This Slime Mold-Powered Smartwatch Is Literally a Living Gadget

In an attempt to explore the relationships people have with their modern accessories like smartphones and smartwatches, researchers recently created a smartwatch powered by a living organism.

Devices like smartphones, smartwatches, and laptops have become a part of our daily routine, and scientific experiments have shown that many people feel that they can’t function properly without them. Yet as a result of consumerism culture, most of us have no problem discarding our gadgets as soon as we can afford to buy new, more advanced ones, even if we don’t really need them. But what if there was a way to feel more attached to these gadgets, would that make us think twice before replacing them? Inspired by the Tamagochi, a Japanese toy that became an international phenomenon during the 1990s, scientists at Chicago University created a unique type of smartwatch that only functioned if the living organism inside of it was kept alive.

The Tamagochi was an egg-shaped device that allowed users to take care of a digital pet by feeding, training and disciplining it. If not given enough attention, the pet would die, and players would have to start over. It was immensely popular in the 1990s and early 2000s and is still available today. This toy was the original inspiration for a unique smartwatch where the digital pet was replaced by a living organism – a slime mold.

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Blind Computer Scientist Creates AI-Powered Suitcase For the Visually Impaired

AI Suitcase is a smart suitcase developed by a blind computer scientist to aid the visually impaired in navigating their surrounding more efficiently without the aid of white canes or guide dogs.

65-year-old Chieko Asakawa has been completely blind since she was only 14, following a tragic accident. A computer scientist and also the director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, also known as Miraikan, in Tokyo she is living proof that the visually impaired can overcome their disability to achieve great things. But as someone who has long struggled with navigating unfamiliar and crowded places, Asakawa came up with an idea to help the visually impaired get around easier. In 2017, her own experiences inspired her to come up with the idea of a smart suitcase that could guide its user with the help of built-in sensors and cameras. Six years later, the AI Suitcase is almost ready for its commercial debut.

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High-School Lights Have Been On 24/7 for Almost Two Years And No One Can Turn Them Off

A Massachusetts high school has been unable to turn off its smart lights system since August of 2021 when the software running failed.

When Minnechaug Regional High School opted to have a smart lights system installed a decade ago, the goal was to save money and energy, but no one ever imagined that one day, the 7,000 lights illuminating the sprawling educational complex would one day run continuously, racking up a small fortune in bills. The lights at this Springfield suburbs school in Wilbraham have been running continuously at full brightness since mid-2021, but with so many people struggling with their electrical bills, the massive waste of taxpayers’ money has become more blatant than ever. Unfortunately, there is apparently no way to turn off the lights at this time…

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College Students Are Using AI-Powered Chat Bots to Cheat in School

A South Carolina college professor is sounding the alarm on the use of advanced chatbots powered by artificial intelligence by students to complete various assignments.

Darren Hick, an assistant philosophy professor at Furman University, claims that one of his students used ChatGPT, an advanced AI-powered chatbot recently released by OpenAI and freely available to the public, to create a philosophy essay. While checking the essays turned in by his students, one caught his eye because of the unusual wording. It wasn’t grammatically incorrect, but it wasn’t language that a human college student would use. Hick compared it to the work “of a very smart 12th grader,” adding that the chatbot’s capacity to produce original works both terrorized and fascinated him.

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HuggieBot 3.0 – Robot Uses Science to Deliver the Perfect Hug

HuggieBot 3.0 is the third iteration of a robot designed by a team at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems to deliver the perfect hug.

Hugging probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about things that robots could help humankind with, but a team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems disagrees. Alexis E. Block and her colleagues have been involved in the HuggieBot project for years, trying to create a robot that could deliver human-like hugs and thus replace actual people in various scenarios like providing comfort to the lonely, or replacing someone who just can’t deliver a hug in person for some reason. Their third iteration, the HuggieBot 3.0, is apparently quite the hugger…

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Young Girl Who Lost an Eye in Car Accident Becomes Bionic Eye Master

A young Chinese woman who lost an eye in a serious car accident dedicated her life to creating prosthetic eyes that glow different colors.

In 2013, Xia Tong lost one of her eyes in a car accident. She was only 18 at the time, and she had it replaced with a prosthetic eye. Instead of losing confidence in herself and shying away from people because of her appearance, the young woman decided to turn her situation to make herself stand out. After studying to become a prosthetic eye technician (ocularist), Xia Tong started making all sorts of unique prosthetics for herself, which she showed off on social media, slowly building up a loyal following.

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Man Pays With His Forearm Thanks to Scannable Payment App Barcode Tattoo

A Taiwanese man has been getting a lot of attention on social media after getting a payment app barcode permanently tattooed on his forearm.

The unnamed man recently took to the Taiwanese social media platform Dcard to share a functional barcode tattoo. Apparently, they had been contemplating getting a tattoo for a while, but they wanted something special instead of the artsy things people get inked. One day, while thinking about how cumbersome it was to constantly have to pull out his smartphone to pay for stuff, it hit him: why not get a functional tattoo to solve that problem? So he had a tattoo artist ink his payment app barcode on his forearm so he wouldn’t have to use his phone anymore.

