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Singular Simplicity

The story of the Singularity is sweeping, dramatic, simple--and wrong

6 min read
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This is part of IEEE Spectrum's SPECIAL REPORT: THE SINGULARITY

Take the idea of exponential technological growth, work it through to its logical conclusion, and there you have the singularity. Its bold incredibility pushes aside incredulity, as it challenges us to confront all the things we thought could never come true—the creation of superintelligent, conscious organisms, nanorobots that can swim in our bloodstreams and fix what ails us, and direct communication from mind to mind. And the pièce de résistance: a posthuman existence of disembodied uploaded minds, living on indefinitely without fear, sickness, or want in a virtual paradise ingeniously designed to delight, thrill, and stimulate.

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Jay Last, a Father of Silicon Valley, Dies at 92

IEEE also mourns the loss of several former society presidents

4 min read
A smiling older man in glasses

Jay Last

Max S. Gerber/Redux

Jay Last

Silicon Valley pioneer

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How Claude Shannon Helped Kick-start Machine Learning

The “father of information theory” also paved the way for AI

3 min read
A photo of a man in a suit with his hand on a toy in a maze.
KEYSTONE/GETTY IMAGES

Among the great engineers of the 20th century, who contributed the most to our 21st-century technologies? I say: Claude Shannon.

Shannon is best known for establishing the field of information theory. In a 1948 paper, one of the greatest in the history of engineering, he came up with a way of measuring the information content of a signal and calculating the maximum rate at which information could be reliably transmitted over any sort of communication channel. The article, titled “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” describes the basis for all modern communications, including the wireless Internet on your smartphone and even an analog voice signal on a twisted-pair telephone landline. In 1966, the IEEE gave him its highest award, the Medal of Honor, for that work.

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Why Multi-Functional Robots Will Take Over Commercial Robotics

Single-task robots will soon make way for multi-application robots of the future

4 min read

By integrating new functional accessories like a disinfection module to its Neo 2 floor-scrubbing robot, Avidbots is transforming it into a multi-purpose robotic platform.

Avidbots

This is a sponsored article brought to you by Avidbots.

The days of having single-purpose robots for specific tasks are behind us. A robot must be multi-functional to solve today’s challenges, be cost-effective, and increase the productivity of an organization.

Yet, most indoor autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) today are specialized, often addressing a single application, service, or market. These robots are highly effective at completing the task at hand, however, they are limited to addressing a single use case. While this approach manages development costs and complexity for the developer, it may not be in the best interest of the customer.

To set the stage for increased growth, the commercial AMR market must evolve and challenge the status quo. A focus on integrating multiple applications and processes will increase overall productivity and efficiency of AMRs.

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