Sure most people like to listen to podcasts about True Crime, Current Affairs or Celebrity Gossip. But not you… you want to know: “if robots can think yet?” That’s why these are the podcasts for you…

Photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash

Let’s be honest, you know about AI but you don’t really understand it — not the detailed stuff, the hardcore probabalistic maths. Unless of course you do and your name is probably Geoff Hinton or Fei Fei Li et al. and I’ll just say: Hello 👋 and let you skip forward to the list…

But for the rest of you, asking how can I understand this “AI thing” that seems to be everywhere — it is suddenly in every new technology from driverless cars to drones, it is something VCs seem happy to invest in despite knowing nothing about, and…


This eerie map of the world’s air quality shows just how big our planet’s Nitrogen Dioxide problem has gotten. Now Dyson have made an Atlas to show people just how widespread the problem is…

A global atlas of the world’s NO2 pollution | Image ©Descartes Labs

Last year, between August and September you contributed to all the pollution recorded. If you were in a car, bus or train with a combustion engine — in fact, if you did virtually anything using electricity you produced nitrogen dioxide, a nasty-smelling, gaseous pollutant. In cities, almost all of it comes from vehicle exhausts. But it can also be produced by power plants, factories and anything else that burns things.

With people increasingly worried about the impact of burning fossil fuels, the scientific community is investing more money into studying its effects. One experiment is the European Space Agency’s Sentinel…


In 1993 NASA’s brightest minds were forced to concede defeat. They’d confronted a problem that even they couldn’t find a solution to: The wind. While trying to harness one of earth’s most volatile elements to power a future Mars rover, they were blown back to the US by the untameable gusts of Chile’s Atacama Desert. But where NASA failed, O-Wind was born…

Originally published in Dyson on: on.dyson.co.uk

01

South America’s Atacama Desert is known for two things: dust and wind.

As Earth’s driest region, it’s an otherworldly place where barely anything lives — and nothing thrives. Not the sort of place you’d expect to find a team of scientists working on the most advanced technologies in the world.

Nestled between two mountain ranges, temperatures on this plateau can vary by as much as 50°C in a day. The Atacama is so inhospitable that biologists were actually surprised to find living organisms there.


Every great invention of the modern age needed a patent to protect it from copycats. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting documents in the history of invention.

Originally published in Dyson on: on.dyson.co.uk

A patent gives its owner a legally-enforceable monopoly to their invention. The invention could be any new and inventive solution to a technical problem; whether it’s the humble paper clip to a new pharmaceutical to developments in AI or quantum computing.

Patents play an important role in incentivising and rewarding innovation. They reward the skill and ingenuity that go into developing any invention by preventing others from using the idea covered by the patent.

This is a valuable tool for anyone in the business of innovating. For example, it is because of the potential…


From the catchy tune your laptop plays as you wake it to the sharp bleating of a freezer door that’s been left open. Our technology is constantly communicating with us. But do we really understand the full extent of their usefulness?

We live in an increasingly noisy world. When we’re on the move, the phones in our pockets buzz, beep and ring, at work our computers play melodies when we turn them on and off, and even at home our kitchen appliances are an orchestra of alarms.

These are just a sample of the growing number of functional noises that we’re increasingly reliant on to communicate with our user friendly technological gadgets.

“A good example is Skype or other messenger apps which most of us use all the time,” says Tom Ridley, a sound design engineer at Dyson.

He explains, “when…


They way we spend money is changing. Less people use hard monetary currency than ever before and more transactions happen digitally every day. Does this mean the end for money?

Does the new Apple Card contactless payment system finally mean cash is dead? | Photography Apple

Current accounts aren’t ‘cool’. People don’t wait excitedly outside a Natwest branch to receive their cash ISA. In fact, quite the opposite: normally the only time you see a queue outside a bank is after a financial disaster.

Nevertheless, over 14,550 people are waiting in a digital line for their Monzo Bank card at the time of writing this. And everywhere you look Monzo’s eye-catching “Hot Coral” coloured cards have been appearing in people’s wallets. Seemingly every time someone whips one out to buy a coffee, Monzo gets another bank-convert.

‘It’s a very mission-driven app and bank,’ says Tom Blomfield…


The incredible true story of how a bird watcher’s love of the natural world helped to solve an engineering problem plaguing the urban heart of Tokyo: the Bullet Train’s sonic boom headache.


From Gutenberg to Adobe’s invention of the PDF (and beyond)— how the world of publishing went from zero to 1 million-mph…

Photo by Water Journal on Unsplash

On 15th June 1993 Adobe Systems’ top-secret project Camelot was completed and released to the world. The product of this task-force’s three-years of work was the rather prosaically named, Portable Document Format — better known today simply as the PDF.

In version 1.0 users could add and edit text, images, hypertext links, and bookmarks. It was a no-frills package, strictly utility.

But by 2007 Adobe supplied its PDF format to the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) — essentially making the PDF the internet’s official document publishing format.

Even back in 2015 an estimated 2.5 trillion PDFs existed on the internet…


Cinemas hate Netflix. For years these gate keepers to the spectacular fantasies cooked up by Hollywood had it good. When a blockbuster was released there was only one place you could watch it. But as the film industry seemed to run out of ideas, streaming services like Netflix decided they’d start making films, not just buying them. Now the best new films and TV aren’t being made by big studios — and cinema owners are very unhappy.

Photo by Kosta Bratsos on Unsplash

Tim Richards, CEO of VUE, one of Britain’s biggest cinema chains, recently published an open letter to BAFTA moaning about the inclusion of Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar tipped film, Roma at their recent awards ceremony.

In his two-page letter he complains that while “Cuarón is an incredible filmmaker for whom [he has] a huge amount of respect,” his film Roma did not “adhere to BAFTA’s rules”.

He also accuses the British film institution of “not [living] up to its usual high standards this year in choosing to endorse and promote a ‘made for TV’ film.

To most people this will just…


A recent study has found that everyday chemicals used in kitchen and bathroom cleaning products are now responsible for more air pollution than traffic. Here’s what you need to know about what you’re breathing…

Henry Tobias Jones

Chief Communications Officer @ AVA.info Journalist, editor and author Previously Evening Standard /Founding editor of @dyson on: Follow me @henrytojones

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