The AI Times Monthly Newspaper

Curated Monthly News about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The Technological Future of Warfare

Technology has always been a driver in advancing forms of warfare, from spears and arrows to nuclear bombs. But with rapidly evolving technology, from drones to biotechnology, the way humanity wages war is about to change considerably.

The changing face of warfare is a double-edged sword. Technology, as a whole, is about improving efficiency and in warfare, this may mean that fewer human troops are required on the battlefield. More accurate and sophisticated weaponry may mean fewer civilian casualties, and – with human troops out of the equation – fewer mistakes made as a result of exhaustion and stress.

That’s the good news. Nonetheless, war is, to understate massively, never pleasant. There is a chance that advancing and automating warfare could lead to even more problems. This is a view shared by minds such as Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, who famously both signed an open letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons in 2015.

So, what different types of weapons are being advanced as part of this new technological era?

Drones

In January 2017, the US Department of Defence announced a successful demonstration of a swarm of autonomous micro-drones. 103 of these drones worked together, demonstrating decision-making, self-healing, and the ability to fly in adaptive formation.

Currently, the anti-air defences and missiles we have in place do not have the capacity to track devices the size of these micro-drone swarms. Whilst larger drones are limited by radar observability, stealth tech in the form of these smaller, autonomous aerial drones have the potential to cause serious damage. One flaw, however, may be the level of battery life needed to keep these micro-drones going for as long as they’re needed.

Tiny drones are not the only development in drone technology with the potential to alter the face of warfare. BAE Systems has recently announced plans, in association with the University of Glasgow, to “grow aircraft and some of their complex electronic systems, conceivably from a molecular level upwards”. Using environmentally sustainable materials, such UAVs will be chemically composed over a matter of weeks (as opposed to months). They will be able to travel at high altitude, at speeds exceeding those of adversary missiles.

Robots

From aerial robots to those on the ground. Robot ‘soldiers’ are the main technology that could reduce the number of human ground troops required. Autonomous vehicles and weapons will be able to identify and attack targets using pattern-recognition algorithms, with scarcely any human intervention. They could also identify wanted individuals and pull the trigger on authorisation.

Increased risk determination and fewer mistakes could reduce civilian casualties. But what happens if something goes wrong? That’s a question that needs addressing, and the one that Musk and Hawking, along with 1000 other signatories to the aforementioned open letter, are calling for.

Self-guided bullets and smart bombs are also coming. DARPA has developed these bullets to follow and strike moving targets, and smart bombs which use cameras and sensors to guide themselves towards targets.

Biological Warfare

The production of biological weapons is banned. But, as we all know, that doesn’t stop some from developing them anyway. Biological weapons, such as explosive devices or fitted missiles, containing disastrous viruses such as Zika, could have pandemic consequences. However, more worrying still could be the misuse of gene editing technology

Gene editing is one of the greatest technologies currently being worked on. It is being developed to reduce mortality from particular diseases and better functioning human organs. Great work, indeed. But in the wrong hands, it could spell disaster for the human race.

Killer swarms of insects, such as mosquitos, could be engineered using CRISPR technology. Equally, CRISPR could be misused to create viruses that attack human DNA, causing harm not just to the current generation, but those to follow.

If this all sounds a bit alarmist, then we apologise. Counter technologies are, of course, being developed to contain such risks. Extensive cybersecurity advancements, sensor technology, and tech such as VR and AR to train military personnel, are also on the cards. There is, as with any technology, a lot of fear of the unknown. The capacity for mistakes, or for highly advanced technology to fall into the wrong hands, is something we need to talk about. On the flipside, however, such advancements could actually improve (for want of a better word), the way we combat enemies and defend our own futures.


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Clinical and Medical Case Reports Conference 2019

Hi,

I am connecting with you to check whether you would be attending as a speaker for the Clinical and Medical Case Reports Conference 2019 to be held Barcelona, Spain May 27-28, 2019. We take great pleasure in inviting you to the conference.

We would be delighted to have your presence at the conference. We are looking for more than 500 attendees to represent their research works and ideas.  The theme of the conference is Clinical and medical case studies that pave way for an advanced healthcare. Let me know if you are interested and I wish to send more details on this. You can learn more about our congress by visiting our email: https://casereports.euroscicon.com/.