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This Company Creates the World’s Smallest TV Sets

TinyCircuits, a hardware company specializing in creating tiny electronic devices, recently unveiled the world’s smallest television sets.

When it comes to modern TVs, the general consensus is that bigger is better, but one company is trying to prove that it can be successful by going against the trend. TinyCircuits, an open-source hardware company that makes all sorts of tiny electronic devices, has created the world’s smallest television sets – the TinyTV 2 and TinyTV Mini. While these retro-looking devices may be the size of postage stamps, they actually work about as well as regular-size TVs, featuring channel and volume-adjusting knobs, remote control, 8Gb of storage, and PC connectivity for uploading videos.

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Robotics Startup Unveils the World’s Fastest Walking Shoes

A Pittsburgh-based robotics and engineering startup recently unveiled Moonwalkers, a pair of battery-powered shoes that it claims can boost walk speeds by up to 250%.

At first glance, Moonwalkers look like a pair of futuristic rollerskates, but there is actually a lot more to them than that. You’re actually meant to walk with them the way you would regular shoes or sneakers, letting the motorized wheels put a spring in your step. Powered by a state-of-the-art brushless DC motor, this ingenious contraption is actually a platform that can be attached to a wide variety of footwear to significantly increase your walking speed up to a reported 7mph/11kph. For comparison, humans’ average walking speed ranges from 2.5 to 4 mph. The sensation of walking with the world’s fastest shoes has been compared to that of walking on a ‘moving walkway’ in an airport.

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This Political Party Is Led by an AI Entity

The Synthetic Party is a new political group in Denmark that is committed to following the platform thought up by an AI entity known as Leader Lars.

Out of all the political parties eyeing a seat in the Danish Parliament this year, the Synthetic Party has to be the most intriguing, by far. Founded in May by artist collective Computer lars and non-profit art and tech organization MindFuture Foundation, the new political party is dedicated to following the policies of an AI programmed on the policies of all Danish fringe parties since the 1970s that have never obtained a seat in the parliament. Apart from promoting the presence of AI in politics, the Synthetic Party also aims to become an alternative for the 20 percent of the Danish population that never votes in elections.

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Walking Robot Dogs Is Apparently Becoming a Trend in China

Photos and videos of people walking futuristic robot dogs instead of actual canines have been going viral in China lately, signaling a trend among the younger generations.

Robotic dogs inspired by the impressive creations of Boston Dynamics have been available on Chinese shopping platforms for a while now, but they’ve only recently started actually becoming popular. Although they are sometimes being described as soulless machines that can never compare to real dogs who love their owners unconditionally, there is no denying the advantages of robot pets, and judging by the increasing number of people spotted walking their robot dogs in China lately, they may one day rival the animals they emulate.

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Spoons and Bowls That Use Electricity to Make Food Taste Saltier Go on Sale Next Year

Japanese researchers have created smart kitchenware that relies on electricity to make food saltier and tastier without adding any extra salt.

Salt makes food taste so much better, but it’s also a very dangerous ingredient that, consumed in excess, can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. But what if we could make food taste salty without using any salt? That’s what scientists at Meiji University and developers Kirin Holdings have been working on for several years now. Back in April, we featured their first breakthrough creation – a pair of smart chopsticks – but now they have a couple of commercial products ready to hit the shelves.

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Chinese Company Appoints AI-Powered Virtual Robot as CEO

Chinese metaverse company NetDragon Websoft recently made history by appointing an AI-powered virtual humanoid robot as its CEO.

The new AI-powered CEO, known as ‘Ms Tang Yu’, will reportedly be at the forefront of  Fujian NetDragon Websoft’s “organizational and efficiency department”, overseeing operations at the technology company valued at almost $10 billion. The board of NetDragon Websoft apparently believes that artificial intelligence is the future of corporate management, and the appointment of Ms. Tang Yu is a symbolic commitment to embrace the use of AI and change the way the company does business.

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Japanese Convenience Stores Introduce AI-Powered Shelf-Stocking Robots

Family Mart, Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain, recently started using AI-powered robots to restock shelves, as a way to deal with the country’s fast-shrinking workforce.

The decline in labor population is one of the biggest threats to businesses operating in Japan, and some have already started looking for ways to replace human workers. Case in point, major convenience store chain Family Mart, a company has recently teamed up with Tokyo-based robotics company Telexistence to introduce AI-powered robots in hundreds of its stores across the country. The new “employees” will be in charge of replenishing drinks in refrigerators and are expected to make human workers’ jobs easier and, in some cases, replace them completely.

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Real-Life Minority Report – Algorithm Predicts Crime With Up to 90% Accuracy

Scientists at the University of Chicago have developed a new algorithm that forecasts crime with up to 90% accuracy by analyzing data and learning patterns.

Minority Report is a very popular sci-fi film about a special police unit that can arrest murderers before they commit their crimes with the help of three clairvoyant humans called Precogs, which can visualize impending homicides. It’s a brilliant film, if you like sci-fi murder mysteries, or you’re simply a fan of Tom Cruise, but the reason we bring it up in this story is that a team of researchers claims to have come up with a real-world, AI-powered system that is also able to predict crimes with an accuracy of 90%. And their systems doesn’t require Precogs, just past data so it can predict the future.

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