What I'm Reading - 5/24/2018
Three to five links every weekday - 'The Future Is Always Cooler' edition.
THE US MILITARY RELEASED A STUDY ON WARP DRIVES AND FASTER-THAN-LIGHT TRAVEL — HERE’S WHAT A THEORETICAL PHYSICIST THINKS OF IT
The document is dated April 2, 2010, though it was only recently released by the Defense Intelligence Agency. (Business Insider first learned about in a post by Paul Szoldra at Task & Purpose.) The authors suggest we may not be too far away from cracking the mysteries of higher, unseen dimensions and negative or "dark energy" — a repulsive force that physicists believe is pushing the universe apart at ever-faster speeds.
"Control of this higher dimensional space may bе а source of technological control оvеr the dark energy density and could ultimately play а role in the development of exotic propulsion technologies; specifically, а warp drive," the authors write. "[T]rips to the planets within our own solar system would take hours rather than years, and journeys to local star system would be measured in weeks rather than hundreds of thousands of years."
Apple is exploring ways that Siri could play a helpful role in explaining why you had to decline a phone call. As AppleInsider notes, a new patent shows that by factoring in context (such as your iPhone’s location or whether Do Not Disturb is enabled) and analyzing who the call is from, Siri might be able to produce custom responses that are more specific to your current situation than the canned messages you can send now when rejecting a call.
While it is reasonable to expect a hardcore gamer to put up with the layers of friction that a game engine’s ecosystem entails, mainstream users are different. Gatekeepers and walled gardens, downloading and installing, and the hard requirement of a VR headset (more on that later) together create way too big a barrier for this to be the right platform-market fit for the mainstream, especially at such an early stage in the industry.
Joining a growing chorus of calls for a more balanced approach to innovation, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty spelled out her company’s philosophy around development of artificial intelligence and urged other developers to embrace those same principles.
Speaking at the Viva Technolgy conference in Paris, Rometty said those principles include ensuring companies remember that data belongs to the person who created it, AI must be transparent and explainable, and it should be used to “augment human intelligence, not replace it.” She noted that this was how IBM Watson was designed.