As machines become increasingly autonomous by which I mean they can sense their environment and they can make decisions about what to do or what not to do. Of course it’s based on the programming and their experience. But we don’t have as direct control over what they do as we do today with the kinds of technology that we have.
Author and entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan offers an interesting crash course on computational ethics, the idea that robots and machines will require programming to make them cognizant of morals, decorum, manners, and various other social nuances. Jerry Kaplan’s latest book is “Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”
Lighting can be rather fascinating and if you ever witness something got struck by lighting in real life you know that nature can also be really badass. And how awesome would it be if you could capture lightning not just on photo but also within a sculpture?
Lichtenberg Figures can capture a lighting bolt in a glass box forever.
Lichtenberg Figures can be created within solid insulating materials, such as acrylic or glass by injecting them with a beam of high speed electrons from a linear electron beam accelerator. Inside the accelerator, electrons are focused and accelerated to form a beam of high speed particles. Electrons emerging from the accelerator have energies up to 10MeV and are moving an appreciable fraction (95 – 99+ percent) of the speed of light (relativistic velocities).
If the electron beam is aimed towards an acrylic specimen, the electrons easily penetrate the surface of the acrylic, rapidly slowing down as they collide with molecules inside the plastic.
And as you can see it’s like you’re trapping a lightning bolt in a glass box forever. The awesome result is that you now have a force of nature on display.
One of our greatest abilities as humans is to invent and create, so the folks from AsapSCIENCE broke down the 71 most significant innovations of all time, from the invention of the spoken word up to the Hubble Telescope in 1990.
The last one featured in this video is more than 20 years old, so we’re sure there’s a few that came up since that time that should be added, such as the carbon nanotube.
By combining traditional archaeology with 3D technology, researchers at Lund University in Sweden have managed to reconstruct a house in Pompeii to its original state before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius thousands of years ago. Unique video material has now been produced, showing their creation of a 3D model of an entire block of houses.
After the catastrophic earthquake in Italy in 1980, the Pompeii city curator invited the international research community to help document the ruin city, before the state of the finds from the volcano eruption in AD 79 would deteriorate even further. The Swedish Pompeii Project was therefore started at the Swedish Institute in Rome in 2000. The researcher in charge of the rescue operation was Anne-Marie Leander Touati, at the time director of the institute in Rome, now Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Lund University.
Since 2010, the research has been managed by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Lund. The project now also includes a new branch of advanced digital archaeology, with 3D models demonstrating the completed photo documentation. The city district was scanned during the field work in 2011–2012 and the first 3D models of the ruin city have now been completed. The models show what life was like for the people of Pompeii before the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The researchers have even managed to complete a detailed reconstruction of a large house, belonging to the wealthy man Caecilius Iucundus.
“By combining new technology with more traditional methods, we can describe Pompeii in greater detail and more accurately than was previously possible”, says Nicoló Dell´Unto, digital archaeologist at Lund University.
Among other things, the researchers have uncovered floor surfaces from AD 79, performed detailed studies of the building development through history, cleaned and documented three large wealthy estates, a tavern, a laundry, a bakery and several gardens. In one garden, they discovered that some of the taps to a stunning fountain were on at the time of eruption – the water was still gushing when the rain of ash and pumice fell over Pompeii.
The researchers occasionally also found completely untouched layers. In a shop were three, amazingly enough, intact windows (made out of translucent crystalline gypsum) from Ancient Rome, stacked against each other. By studying the water and sewer systems they were able to interpret the social hierarchies at the time, and see how retailers and restaurants were dependent on large wealthy families for water, and how the conditions improved towards the end, before the eruption.
An aqueduct was built in Pompeii, enabling residents to no longer having to rely on a few deep wells or the tanks of collected rainwater in large wealthy households.
The work behind the 3D film and a discussion on the credibility of the reconstructions are presented in an article, published in SCIRES Italy.
Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell’Informazione and the Humanities Lab at Lund University have contributed to the development of the material and 3D work.
Article: Reconstructing the Original Splendour of the House of Caecilius Iucundus. A Complete Methodology for Virtual Archaeology Aimed at Digital Exhibition.