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Spaceport America

Inside the risky venture of Spaceport America

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Source: The Verge
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Commercial Space Travel is here. What are the health implications? What will people eat in space if Elon Musk builds a city by 2050? What are your thoughts on space travel?

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Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them

Elon Musk’s Neuralink: what’s science and what’s not

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Source: The Verge
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

What are the health and ethical implications of Elon Musk neuroscience invention? How does sound play into this matter? How can deepfake impact such an invention?

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Medical device recalls rise 31% in Q2

Medical Device Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Maia Anderson – Thursday, August 27th, 2020 
Source: Beckers Hospital Review
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Owen-Beard

The number of medical device recalls has increased 31.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020, according to Stericycle’s Q2 recall index

The total number of recalls in the second quarter was 341, surpassing 300 for the first time in two years. While the average recall size was lower than the first quarter, the number of recalls  puts the medical device industry on track for 1,200 recalls by the end of the year, which would be an annual increase of 35 percent over 2019. 

The number also doesn’t include unofficial recalls of face masks and other personal protective equipment handled at the state level. 

For the first time in 16 consecutive quarters, safety issues accounted for 48 recalls, or 14.1 percent, of all the recalls in the second quarter, overtaking software issues. But cyberattacks targeting health systems, hospitals and healthcare organizations are still on the rise, and connected medical devices are vulnerable, according to the report. 

Sterilization issues affected the most units, accounting for 62.9 percent of recalled units. 

Out of all of the recalls, 83.3 percent affected products that were distributed nationwide, and 48.4 percent affected products distributed internationally. 

Find the full report here

What do you think of the rise of medical devices in the context of robotics, Ai and cyborgs? What do you think of the rise of the medical devices in the context of the pandemic and commercial space travel? What do you think of the rise of the medical device industry in the context of Elon Musk’s goal of building a city in Mars by 2050? Why?

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‘Cyborg’ technology could enable new diagnostics, merger of humans and AI

Amputee Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Date: August 17, 2020
Source: American Chemical Society
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, thisisengineering


Summary: Although true ‘cyborgs’ are science fiction, researchers are moving toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor tumors or replace damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Today, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.


Although true “cyborgs” — part human, part robotic beings — are science fiction, researchers are taking steps toward integrating electronics with the body. Such devices could monitor for tumor development or stand in for damaged tissues. But connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a huge challenge. Now, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this environment.

The researchers will present their results today at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo. 

“We got the idea for this project because we were trying to interface rigid, inorganic microelectrodes with the brain, but brains are made out of organic, salty, live materials,” says David Martin, Ph.D., who led the study. “It wasn’t working well, so we thought there must be a better way.”

Traditional microelectronic materials, such as silicon, gold, stainless steel and iridium, cause scarring when implanted. For applications in muscle or brain tissue, electrical signals need to flow for them to operate properly, but scars interrupt this activity. The researchers reasoned that a coating could help.

“We started looking at organic electronic materials like conjugated polymers that were being used in non-biological devices,” says Martin, who is at the University of Delaware. “We found a chemically stable example that was sold commercially as an antistatic coating for electronic displays.” After testing, the researchers found that the polymer had the properties necessary for interfacing hardware and human tissue.

“These conjugated polymers are electrically active, but they are also ionically active,” Martin says. “Counter ions give them the charge they need so when they are in operation, both electrons and ions are moving around.” The polymer, known as poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) or PEDOT, dramatically improved the performance of medical implants by lowering their impedance two to three orders of magnitude, thus increasing signal quality and battery lifetime in patients.

Martin has since determined how to specialize the polymer, putting different functional groups on PEDOT. Adding a carboxylic acid, aldehyde or maleimide substituent to the ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT) monomer gives the researchers the versatility to create polymers with a variety of functions.

“The maleimide is particularly powerful because we can do click chemistry substitutions to make functionalized polymers and biopolymers,” Martin says. Mixing unsubstituted monomer with the maleimide-substituted version results in a material with many locations where the team can attach peptides, antibodies or DNA. “Name your favorite biomolecule, and you can in principle make a PEDOT film that has whatever biofunctional group you might be interested in,” he says.

Most recently, Martin’s group created a PEDOT film with an antibody for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) attached. VEGF stimulates blood vessel growth after injury, and tumors hijack this protein to increase their blood supply. The polymer that the team developed could act as a sensor to detect overexpression of VEGF and thus early stages of disease, among other potential applications.

Other functionalized polymers have neurotransmitters on them, and these films could help sense or treat brain or nervous system disorders. So far, the team has made a polymer with dopamine, which plays a role in addictive behaviors, as well as dopamine-functionalized variants of the EDOT monomer. Martin says these biological-synthetic hybrid materials might someday be useful in merging artificial intelligence with the human brain.

