We are living in the era of “Pervasive Robotics,” where robots will be merged into the fabric of day-to-day life as smartphones are today, accomplishing many specialized tasks and often working side-by-side with humans. The robotic revolution will create a future that is more vivid and vibrant than the present. By 2022, robots will have gained such traction that they will be visible on battlefields as military robots, drones, driverless cars, and telepresence robots. Military robots are in the field today. Drones are in the skies, driverless cars are driving on the roads, and telepresence robots are allowing people halfway around the world to see each other over the Internet. However, the expanded structure of robots within the framework of human interaction has raised significant concerns about the meaning of robotic integration into human life. Making a future with customized and ubiquitous robots is a major challenge. Mark Weiser, a chief scientist at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center in the 1990s, who is regarded as the architect of so-called ubiquitous computing, said: “The most profound technologies are those that disappear.” “They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Computers have already achieved that type of pervasiveness. Tomorrow, robots will, too.
At home, at work, and at play, robots have the potential to improve our lives. With customized robots in the workplace, new jobs will be created, and existing jobs will be improved. In addition, people will have more time to focus on what they find interesting, meaningful, and exciting. As people commute to work in driverless cars, they will be able to read, respond to e-mails, watch videos, and even nap. A driverless car will drop off one passenger, pick up its next passenger, and coordinate with other self-driving vehicles to reduce traffic and wait times while driving safely and efficiently.
In the future, robots will be a normal part of human lives. However, it is a matter of concern that robots have a need to be ethically as conscious as humans are in the 21st century. Yet the purpose of robotics is not to supersede humans by mechanizing; it is to uncover methods for appliances to aid and collaborate with humans more effectively. Robots are better than humans at many tasks like crunching digits, lifting heavy things, and, in specific contexts, changing positions with accuracy. Humans are better than robots at generalization, abstraction, and imaginative reflection, thanks to their capacity to explain and draw on previous knowledge. By working together, robots and humans can expand and complement each other’s abilities. The future will revolve around the interaction of machines and humans, but at the same time, it can create a dystopia of machines and automation.
We will combat a future in which robots will evaluate the boundaries of our ethical and legal processes with audacity. To meet this challenge, it is critical that intelligent machines and robots acquire the highest level of ethical and regulatory literacy in order to coexist with humans. If we want to survive in a world with robots and machines who behave more and more like humans and who make ever more “personal” choices, then we should urge that robots also be competent to communicate with us about what they learn, how they learn it, and what they desire.
Democracy and capitalism are based on two principles: people must have access to information and the freedom to make choices. In the era of “pervasive robotics,” big data provides a vast quantity of information. Robotic technologies that collect and analyze all types of information about humans without regard for ethical codes and regulations may jeopardize access to validated information and human agency. Automation technologies and human interaction could yield unyielding outcomes in the form of tainted electoral franchises and the anti-democratization of society.
A major shift has occurred in the economic markets. Classical exchanges between customers and companies are based on immediate economic exchanges: customers pay for goods and benefits, and companies deliver them. In the digital economy, however, customers profit more and more from the provision of free services. Corporations yield not by instantly charging buyers but by amassing and then monetizing data about buyers’ behavior, often without their understanding or consent. This type of fundamental data mining has become commonplace. Automation and access to information in the hands of wireless technology and computers have democratized access to information and altered the way people live and think. In the future, robots will expand this digital process further into the physical domain and deeper into everyday life, with outcomes that will be equally profound.
Today, all civil engineers are instructed to study ethics because an inaccurately planned bridge can result in tremendous public damage. Roboticists today face a similar obligation since their inventions are no longer mere academic pursuits. To make robots livable with humans in the future, it is necessary for computer science departments to follow the lead of civil engineering. This is because they must require that every designer and candidate for robotic studies has sufficient training in ethics and sociology.
Chip War: Who will win?
I have done my Graduation from UET LAHORE Pakistan. After graduation I have pursued degree in English Literature and Political Sciences. Currently I am pursuing Master’s degree in History and Political Sciences.
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Like Ukraine-Russia war, the world is now  facing another war, named semiconductor or chip war. The competition between the U.S and China becomes intense for the chip. Semiconductor is an integral part of the electronic and military  industry. What are causes behind this war, what is the current situation, what will be the implications in the future and who will win this war is going to be discussed in this article.
