Unbound: No 169
By Barbara Bickham profile image Barbara Bickham
5 min read

Unbound: No 169

Dive into the latest Unbound (No. 169) exploring three intriguing deep tech stories and a captivating narrative on space. Stay informed and inspired in the ever-evolving tech cosmos.

The coming AI economic revolution: Can artificial intelligence reverse the productivity slowdown?
By Ed Watal | Betanews

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The artificial intelligence revolution is here to stay, and a large part of the reason is the massive economic impact of the technology on the industries it has touched. Effectively implementing AI into a business’s operation requires an incredible amount of planning and precision, as well as consideration of all of the ethical and regulatory challenges associated with the use of the technology.

One of the primary reasons AI has become such an exciting and dominant technology is its ability to process data faster than human workers. In many industries, we have seen efficiency increase by allowing AI and automation to take over simpler and more labor-intensive tasks, enabling human workers to spend more time on tasks that require a more human quality.

2 Minute Read →

Amex Brings AR to SMBs
by Mike Boland | AR Insider

Photo by UNIBOA on Unsplash

Every year, Small Business Saturday falls right after Thanksgiving. More accurately, it’s strategically sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The idea is that small businesses (SMBs) should get a piece of the action in all that consumerism on steroids.

At the center of this shopping holiday, American Express is adding a twist. Its “Door to Shop Small” campaign will place QR codes on public installations throughout Chicago, LA, and New York. When consumers scan the codes, they can unlock SMB shoppable content and rewards.

The latter are positioned as an incentive to engage, including $5 statement credits for purchases of $50 or more. Meanwhile, participating merchants in the above cities include Cadence, Courant, Paper Shoot Camera, Gray Malin, Little Words Project, and Cut + Clarity.

2 Minute Read →

Sometimes You Should Collaborate Instead of Compete
by Greg Satell | Human-Centered Change and Innovation


Boeing and Airbus are arch-rivals, competing vigorously over decades for supremacy in the global aviation market, much like DowDupont and BASF do in chemicals. Yet all of these companies, along with many others, collaborate at places like the Composites Institute (IACMI). They do this not out of any altruism, of course, but self-interest.

It is at places like the Composites Institute that profit-driven companies can explore the future with top notch scientists from places like Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Michigan State University and Purdue as well as dozens of smaller companies active in the space. To not participate would be to risk being cut out of important developments.

This type of activity is not entirely new. In the 80s, semiconductor firms, along with the Department of Defense, created SEMATECH to regain competitiveness against foreign competition, while still fighting it out in the marketplace. The truth is that sometimes you need to collaborate and sometimes you have to compete. Here’s how to know the difference.

2 Minute Read →

🌙 NASA - Best Photo from Last Week
Cluster in the Cloud

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Sarajedini

This striking Hubble Space Telescope image shows the densely packed globular cluster known as NGC 2210, which is situated in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The LMC lies about 157,000 light-years from Earth and is a so-called satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, meaning that the two galaxies are gravitationally bound. Globular clusters are very stable, tightly bound clusters of thousands or even millions of stars. Their stability means that they can last a long time, and therefore globular clusters are often studied to investigate potentially very old stellar populations.

In fact, 2017 research using some of the data that were also used to build this image revealed that a sample of LMC globular clusters were incredibly close in age to some of the oldest stellar clusters found in the Milky Way’s halo. They found that NGC 2210 specifically probably clocks in at around 11.6 billion years old. Even though this is only a couple of billion years younger than the universe itself, it made NGC 2210 by far the youngest globular cluster in their sample. All other LMC globular clusters studied in the same work were found to be even older, with four of them over 13 billion years old. This tells astronomers that the oldest globular clusters in the LMC formed contemporaneously with the oldest clusters in the Milky Way, even though the two galaxies formed independently.

As well as being a source of interesting research, this old-but-relatively-young cluster is also extremely beautiful, with its highly concentrated population of stars. The night sky would look very different from the perspective of an inhabitant of a planet orbiting one of the stars in a globular cluster’s center: the sky would appear to be stuffed full of stars, in a stellar environment that is thousands of times more crowded than our own.


Related science paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Text credit: European Space Agency

Media Contact:

Claire Andreoli
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

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By Barbara Bickham profile image Barbara Bickham
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