Ultimately, Martin says, his dream is to be able to tailor how these materials deposit on a surface and then to put them in tissue in a living organism. “The ability to do the polymerization in a controlled way inside a living organism would be fascinating.”

What are your thoughts on cyborgs? What are your thoughts on cyborgs within the context of the pandemic? Do you think Elon Musk is correct, we are already cyborgs or do you think scientists can create cyborgs?

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‘If you can’t beat them join them’: Elon Musk says our best hope for competing with AI is becoming better cyborgs

Source: Business Insider
Graham Rapier Aug 29, 2019, 11:08 AM

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, China, August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song
Source: Business Insider
Tesla Inc CEO Musk and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Ma attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai 
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
  • Elon Musk talked artificial intelligence with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma in Shanghai on Thursday. 
  • Musk doubled down on his previous warnings that AI will overtake human intelligence
  • The Tesla CEO also took the time to mention his latest bet, Neuralink, and its planned brain-computer interface that could let human compete with AI. 

Elon Musk was in China on Thursday, but not to talk Tesla and its new factory in the country.

Instead, the chief executive talked artificial intelligence on stage next to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, and doubled down on his warnings that the technology could pose grave risks to human society as we know it.

“Generally, people underestimate the capability of AI,” Musk said at the conference in Shanghai. “They sort of think it’s like a smart human, but it’s going to be much more than that. It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human.”

Musk’s proposed solution: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Amid the myriad of Musk’s corporate bets, one of the more recent endeavors is “Neuralink.” Unveiled in a white paper in July, the company hopes to begin testing its computer-brain interface in humans as early as next year. Experts say the technology is impressive, but called the timeline “delusional.”

“We are already a cyborg,” Musk said. “People don’t realize — we are already a cyborg because we are so well integrated with our phones and our computers. The phone is almost like an extension of yourself. If you forget your phone, it’s like a missing limb. But the communication bandwidth to the phone is very low, especially input.”

That’s why humans desperately need to catch up.

What do you think of robots and cyborgs? What do you think the impact of robots and cyborgs will be on society? What do you think of robots and cyborgs in the context of the pandemic?

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Robots on the rise as Americans experience record job losses amid pandemic

The pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed – including many in the hospitality industry, which has seen a rise in the adoption of new tech
Lauren Aratani
Fri 27 Nov 2020 03.00 EST, Last modified on Fri 27 Nov 2020 06.06 EST
Source: The Guardian

Pepper, a robot developed by SoftBank Robotics, welcomes customers in Tokyo, Japan, on 5 November. In the US, 11 million people were unemployed in October.
 Pepper, a robot developed by SoftBank Robotics, welcomes customers in Tokyo, Japan, on 5 November. In the US, 11 million people were unemployed in October. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA
Source: The Guardian
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

They can check you in and deliver orange juice to your hotel room, answer your questions about a missing package, whip up sushi and pack up thousands of subscription boxes. And, perhaps most importantly, they are completely immune to Covid-19. While people have had a hard time in the coronavirus pandemic, robots are having a moment.

The Covid-19 pandemic has left millions of Americans unemployed – disproportionately those in the service industries where women and people of color make up the largest share of the labor force. In October, 11 million people were unemployed in the US, compared with about 6 million people who were without a job during the same time last year.

The rise of the Covid robots – in pictures

And as humans are experiencing record job losses and economic uncertainty, robots have become a hot commodity. Multiple technology manufacturers have reported increased demand for their bots over the course of the pandemic, from drone-like machines that can roam hallways to make deliveries and AI-powered customer service software to increased use of self-service checkouts at supermarkets.

A recent report from the World Economic Forum predicted that by 2025 the next wave of automation – turbocharged by the pandemic – will disrupt 85m jobs globally. New jobs will be created but “businesses, governments and workers must plan to urgently work together to implement a new vision for the global workforce”.Advertisement

The hospitality industry, which has been one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic, has seen a clear uptick in the adoption of new technology during the pandemic. Hotels are allowing guests to use kiosks to check themselves in, apps to control the television and light switches in their room and a few use delivery bots to send to guests’ room when they want a refreshment.

Ron Swidler, chief information officer of the Gettys Group, a hotel design and development consultancy firm, said more hotels are experimenting with new technology during the pandemic. Swidler leads the Hotel of Tomorrow, a consortium of hospitality leaders that was re-upped in the middle of the pandemic to think of ways to innovate the industry. The group came up with five “big ideas” on how the industry needs to change, and new technology – including robots – are a core part of the equation.

“The cost [of automation] is coming down, the technology is getting better and we are seeing innovation working effectively in other parts of the world that we can transfer here,” Swidler said, citing Alibaba’s FlyZoo hotel that is staffed nearly entirely by technology, from check-in to room service.

