SpaceX sending robot with artificial intelligence to International Space Station

By MARCIA DUNN | The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A robot with true artificial intelligence is about to invade space.

The large, round, plastic robot head is part of SpaceX’s latest supply delivery to the International Space Station.

Friday’s pre-dawn liftoff also includes two sets of genetically identical female mice, 20 mousestronauts that will pick up where NASA’s identical twin brother astronauts left off a few years ago. Super-caffeinated coffee is also flying up for the space station’s java-craving crew.

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As intriguing as identical space siblings and turbo-charged space coffee may be, it’s the German robot — named Cimon, pronounced Simon, after a genius doctor in science fiction’s “Captain Future” — that’s stealing the show.

Don’t worry about AI running amok on the space station. Cimon’s human handlers promise the first AI space bot will behave. No mutinous takeovers like HAL from the 1968 film classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

“He’s a friendly guy and he has this hard power-off button,” German Space Agency physicist Christian Karrasch, the project manager, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Like HAL, the autonomous Cimon is an acronym: it stands for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion. Its AI brain is courtesy of IBM.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who arrived at the orbiting lab a month ago, will introduce Cimon to space life during three one-hour sessions. Already savvy about Gerst’s science experiments, the self-propelling Cimon will float at the astronaut’s side and help, when asked, with research procedures.

Cimon has Gerst’s face and voice imprinted in its memory. So while the robot could assist the five other station astronauts, it is best suited for Gerst, according to Karrasch.

To get Cimon’s attention, Gerst will need only to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Trump has reportedly threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organization ‘100 times’

President Trump is threatening to withdraw the United States from the World Trade Organization — a move that would cast uncertainty over trillions of dollars worth of trade — during private conversations with his aides, Axios reports. “He’s [threatened to withdraw] 100 times,” said one person who’s had such a conversation with the president. “It would totally [screw] us as a country.”

Trump reportedly perceives the WTO as taking advantage of the United States, although his own administration’s research has found that America has won more than 85 percent of its cases before the WTO since 1995 (China has won just over 66 percent, by comparison). Trump’s advisers have reportedly warned him against withdrawal, noting that it would send global markets into turmoil.

Withdrawing from the WTO requires Congress to be on board; Trump technically cannot do much more than make the notification at the WTO. A trade lawyer in Washington downplayed the likelihood of Trump actually acting on his rants: “We think he’s nuts, but not that nuts.”

…read more

Source:: The Week – Business


Jared Kushner’s family business sues New Jersey city, claiming anti-Trump bias

Jared Kushner’s family business is suing Jersey City, New Jersey, claiming the construction of one of the company’s projects there is being delayed due to “political animus” toward President Trump.

Kushner is Trump’s son-in-law, and stepped down as head of Kushner Cos. in January 2017 when he became a Trump adviser. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Wednesday, and alleges the city “put politics over principle” when it refused to give the Kushner Cos. a tax break for the twin-tower project One Journal Square. Kushner Cos. had wanted a 30-year tax break, but after Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer-Kushner, went to China and showed investors marketing material tying the company to the White House, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said the city would oppose the break.

In April, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency said the developers of One Journal Square were in default, having missed the deadline to start construction. Kushner Cos. is suing to stop the city from ending the project’s contract and seeking to declare the default notice as null and void, The Associated Press reports. Fulop said in an email the Kushners do not “have a great deal of credibility in anything they say. The same way they illegally use the presidency to make money is the same way here they try to use the presidency to be pretend victims. They will do anything to manipulate a situation.”

…read more

Source:: The Week – Business


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