Tag: System Animals

Manufactured Animals

Chinese farmers are using AI to help rear the world’s biggest pig population

It’s been called China’s “pork miracle.” For centuries, pig-rearing in the country was predominantly a backyard occupation. (The etymology of the Chinese character for “home” literally means “house with a pig in it.”) But since the 1980s, China has swiftly modernized its pork industry to meet the demands of a newly-rich middle class. Now, half of the world’s pigs — some 700 million animals — live and die in China, most in huge farms. And to help manage this porcine horde, the country’s farmers are turning to a decidedly untraditional tool: artificial intelligence.

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Next Nature

Opening HUBOT at DDW

The robots have arrived! Yesterday we celebrated the launch of HUBOT, job agency for people and robots at MediaMarkt, as part of the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Our virtual office had opened a week before the physical launch, and the applicants were pouring in from all over the world. Now it was time to welcome job-seeking futurists to the offline opening of our office, this entailed drinks, jobs… and robots! 

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ants
Hypernature

Lazy Worker Ants

When looking at a crowded street from far above, it’s easy to make the comparison between humans and ants and think “we’re just like ants, aren’t we?”. Swarming around, running from place to place: we can be quite busy creatures. Although there are some crucial differences between us and them, ants can give us some interesting insights into our own systems, by showing us theirs.

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horsepower
Suburban Utopia

After Horsepower Comes Robotpower?

We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us. Yet, one could say that horses are bigger, faster and tougher than humans, and still no-one outside of “Gulliver’s Travels” fears being replaced by horses. Instead, we note these useful qualities in horses and quite literally harness them for our own advantage.

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Office Garden

HUBOT: Take the Jobtest!

The robots are coming! They’re getting smarter, cheaper and more reliable. How long will I have my job before a robot steals it? The industrial revolution made muscular power redundant, the digital revolution automates our thinking. How to cope with that? Are we working against, or together with robots? Find out yourself and visit the virtual office of HUBOT.

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Motorboats disturb fish
Anthropocene

Boat Noise Makes Fish Bad Parents

Noise, with 7.423.642.565 people living on the planet we produce a lot of it, and everyone knows how exhausting and tiring the exposure to noise can be. We, humans, are able to escape loud places, but other species have to deal with the sounds we produce and its consequences. For instance, the sound of motorboat engines disturbs coral reef fish so acutely it changes their behavior, making them loose their parenting skills.

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wind turbines
Suburban Utopia

Wind Turbines Threatens Birdlife

Wind power is an excellent source of clean energy. The use of large wind turbines is growing worldwide and the demand continues to increase. That’s why the Scottish government proposed to build a windfarm of 335 turbines in the waters of the North Sea, a few miles off Scotland’s east coast. It could have brought jobs and more clean energy and be beneficial to everyone, except for one group: birds.

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The BBC is using robotic animal spies to capture wildlife.
Manufactured Animals

Robotic Animal Spies

Behold a new breed of robotic animal spies (not to be mistaken with real animal spies). Developed by the BBC to capture wildlife, these ” anatomic spy creatures” use computerized motors to mimic the natural movement of their real-life counterparts and blend into their newly adopted habitats on a mission to capture animal emotions.

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