Semiconductors, also known as chips, are the materials that have a conductivity between conductors and insulators. The semiconductors can be consisted of pure elements such as germanium or silicon. Semiconductors use in electronic equipments and devices including diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, consumer products like mobile phones, laptops, game consoles, microwaves, cars. Now it is considered as “The new oil” and ” A 21st century horse shoe nail.” Moreover, semiconductors is the core component in the manufacturing industries. The U.S.A, Asian countries like Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan are the largest semiconductor producers in the world. Taiwan, China, South Korea’s companies account for 87% of the global market. Supply chain uncertainty, Covid-19 pandemic, the increasing demand of consumers that lead to the world in semiconductor war. Especially, the COVID-19 pandemic played a massive and dimension role in this crisis. Industries were failed to meet the supply and demand of the consumer in that climate, semiconductors companies were lagged behind and unstable to cope with the severe demand pressure from various sectors. According to the semiconductor Industry Association, the global semiconductor sales were hoped to be maximized by 20% in 2021. As demand for consumer electronics decreased, the paucity of advanced elements waned rapidly. Hence, the industry is now dealing with intense stock. The automotive chip insufficiency is now struggling to protect the unwavering supplies of chips. In 2022, they were predicted to rise 9%. The declining of semiconductors production will help to lead the production process of the electronic industries in 2023. By the end of the 2027, silicon market is expected to reach USD70 billion and annual growth rate of 5.1% over the next five years.
The United States of America is the semiconductors race leader in the worldwide market whose market share value was at over $200 billion in 2020. They are also a harbinger in the export of semiconductors 50% of the world market.Basically, semiconductors are the top export goods of the United States of America and they invest more than one-fifth of the sales on research and advancement, second only the pharmaceutical business. America still depends on Taiwan for exporting semiconductors. On the other hand, China is now an emerging major participant in the semiconductor race. Its semiconductor industry has been expanding since 2015. The Semiconductor Industry Association hopes China to excel Taiwan by 2030 with a 24% market share and supported by its ” Made in China 2025″ initiative. China has already devoured Taiwan in the semiconductor business during the previous two years. America always wants to halt China but China’s semiconductor industry continuous to advance at the 9%, its annual sales might reach $114 billion by 2024. In order to Taiwan’s geopolitical kismet precarious, both America and China are racing to make their own malignance as well as self-contained in the semiconductor industry. China works for long to catch up America’s advanced technologies and competes in microchip. The rise of techno-nationalism in china will lead to both the competition and conflict with the U.S.
The U.S has recently passed the CHIPS Act that involve Impressive financial support for science and technology because their main goal is to maintain a magnificent, competitive benefits over China. The most panorama controls on chip imitation, the U.S Department of commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) implements. On October 2022, the Biden Administration amplified its controls on the exports of semiconductors associated inputs and equipments to China. On December 6, Biden visited the site of Taiwan semiconductor Manufacturing Co. new plant in Arizona and called a potential project for the U.S chip supply chain.In mid December, The U.S administration included 36 additional Chinese chip makers from entrancing U.S chip technology, including YMTC.  Not only 40Billion investment delineates the U.S endeavors to attain hegemon over China in chip industry but also America has stepped to strength entrance to flourished semiconductors technology by Chinese companies. It is now crystalline that America has announced a semiconductor war on China.
Now it is a question of  trillion dollars who will win the chip war? Chip war is now a war more than the geopolitical conflict. It is very difficult to determine the winner of the chip war. As the U.S is the global hegemon, some countries will try to make a coalition with the U.S and its allies. The U.S will dominate the semiconductors technology for artificial intelligence and military installation. China takes the conduct in microelectronics like cloud computing and electronic devices. According to some Economists, there will be no winner, only losers will remain. And the ultimate losers are the consumers.
Will moon mineral extraction soon be underway? The National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to build a moonbase. What makes it so anxious about such a new goal?
Compared to the vast universe, human beings are undoubtedly less than grains of sand. Although space exploration has been going on for more than half a century, the extraterrestrial bodies on which humans have set foot are limited to the moon, which is the closest to the earth. Moreover, only the United States of America has achieved manned moon landings and there is still a long way to go for human space exploration.
At the same time, space exploration activity by the People’s Republic of China has gradually expanded in recent years. Moon sampling, the Tianwen-1 space mission to the red planet, the Martian rover Zhurong and the Tiangong (Celestial Palace), a Chinese modular space station under construction, part of the fourth permanent space station programme in history (after the Saljut, Skylab, Mir and the International Space Station), all are important symbols of China’s turning into a space power.