Cheers,

Ashley Benjamin| Program Manager

Clinical and Medical Case Reports 2019


Link to Full Article: Read Here

AI Company & AI Product of the Year Finalists

AI Company & AI Product of the Year Finalists

We are pleased to announce the AI Company and AI Product of the Year Finalists for our 3rd AI Awards.

The Finalists for our two most prestigious Awards are:

  • Node.io
  • Flyreel AI
  • Entrupy
  • Audio Analytic
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Sana Labs

We had the largest response to our Awards this year, and our judges have had the most challenging of times reviewing all the entries to these two categories and reducing it down to a handful of finalists. All of the finalists and shortlisted nominations have been exceptionally high quality and demonstrate some amazing achievements in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

We thank everyone for their nominations this year, it has made the selection process very difficult with so many amazing companies and AI products being created. If gives us a huge amount of encouragement about the future of the industry.

The Winner of both Award category will be announced on the 11th December.

For more visit http://Awards.AI 

 


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Stage Intelligence Data Shows the Direct Impact AI Has on Growth and Sustainability in Bike Share Schemes

The BICO Artificial Intelligence optimization platform is enabling schemes across the globe to reduce CO2 emissions while increasing scheme ridership.

LONDON, 24th October 2018 – Stage Intelligence, the leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform provider for Mobility and Logistics, has released data showing how AI directly impacts Bike Share Scheme growth, efficiency and sustainability. Across Bike Share Schemes in Divvy Bikes (Chicago), City Bikes (Helsinki) and MIBICI (Guadalajara, Mexico), AI has been able to deliver positive outcomes for riders, scheme operators and the cities themselves.

One of the largest and most costly challenges in Bike Share Schemes is the redistribution of bikes across a city. The BICO AI optimization platform enables Bike Share Schemes to ensure bikes are available where they are needed, and docks are free when a rider ends their journey. A rider experience optimized with BICO’s AI drives repeat and regular use of the Bike Share Scheme resulting in increased riders and the reduction of redistribution trucks and staffing resources.

Ridership Growth Since Deploying Stage Intelligence’s BICO AI Platform:

  • Divvy Bikes, Chicago: Ridership increased by 0.75 Rides Per Day
  • MIBICI, Guadalajara: Ridership increased by 1.5 Rides Per Day
  • City Bikes, Helsinki: Ridership increased by 5.5 Rides Per Day

“When you see ridership growth increase, it means more riders are enjoying a reliable scheme and making it part of their daily routine while operators are increasing profitability. Each ride per day adds to a scheme’s bottom line and enables it to grow and scale effectively/efficiently,” said Tom Nutley, CEO at Stage Intelligence. “We are seeing AI create more liveable cities with sustainable transportation solutions, reducing traffic and improving air quality. That will have a lasting impact on how we experience urban environments.”

Over the last 12 months, the BICO AI optimization platform was able to reduce the number of miles driven by redistribution trucks by 10,000 miles with 100,000 less bikes being moved. With less redistribution trucks on the road, CO2 emissions caused by redistribution trucks were reduced by 10 metric tonnes, enabling schemes to reduce their carbon footprint while offering green transportation options moving one step closer to carbon neutral operations.

Divvy Bikes in Chicago is one example, they have seen a reduction of 4,000 hours of redistribution time which equates to 2.2 drivers per annum. This means there are less trucks on the road, new efficiencies in operations and an increase in ridership year on year. BICO enables them to optimize its resource management and ensure it is giving riders the best possible experience.

The BICO AI optimization platform enables users to collect, manage and visualise vast amounts of data and turn this data into actionable insights to drive growth within businesses. It enables users to automate processes to increase agility and adaptability whilst moving away from traditional reactive manual processes.

“The number of trips per bike has increased significantly in recent years, however we are continuing to work with the same resources as two years ago with the Government providing re-balancing vehicles for the scheme. Currently, during the week we register more than 12,000 trips per day, that is, about 6 trips per bicycle per day. This means that MIBICI represents an efficient transportation alternative for people and has had a very high level of acceptance,” said Mario Delgado, director of BKT bici pública Operator of MIBICI, a project from ‘Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco, Mexico’.