While the idea of being serviced by a BB-8 lookalike in a hotel may seem strange, Swidler said permanent job losses in the industry will be a reality as hotels adopt new technologies to try to save on labor costs.

It is unclear whether the increased demand for new technology has directly caused job losses during the pandemic, but a discussion paper published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in September found that “automatable” jobs – occupations that could be replaced by technology that is in development or is already available – lost 4.2 more jobs per every 100 than occupations that are less at risk for automation. Occupations that are considered automatable include hotel desk clerks, shuttle drivers and retail salespeople, according to the paper.

The paper’s authors raise the widely shared concern that the automation undertaken during the pandemic will be a permanent replacement for jobs.

“The longer time it takes to fully control the virus, the higher the probability that the labor-saving technology will become permanent,” said Lei Ding, senior economic advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and co-author of the paper. “Job losses will become permanent losses.”

Currently, there are only anecdotal examples of permanent job loss due to an uptick in automation brought on by the pandemic, but the layoffs of hundreds of Pennsylvania toll booth workers provides one clear example of how labor-saving technology can sweep away jobs.

In June, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission laid off about 500 toll collectors in the state when it switched to all-electronic toll collecting.

For years, the commission had talked about replacing toll booth workers with automated collectors, and they finally gave workers a timeline. Per a union agreement, workers were supposed to be kept on payroll until at least October 2021, with final layoffs happening by January 2022.

The longer time it takes to fully control the virus, the higher the probability that the labor-saving technology will become permanentLei Ding

When the pandemic arrived, collectors were sent home in March and were promised that the commission would still uphold the October 2021 date. But in June, the commission permanently laid off all workers, over a year before the agreed date.

“We understand the safety of employees is the most important thing, but for them to have safety mean the elimination of their jobs … It’s been devastating,” said Jock Rowe, principal officer for Teamsters Local 77, the union representing 300 of the laid-off toll workers.

Rowe cited other toll-collecting agencies that brought back toll workers with enhanced safety measures, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The impact of a recession on the growth of automation has been well-documented by economists and has shown that automation does not grow steadily, but rather happens in bursts. Businesses are more likely to automate after experiencing economic shocks, when they have strong incentives to save on labor.

For a study published in 2016, researchers from the University of Rochester combed through 87m job postings online from before and after the Great Recession. They found that employers in cities that were hit hardest by the recession were replacing workers with labor-saving technology and more skilled workers. A report published by the Century Foundation found that “robot intensity” increased in 2009, in the immediate wake of the Great Recession, particularly in the manufacturing industry.

While an increase in automation can be good for educated workers and help to stimulate the economy, studies have also shown that new technology tends to leave low-wage workers behind.

“Automation has been a major driver in the increase in inequality,” said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Acemoglu co-authored a study published in May that showed automation creates a “prosperity gap” that benefits high-skilled workers at the sake of lower-skilled workers.

Low-wage workers are not only more susceptible to job loss and wage depression due to automation, but they also experienced the most job losses due to shutdowns. Higher-wage workers are more likely to be able to work from home during the pandemic, while lower-wage workers – a disproportionate number of whom are Black or Hispanic – were more susceptible to layoffs due to shutdown orders.

Automation has been a major driver in the increase in inequality, Daron Acemoglu

An important caveat many roboticists will point out is that artificial intelligence technology is not quite smart enough to cause mass waves of layoffs due to robots. New AI technology can take a lot of money, time and resources to set up, something that many businesses do not have during the pandemic.

“You should definitely not worry about losing your job to an AI-enabled robot right now. If you’re going to lose your job to automation, it’s going to be … some proven, well-known automation that is more than 10 or 15 years old,” said Matt Beane, an assistant professor at the University of Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program.

AI has “tremendous potential for making humans more productive” without replacing humans, Acemoglu said, if society takes a human-centric approach to technological advances. But without the political will to make sure those who do lose jobs are taken care of, by training them for new jobs, for example, the impact of automation may be devastating and a pandemic that has already hit those workers hardest could be leave a lasting legacy of unemployment.

“I’m not saying automation is terrible … What I’m saying is it would be terrible if we put all the eggs in the automation basket,” Acemoglu said. “We have to a large extent done so over the last 30 years. [The pandemic] will just exacerbate that.”

How do you think automation and robots have changed the economy? How do you think robots in the context of the pandemic have impacted job loss? Why?

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Department of Computer Science Research

Robots Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact (ARTSI) Alliance

PI: Dr. Chutima Boonthum
Co-PI: Mr. Solomon Isekeje (Department of Fine and Performing Art)
Source: School of Science, Hampton University
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Possessed-Photography

The Department of Computer Science, School of Science, Hampton University received a $125,667 grant (2007-2010) from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enhance the robotics programs for undergraduate students and to create outreach events for local K-12 students. The award is a part of a $2 million grant awarded to the Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact (ARTSI) Alliance, a collaboration of institutions including eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and seven Carnegie Research I Institutions.

