to stifle innovation in artificial intelligence and robotics and it does not wish to ban autonomous systems in the civilian or military world,” said Noel Sharkey of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control. “Rather we see an urgent need to prevent automation of the critical functions for selecting targets and applying violent force without human deliberation and to ensure meaningful human control for every attack.”

“Countries do not have time … to waste just talking about this subject,” added Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch.

With more than 70 countries participating, this month’s conference marked an important first step towards curtailing fully robotic weapons, but many industry experts say quicker action is needed. They hope for a historic international treaty such as the current ban on chemical and biological weapons. “The bioweapon ban created such a powerful stigma that, despite treaty cheating, we have almost no bioterror attacks today and almost all biotech funding is civilian,” said MIT Professor Max Tegmark.

Toby Walsh of the University of South Wales calls killer robots “weapons of mass destruction,” but he’s confident that a ban will eventually come about. “My only concern is whether [countries] have the courage of conviction to do it now, or whether we will have to wait for people to die first,” he said.

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