A fusion-powered rocket to detect lethal comets

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Really big space rocks (a mile or wider across) crash into Earth about once every 500,000 years. That’s rare, but we might not spot the next one until it’s too late for existing technology to stop it—especially if it’s a comet. Because comets can travel twice as fast as an asteroid, we’d need something 20 times more powerful than anything in our arsenal to fend it off. What’s humanity to do? Continue reading “A fusion-powered rocket to detect lethal comets”

Google has a list of the A.I. behaviours that would scare it most

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Google is one of the organizations at the forefront of robotics and computerized reasoning research, and being in that position implies they have the most to stress over. The possibility of a robot takeover may at present be a theoretical, science anecdotal idea to us, however, Google has really assembled a rundown of practices that would cause them great concern, both for efficiency and safety in the future. Continue reading “Google has a list of the A.I. behaviours that would scare it most”

A robot army to build solar panels (on the moon)

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Alternative energy is the obvious choice, but scaling up is hard. It would take an area the size of Nevada covered in solar panels to get enough energy to power the planet, says Justin Lewis-Weber, “and to me, that’s just not feasible.” This past March, Lewis-Weber, a then-high school senior in California, came up with a radical plan: self-replicating solar panels—on the moon. Continue reading “A robot army to build solar panels (on the moon)”