Your new favourite barista is a robot…and it’s hypnotic
From The Wall Street Journal:
At San Francisco’s new Cafe X, the barista doesn’t make small talk or sport a hip mustache. But its industrial-strength claw sure knows espresso drinks. Cafe X is a new breed of coffee shop pushing the boundaries of automation both to make food and to serve it.
It is mesmerizing efficiency. Tap your desired beverage, flavor and artisanal bean on a phone or kiosk screen. That beams the order to the robot, which uses a Mitsubishi six-axis arm to grab a cup, pump in some syrup and pop it in front of one of its coffee-brewing cores, which grind beans and foam milk into an espresso confection.
Google is making artificial intelligence that can create more artificial intelligence
From Popular Mechanics:
Designing a good artificial intelligence is hard. For a company like Google, which relies heavily on AI, designing the best possible AI software is crucial. And who better to design an AI than another AI?
If you said “literally anyone else” you might be right, but folks at Google’s AI research lab, Google Brain, would disagree. The lab is reportedly building AI software that can build more AI software, with the goal of making future AI cheaper and easier.
Currently, building a powerful AI is hard work. It takes time to carefully train AIs using machine-learning, and money to hire experts who know the tools required to do it. Google Brain’s ultimate aim is to reduce these costs and make artificial intelligence more accessible and efficient.
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The way this ‘metamaterial’ can change will blow you away
University of Michigan researchers have developed a technique for a new ‘metamaterial’ that can change its level of solidness, but without damaging or changing the material itself. Metamaterials are man-made materials whose properties come from the way it’s constructed rather than what it’s composed from. Scientist[s] can then tinker with its structure to affect its properties. Those effects can be very broad: researchers were able to create a camera that doesn’t require a lens to work using different man-made materials. This one’s different again.
This time, researchers in Michigan have made something that can be easily manipulated to increase the stiffness of its surface, and the difference could be significant: the researchers say it’s comparable to the difference between rubber and steel.
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