First algae powered building goes up in Hamburg

(Phys.org) —A 15-unit apartment building has been constructed in the German city of Hamburg that has 129 algae filled louvered tanks hanging over the exterior of the south-east and south-west sides of the building—making ...

Automated 'coach' could help with social interactions (w/ Video)

Social phobias affect about 15 million adults in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, and surveys show that public speaking is high on the list of such phobias. For some people, these fears ...

Artificial intelligence, the future of work, and inequality

One of the most spectacular facts of the last two centuries of economic history is the exponential growth in GDP per capita in most of the world. Figure 1 shows the rise (and the difference) in living standards for five countries ...

Smart technology can help conserve energy use at home

Our homes are getting smarter. Smart technology that automates our homes' devices is becoming mainstream, making it convenient for us to rein in our energy use and cut our energy bills.

Scientists, lawyers mull effects of home robots

(AP) -- Eric Horvitz illustrates the potential dilemmas of living with robots by telling the story of how he once got stuck in an elevator at Stanford Hospital with a droid the size of a washing machine.

GRASP lab demonstrates quadrotors (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Quadrotors, robotic vehicles resembling tiny helicopters, have been demonstrated by a group of scientists in the US. The quadrotors were shown carrying out impressive maneuvers and lifting payloads both singly ...

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Automation

Automation is the use of control systems and information technologies to reduce the need for human work in the production of goods and services. In the scope of industrialization, automation is a step beyond mechanization. Whereas mechanization provided human operators with machinery to assist them with the muscular requirements of work, automation greatly decreases the need for human sensory and mental requirements as well. Automation plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and in daily experience.

Automation has had a notable impact in a wide range of industries beyond manufacturing (where it began). Once-ubiquitous telephone operators have been replaced largely by automated telephone switchboards and answering machines. Medical processes such as primary screening in electrocardiography or radiography and laboratory analysis of human genes, sera, cells, and tissues are carried out at much greater speed and accuracy by automated systems. Automated teller machines have reduced the need for bank visits to obtain cash and carry out transactions. In general, automation has been responsible for the shift in the world economy from industrial jobs to service jobs in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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