Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

Our Bots, Ourselves: How Digital Assistants Could Change Our Lives – And Even Change Us

 In the coming decades, artificial intelligence will replace a lot of human jobs, from driving trucks to analyzing X-rays. But it will also work with us, taking over mundane personal tasks and enhancing our cognitive capabilities. As AI continues to improve, digital assistants—often in the form of disembodied voices—will become our helpers and collaborators, managing our schedules, guiding us through decisions, and making us better at our jobs. We’ll have something akin to Samantha from the movie Her or Jarvis from Iron Man: AI “agents” that know our likes and dislikes, and that free us up to focus on what humans do best, or what we most enjoy. Here’s what to expect.

Printable solar cells just got a little closer

A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.

Ukraine | “101LIFE” project has been launched by anti-war activists

101 children have been killed during a civil war in Ukraine. This number of innocent victims has inspired anti-war activists to give a name for new international campaign. These people, who describe themselves as “ordinary and common people”, call for the termination of the civil war in Ukraine.

New Zealand | Earth has a brand-new continent called ‘Zealandia,’ and it’s been hiding in plain sight for ages

by Dave Mosher

Kids are frequently taught that seven continents exist: Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

Geologists, who look at the rocks (and tend to ignore the humans), group Europe and Asia into its own supercontinent — Eurasia — making for a total of six geologic continents.

Hungary | Hungary is removing statue of philosopher György (Georg) Lukács – He was Marxist and Jewish

by György Lázár

Removing a statue of a philosopher? You may expect something like this to happen in Nazi Germany in the 1930s but not in Budapest in 2017.

A couple of weeks ago the Budapest City Council decided that the statue of György Lukács will be removed from a Budapest park in the 13th district. The renowned philosopher’s statue is currently in Szent István Park, a peaceful urban park in an area that once served as the International Ghetto where many Jews survived World War II in “protected houses.” It will be replaced by a statue of Saint Stephen, the founder of the Hungarian state.