“In this context, the BICO platform has been an invaluable tool for the operation of the system, we have obtained greater performance of the vehicles and has been adapted to our additional strategies for the rebalancing,” Delgado added.

About Stage Intelligence

Stage Intelligence specialises in developing Artificial Intelligence solutions for the transport and logistics industry. Its flagship solution, the BICO AI optimization platform, delivers real-time intelligence for the management of Bike Share Schemes and other forms of mobility.

BICO enables precise and optimal decision making and has been purpose-built to remove the complexity from managing resources within a Bike Share Scheme. Partners choose Stage Intelligence because its solutions increase their agility, adaptability and enables them to move beyond traditional manual processes.

Since its inception in 2011, Stage has collaborated with leading Bike Share operators from around the world to solve complex problems and deliver solutions that have a lasting impact on their operations.

www.stageintelligence.co.uk

 

 

 

 

AI Expo North America 2018 – 28-29th November 2018

Location: Santa Clara, CA
Website:  https://www.ai-expo.net/northamerica/

The AI Conference & Exhibition taking place 28-29th November at Santa Clara Convention Center is a showcase of next generation technologies and strategiesfrom the world of Artificial Intelligence, an opportunity to explore and discover the practical and successful implementation of AI in driving forward your business in 2018 and beyond

3 co-located events. 15 conference tracks. 12,000 attendees. 300+ speakers. 300+ exhibitors.

The high-level conference will bring together forward-thinking brands, market leaders, AI evangelists and hot start-upsto explore and debate the advancements in Artificial Intelligence and the impacts within the Enterprise & Consumer sectors.  Topics covered include Business Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, AI Algorithms, Data & Analytics, Virtual Assistants & Chatbotsas well as case study based presentations proving an insight into the deployment of AI across different verticals.

The AI Expo will bring together over 2,000 visitorsover the two days including IT decision makers, developers & designers, heads of innovation, brand managers, data analysts and scientists, start-ups and innovators, tech providers and venture capitalists.

The AI Expo will be co-hosted alongside the IoT Tech Expo, the largest global gathering for the Internet of Things sector, and Blockchain Expo, with both shows attracting in excess of 12,000attendees for two days of insightful content covering the whole ecosystem surrounding IoT & Blockchain.


Link to Full Article: Read Here

DayOne – Monaco – November 28-30, 2018

In the course of three days, november 28 to 30 in Monaco, the most influencial leaders, thinkers and doers in the world, will gather at Day One to shape a fair and inclusive digital age. We’d like to offer you the chance to join the movement and participate in making key decisions that will impact the whole world. 80 international speakers will debate on stage, in front of an audience of more than 1000 leaders ready to take action with them. No boring sessions, only participative thinking, one common thread : How to make the digital transformation fair and inclusive for organizations, society, and individuals.

URL: (with discount code) : https://www.dayone-event.com/?payment_promo_code=DO18-EVENTS-AI&utm_source=aie&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=do18


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Stage Intelligence Appoints Tom Nutley as CEO to Drive Its Next Phase of Growth

The appointment comes as Stage Intelligence ramps up its development of new transportation solutions based on its BICO Artificial Intelligence platform

LONDON, 2nd October 2018 – Stage Intelligence, the leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform provider for Mobility and Logistics, has appointed Tom Nutley to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment marks the next phase of growth for Stage Intelligence as it uses its BICO Artificial Intelligence platform to solve an increasing number of challenges in Mobility and Logistics.

Nutley has a track record of success in business development and nurturing Bike Share Scheme customers across the globe. He has spent the last two years expanding Stage Intelligence’s presence in the Americas and Europe while enabling millions of riders to benefit from optimal Bike Share Scheme experiences. Nutley assumes the day-to-day leadership of the company and succeeds Toni Kendall-Troughton, who will maintain her role on the board of Stage Intelligence.

“It is a tremendous honour to serve as CEO for Stage Intelligence. I’ve seen so much accomplished over the last two years and I believe our BICO AI platform can do even more to optimise how people experience transportation and their urban environments. We’re already seeing more people using Bike Share Schemes globally thanks to our platform and as we deploy in new cities we’re helping schemes to expand and grow,” said Tom Nutley, CEO at Stage Intelligence. “I’m excited for our future and look forward to pushing our platform to new places and solving our customers’ challenges”.

