Japanese Technology from the Future SATURDAY (yeah...)

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

AkihabaraNews MICROCAST

This week it’s a revisitation of Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics with a bit of a Japan flavor, and a Tokyo research team has discovered a serious catch-22 correlation between sleeping pills and heart disease, which really is a bummer, but good to know.

• • •

Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday Saturday!
It’s already Friday Saturday west of the international dateline – here in Japan, it’s totally the future. The weekly JTFF is our somewhat Technosnarky coverage of 2-5 particularly important, specifically Japan-related tech stories. Get yourself hip to the micro & macro that went down while North America was sleeping – check in with Akihabara News (usually) every Friday (not Saturday) morning and BOOM! Ahead of the game, you win.

:: JTFFS – May 17, 2014 ::

• Via Asimov, Passing Mention of Japan’s Attitudes Toward Robots
Isaac Asimov’s seminal Three Laws of Robotics (which we won’t quote here, but basically say “robots shall behave themselves with human-friendly, hardwired logic”) have been picked apart for nearly 75 years; they’ve been celebrated, denounced, declared ineffective, experienced a renaissance, derided again, on and on and on. The three simple laws are beautifully concise, and the fact that, despite being overly simple and most probably impossible to encode into a machine that isn't already self-aware, we keep coming back to them, we keep bringing them up in debate, which means that 1. We haven’t really truly advanced our practical understanding of machine morality in 75 years, and 2. A set of ideas with this kind of staying power obviously has considerable merit and could, and arguably, already does serve as a practical foundation for crafting future guidelines, and 3. Isaac Asimov was a rockstar badass sci-fi robotics genius (there’s also that whole set of ideas he had that basically describes [real, not lolcat] memetics 35 years before The Selfish Gene - Psychohistory represent, yo). Anyway, the article referenced here mentions Japan’s peculiar place in the world: both being very, very comfortable with robotics as a culture, and being very, very in need of them. How so and why? Well, after you speed through MIT’s piece, have a look at our ongoing coverage of Assistive Robotics, and you’ll begin to see just how important a codified machine morality will be, first for the Japanese, but eventually all advanced and aging civilizations.
[OKAY MAYBE WE DO NEED ASIMOV’S THREE LAWS - MIT TECH REVIEW]

• Japanese Researchers Link Sleeping Pills with Heart Disease Complications
Insomniacs with heart trouble, or the inverse thereof, might have more to worry about more than just insomnia and heart trouble - seems that pharmaceuticals used to deal with the former could considerably worsen the latter. Two years of research at Tokyo’s Yamate Medical Center have revealed that patients taking sleeping pills were 8 times as likely to be rehospitalized for complications related to their heart disease...which really sucks, because heart disease and related treatment regimens tend to have a lot of sleep-disturbing side effects. Why is that, and what do we do with this info? Well, those studies are probably well underway. The JTFF will keep you posted, and in the meantime, for more on J-med tech, click on these words.
[SLEEP AIDS KINDA EXACERBATE HEART DISEASE - SCIENCE WORLD REPORT]

That was the JTFFS, and live from the future – that is all.

• • •

Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.

Source: 

Related Articles

Reno J. Tibke - March 22, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s all about tiny little Japan's huge reach into the rest of the world: on one hand we've got the Vatican contracting with NTT to digitize over 600 years of archival documents and library stuff, and on the other we've got the Japanese government giving 38 handsome scholarships to some of India's best & brightest.

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - September 21, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's Japanese phone makers shuddering at the news of NTT Docomo finally agreeing to push Apple products, and guess what, among a laundry list of supertech geniuses, one of the iPhone’s senior engineers speaks Japanese and spent time as

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! (GUEST COLUMN)
This week China wants to get its hands on Japanese test-taking A.I. and is asking very politely; meanwhile, the U.S. is going to get an LA-to-Vegas bullet train from China – which technically means the Americans will finally get to ride some Japanese trains!
JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s Mt. Gox biting the bankruptcy bullet (plus bonus geeky news on that), Hulu Japan is selling itself to Japan, and Panasonic and Tesla Motors might build a battery mega-factory (whilst everyone still avoids mentioning that most electricity for electric cars still comes from fossil fuels).

Reno J. Tibke - September 13, 2013

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's a Japan-led team’s Earthquake-hunting boat setting off to drill into the place where earthquakes come from (

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's robots, robots, and more robots. iREX robots have hijacked the JTFF - but true to form, the 60 images in this gallery represent the news that was in fact going down here in Japan today. We'll have more to say about iREX next week, but for now: Photos. Of. Robots! We hope you enjoy (we definitely, totally, absolutely did).

Reno J. Tibke - May 03, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s all about Toyota and California going bananas for hydrogen fuel cell tech, for both buildings and for cars - but mostly for cars, and even though the tech has been just around a corner that seems to be taking about 35 years to navigate, word on the street is that it might actually be reaching feasibility...we'll see. 

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's weird that Japanese people still love CDs, Japan’s trying to help Myanmar by ironically exporting more energy technology, and some really profound developments in reproductive technology, for which the JTFF finally gets to use the word “sperm.”

• • •

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com
This week it’s Sony flirting with yet another game of catch-up, Panasonic is taking their smartphone game to India, and tiny cracks have been found in some of the wings Mitsubishi Heavy Industries makes for the 787 Dreamliner, which is not a game at all.
Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!
This week it's a Japanese supercomputer creating the awesomest practical neuronal simulation to date, and a detailed breakdown of the upcoming trans-Pacific game console showdown: PS4 vs. Xbox One!

Reno J. Tibke - June 21, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week two Americans who do science and a Japanese woman who does Kimonos are getting a huge chunk of cash from the Kyoto Prize, and a southeastern Japanese prefecture wants to become toilet world... 

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - February 22, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s the JTFF shaming anti-nuclear activists.

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - May 31, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it seems that J-Convenience store giant Lawson has become something of startup funder, and a professor of sports and stuff at Tsukuba University has declared the FIFA 2014 World Cup ball to be “MADE OF NINJA THROWING STARS!!” ...okay, maybe the translation is off a bit on that last part. 

• • •

Reno J. Tibke - October 26, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s the JTFF being embarrassed for the BBC publishing some wildly innappropriate and overgeneralized coverage of technology & culture in Japan; specifically the "otaku" phenomenon, and clinging to it as a major reason for Japan’s declining population and all the stay at home singles, because seriously, what else could it be? Wow Japan, you so crayyzy!

Reno J. Tibke - November 02, 2013

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it’s wrapping displays that just keep going around the edge of your phone, and a Japanese man, Takaaki Sasaki, the first in line at Tokyo’s Ginza Apple store, was all weepy today when he got the new iPad Air - but it’s not the usual creepily overenthusiastic fandorkboyism, it’s actually kind of touching.

• • •

Pages