So You Were Afraid To Ask: What is AI, Actually?

Artificial Intelligence is the loose name for a group of technologies that allow computers, fed with mountains of data and clever algorithms, to perform cognitive tasks that previously required human brainpower.

Beating human champions at Go or Chess, getting Alexa and Siri to understand voice commands, detecting fraudulent activity on your credit card, or automatically recognizing the faces in your Facebook photos are just a few ways AI is being used today. But those functions are going to grow dramatically in the coming years: driving cars, taking care of your elderly parents, or controlling autonomous lethal weapons.

From a political standpoint there are three big issues. First, who controls all the personal data that feeds AI algorithms. Is it you, your government, or the company that makes the phone/browser/app that you’re using right now? Second, who regulates what’s inside those algorithms and how that data is used? Third, is Vladimir Putin right that whatever nation leads in AI will “rule the world”?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, but that means it creates a lot of waste in the form of cups and used coffee grinds. Every year, we drink out of 600 billion single-use plastic and paper cups, most of which end up in a landfill or our environment. Could coffee also contribute to a more sustainable future? A German company is now recovering leftover coffee grounds from bars, restaurants and hotels, and it's recycling them into reusable coffee cups. In other words, they're creating cups of coffee made from coffee.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

What technology was used to assist Eliud Kipchoge's historic sub two-hour marathon time?

A lot. If you watched the video of him, you saw that he was within a pace group, a whole bunch of runners in front of him cutting the wind. Some runners behind him, actually improving his wind resistance by having people behind him. There was a green laser showing him exactly what time he had to run. He had really high-tech gels that he took, these Maurten gels. I actually like those a lot, too. But the main thing were the shoes. These are the early prototypes of the shoes or the first version. He's now in the third version. But what's most important is there is a carbon fiber plate. You cannot bend this thing. So, Nike introduced these shoes, I don't know, two years ago. Now, there's a new generation. It's very controversial.

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Will the Catalonia question be a big issue in the Spanish election coming up in November?

You bet it will. Passions have been further inflamed now, and the question that has been difficult from the very beginning, by the very heavy prison sentences that was given to those that are accused of sedition, that is organizing the independence referendum. So, passions are heating up. It will be a difficult issue for the entire Spanish political system to handle for years to come.

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You'd think, being the relatively hopeful person that you are, that the nauseating anguish of Brexit would be more or less over now that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally reached a deal with Brussels on how to extricate the UK from the European Union.

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