Google renames its research wing, going all-in on A.I.

Depending on how you look at it, Google wants to jump on the hot new trend in tech or is trying to appease future robot-brain overlords

Google—a small start-up that nobody has heard of and very few people use—is symbolically going all-in on artificial intelligence by renaming a wing of its company

Depending on how you look at it, Google wants to jump on the hot new trend in tech or is trying to appease future robot-brain overlords. Google Research will now be called Google AI, and the company is wasting no time (none!) in putting all its dollars—of which it has several—behind computer learning. 

This all falls in line with the Silicon Valley party line of "make everything A.I." This happens every other year or so, when a big tech titan makes a slight pivot and everyone else follows, like some cruel capitalist version of the game 'telephone'. Not even 24 hours before the Google news broke, Facebook had decided to name its Oculus wing the Facebook Reality Lab (catchy!). All of San Jose is a little like a middle school, where a couple of cool kids deem what's cool and then everyone else tries to catch up. It happens on a smaller scale with Silicon Valley's weird obsession with unfiltered water and keeping chickens

Needless to say, A.I. could shape the world in a way far beyond chicken and swamp water could ever do. One particular smart person is even saying that A.I. could be the downfall of mankind. Fun! Let's hope that Google's A.I. venture is more successful than its attempt at waving and seeing things

Setting a maximum wage for CEOs would be good for everyone

Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?

Apple CEO Tim Cook looks on during an Apple special event at the Steve Jobs Theatre on the Apple Park campus on September 12, 2017 in Cupertino, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.

Keep reading Show less

How humans evolved to live in the cold

Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Surprising Science
  • According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
  • Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
  • Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
Keep reading Show less

Drill, Baby, Drill: What will we look for when we mine on Mars?

It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back

  • In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
  • Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
  • The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
Keep reading Show less