Colonel Sanders wants to hug you and cut off your cell signal for $10,000

KFC has launched lots of gadgets in the past, and we’ve routinely covered them. But this past week, the fried chicken company introduced a different kind of gadget: a massive Faraday cage. The Internet Escape Pod, as KFC calls it, features a drumstick-shaped door handle with a massive Colonel Sanders atop it. The dome is constructed out of steel and stainless steel mesh, a high-density foam, and enamel paint. It weighs eight pounds. Only one model exists, however, so if you want it, you have to pay $ 10,000.

How badly do you need to escape from the internet? Could you just put your phone in a box under your bed and walk away, or do you need a $ 10,000 KFC-branded tent with a chicken leg for a handle? I’m not going to judge you for maybe…

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SoftBank CEO Promises “Super Artificial Intelligences” With IQ of 10,000 in 30 Years

The Coming Singularity

There are few people who we can genuinely say are keen on bringing about the so-called technological singularity —i.e., that moment when intelligent machines become smarter than human beings. There’s famed “future teller” and Google top engineer Ray Kurzweil, who’s said the singularity isn’t something to be feared. But, perhaps, no one is as dedicated to making the singularity happen as much as Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank.

Son recently spoke at the Future Investment Initiative held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he mentioned that the singularity might just happen in about 30 years, when artificial intelligence develops an IQ of 10,000 —and SoftBank’s invested $ 100 billion to build chips capable of such IQ levels. That’s well beyond what’s considered average by human standards, which is at 100, and even greater than a human genius with a 200 IQ.

“Singularity is the concept that [mankind’s] brain will be surpassed, this is the tipping point, crossing point, that artificial intelligence, computer intelligence surpass [mankind’s] brain and that is happening in this century for sure. I would say there is no more debate, no more doubt,” the Japanese billionaire said on Wednesday, according to CNBC.

Son’s deadline for the singularity is 2047, and it closely matches that of Kurzweil, who previously pegged it at 2045. Through SoftBank, Son is intent to make the singularity happen. The company’s recent investments include funding some AI initiatives, like a partnership with IBM WatsonFetch Robotics, and Honda,  as well as the acquisition of U.K.-based chip manufacturer ARM.

More Science Than Science Fiction

Son spoke at the same event where Hanson Robotics’ notoriously famous robot Sophia announced her Saudi citizenship, the first for robot-kind, and wowed the audience with her incredibly amusing wit. SoftBank’s very own robot called Pepper also displays similar abilities. Supposedly, Pepper can perceive human emotions, according to SoftBank’s website. Sophia and Pepper represent many of today’s advances in robotics, which have grown considerably thanks to improvements in machine and deep learning.

“Thirty years from now, they are going to learn by themselves, they are maybe going to laugh at you and us,” Son told his audience. “Today they look cute, they will stay cute, but they will be super smart.”

Not everyone shares Son’s excitement about the singularity, however, and that really isn’t surprising. Some experts, notably Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk, popular physicist Stephen Hawking, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, have warned about humanity’s future when the singularity happens. When robots become smarter than humans, there’s bound to be consequences, some of which might be disastrous for our existence. That’s why Musk has invested on a technology that might give humankind a surviving chance against superintelligent robots.

For Son and Kurzweil, however, that’s mostly science fiction talking. In fact, Kurzweil said that the singularity might not happen in the way most people think it would. Instead, Kurzweil said smart machines will make us smarter, too.

“If you have to envision, 10 years or 30 years later, at least some humans will have a better imagination than them. So, it’s not the end,” Son explained. “The power of the brain is no limit. The imagination that we can have has no limit. So we are also going to improve our imaginations and our feelings, gut feeling.”

The post SoftBank CEO Promises “Super Artificial Intelligences” With IQ of 10,000 in 30 Years appeared first on Futurism.


Hisense’s $10,000 ‘Laser TV’ is a true home cinema in box

Hisense announced a new theater system today — the 100-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Laser TV — which is essentially a projector with speakers. The company says it uses movie theater technology to provide crisp, bright images that don't depend on the ligh…
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Scientists Just Successfully Stored Quantum Information 10,000 Times Longer Than Ever Before

Increased Storage Time

A team of researchers from the Australian National Univeristy (ANU) have made a significant achievement that could bring quantum computing and the much anticipated quantum internet closer to reality. In a study published in the journal Nature Physics, the team led by ANU Research School of Physics associate professor Matthew Sellars found a way to extend the data storage time of quantum systems using crystals treated with a rare-Earth element called erbium.

“We have shown that an erbium-doped crystal is the perfect material to form the building blocks of a quantum internet that will unlock the full potential of future quantum computers,” Sellars said in an ANU press release. “We had this idea 10 years ago, but many of our peers told us that such a simple idea couldn’t work. Seeing this result, it feels great to know that our approach was the right one.”

The so-called building blocks of quantum computers and a quantum internet are quantum bits (or qubits), which are entangled particles that can carry information simultaneously as both ones and zeroes. Compared to binary bits in conventional computers, which can only be a 0 or a 1 at a given moment, qubits allow for processing significantly more information faster. The challenge has been in prolonging the entangled state, and thereby extending the length of time data can be stored.

A Global Quantum Network

Sellars and his team approached the problem from an engineering perspective. By using erbium crystals, with their unique quantum properties, the ANU team were able to successfully store quantum information for 1.3 seconds. That’s a quantum memory that’s 10,000 times longer compared to other efforts. Plus, it eliminates the need for a conversion process since the erbium crystals operate in the same bandwidth as current fiber optic networks.

“At the moment researchers are using memories that don’t work at the right wavelength, and have to employ a complicated conversion process to and from the communications wavelength,” ANU researcher Rose Ahlefeldt explained. “This can be inefficient, and means they have to do three very difficult things instead of just one.”

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While we’ve already demonstrated long-distance quantum entanglement, extending the length of time data can be stored in a quantum memory is important in perfecting quantum communication, which is crucial in the development of a quantum internet. This kind of quantum network promises faster information transfer, as well as “hack-proof” communication because it uses a type of encryption that keeps messages and information secure via a quantum key. In short, tampering with messages sent through a quantum internet is nearly impossible.

“The effort to build a quantum computer is often described as the space race of the 21st century,” Sellars said. Prolonging quantum memory is crucial in that race, and their technology can help do that. Plus, it can also be used to connect many types of quantum computers. Sellars added that it “will allow us to build a global network to connect quantum computers” — i.e., a quantum internet.

The post Scientists Just Successfully Stored Quantum Information 10,000 Times Longer Than Ever Before appeared first on Futurism.


iPhone X supply constraints limit Apple’s production to less than 10,000 units per day

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Mass production of the iPhone X faces significant challenges ahead of launch, particularly for the gold model, with new technology limiting Apple to producing less than 10,000 units per day, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
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