HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
Henry Kissinger on AI +++ Study on fuel cells vs. batteries +++ Google’s “self-healing” maps +++ How to cool down cities +++ Alternatives to lithium-ion batteries
In an article written with ex-Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt and Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of MIT, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger uses the example of chess-playing robot AlphaZero to argue that AI has surpassed the limits of human knowledge. “We should accept that AI is bound to become increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous, and ask ourselves: How will its evolution affect human perception, cognition and interaction? What will be its impact on our culture and, in the end, our history?”
Source: The Atlantic
Renewables // Electric
A study by the Fraunhofer Institute on the lifecycles of electric vehicles with ranges of 300+ kilometers (185+ miles) shows that over distances of 250 kilometers (155 miles) or more, cars powered by hydrogen and fuel cells (FCEV) are more climate-friendly than all-electric cars (BEV). Key factors here include carbon emissions from battery production and the amount of green electricity used to manufacture and operate e-vehicles.
Source: Elektroauto-News (German)
Mapping // Machine Learning
To keep its maps updated worldwide, Google uses machine learning algorithms. They extract street names, house numbers and building shapes from satellite images and Street View photos, and update them automatically. This is a first step toward “self-healing” maps, says an employee. Increasingly, algorithms will also use overhead views to model building shapes in 3D, and imagery to generate roads that are not already shown on maps.
Source: Popular Science
In preparation for increasingly frequent heat waves, cities are using natural means to cool themselves down. In Los Angeles, for example, street pavements have been covered with special white coatings that reflect sunshine. Similarly, New York has covered rooftops with reflective coatings. Melbourne is planning to double the number of trees planted along roadsides by 2040. And Dallas, Texas, is planting trees along popular pedestrian routes.
Charging // Batteries
To find alternatives to environmentally harmful lithium-ion batteries, Japanese scientists from the Nagoya Institute of Technology have succeeded in developing a special sodium-crystal structure for a sodium-ion accumulator. Several research institutions in Germany are also examining this possibility: the new TRANSITION joint project is working on technology-transfer solutions for developing sodium-ion batteries.
Source: emobly (German)
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