Following October’s news that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceflight company planned to build its own commercial space station in low Earth orbit, NASA announced on Thursday it has selected the program for funding through a Space Act Agreement to further develop the station’s design. The funding is part of NASA’s Commercial LEO Development program, which aims to “develop a robust commercial space economy in LEO, including supporting the development of commercially owned and operated LEO destinations.”
“We are pleased that NASA supports the development of Orbital Reef, a revolutionary approach to making Earth orbit more accessible to diverse customers and industries,” Brent Sherwood, Senior Vice President of Advanced Development Programs for Blue Origin, said in a prepared statement. The station would be an orbital “mixed-use space business park” that would offer any number of turnkey services as well as reduced operational costs for burgeoning low-g industries “in addition to meeting the ISS partners’ needs.”
Blue Origin is partnering with Sierra Space in this project with the former focusing on the architecture and infrastructure of the station — everything from its design and construction to managing lift logistics using the New Glenn heavy launch system — while the latter is tasked with developing the station’s LIFE (Large Integrated Flexible Environment). Boeing is also helping out, designing the operations-maintenance-science module and leveraging its Starliner crew capsule. Genesis Engineering Solutions is involved as well. It’s working on a single person spacecraft that tourists and employees alike will be able to putter around in.
Biodiversity conservation, public health and improved livelihoods — dr gladys kalema-zikusoka, founder and CEO, conservation through public health.
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, is the Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH — https://ctph.org/), a 16-year old non-profit organization, based in Uganda, that promotes conservation by improving the quality of life of people and wildlife to enable them to coexist in and around protected areas in Africa, and she has become one of the leading conservationists and scientists working to save the critically endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa.
Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka is also on the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) of the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/groups/scientific-advisory-group-on-the-origins-of-novel-pathogens-(sago)/about)
Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka trained as a veterinarian at the University of London’s Royal Veterinary College. Between 1996 and 2000, she set up the first Veterinary Unit at the Uganda Wildlife Authority. From 2000 to 2003, she completed a zoological medicine residency and masters in specialized veterinary medicine at North Carolina State University and North Carolina Zoological Park.
Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka became an Ashoka Fellow in 2007 for merging Uganda’s wildlife management and rural public health programs to create common resources for both people and animals.
Prior to setting up CTPH, Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka also did a certificate in Non-profit management from Duke University. Most recently in 2016, she completed an MBA in Global Business and Sustainability – Social Entrepreneurship Track.
Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka’s most recent awards include the 2017 World Wildlife Day Award from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA) for outstanding contribution to conservation in Uganda and 2017 Golden Jubilee Award from the President of Uganda for distinguished service to the nation as a veterinarian and conservationist on International Women’s Day.
Other awards include San Diego Zoo’s 2008 “Conservation in Action Award,” the 2009 Whitley Gold Award for outstanding leadership in grassroots nature conservation; 2011 Wings World Quest Women of Discovery Humanitarian Award, and 2014 CEO Communications Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Award in Medicine and Veterinary category.
In yet another bid to push forward its solar business, electric vehicle maker Tesla has launched a new solar roof tile that has a higher power output while retaining the dimensions of the old one.
Tesla entered the clean energy business when it acquired SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016. It makes switching to solar energy sleeker by replacing regular roof tiles with energy-generating solar roof tiles, instead of having to install bulky solar panels. Tesla offers a 25-year warranty on the tiles and takes end-to-end responsibility for installing the new solar roof.
However, the company has so far struggled to make its product mainstream due to fluctuations in pricing, Electrek reported. With variations across house designs, Tesla has found it difficult to create a streamlined product and even introduced a roof-complexity factor, earlier this year to determine cost estimates.
During a keynote address today at its re: Invent 2021 conference, Amazon announced SageMaker Canvas, which enables users to create machine learning models without having to write any code. Using SageMaker Canvas, Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers can run a machine learning workflow with a point-and-click user interface to generate predictions and publish the results.
Low-and no-code platforms allow developers and non-developers alike to create software through visual dashboards instead of traditional programming. Adoption is on the rise, with a recent OutSystems report showing that 41% of organizations were using a low-or no-code tool in 2019/2020, up from 34% in 2018/2019.
“Now, business users and analysts can use Canvas to generate highly accurate predictions using an intuitive, easy-to-use interface,” AWS CEO Adam Selipsky said onstage. “Canvas uses terminology and visualizations already familiar to [users] and complements the data analysis tools that [people are] already using.”
I’m more optimistic about our future, but this information still needs to be taken into account, as the hard data and it’s interpretation are troubling in the extreme, ESPECIALLY for transhumanists like me and like many of you…
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How will future AI systems make the most ethical choices for all of us?
Artificial intelligence is already making decisions in the fields of business, health care, and manufacturing. But AI algorithms generally still get help from people applying checks and making the final call.
What would happen if AI systems had to make independent decisions and ones that could mean life or death for humans?
Unlike humans, robots lack a moral conscience and follow the “ethics” programmed into them. At the same time, human morality is highly variable. The “right” thing to do in any situation will depend on who you ask.