Stage Intelligence has deployed its BICO AI platform in Bike Share Schemes in major cities like Paris, Helsinki, Chicago and Guadalajara, Mexico. It has success in creating new efficiencies in Bike Share Scheme management and enabling the optimised distribution of bikes across a scheme. The result is cost-savings for the scheme operators, growth in ridership and an enhanced rider experience.

“Tom is passionate about our business and is dedicated to our mission of solving some of the biggest challenges in Transportation and Logistics with AI. Over the last two years, he has been on the road telling our story and helping our customers to understand how AI can transform how they operate,” said Toni Kendall-Troughton, Board Member at Stage Intelligence. “Going forward, I see Tom driving our growth in new areas that can benefit from AI like dockless bikes, electric scooter schemes as well as taxis and other forms of transportation. It is an exciting time at Stage Intelligence and Tom is a great pick to lead the business into the future.”

The BICO AI platform enables users to collect, manage and visualise vast amounts of data and turn this data into actionable insights to drive growth within businesses. It enables users to automate processes to increase agility and adaptability whilst moving away from traditional reactive manual processes. Over the coming months, Stage Intelligence will be announcing new products and services that use the BICO AI platform to support the growth of a range of transportation types. It also has schemes coming online across North and South America in the coming months.

About Stage Intelligence

Stage Intelligence specialises in developing Artificial Intelligence solutions for the transport and logistics industry. Its flagship solution, the BICO recommendation engine, delivers real-time intelligence for the management of Bike Share Schemes.

BICO enables precise and optimal decision making and has been purpose-built to remove the complexity from managing resources within a Bike Share Scheme. Partners choose Stage Intelligence because its solutions increase their agility, adaptability and enable them to move beyond traditional manual processes.

Since its inception in 2011, Stage has collaborated with leading Bike Share operators from around the world to solve complex problems and deliver solutions that have a lasting impact on their operations.

www.stageintelligence.co.uk

 

 

 

 

6th Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks

   In recent years genetic algorithm neural networks (GANN) and natural language processing (NLP) have entered to provide, “Data into Knowledge” (DiK) solutions. Research with GANN and NLP has enabled tools to be developed that selectively filters big data and combine this data into microSelf-Reinforcement and personalized gamification of any DiK in Dynamic real-time. The combination of GA, NLP, MSRL & Dynamic Gamification has enabled people to experience relieve in their quest to turn DiK faster and easier
Until Mr. Elon Musk creates a plug in Matrix solution humans are stuck with a multi-sensor Knowledge Generator approach

See – https://neuralnetworks.conferenceseries.com


Link to Full Article: Read Here

AI & Robotics Conference co-located with CXtech conference, 12 October, London

AI & Robotics Conference co-located with CXtech conference, 12 October, London

AI & Robotics Conference co-located with CXtech conference, 12 October, London

This year we have partnered with the AI & Robotics Conference to Showcase a number of our shortlisted nominated companies across a number of the AI Awards categories. Come and see their products being demonstrated. We will even be awarding an additional Best in Show Award on the day.

See How AI is transforming business and customer experience 

Awards AI has secured a discount of £300

Final price is £295+ Vat and includes access to both events, refreshments, lunch, networking reception, printed programme and access to the Awards AI Showcase.

Use code AWA295  Apply for tickets Here

On 12 October, AI & Robotics and CXtech, two co-located conferences and an interactive solutions showcase, will reveal how AI and advanced technologies are transforming business and customer experience. They will bring together world leading experts in AI  and CX in a programme that is already attracting senior business users from national and multinational organisations.

Hear from Amazon, TSB, easyJet, TCS, Ordnance Survey, National Express, RBS, NewDay, Two Circles and others, on what lessons have been learnt so far on the impact and implementation of AI and automation on businesses, customers and employees

VIEW AI & Robotics Programme                         VIEW CXtech Programme 

AI & Robotics Conference co-located with CXtech conference, 12 October, London

AI & Robotics Conference co-located with CXtech conference, 12 October, London

This year we have partnered with the AI & Robotics Conference to Showcase a number of our shortlisted nominated companies across a number of the AI Awards categories. Come and see their products being demonstrated. We will even be awarding an additional Best in Show Award on the day.

