The High-Tech Vertical Farmer
In the kale-filled facility at vertical farm startup Bowery Farming, it’s a piece of proprietary software that makes most of the critical decisions — like when to harvest and how much to water each plant. But it still takes humans to carry out many tasks around the farm.
Can Computers Ever Replace The Classroom?
Derek Haoyang Li is the founder of Squirrel AI, an education company that offers tutoring delivered in part by humans, but mostly by smart machines, which he says will transform education as we know it. Other entrepreneurs are making similarly extravagant claims about the power of online learning.
What Happens To Your Body After You Die?
Whatever your beliefs, most people seem to agree that the body left behind when we depart this mortal coil is just a heap of bones and flesh. Assuming that nature is left to its own devices, our bodies undergo a fairly standard process of decomposition that can take anywhere from two weeks to two years.
How Technology Is Hijacking Your Mind
I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked. When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
How Much McDonald’s Franchise Owners Really Make Per Year
The food at McDonald’s has always sold like hotcakes but once the restaurant started franchising, the world began eating up the brand. But being a franchise owner isn’t as easy, or profitable, as you might think. Buying into a McDonald’s franchise is expensive, between $1 million and $2.2 million.
How The CIA Turned The Tables On Soviet Industrial Espionage
When French President Mitterrand tells President Reagan in July 1981 that the KGB has been stealing Western technology, it confirms Reagan’s distrust of the Soviet Union. Reagan fears that stolen technology will help the Soviet Union complete a giant engineering project, the Trans-Siberian pipeline.
Why Every Japanese Criminal Is Guilty
Every system of justice is inevitably found to be unjust. The question is in which direction, and how far. This is a fairly basic outline of Japan’s idiosyncratic nature.
The Love Story That Shocked The World
When Seretse Khama, an African prince, and Ruth Williams, a white middle-class clerk from Lloyd’s underwriters, got married in 1948, it provoked shock in Britain and Africa. Khama was exiled from Great Britain and later became the first president of Botswana when it became an independent country.
China’s Leftover Men: Desperately Seeking Wives
He’s 57 and has never been in a relationship. Now he’s worried that his four nephews who live with him might end up alone – and desperate – just like him. How is China addressing its gender imbalance that has reached epic proportions?
IKEA Let Customers Pay With Their Time Instead Of Currency
For the opening of the Swedish retailer’s new outpost in Jebel Ali, a large commercial port located on the harbor of Dubai, the brand wanted to encourage shoppers to journey to the new store by allowing them to use the time it took for them to get there as currency.
China Aims To Launch The World’s First Official Digital Currency
Dozens of central banks have started looking at whether to issue digital currencies. But only a few have run trials and none has gone as far as China, which appears set to become the first country to put a central-bank digital currency (cbdc) into limited use.
“I Live Alone In An Island Paradise”
In 1989, Mauro Morandi’s boat docked on Budelli Island off the northern coast of Sardinia, Italy. Discovering that the island’s caretaker was retiring within the next two days, Mauro decided to extend his stay indefinitely and step into the role himself.
The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia
The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.
Did The Advent Of The First Desktop Computer Lead To Murder?
In the summer of 1965, the Olivetti P101 made it to the New York World’s Fair but only just. It was hidden away in a small room behind the main stand. If anyone found it, it was supposed to be an accident. But a few people did. Soon more and more began to squeeze their way in.
In The Race For Cheap Airfare, It’s You vs. The Machine
Travel providers now use artificial intelligence software to re-price their offerings, sometimes dozens of times a day, to maximize revenue. For business and leisure travelers, the result is a variation of the cat-and-mouse game, where travel companies are almost always the cat.
How To Make An Attractive City
Cities are a big deal. We pretty much all have to live in them. We should try hard to get them right. So few cities are nice, very few out of many thousands are really beautiful; embarrassingly the more appealing ones tend to be old, which is weird because we’re mostly much better at making things now.
How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
In April 2014, a public relations firm representing the Saudi Embassy asked Ahmad Abouammo, part of Twitter’s global media team, to verify an account belonging to a Saudi news personality. This request for a blue checkmark opened the door to a working relationship with the country’s government.
Flat 13: Facing Down Apartheid
This is the story of the apartment in downtown Johannesburg that, between the late 1940s and early 1960s, became a hub of resistance against apartheid.
Osaka’s Gate Tower: Highway Through A Building
The property was owned by a business since the early Meiji era but when business declined, so did the buildings in the 1970s. The property holder refused to give up the land, even though new building permits had been refused to him. The highway corporation and the property owner negotiated for 5 years and what you see today is their compromise.
The Pentagon’s Push To Program Soldiers’ Brains
The military wants future super-soldiers to control robots with their thoughts. The mission is to make human beings something other than what we are, with powers beyond the ones we’re born with and beyond the ones we can organically attain.
Tim Westergren, Digital Radio Pioneer, Returns To Break The Music Industrial Complex
Disillusioned after leaving Pandora, Tim Westergren set out to create a better kind of streaming platform. His new Sessions app helps musicians get paid. Can he save struggling artists while redeeming himself?