The Download

What's up in emerging technology

September 22, 2017 Rise of the robotic dentist

In China, Robot Dentists Are Implanting 3-D Printed Teeth

Open wide, because the robots have eyes on your dental work. South China Morning Post reports that a robo-dentist has autonomously implanted two new, 3-D-printed teeth into a woman’s mouth.

The procedure, which appears to have made use of a robot arm… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Science and Technology Daily
Mark Zuckerberg has big problems to solve

Is Facebook Too Big to Fight Its Ad Problem?

Policing how a quarter of the world uses a website isn’t easy. Mark Zuckerberg knows that all too well. It’s the reason why his social network has had to announce that it’s now sharing 3,000 Russian-linked ads from its pages as part of a government investigation… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Facebook
Uber's London operations are in question

Uber Has Lost Its License to Operate in London

It’s time to take a black cab in the British capital. The city's transport regulator, Transport for London, has declared the ride-hailing firm "not fit and proper" to provide its services in London. It says Uber shows "a lack of corporate responsibility"… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Uber

Subscribe and get the bimonthly magazine and unlimited access to online articles.

Starting at $29.95/year

September 21, 2017

Lockheed’s Laser Cannon Shoots Drones Out of the Sky, No Fuss

Don’t mess with ATHENA. That’s the Advanced Test High Energy Asset to you and me, and it’s Lockheed’s astonishingly destructive laser cannon. It’s been developing the weapon in order to take down drones without messy—and position-revealing—recourse to… Read more

Source: Video credit:
  • Lockheed
Your phone will soon have a much better idea where you are.

Your Next Phone’s GPS Is Going to Be Way More Accurate

It’ll know where you are to within 30 centimeters, rather than five meters. At least that’s the claim chip maker Broadcom is making. It says that some of its next-generation smartphone chips will use new global positioning satellite signals to boost… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Linda Sondergaard | Unsplash
The Google Pixel smartphone

Google’s $1.1 Billion Slice of HTC Is a Push to Make Money Out of AI

Google is buying the HTC team that it uses to design its Pixel phones, including 2,000 staff and a stack of intellectual property. The deal is a clear sign that Google is dead serious about its drive to build hardware. But as we’ve argued before, this… Read more

Image credit:
  • Justin Main | Unsplash
September 20, 2017

Scientists Have Built a Shark-Sucking Robot That Is Hideous and Cool

If you've ever watched "Shark Week," you know those weird fish stuck just below sharks' gaping maws—well, now there's a robotic version of those little guys. Researchers led by Li Wen at Beihang University in China have built a robot based on the slender… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Wang et al., Science

Amazon Is Reportedly Building Alexa Smart Specs

Get ready to hear the soft voice of your AI assistant cooing right into your ear, wherever you are. The Financial Times reports ($) that Amazon is building a wearable addition to its AI assistant range in the form of smart spectacles.

Developed by ex-Google… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Mr Tech
Theresa May at the United Nations general assembly

World Leaders and Tech Titans Duke It Out Over Policing Extremist Content

In the blue corner, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron; in the red corner, Facebook and Google. At stake: the fate of policing terrorist propaganda on the Internet.

The Guardian reports that, at the United Nations general assembly today, British prime minister… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Crown Copyright | Lee Goddard
Drone delivers are headed to cities.

Urban Drone Deliveries Are Finally Taking Flight

Swiss cities will soon have delivery drones zipping through their airspace. Drone startup Matternet has announced that it will start using a network of robotic quadcopters to make deliveries to hospitals in urban areas across Switzerland later this year.… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Matternet