See How AI is transforming business and customer experience 

Awards AI has secured a discount of £300

Final price is £295+ Vat and includes access to both events, refreshments, lunch, networking reception, printed programme and access to the Awards AI Showcase.

Use code AWA295  Apply for tickets Here

On 12 October, AI & Robotics and CXtech, two co-located conferences and an interactive solutions showcase, will reveal how AI and advanced technologies are transforming business and customer experience. They will bring together world leading experts in AI  and CX in a programme that is already attracting senior business users from national and multinational organisations.

Hear from Amazon, TSB, easyJet, TCS, Ordnance Survey, National Express, RBS, NewDay, Two Circles and others, on what lessons have been learnt so far on the impact and implementation of AI and automation on businesses, customers and employees

VIEW AI & Robotics Programme                         VIEW CXtech Programme 


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Drones and Robots in Law Enforcement and Military

Earlier this year, reports emerged that Devon and Cornwall Police are launching the first 24-hour police drone unit in the UK. With falling police numbers in the UK, and cuts to funding, this news may be just the beginning in a new era of law enforcement. 21 other forces are already experimenting with drone technology to carry out duties from everyday search missions to security surveillance on Royal outings.

Cheaper than helicopters, and able to perform some of the same tasks as officers themselves, police drones may be just one avenue of technology coming to policing in the very near future. One helicopter flight currently costs, on average, £1,266. A drone, on the other hand, can be purchased for around £1,000, with minimal running costs beyond the obvious need to charge.

However, the move has prompted inevitable questions regarding privacy, as well as concerns over whether the intention is to reduce numbers of human police to keep costs low. Of course, the hope is that employing drones for certain tasks will be a move to more efficient policing, allowing officers to concentrate on other necessary duties, thus freeing up resources.

Drone footage has already been used in court proceedings, more for visualisation of a crime scene for jurors than of crimes themselves at this point. But could this be taken further without privacy implications for the general public? That’s up for debate.

For a great rundown of the pros and cons of drones in law enforcement, check out this article by Drone Guru.

Robot Police

Drones, nonetheless, are not the only technology finding its way into law enforcement. In Dubai, the first robot police officer has already been revealed, charged with the task of patrolling malls and tourist attractions in the city. It will be used to report crimes, to pay parking fines, and to gain local information through the use of a touch screen on the robot’s chest. Data collected by the ‘Robocop’ will also be used to inform transport and traffic authorities.

“It can protect people from crime because it can broadcast what is happening right away to our command and control centre,” director general of smart services at Dubai Police, Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, told the BBC.

Dubai has announced plans to make 25% of its police force robotic by 2030, with the caveat that they will not replace human officers, only add to their numbers.

In the US, law enforcement teams are taking the whole ‘Robocop’ thing one step further, as you might expect. The Robotics Business Review reportedin February 2017 of a case in Los Angeles where a robot was used to apprehend a suspect.

After a six hour standoff, cops sent in a robot to find out what was going on behind the suspect’s makeshift barricade. From a video feed recorded by the robot, police were able to seize their opportunity to advance, whilst the robot rolled in and grabbed the suspect’s weapon. Nobody was harmed, and the suspect was peacefully apprehended.

The driving factor behind the use of robots in law enforcement, according to Sgt. Brian Danielsof the West Covina Police Department, is officer safety. As well as their uses in apprehending suspects, robots in the form of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) can be used in marine situations. When retrieving bodies from plane or boat crashes, or other marine incidents, there are some underwater locations that are too dangerous for police divers to access. Robots can also be used to deliver mobile phones in hostage situations, and for scouting locations ahead of SWAT team deployment, as well as, of course, bomb disposal.

Military Drones

As for military uses, drones are coming hard and fast.

The US Department of Defence successfully demonstrated the deployment of an autonomous swarm of micro-drones in January 2017. These self-healing, decision-making drones fly in adaptive formation, and have the capacity to inflict serious damage whilst flying under enemy radar.

