Saturday, October 22, 2016
Research Triangle engineers have developed a simple, energy-efficient way to create three-dimensional acoustic holograms. The technique could revolutionize applications ranging from home stereo systems to medical ultrasound devices. Most everyone is familiar with the concept of visual holograms, which manipulate light to make it appear as though a 3-D object is sitting in empty space. These optical tricks work by shaping the electromagnetic field so that it mimics light bouncing off an actual object. Sound also travels in waves. But rather than electromagnetic energy traveling through space, sound propagates as pressure waves that momentarily compress the molecules they are traveling through. And just like visible light, these waves can be manipulated into three-dimensional patterns.
Experts have warned that rapidly improving artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment just days after Google revealed the purchase of a London based start-up dedicated to developing this technology. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today program, Dr Stuart Armstrong from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford said that there was a risk that computers could take over human jobs “at a faster rate than new jobs could be generated.”
See Past Spotlights >