Friday, August 3, 2018

Have you registered yet for our upcoming Less is More (Washington, D.C., Sept 12-14) conference? The agenda promises efficiencies for any organization, the return of two all-time favorites, General Michael V. Hayden and Bruce Schneier, and others whose names you have not yet heard but whose presentations you will not forget. Join us for energy, IoT, AI, new materials, computer-aided programming, privacy, cybersecurity and much more. (registrationagenda)
DARPA (newly a TTI/V member organization!) has started a five-year grant process that will eventually award $1.5 billion in research on non-silicon computer chips.
T-Mobile, which is in the process of merging with Sprint, awarded a $3.5 billion contract for 5G equipment to Nokia. It’s believed to be the first big 5G equipment deal.
Why has Japanese culture embraced robots and don’t share Westerners’ fear of them? Joi Ito(Chicago, May 2011; Barcelona, Jul 2007) provocatively suggests the answer largely comes down to Shintoism’s panspecies notion of spirit versus Christianity’s conception of humans as uniquely having souls.
Machine learning lets machines, well, learn—to do tasks they’re not directly taught. What happens when it’s applied to robotic hands? (Robert Howe, Brooklyn, Jul 2016; Colin Angle, Boston, Apr 2014)
Next step: Giving humans a third hand.
Step Three: Giving robots a so-called Theory of Mind. (Hélène Mialet, London, July 2014; Dennis McBride, Washington, D.C., May 2013; Terry Lohrenz, Miami, Jul, 2005)
By an interesting coincidence, the winning design in Microsoft's 16th annual innovation competition, by two University of Toronto students, was for a robotic hand. Their SmartARM uses computer vision and machine learning to calculate the right grip.
Speaking of student competitions, applications are open for the 2019 ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing.
Quick Hits

The Fields Medal was awarded to four mathematicians (doesn't that defeat the purpose of awarding the medal quadrennially?).
Harvard scientists want to reengineer the New England’s white-footed mice to make them immune to Lyme’s Disease, undercutting a key link in its transmission to humans. What could go wrong? (George Church, Boston, Jun 2015)
Meanwhile, researchers in the U.S. and China have reengineered yeast to reduce the number of chromosomes down from 16 to two, and, now one. (Alicia Jackson, San Francisco, Dec 2015; Larry Hunter, Atlanta, Feb 2014; Juan Enriquez, Washington, D.C., May 2005)
“Last person to leave the lab, turn out the lights and don’t forget to disconnect the robot from the Internet.”

“The buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching toward infinity”
 —A. Edward Newton

The TTI/Vanguard Team

Author: Steven Cherry

Director of TTI/Vanguard, “a unique forum for senior-level executives that links strategic technology planning to business success. In private conferences that are part classroom, part think-tank, and part laboratory, its members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.”

Twenty years experience as a technology journalist and editor, at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Founded the award-winning podcast series, Techwise Conversations covering tech news, tech careers and education, and the engineering lifestyle. Teaches an intensive writing class as an adjunct instructor at NYU. Previously taught essay writing and creative writing at The College of New Rochelle.