Do they really need the human touch?
- In Pinduoduo's Smart Agriculture Competition, four technology teams competed with traditional farmers over four months to grow strawberries.
- Data analysis, intelligent sensors and greenhouse automation helped the scientists win.
- Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as AI are forecast to deliver huge productivity gains – but need the right governance, according to the Global Technology Governance Report 2021.
Pinduoduo<h3>Growing potential</h3><p>Numerous studies show the potential for Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies like AI to boost economic growth and productivity.</p><p>By 2035, labour productivity in developed countries could rise by 40% due to the influence of AI, according to<a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/ai-productivity-automation-artificial-intelligence-countries/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> analysis from Accenture and Frontier Economics</a>.</p><p>Sweden, the US and Japan are expected to see the highest productivity increases.</p>
Robot developers adapt the behavior of worm "blobs".
- Researchers at Georgia Tech adapt the behavior of worm "blobs" to robotic swarms.
- The goal is to utilize useful aspects of living systems in human-created ones.
- When part of a "blob," worms tend to survive better and have more capabilities than individually.
Collective worm and robot "blobs" protect individuals, swarm together<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="da395288b7a4c9ce578343ba911685d9"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/615LmMNBFJg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Georgia Tech research associate Yasemin Ozkan-Aydin holds a smarticle blob as Georgia Tech Assistant Professor Saad Bhamla holds a worm blob.
Credit: Christopher Moore, Georgia Tech
The new tool may someday be used in work that needs a light touch.
- A team of engineers has developed a shape shifting tool that can grasp strangely shaped objects.
- Unlike robots based on claws, this device can wrap around objects for a better grip.
- It could be commercially available in as little as a year.
Researchers design microdevices that can gradually deliver medicine by latching on to intestines.
- A research team from Johns Hopkins University designs microdevices that can deliver medicine.
- The tiny robots are based on parasite hookworms.
- The machines can latch on to the intestines and gradually release pain-relieving drugs.
March of the microscopic robots<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="beb2343e06c26aa2bdd6658a72166dde"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2TjdGuBK9mI?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
The pandemic has given us an early glimpse at how truly disruptive the fourth industrial revolution may be, and the measures we'll need to support human dignity.
- The coronavirus crisis has acted as a catalyst for two powerful transformative forces: automation and universal basic income.
- These two intertwined forces will undoubtedly gain steam, writes Frederick Kuo, and the pandemic will hasten the acceptance of them from a scale of decades to years or mere months.
- This crisis has ushered in a glimpse of what a dystopian future could look like as a rapidly advancing fourth industrial revolution inevitably causes severe disruption in our economy and labor structure.