Tiny drones have been on the battlefield for several years now, such as the Black Hornet, which soldiers use to look over walls and around corners. The Black Hornet has been working in Afghanistan since 2013. It can currently fly for 25 minutes on one charge, with a digital data link to its terminal of up to one mile. It has also recently been augmented with night vision and infrared sensors. Though one of the most infamous military mini-drones, the battery life of the Black Hornet pales in comparison to that of the FULMAR, for example, which can hover for up to 12 hours.

As well as the capabilities of military drones, battery life is the key factor in how useful drones will be on the battlefield. The swarms of micro-drones trialled by the US Department of Defence are serious stuff, but if their batteries don’t last as long as necessary, they are basically useless.

Robots in Warfare

Robots, too, are obviously making their presence felt in the military space.

Robot soldiers could have a positive effect in terms of reducing the numbers of ground troops required in war zones. Autonomous robots are also being developed that use pattern-recognition algorithms to identify and attack targets, thus allowing the identification and destruction of wanted individuals on authorisation from remote human teams.

Then, there’s smaller robot warriors, such as the Guardian S snakebot, which works as an agile surveillance agent to conduct inspections in confined spaces or hazardous areas, help with search and rescue operations, and in assistance of SWAT teams and bomb squads.

The wealth of robots of all shapes and sizes being developed for warfare are too numerous to list here. Suffice to say, it’s big business.

 

Concerns

Whilst we’ve taken a good look at the potential that drones and robots have in law enforcement and military applications, there is another side to the issue. And it’s one that is of significant concern to many tech experts and rights campaigners.

The notion of robots as unstoppable killing machines is a trope in popular culture that’s been around ever since Czech writer, Karel Čapek, introduced the word ‘robot’ into the popular consciousness with his play, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) from 1920.

Stoked by the fires of technological advancement, the fear of robo-pocalypse is looming large in the minds of the general public now more than ever. This is, of course, exacerbated by Elon Musk’s insistence that robots will kill us all.

Nonetheless, these concerns do not arise from nowhere. The concern over autonomous vehicles in warfare and law enforcement raises salient points, points that are leading to experts such as Prof. Stephen Hawking (and, yes, Elon Musk) insisting on a ban. The risk that autonomous weapons, of which robots and drones play a large part, could fall into the wrong hands, be hacked, or malfunction in some way, is one that we should be taking deadly seriously. That being said, warfare has been evolving since the dawn of time… perhaps this is a simple progression, and we can only hope that the powers that be are taking safety as seriously as we all hope.

 


Link to Full Article: Read Here

2019 Listing Pricing – Discounts until 31st Jan 2019

While we know September is a particularly business time for AI Conferences, we like to start pulling together details of the early 2019 events as soon as possible, so we can publish them now, allowing our users to plan their schedules well in advance.

If you have a 2019 Event planned for the first quarter, why not tell us about it now via our Add Events page

Its never too early to promote your AI Event, and Events.AI is the perfect page to do it.

Plus our 2019 pricing for all packages have discounts until 31st Jan


Link to Full Article: Read Here

AI Awards Showcase Event – London 12th October

We are very pleased to announce a partnership with the AI & Robotics The Main Event Conference who will be hosting our first ever AI Awards Showcase for shortlisted companies on Friday 12th October in London to demonstrate their AI products before our Awards Judges.

This is a new feature of our Awards this year, and we are really looking forward to being able to showcase a selection of shortlisted companies in October before we announce the Awards Winners in December.

We are very excited with this Showcase Event and will be awarding a very special Best in Show Award on the day to the product the Judges view as standout on the day.

Visit Awards.AI for more details


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Virtual Drugs: Is VR The Next Addiction Epidemic?

We already know the stories of people who have become so immersed in videogames that they have paid the ultimate price. These poor individuals have stopped sleeping, eating, visiting the bathroom; they have not attended to any of their bodily needs for so long that they have died. Worse still are the stories where people have failed to attend to their children, like the South Korean couple who became so addicted to caring for a virtual child that their own infant starved to death. So, we know videogames can be deadly addictive. Could virtual reality be even worse?

For most people, even an all-night videogame binge session can be brought to a swift end by the interference of appetite, a phonecall, or the dog fussing for its morning walk. Add whole-immersion virtual reality gaming to the equation and those interferences become much easier to ignore.

