The threat Artificial Intelligence holds is unknown and many people are rightfully concerned about the potential harm that AI can cause. The AI Incident Databaseo help us as a society to think through how we should regulate AIs by tracking any problematic issue that has been raised by the actions (or inaction) of an AI. Anyone can submit an incident and anyone can explore the database. In time this should become a very informative resource for researchers and policy makers.
The AI Incident Database is dedicated to indexing the collective history of harms or near harms realized in the real world by the deployment of artificial intelligence systems. Like similar databases in aviation and computer security, the AI Incident Database aims to learn from experience so we can prevent or mitigate bad outcomes.
You are invited to submit incident reports, whereupon submissions will be indexed and made discoverable to the world. Artificial intelligence will only be a benefit to people and society if we collectively record and learn from its failings.
Every cyclists knows that riding a bike equals freedom, you can go where you want when you want and don’t need trillions of dollars of infrastructure to operate one. Electric bicycles are getting more affordable every year and more and more people are buying them instead of getting a car. Interest in car driving continues to decrease while interest in biking increases. Now cities need to change their car dominated approach to embrace a faster, safer, form of transportation.
Even without incentives though, e-bikes are surprisingly affordable. Like anything, you’ll find fancier expensive options. But a good e-bike can be bought for under $1,000. When you compare that to the cheapest $40,000 Tesla, you can see why young people are moving to e-bikes in droves.
Agrivoltaic setups aren’t new to regular readers of this site as we’ve seen many times that certain crops benefit from the shade solar panels provide; and, the solar panels benefit the farmers by producing clean energy. Now we know that hops, which flavour beer, thrive under solar panels. A German experiment with a special solar setup for hops has proven more successful than expected since the hops fared better against disease.
Which crops thrive under solar panels depends on many factors, and for a crop like hops a default solar field setup is not a good one. Hops like to grow straight up which means that the solar panels need to be elevated high off the ground. The hops then grow up to the solar panels and get lots of benefit from the cooling effects of the panels themselves.
The pilot project — a collaboration between Wimmer and local solar technology company Hallertauer Handelshaus — was set up in the fall of last year. The electricity made at this farm can power around 250 households, and the hops get shade they’ll need more often as climate change turbocharges summer heat.
Solar panels atop crops has been gaining traction in recent years as incentives and demand for clean energy skyrocket. Researchers look into making the best use of agricultural land, and farmers seek ways to shield their crops from blistering heat, keep in moisture and potentially increase yields. The team in Germany says its effort is the first agrivoltaic project that’s solely focused on hops, but projects have sprouted around the world in several countries for a variety of grains, fruits and vegetables.
Currently earthquakes cause buildings to collapse and are therefore quite deadly, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Already there are modern high tech solutions that many earthquake prone areas use to ensure buildings don’t collapse during extreme shaking events. We can augment our current systems by using those from the past. In India the traditional kath kuni architectural style is designed to handle seismic events and has been refined over centuries. The techniques used in creating these kath kuni structures can be applied to buildings today to ensure a higher level of safety and thus make earthquakes less deadly.
In the mountainous region of Himachal Pradesh in India, near where the Indian Plate is colliding with the Eurasian Plate, many structures built in the kath kuni style have survived at least a century of earthquakes. In this traditional building method, the name, which translates to “wood corner,” in part explains the method: Wood is laced with layers of stone, resulting in improbably sturdy multi-story buildings.
It is one of several ancient techniques that trace fault lines across Asia. The foundations for the timber lacing system of architecture may have originally been laid in Istanbul around the fifth century. Stone masonry and wood-beam construction can still be seen in Nepal as well as in the traditions of Kashmiri Taq and Dhajji Dewari and Pakistani Bhatar. Even Turkey has a long tradition of similar construction methods. Despite their ancient origins, this model of construction has mostly fared better over centuries than much of the contemporary building across the continent’s many active seismic zones.
Climate change is increasing the average temperatures of cities around the world, which forces inhabitants to adjust to entirely new climates their cities weren’t designed for. In Spain, the city of Seville is expected to have the climate of Marrakesh in a few years time so the city needs to find new ways to cool down. They are currently experimenting with an old technique perfect by ancient people: use water that cools in the night to cool the city during the day.
One of the coolest spots in Seville, Spain, is the site of CartujaQanat, an architectural experiment in cooling solutions that relies not on air conditioning but on natural techniques and materials. Inspired by ancient tunnels dug to bring water to agricultural fields in what is today Iran, the $5.6 million structure uses a network of aqueducts, pipes and solar-powered pumps to cool water at night and then turn it into cold air during the day.
Seville is among the world’s hottest cities looking for new ways to cool down and save lives. Yet despite the project’s early promises, the CartujaQanat remains in limbo amid financial and political hurdles, Laura Millan reports.