This Week in Comments: January 21st—January 28th, 2018

Another exiting week of commentary. Some real winners this week. Did you make the cut? 

What Trump meant at Davos: “America first does not mean America alone.”

Sompob Pordi: It doesn't matter what he said he mean or didn't mean. Audience's interpretation and understanding are all that matter.

And he knew he didn't talk to the audiences in front of him. His intended audiences are ones at home whose votes are required for his 2nd term.

Politics is just like that. Very twisting, deceptive and most of the time disgusting.

Bill Gates is convinced that artificial intelligence will make our lives better and easier. Ummm…

Mark Garrity: Heard someone on the radio saying the AI revolution will be like the industrial revolution was at the turn of the 20th century. Keep in mind over 90% of ppl were farmers in 1900. Today less 3% of us in the US are today. In the first 3 decades of the 20th century there was tremendous social displacement caused in part by technology. He predicted until society sorts it all out there will be much the same over the next 30 years as we destroy jobs with robotics and AI but haven't yet replaced them. The whole purpose of automation, AI, robotics etc is to replace humans in the workplace. The only problem with that is humans not only make the products humans buy them too. Put enough ppl out of work and how many customers are left? I guess that's why we hear talk of a guaranteed income.


Why Men Cheat

Matthew Lazar: Wow. I thought this guy had some thought provoking perspectives, and then I come into the comments and everyone is dogging this dude. Why? To me, it makes sense what he's saying. His stance doesn't even sound religion-based, yet there are people here dismissing it because his background is religious. His religious beliefs may be idealistic (to many of us), but can he not be pragmatic on other matters? Seems like there are a lot of close-minded people here, or am I missing something?

Why the U.S. just fell off the list of top 10 most innovative countries

Richard Steven JonesThat's because half the country refuses to evolve and instead likes to rely on old technology and practices, and will actually spend money to fight for them. Any industry that refuses to evolve deserves to go the way of the dinosaur.

3D printing might save your life one day. It's transforming medicine and health care.

What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.

Northwell Health
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
  • Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
  • Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
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Active ingredient in Roundup found in 95% of studied beers and wines

The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.

Surprising Science
  • U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
  • A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
  • Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
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Robot pizza delivery coming later this year from Domino's

The pizza giant Domino's partners with a Silicon Valley startup to start delivering pizza by robots.

Technology & Innovation
  • Domino's partnered with the Silicon Valley startup Nuro to have robot cars deliver pizza.
  • The trial run will begin in Houston later this year.
  • The robots will be half a regular car and will need to be unlocked by a PIN code.

Would you have to tip robots? You might be answering that question sooner than you think as Domino's is about to start using robots for delivering pizza. Later this year a fleet of self-driving robotic vehicles will be spreading the joy of pizza throughout the Houston area for the famous pizza manufacturer, using delivery cars made by the Silicon Valley startup Nuro.

The startup, founded by Google veterans, raised $940 million in February and has already been delivering groceries for Kroger around Houston. Partnering with the pizza juggernaut Domino's, which delivers close to 3 million pizzas a day, is another logical step for the expanding drone car business.

Kevin Vasconi of Domino's explained in a press release that they see these specially-designed robots as "a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey," adding "The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."

How will they work exactly? Nuro explained in its own press release that this "opportunity to use Nuro's autonomous delivery" will be available for some of the customers who order online. Once they opt in, they'll be able to track the car via an app. When the vehicle gets to them, the customers will use a special PIN code to unlock the pizza compartment.

Nuro and its competitors Udelv and Robomart have been focusing specifically on developing such "last-mile product delivery" machines, reports Arstechnica. Their specially-made R1 vehicle is about half the size of a regular passenger car and doesn't offer any room for a driver. This makes it safer and lighter too, with less potential to cause harm in case of an accident. It also sticks to a fairly low speed of under 25 miles an hour and slams on the breaks at the first sign of trouble.

What also helps such robot cars is "geofencing" technology which confines them to a limited area surrounding the store.

For now, the cars are still tracked around the neighborhoods by human-driven vehicles, with monitors to make sure nothing goes haywire. But these "chase cars" should be phased out eventually, an important milestone in the evolution of your robot pizza drivers.

Check out how Nuro's vehicles work: