From dispensing toilet paper to shaming jaywalkers, China powers up on facial recognition

Channelnewsasia

The country has one of the world’s most powerful facial recognition systems, which is being used in various ways, but concerns have been raised, as the programme Why It Matters finds out.

Even as Facebook’s #10yearchallenge sparks concerns that the social media giant is mining data for facial recognition AI, China’s facial recognition systems are already a reality in everyday life. Why It Matters host Joshua Lim finds out how public restrooms use it to prevent people from taking too much toilet paper; and how jaywalkers are identified, then publicly shamed on a digital billboard.
Continue reading “From dispensing toilet paper to shaming jaywalkers, China powers up on facial recognition”

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Early days of internet offer lessons for boosting 3D printing

 

theconversation – Even in its relative infancy, 3D printing has created an enormous list of possibilities: dental aligners to straighten your teeth, unique toys for your children, inexpensive custom prosthetics for people with limb deficiencies, and restoring lost or destroyed cultural artifacts. It can also be used to create untraceable firearms and an endless supply of copyright infringements.

3D printing AR-15 components worries policymakers. Shanrilivan

Just as when the internet developed, 3D printing is opening doors to amazing opportunities and benefits – as well as some undeniable dangers. Also called “additive manufacturing,” 3D printing’s enabling of truly decentralized, democratized innovation will challenge Continue reading “Early days of internet offer lessons for boosting 3D printing”

Is 3-D Printing the Key to Cheap Carbon-Fiber Parts?

Technologyreview – Someday, carbon fiber might live up to its hype and make all of our cars and airplanes more lightweight and efficient. Today, though, parts made of the material are very expensive, and are used mainly in race cars, high-end sports cars, and new jetliners. Some entrepreneurs are now betting that the key to making carbon-fiber parts much cheaper and more widely used is 3-D printing technology.

The three objects, made by MarkForged, show different points in the printing process. The finished part is a component of a race car spoiler.
The Mark One printer lays down polymer and carbon fiber layers.

The benefits of carbon fiber are so great—parts made of it can be as strong as aluminum ones while weighing less—that “anyone who can afford it” is already using it in aerospace and automotive applications, says Greg Mark, CEO and founder of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup MarkForged. But it’s too expensive for the mainstream, and a big reason for that is the way it’s made: a complicated, labor- and time-intensive process with many steps that must be done by hand (see “Where’s the Affordable Carbon-Fiber Automobile?”). Mark says the new process his company has developed is as simple as designing the part on the computer, pushing a button, and retrieving the part several hours later.

Top: An automotive cold air intake made by Impossible Objects.
Bottom: A drone propeller made via the process Impossible Objects has developed.

The ability to print carbon-fiber parts will make 3-D printing much more useful for many industries, according to Robert Swartz, chairman, founder, and chief technology officer for Chicago-based startup Impossible Objects. Most of the plastic parts made using existing 3-D printing technologies don’t perform well enough to be used, say, in a drone. “There’s a real need for functionality,” says Swartz, and that requires better materials. Continue reading “Is 3-D Printing the Key to Cheap Carbon-Fiber Parts?”