34 results for “System Animals”

What is a species?

Henry Taylor
August 22nd 2019

A koala bear isn’t actually a bear, it’s a marsupial. Whales aren’t fish, they’re mammals. Tomatoes aren’t vegetables, they’re fruit. Almost nothing is actually a nut. Peanuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans and almonds: none of them are really nuts (for the record, peanuts are legumes, Brazils and cashews are seeds, and the others are all drupes). Hazelnuts and chestnuts are the exception: they are the elite, the “true” nuts.

We’ve all heard facts like this before. But they are …

Can technology be humane?

April 30th 2019

We must be mindful about how we engage with technology: what we use it for, why, and whether it helps us or hinders us. Sometimes our tech seems to be flowing in inhumane directions, and it feels beyond our power to redirect it. But humankind dams rivers, and alters the landscape in countless other radical ways: As we can redirect our technological growth—then why shouldn’t we direct it towards humans? 

Recently our Next Nature Fellows—people from different disciplines working in and around …

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

James Vincent
February 21st 2018

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 …

Opening HUBOT at DDW

October 21st 2017

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! …

Lazy Worker Ants

Charlotte Kuijpers
October 20th 2017
A study reveals that about 40% of "worker" ants spend most of their days doing nothing, but those lazy ants make themselves useful in unexpected ways.

After Horsepower Comes Robotpower?

Jack Caulfield
October 13th 2017
We fear being replaced by robots. They have the potential to be smarter, stronger and more hardworking than us, but so do horses.

HUBOT: Take the Jobtest!

October 12th 2017

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.…

Kangaroos Confuse Self-Driving Cars

Julie Reindl
July 31st 2017
Volvo's driverless car system has trouble recognizing kangaroos because it gets confused by the hopping of the marsupial.

Boat Noise Makes Fish Bad Parents

Julie Reindl
July 4th 2017
A study revealed that the sound of motorboat engines disturbs coral reef fish so acutely it changes their behavior, making them bad parents.

Wind Turbines Threatens Birdlife

Elle Zhan Wei
June 10th 2017
A wind farm in Scotland is on hold because of its lethal killing power towards seabirds.
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