However, with the progress of the Chinese space industry, NASA – which is on the other side of the Pacific Ocean – is also feeling much pressure, with its desire to initiate a plan to go back to the moon and maintain its leading position in space technology thanks to the Artemis project.
Faced with pressure from Chinese moon landings and space station research, NASA has announced that it will go back to the moon in 2024. This time, with the return to the moon, the United States of America has set two main goals for itself: a new manned lunar landing; and the return to the moon to look for ways to enable humans to live permanently on the surface of our satellite and exploit it scientifically and for mining.
The Artemis project aims to establish a moonbase in the meteorite crater near the satellite south pole, named after the explorer Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922). This is the first task. Once the moonbase is successfully established, NASA will be able to obtain in advance the technology for the future construction of the base on Mars.
Is mineral extraction part of the programme? NASA plans to build a moonbase. The peaks on the rim of Shackleton Crater are continuously exposed to sunlight, but the interior is permanently shaded. Scientists also call it the crater of eternal night. The permanent shadow inside leads to a low temperature, which has captured and frozen volatile components emitted by celestial bodies when they hit the moon. The Lunar Prospector, launched on 7 January 1998 by NASA, found a higher than normal amount of hydrogen gas in the craters during its measurement mission to the moon, indicating the presence of water ice. The Lunar Prospector, was designed for a short polar orbit analysing our satellite, mapping the surface and any polar ice deposits, measuring the magnetic field and gravity, and studying lunar events.
Once the water ice extraction technology is achieved, the construction of both the moonbase and the Mars base can be greatly improved. The water ice can break down into hydrogen and oxygen, the main components of rocket fuel. In the future, the moonbase could also serve as a space service station.
With a view to developing moon mining technology, NASA has also launched a competition called Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. Well-known technology companies such as Masten Space Systems, Lunar Outpost and Honeybee Robotics have currently joined the challenge.
They plan to use rocket engines to design a moon mining vehicle weighing over 800 kilograms. When the moon mining vehicle reaches a site containing water ice, its engine enclosed in the dome will start up, launching the water ice-laden debris into a vacuum device that separates and stores the water ice particles.
According to the plan, this moon mining vehicle is capable of mining operations from twelve craters per day. Each crater can produce about 100 kilograms of ice and more than 420,000 kilograms of lunar water ice can be recovered each year.
Besides lunar water ice, the Artemis programme also includes research into the extraction of helium-3. Helium-3 (He-3) is a very valuable resource in space, and its presence on earth is rather limited. It is formed by the decay of tritium (hydrogen-3, the third isotope of the element hydrogen, after protium and deuterium). In the soil of the moon surface, there is one million tonnes of helium-3.
Helium-3 can continuously supply energy to the moonbase. If the fusion energy of helium-3 is used, just 200,000 tonnes of helium-3 can enable a population of nearly one and a half billion people to use electricity for an entire year. It is also very likely that this type of space minerals will change the energy process of rockets and cause a qualitative transformation of human space technology.
NASA has quickly embarked on the project to return to the moon, mainly because the satellite soil collected by the Chinese probes on the moon contains this type of future energy.
NASA must also complete the technology to withstand space radiation for the Artemis project. The surface of the moon, like the surface of Mars, is not protected by an ozone layer. This is precisely the reason why space radiation there is very high. Studies have shown that space radiation can easily penetrate the bulkheads of manned spacecraft and pass through crew members’ bodies. Space radiation can damage the DNA of crew members, causing a number of irreparable consequences.
With a view to solving the threat of space radiation, NASA approached the research institutes of the University of Washington and Harvard University to ask for collaboration and participation in studies. In the high-tech competition, they found a very powerful small molecule. It plays an important role in repairing DNA damaged by space radiation and in restoring muscle and skeletal loss in weightlessness.
This molecule is involved in the synthesis of cofactors in human cells and is a substance found in the human body and in nature. People can restore or increase the level of cellular cofactors in the body by supplementing the molecule, which is able to restore declining mitochondria and repair damaged DNA. Likewise, astronauts can also repair damaged DNA by supplementing the molecule after having been exposed to space radiation.
NASA has collected a large amount of data on the radiation exposure of astronauts during space activities over the past decades. Based on this data, the Ames Research Center – one of NASA’s ten largest centres, located in California’s Silicon Valley at Moffett Field Airport – has developed a roadmap for radiation resistance in the human body. In the roadmap, NASA plans to use modern gene editing technology to modify astronauts’ DNA so that they can adapt to the high-radiation space environment.
