Robot Revolution in Synthetic Biology (IEEE Spectrum) — Once the robots have created a thousand yeast variants containing different mashups of genes, it’s time to see if the cells are making their rose oil. Mass spectrometry machines crack open the cells and examine all the molecules inside, checking for the product and also determining whether the yeast is healthy.
Adventure Cartoonist (Lucy Bellwood) — video of her XOXO talk about money, art, success, and being poor enough and rich enough, among much else. So worth watching.
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A Civilian at the World of Watson Conference (Simon Ouderkirk) — augmentation not replacement, was clearly the party line. IBM Chairwoman Ginny Rometty focused on it in her keynote; Computers as helpers, as assistants, as efficiency aids. […] [Sebastian] Thrun [of Udacity] took a radically different direction in predicting the future; he used the metaphor of the simple shovel versus a backhoe. When we invent a tool that can do a job better, faster, and more cheaply than using human labor, why not use that tool? Why not free up that labor for other pursuits? We don’t dig foundations by hand, using a backhoe only on the tricky spots. We get in there with the big machine and get it done fast.