Friday Futures: AI supremacy, robot brothels, saving Chewbacca

chewbacca AI robot
Image credit: andythyro / Shutterstock.com

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: how the US will defeat itself in the AI race; BlackBerry saves Earth from quantum computing attacks; Houston robot brothel delayed; a brain-computer interface for prosthetic arms; VR boosts exercise stamina; Chewbacca physics; and robotic skins.

 If the US can’t beat China at AI, it’s their own fault

Kai-Fu Lee, a prominent investor and entrepreneur based in Beijing, has been talking up China’s artificial intelligence potential for a while. Now he’s got a message for the US: the real threat to American pre-eminence in AI isn’t China’s rise, it’s the US government’s complacency. Read more …

Who’s defending the world from quantum computing attacks? BlackBerry, that’s who

The downside of quantum computers is that they could be strong enough to break conventional cryptography schemes. BlackBerry – yes, that BlackBerry – has announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service to help defend against that, probably. Read more …

Houston, we have a problem: sex robot brothel delayed

Houston city officials have ordered at least a temporary halt to a Canadian company’s plan to open a “robot brothel” (as in a place where men can pay to plook “realistic” sex-doll robots) in the city. The reason: lack of proper construction permits. Read more …

Neural network connects brain to prosthetic bionic arm

A team of doctors and neuroscientists have designed a brain-computer interface that uses a neural network to decode brain signals into precise movements by a mind-controlled robotic arm. Read more …

VR raises your pain threshold during exercise

Exercising with a VR headset on might look silly, but it’s also beneficial in at least one way: research suggests that VR can actually play a powerful role in exercise performance, helping people push through physical discomfort and pain. Read more …

Ordinary physics would save Chewbacca without Han’s help? So low …

Chewbacca is tumbling out of a moving elevated train! Han Solo rushes to save him! Unnecessarily, as it turns out, since Chewbacca would have been saved anyway by ordinary physics. Spoilers, maybe …

Video: Robotic skins can turn almost anything into a machine. Watch …

(Compiled and edited by John C. Tanner)

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