Judging by the current level of technology, however, when we return to the moon in 2024, it is estimated that gene editing technology will not yet have reached the point where it can affect astronauts’ DNA. NASA can rely on the aforementioned molecule, which will be safe and reliable only after marketing. A few years ago, some biological companies focused on studying molecules against ageing and on restoring levels to cope with mitochondrial diseases.
Scientific tests and marketing have demonstrated the molecule safety, and NASA wants to use this material to complete the relevant tests on the moonbase before it can be used in large-scale space activities.
The moon is the closest celestial body to the earth, and is a unique outpost for humans to improve space technology. Although it looks desolate, it contains a lot of energy that the earth does not have. Humans can probably improve aerospace technology on the moon to a higher level than on earth.
It must be said, however, that if we are serious about mining or other activities on the moon, concluding relevant binding treaties is essential, and all countries carrying out space activities must be able to comply with them. In this way, the moon is protected and severe consequences are avoided for what will happen “in the sky” if there is conflict on earth.
By Vittoria D’alessio
From more fresh water and less depression to life-saving drones and thought-interpreting scans, 2023 promises to be a big year in science. Still, don’t expect to fly in a plane powered by electricity anytime soon.
Dr Pascal Belin, a neuroscientist at the Aix-Marseille University in France and primary investigator in the EU-funded COVOPRIM project, studies humans and monkeys to understand better what happens in the brains of primates when they communicate. Scans show a remarkable similarity in the way human, marmoset and macaque brains light up when a voice is heard from another member of their species. Next year, researchers plan to implant electrodes in monkey brains to investigate this phenomenon at a nerve-cell level. The implications are far-reaching, both for people who lose the ability to speak following a brain injury or stroke and for general human interaction with technology. 
‘Soon, we’ll be able to interpret the activity of neurons in different regions of the brain very clearly. We’re already understanding better and better which region does what. Soon enough, we’ll be able to decode what someone is listening to simply by observing brain activity. We’ll also be able to elucidate what people are imagining without their thoughts being vocalised. It’s not quite the same as reading someone’s thoughts – it’s more about reconstructing what’s going on in the brain by interpreting the activity of neurons. 
‘In time, our new knowledge will also be used to control machines. More and more progress is already being made in this area. There will be neural implants, the kind already fitted in some epileptic patients when they don’t respond to treatment, that can be strategically placed in the brain to enhance a person’s perception – much like a cochlear implant is used today in thousands of deaf people so they can hear – or to send impulses that command a computer.
‘It will mean people can express themselves without using a keyboard. A keyboard and pen are awkward crutches that have been necessary in our path towards technological innovation to allow us to convert verbal information in our brain into written words, but they won’t be necessary once your computer can read that information directly from your brain. Though I’m not a specialist in brain-computer interfaces, I believe this sort of innovation will be available in five to 10 years, not 40.’
Tomorrow’s cities will improve the safety of residents and structures alike, according to Professor Gian Paolo Cimellaro, an engineer at the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy. Prof Cimellaro led the EU-funded IDEAL DRONE project to develop drones that can be deployed by firefighters to help locate people trapped in burning buildings. He believes techniques to monitor structures and rescue civilians will improve immensely in the coming years.
‘We’ll see huge change in the field of disaster resilience – both in the short- and medium-term. The advanced technologies we’ve been working on mean people can be tracked inside buildings and soon we’ll be able to do even better. For instance, rescue teams will wear exoskeletons – rugged suits that synchronise with their movement and give them protection and strength – so they can move heavy debris to get to survivors.
‘Climate change will put more pressure on infrastructures, meaning disasters will happen more frequently, so we’ll need to build greater resilience into all civilian infrastructure. Whenever there’s a disaster, such as a partial bridge collapse, functionality drops and there’s a recovery process. We’ll be minimising the downtime. To stick with the bridge example, the only way to know if a bridge is safe today is through visual inspection: the engineer looks at the deck and decides whether or not to replace a part. But soon, sensors will become cheaper and bridges will be covered in them. These will report back on levels of ageing. That way, when a problem is detected, it can be fixed before it becomes a crisis.
‘Eventually, we’ll have ‘‘super artificial intelligence’’, where a machine is smarter than the engineer and can inspect a structure and perform actions better than any human. For very long bridges, inspection will be done by drones equipped with robots that will collect multiple sets of information at the same time using high-resolution cameras, thermal cameras and laser scanners.’
