Jeff Bezos and three passengers reached the edge of space on Tuesday and returned safely Tuesday morning after a flight of just over 10 minutes that the billionaire hopes will usher in a new era for manned spaceflight. “What we do is the first step in something big. Big things start small, ”said Bezos. Tuesday’s space flight was Blue Origin’s first with passengers on board. Bezos was accompanied by his brother Mark, the 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk and the 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen.
Blue Origin was founded in 2000 and currently employs more than 3,500 people in Florida, California and other locations. Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic were recognized for successfully launching the world’s first commercial astronauts. But apparently those laurels will have to wait a while longer. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spoiled the party by releasing new rules on the day of Bezos’ historic flight. To qualify as commercial astronauts, space visitors must move 80 km above the surface of the earth under the new rules and “have demonstrated activities during the flight that were essential for public safety or contributed to the safety of human space flight”.
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Alphabet founds new robotics company
Intrinsics robots at work (Image credit: Alphabet)
Alphabet’s Moonshot Factory “X” has founded a new robotics company called Intrinsic to develop software and AI tools that use sensor data from a robot’s environment to learn from and quickly adapt to the real world. The Intrinsic team includes a diverse group of talents from robotics, filmmaking, design, computational perception, and mechanical design.
Founded in 2010 by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, “X” was founded with the aim of working on moonshots: wacky, science-fiction-sounding technologies that could one day radically improve the world. To date, X has launched hundreds of different Moonshot projects in areas ranging from computational agriculture to cybersecurity. from sea water fuel to machine learning and more.
Musk’s next stop: Jupiter
On Friday, NASA announced that it had awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX a new contract to provide launch services for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed surveys of Jupiter’s moon Europa. The Europa Clipper mission, due to launch in October 2024, will use SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket. The total amount of the launch services contract award is approximately $ 178 million.
“Europa Clipper will conduct a detailed study of Europe using a sophisticated set of scientific instruments to determine whether the icy moon has conditions for life. The main objectives of the mission are to produce high resolution images of the surface of Europe, determine its composition, find signs of new or ongoing geological activity, measure the thickness of the moon’s icy shell, find underground lakes, and determine its depth and salinity of Europe’s ocean, ”NASA said in a statement.
The right to repair comes true
On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission voted to enforce right to repair laws to ensure US consumers can repair their own electronic and automotive equipment. Repair law initiatives would require smartphones, laptops and other device manufacturers to include a repair manual with their products to assist their customers. And would create more transparency with regard to green initiatives and also prevent the makers from resorting to “planned obsolescence”. This resolution could also encourage responsible marketing and advertising.
DARPA urges AI with common sense
At the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) 2021, DARPA, IBM, MIT and Harvard published a new data set for benchmarking AI intuition, along with two machine learning models that represent different approaches to the problem. According to the researchers, this work should accelerate the development of an AI that displays common sense. Based on testing techniques that psychologists use to study infant behavior, these tools are an extension of neurosymbolic AI research that combines the logic of symbolic AI algorithms with the deep learning capabilities of neural networks.
World’s first physical vs. NFT auction with Steve Jobs
Physical copy (left) vs. digital copy (right) Photo credit
Steve Jobs challenges the status quo again. The job application from Jobs is being auctioned and this is the first time an item has been put up for auction in both physical and NFT formats. This 1973 artifact will be released in only one form, either physically or digitally, based on the highest bidder and the format chosen. Since their inception, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have been in vogue, raising up to $ 60 million in artwork. But on Jobs’s application, the interest in the physical format far exceeded the NFT cult. The auction, which ends in four days, is an important litmus test for the future of decentralized collectibles.
Uber saves a bomb for logistics
Uber’s Freight truck division spent $ 2.25 billion to acquire Transpalce, a shipping software company. According to reports, Uber Freight will acquire Transplace from TPG Capital, the private equity platform of alternative asset firm TPG, which Transplace acquired in 2017. Uber recently closed its AI research labs and is currently focused on investing in talent houses that can boost its freight economy.
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