Addiction comes in many forms, and for some people, it’s not so easy to break away. Particularly when something offers utopian escapism; a way to forget the troubles of an unsatisfying life and disappear into a more beautiful, easier, trouble-free life. No matter if it’s made of pixels, if it beats the burden of being alive, it’s a better place to be.

Dopamine, the neurotransmitter that creates feelings of pleasure, excitement, creativity, and engagement with the world, is released whenever we take risks or encounter novelty. It’s also strongly linked to reward-gratification. The desire to get more of the reward that caused the dopamine release can become highly compelling. This desire is behind the addictive nature of dopamine-releasing cocaine.

Videogames are, simply put, dopamine dispensers.

But what of those other pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters, serotonin, anandamide, endorphins, norepinephrine? Well, standard videogames are mostly just dopamine dispensers, as I said. Nonetheless, as our capacity to create more sophisticated gaming systems (i.e. VR), grows, there’s no reason to doubt that we’ll be able to more strongly tune in to how to control and manipulate the release of these neurotransmitters.

Of course, it’s not just virtual reality gaming that could lead to unhealthy levels of immersion. Facebook is famously making moves to become more virtual. Like screen-based Second Life, where participants could meet friends and build a virtual life, social media could open the doors to a whole new way of socialising.

This will be great news for the elderly or those unable to leave their homes; for socially isolated people in general. But the same issues around addiction apply here. Many of us already check Facebook several times a day, and it tends to be the more isolated amongst us that are susceptible to clogging up our friends’ news feeds. There’s a great deal of therapeutic potential here, but unless we continue to take those relationships into the real world, plugging in will remain a lot more pleasant than logging off.

So what happens when virtual reality becomes the most pleasurable thing in our lives? And how do we curb addiction?

One of the most obvious solutions would be to impose a time limit on device use. After, say, four hours, the system shuts down with a message to go and get some food and exercise. But then again, there’s an equally obvious way around that – have multiple consoles. Expensive, but for addicts, an easy solution.

Another solution might be to stick adverts into games at hour intervals. Frustrating ten minute ad breaks would break gamers’ flow, but may help them to disengage for a while. Especially if those ads included a warning about the dangers of VR addiction.

Physically, however, the pleasure derived from virtual reality may be curbed somewhat by the physiological side effects encountered by users. Motion sickness is still a problem that both hardware and content creators need to overcome with VR. But there’s also fatigue. Videogames can be mentally draining, but as VR games tend to be more physical, with more movement required, getting physically tired is a normal result of a long session.

Other than these possibilities, there are some serious difficulties facing how we will prevent VR addiction as the technology becomes more widespread and sophisticated. Perhaps the answer lies in giving people a greater quality of life in the real world, which is something technology has the power to do. But all the time that another world is better than the real one, society will have to deal with addiction and its consequences. All we can do is try to help as best we can.


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – Sheffield – October 15th-16th

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – graduates, developers, data scientists, and computer vision startups to build an automated decision-making system for inspection processes. A two-day hackathon on October 15-16 in Sheffield in the heart of AMRC Factory 2050.

A chance to work with Rolls-Royce, win a cash prize of £10,000, and access to top-level mentorship experts. Numerical datasets will be provided to train your models on.

Register today! http://bit.ly/2O6z4MN

#RollsRoyceHack


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – Sheffield – October 15th-16th

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – graduates, developers, data scientists, and computer vision startups to build an automated decision-making system for inspection processes. A two-day hackathon on October 15-16 in Sheffield in the heart of AMRC Factory 2050.

A chance to work with Rolls-Royce, win a cash prize of £10,000, and access to top-level mentorship experts. Numerical datasets will be provided to train your models on.

Register today! http://bit.ly/2O6z4MN

#RollsRoyceHack


Link to Full Article: Read Here

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – Sheffield – October 15th-16th

Rolls-Royce is looking for tech talent – graduates, developers, data scientists, and computer vision startups to build an automated decision-making system for inspection processes. A two-day hackathon on October 15-16 in Sheffield in the heart of AMRC Factory 2050.

A chance to work with Rolls-Royce, win a cash prize of £10,000, and access to top-level mentorship experts. Numerical datasets will be provided to train your models on.

Register today! http://bit.ly/2O6z4MN

#RollsRoyceHack

 


Link to Full Article: Read Here

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