Psychedelic drugs, when paired with specialist psychotherapy, show great promise as treatments for chronic, tricky mental illnesses. Scientists in Europe and the US including Dr Claudia Schwarz-Plaschg are unravelling the neuroscience of psychedelic ‘trips’, hoping to bring an end to debilitating conditions like depression and trauma. Dr Schwarz-Plaschg completed the EU-funded ReMedPsy project in which she examined society’s evolving views on these substances.
‘I envisage research into the benefits of psychedelics moving beyond mental-health issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction to include any condition where mind and body are integrated – from autism and dementia to obesity and pain disorders. I also anticipate more research into how psychedelics can enhance creativity and help with problem solving, as these substances are known to foster shifts in perspective.
‘In terms of risks, we also need more studies into the adverse effects of psychedelics. Bad trips happen and can be very destabilising. I expect we’ll see the broader conversation on drug decriminalisation and legalisation move forward in the next few years, and this will include psychedelics.
‘I also anticipate more research into the spiritual and religious benefits of these substances. We’re undergoing a spiritual crisis in western society. Psychedelics could play a role in helping people find deeper meaning in life again. I hope 2023 will enable me and other critical scholars to scrutinise how knowledge is created in this field. What impact does psychedelic research have on communities that have been using psychedelics for much longer than Western science? Are we extracting knowledge from Indigenous and underground communities without giving back?’
Because air travel contributes to global warming, European researchers are exploring the potential of electric and hybrid engines to reduce jets’ carbon footprint. With today’s batteries still some way from being ready for commercial use, Fabio Russo, head of research at Italian aircraft maker Tecnam and coordinator of the EU-funded H3PS project, says real progress requires airlines to make tangible commitments.
‘Our company is putting resources and engineering into developing new technologies for both all-electric and hybrid aircraft. However, all-electric batteries work only in light aircraft with a flying time of around 20 or 30 minutes plus reserve, so clearly that’s unlikely to work for people wanting to fly even short-haul in commercial airliners.
‘Why are things not moving as fast as we’d like? Because, even though we see lots of press releases from airlines expressing their intention to be on a sustainable path, only rarely something tangible then happens. There is no progressive business model, no meaningful commitments when it comes to making pledges about purchases of cleaner aircraft. This does not help manufacturers to safely unlock huge investments. And this needs to change or else engineers, manufacturers and airlines will jeopardise their credibility.
‘Currently, a battery can no longer be used in aircraft once its performance drops below 90% because, at this point, the flight range becomes severely compromised and there’s an increased risk of the battery overheating. This means that after around 800 flight cycles – typically a few weeks of flying – the battery needs to be removed and a new one bought for likely many thousands of euros. And that’s just for a nine-passenger aircraft with very low range. This is too costly to make business sense, plus it’s environmentally wasteful. Over the next few years, I hope we find ways to make batteries last longer and allow them to be “overhauled”, meaning the airline would give its battery back to the manufacturer and get another with new cells. The old battery would then be sold to power other machines like consumer electronics or those used for energy storage.’
Fresh-water supplies are diminishing around the world. As populations grow and droughts worsen, scientists are seeking new ways to convert high-saline water (as exists in oceans) into a form that can be piped into homes and industry. George Brik is chief executive officer of Hydro Volta, a Belgium-based company with a patented desalination technology. Developed in the EU-funded SonixED project, the technology is a lot greener than anything used today, requiring far less energy and fewer chemicals.
‘The world has an unlimited supply of seawater but it’s wasteful, expensive and harsh on the environment to desalinate water using traditional techniques. This is where Hydro Volta can help. Our technology makes the conversion of seawater to fresh water both cheaper and safer for the environment. All that’s left is for us to scale up our processes and get the message across to governments and industry that we can help them solve an important and growing problem. I’m confident that we’ll get this opportunity over the next few years.
‘I came to Belgium with my family as a survivor of the Syrian war 10 years ago. I was already working in the water-treatment industry in Syria, but I had to leave everything behind and start from scratch when I moved to Belgium, which was very difficult.
‘But two years after arriving, I met a man named Yousef Yousef who became my business partner and co-founder and, from the start, the Flemish government and the EU have believed in our project and supported us. I’m so thankful for the opportunity I have been given. Now all that’s left is for us to be get the chance to take our technology out into the world.’
This article was originally published in Horizon, the EU Research and Innovation Magazine.   
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