How do you think robots impact our society? How do you think robots impact other societies? Why?

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Elon Musk reveals residents in his 2050 Mars city will live in glass domes – and ‘terraform’ the planet to be like Earth

LIFE ON MARS 

  • 20 Nov 2020, 17:43
  • Updated: 20 Nov 2020, 17:54

ELON Musk has plans for humans to live in glass domes on Mars.

Understandbly, a lot of people have questions about how Musk proposes all these people survive.

Terraforming would mean creating the right environment outside the domes so plants could grow just like on Earth and there would be an oxygen supply.

When told that terraforming would be unlikely to work with current technologies Musk had another response.

He said: “Terraforming will be too slow to be relevant in our lifetime. However, we can establish a human base there in our lifetime.

“At least a future spacefaring civilization – discovering our ruins – will be impressed humans got that far.”

Musk has previously admitted that getting to Mars in his SpaceX rockets is the easy part but creating a city there will be tricky.

Musk has previously outlined plans for a Martian colony established by his rocket company, SpaceX. Pictured is an artist impression of the colony with a SpaceX Starship rocket in the background
Musk has previously outlined plans for a Martian colony established by his rocket company, SpaceX. Pictured is an artist impression of the colony with a SpaceX Starship rocket in the backgroundCredit: Space X

A number of studies have concluded that terraforming the entire planet of Mars and changing its atmosphere may not be possible even if all the ice caps were melted to release CO2.

Musk wants a Starship rocket to make the journey to Mars as early as 2021.

During the Satellite 2020 conference earlier this year, Musk said: “If we don’t improve our pace of progress, I’m definitely going to be dead before we go to Mars.”

If his 2050 ambition becomes a reality, Musk will be 79 when one million humans are living in his proposed domes on Mars.

What is SpaceX?

Here’s what you need to know…

SpaceX is a cash-flushed rocket company that wants to take man to Mars.

It was set up by eccentric billionaire Elon Musk in 2002 and is based in Hawthorne, California.

SpaceX’s first aim was to build rockets that could autonomously land back on Earth and be re-used.

Musk hoped the technology would make flying and operating space flights far cheaper.

SpaceX currently uses its reusable rockets to fly cargo to the International Space Station for Nasa.

It also carries satellites and other space tech into orbit for various international governments and companies.

The company took astronauts up to the ISS for the first time in 2020.

Other future missions involve carrying tourists and astronauts to the Moon.

Musk has repeatedly said he believes humanity must colonise Mars to save itself from extinction.

He plans to get a SpaceX rocket to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s.

Could these sightings and conspiracy theories prove that aliens do exist?

In other space news, human cremated ashes are to be sent to the Moon next year as part of a commercial burial service piggybacking on a Nasa lunar mission.

Wars could be settled in space in the future, a top RAF chief has warned.

And, the first burst of cosmic radio waves to be detected within our galaxy is repeating, according to scientists.

Elon tells us what homes would look like. Astronauts have been eating space food for decades, but that has come from earth.? What will they eat in Mars? How will they grow it? What are the health implications?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Interfacing Humans and Technology – Elon Musk

We are already cyborgs | Elon Musk | Code Conference 2016

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Elon Musk – Cyborgs
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Elon Musk is the CEO of Space X and Tesla Motors. Space X has begun commercial space travel transportation and recently returned a group of Astronauts from space splashing them into the Gulf of Mexico. He is by far one of the people on the cutting edge of space and technology not to mention engineering and other talents. Musk also began many successful and well known companies such as PayPal. As one thinks about medical devices and the concept of cyborgs, one can see how the current science and medical trend of interfacing humans and technology. How do we see this in our everyday lives? How do we see this occurring in our doctors offices? How do we see this in our interactions with technology and technological advances? What if you became too slow to compete with robots or Ai (artificial technology) on a job? Would you interface with technology to become more competitive? What are the health implications of doing so? Share your comments with the community by positing your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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You are what you eat

Wireless System can Power and Communicate with Tiny Devices inside the Body (Short Video)

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Internal Wireless Systems
Source: MIT
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

It used to be that you were what you ate. With advance technology such as internal wireless systems or smart pills, this saying may need to be updated. Would you take a smart pill? Elon Musk of Space X and Tesla states that we are already cyborgs simply because we use cell phones. Commercial space travel is here thanks to several companies such as Space X. Have you kept up with recent technology? Have you seen the latest robots? Did you know that Ai (Artificial Intelligence) technology beat the world chess champion? Did you know that people like Elon Musk have called for the regulation of Ai? Share your comments below with the community by posting your comments below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.