Millions of flying drones — and what’s being done to prepare for it

A global process of competition and collaboration:
Americans, Canadians, Australians, and others that have allowed the use of commercial drones, are learning from each other’s successes.
Given the fact that we’ll be having over a million daily drone flights by year 2025 this is also becoming a balancing act of risks and rewards.

FAA needs to decide, among other things, what’s an acceptable level of risk to the general population.
And have drone operators conform to that.

The risks are drones being used by people with unethical and/or criminal intent.
SkySafe, DroneShield, and Dedrone — these are some of the companies making anti-drone devices.
Their products will be used by police and other enforcement agencies to disable drones and take them down if necessary.

That being said the good use of drones by far exceeds the nefarious use.
Drones are being used in agriculture, in medical field, and many other areas. And this is just the beginning.
NASA is working on developing an elaborate system which is expected to be ready in a few years.

Analyzing data from different countries the system is designed specifically for traffic management of unmanned aerial vehicles.
It’s an all-automated system coordinating the large number of drones expected to be flying.
UTM, as the system is dubbed, will be requiring drones to register their flight paths.
Drones will also be required to have sensors enabling them to avoid a potential collision.

FAA plans to start implementing NASA’s system beginning in 2019.

Important to remember:
Technology is all good.  For the most part.
Then we need to use our judgment.
Just because something can be done, it doesn’t mean it should.

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In an ever-changing business landscape, how secure is your job?

Imagine, few years from now, going to work where more than a third of your coworkers are ROBOTS.
No, this in not only about a manufacturing plant type of work.
Cognitive technology will enable robots to do so much more.

The machines will be able to do data entry, accounting and other type of “knowledge work.”
(Tax professionals already “compete” with IBM’s Watson.)

100 million jobs will be automated
Worldwide, by 2025, it’s estimated that robots will replace more than 100 million knowledge workers.
One third of world’s doctors, lawyers, and other highly trained workers will be replaced by robots.
(At least partially their job will be automated.)

On the plus side: outsourcing will no longer be a problem.
It will be cost-effective to bring the jobs back home.

What are we doing to prepare for this?
Tomorrow’s workforce will need a vastly different set of skills.
We need to “reinvent” our educational system.

Today’s students must be able to hit the ground running in tomorrow’s job market.
Will there be income inequality? Sure.
And we’ll have many other challenges as well.

Progress comes with “growing pains.”
Think back when people were perfectly happy using the horse and buggy as a transportation “vehicle”.
Try to imagine how they felt when their “normal” started to change.
The cars were faster — and they liked having that advantage. But that came with its own set of challenges.

Exciting times — full of opportunities
The “robotics” revolution is no different in that regard.  Sure we’ll face some difficulties.
But the benefits will outweigh the inevitable “bumps” on the road.

What is the one thing we can be sure of?
We are inexorably moving toward a digital future.
Exciting times ahead.  Full of opportunities.

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Air pollution affecting our brain?

“… it’s a hugely exciting time to study the connections between pollution and the brain”,
says Michelle Block,  a neuroscientist at Indiana University.

The above excerpt is from The Polluted Brain — an article written by Emily Underwood.
(Published in the Science Magazine.)

Underwood writes:
“Some of the health risks of inhaling fine and ultrafine particles are well-established, such as asthma, lung cancer, and, most recently, heart disease. But a growing body of evidence suggests that exposure can also harm the brain, accelerating cognitive aging, and may even increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.”

18 epidemiological studies — done by scientists from Germany, United Kingdom, United States, and other countries — are raising serious concerns about the health risks associated with air pollution.

Even more alarming is the effect air pollution has on children.
Studies show a significant drop in their IQ
when they live in or nearby highly polluted areas.

Throughout the article reference is made to the work and studies of numerous neuroscientists, from U.S. and abroad; and what are some of the known effects on people and animals.

Underwood concludes with:
“…the goal for policymakers worldwide should be to push down levels as far as possible.”

And cites Finch, a USC neuroscientist:

“When all the research is in,
I think [air pollution] will turn out to be just the same as
tobacco—there’s no safe threshold.”

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A new kind of race

IBM, once upon the time the leader in mainframe computers is making waves again.
This time through artificial intelligence (AI).
Big Blue is investing heavily in Watson, its AI champion.
And hopes it will put them back in the leader seat in the AI race.

IBM is poised to be a major player in this new computing era.
The company is building partnerships, among many others, with Apple, American Airlines, and 1-800 Flowers.

Data: the currency of our times
Imagine next time you order flowers for Mother’s Day.
Looking at the data in your account, you’ll be reminded of your anniversary next week.
Better double that order.
“I forgot” will no longer be a valid excuse (if it ever was : )

Personally, I can see myself arguing with American Airlines, or any other airline,
that has the audacity to “remind” me that it’s time to get on the plane and go visit (name, city/country).

I would promptly retort, “I don’t like flying! Go remind them! It’s their turn to visit.”

I’m making light of a serious topic.
In many ways, data is the currency of our times. And its value to artificial intelligence is immense.

AI partnership
That is why Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft have formed an AI partnership.
While they are in competition with each other, they realize it’s important to have a formal dialog on artificial intelligence developments.

By 2020, artificial intelligence is expected to be over $45 billion industry.

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Taking chemistry to a whole new level

Building the world’s smallest machines.

That’s the accomplishment of three scientists: Sauvage, Stoddart, and Feringa.
And this week they were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The reason for their win?
Their work in the field of nanotechnology: developing molecular machines.

How small are these machines?
You can fit thousands of them in the width of one human hair!!

Talking about a future where a whole new world of nanomachines will operate autonomously,
Dr. Feringa said, “we have to think about how we can handle these things safely. “

The nanomachine pioneer also added that this opens up a world of great opportunities.
One application can be the microrobots traveling through the bloodstream to deliver medicine to a certain spot in the body.

These tiny machines have the potential to revolutionize the field of medicine.

Fun fact:  one of the scientists, Dr. Stoddart, said his molecular designs are inspired by Celtic art.
(An artistically inclined scientist.)

Nanotechnology — a field where governments have invested billions of dollars.
Yet, in many ways, the revolution is just beginning.

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