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What does it mean when someone calls you smart or intelligent? According to developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, it could mean one of eight things. In this video interview, Dr. Gardner addresses his eight classifications for intelligence: writing, mathematics, music, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
HOWARD GARDNER: Howard Gardner is a developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He holds positions as Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero. Among numerous honors, Gardner received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1981. In 1990, he was the first American to receive the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education and in 2000 he received a Fellowship from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 2005 and again in 2008 he was selected by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines as one of 100 most influential public intellectuals in the world. He has received honorary degrees from twenty-two colleges and universities, including institutions in Ireland, Italy, Israel, and Chile. The author of over twenty books translated into twenty-seven languages, and several hundred articles, Gardner is best known in educational circles for his theory of multiple intelligences, a critique of the notion that there exists but a single human intelligence that can be assessed by standard psychometric instruments. During the past twenty five years, he and colleagues at Project Zero have been working on the design of performance-based assessments, education for understanding, and the use of multiple intelligences to achieve more personalized curriculum, instruction, and assessment. In the middle 1990s, Gardner and his colleagues launched The GoodWork Project. “GoodWork” is work that is excellent in quality, personally engaging, and exhibits a sense of responsibility with respect to implications and applications. Researchers have examined how individuals who wish to carry out good work succeed in doing so during a time when conditions are changing very quickly, market forces are very powerful, and our sense of time and space is being radically altered by technologies, such as the web. Gardner and colleagues have also studied curricula. Gardner’s books have been translated into twenty-seven languages. Among his books are The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts and Standardized Tests, The K-12 Education that Every Child Deserves (Penguin Putnam, 2000) Intelligence Reframed (Basic Books, 2000), Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet (Basic Books, 2001), Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), and Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work (Harvard University Press, 2004; with Wendy Fischman, Becca Solomon, and Deborah Greenspan). These books are available through the Project Zero eBookstore. Currently Gardner continues to direct the GoodWork project, which is concentrating on issues of ethics with secondary and college students. In addition, he co-directs the GoodPlay and Trust projects; a major current interest is the way in which ethics are being affected by the new digital media. In 2006 Gardner published Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons, The Development and Education of the Mind, and Howard Gardner Under Fire. In Howard Gardner Under Fire, Gardner’s work is examined critically; the book includes a lengthy autobiography and a complete biography. In the spring of 2007, Five Minds for the Future was published by Harvard Business School Press. Responsibility at Work, which Gardner edited, was published in the summer of 2007.
TRANSCRIPT: Howard Gardner: Currently I think there are eight intelligences that I’m very confident about and a few more that I’ve been thinking about. I’ll share that with our audience. The first two intelligences are the ones which IQ tests and other kind of standardized tests valorize and as long as we know there are only two out of eight, it’s perfectly fine to look at them. Linguistic intelligence is how well you’re able to use language. It’s a kind of skill that poets have, other kinds of writers; journalists tend to have linguistic intelligence, orators. The second intelligence is logical mathematical intelligence. As the name implies logicians, mathematicians…Read the full transcript at https://bigthink.com/videos/howard-gardner-on-the-eight-intelligences
The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is the first local government in Korea to establish a metaverse platform, which has emerged as a contactless communication channel in the post-pandemic era, to start providing a new-concept public service by using the platform in its administration.
The SMG plans to establish “Metaverse Seoul” (tentatively named), a high-performance platform, by the end of next year, and create a metaverse ecosystem for all areas of its municipal administration, such as economic, cultural, tourism, educational and civic service, in three stages from next year.
Starting with the pilot program of a Bosingak Belfry virtual bell ringing event at the end of this year, the SMG will consecutively provide various business support facilities and services, including the Virtual Mayor’s Office, Seoul FinTech Lab, Invest Seoul and Seoul Campus Town, on its metaverse platform.
Upside Foods opened the largest synthetic meat factory in the world. It’s designed to grow thousands of pounds of chicken, beef and pork. Backed by Bill Gates and Richard Branson, Upside is betting consumers will go for vat-grown meat.
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One of China’s biggest AI solution providers SenseTime is a step closer to its initial public offering. SenseTime has received regulatory approval to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, according to media reports. Founded in 2014, SenseTime was christened as one of China’s four “AI Dragons” alongside Megvii, CloudWalk, and Yitu. In the second half of the 2010s, their algorithms found much demand from businesses and governments hoping to turn real-life data into actionable insights. Cameras embedded with their AI models watch city streets 24 hours. Malls use their sensing solutions to track and predict crowds on the premises.
SenseTime’s three rivals have all mulled plans to sell shares either in mainland China or Hong Kong. Megvii is preparing to list on China’s Nasdaq-style STAR board after its HKEX application lapsed.
The window for China’s data-rich tech firms to list overseas has narrowed. Beijing is making it harder for companies with sensitive data to go public outside China. And regulators in the West are wary of facial recognition companies that could aid mass surveillance.
But in the past few years, China’s AI upstarts were sought after by investors all over the world. In 2018 alone, SenseTime racked up more than $2 billion in investment. To date, the company has raised a staggering $5.2 billion in funding through 12 rounds. Its biggest outside shareholders include SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba’s Taobao. For its flotation in Hong Kong, SenseTime plans to raise up to $2 billion, according to Reuters.