In the first half, aerospace and defense systems developer Sir Charles Shults discussed the rapid advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and drones. The availability and affordability of drones is creating all new applications from agriculture to outer-space construction. On a consumer-level, there is a type of drone in which you put a chip in your pocket, and the drone follows you around from the air, recording live video of your movements, he reported. In many circumstances, you have to register your drone with the FAA, he cautioned. Drones are a real growth industry, with sales of $300 million this past year in the US alone.
Regarding robotics, we can expect a huge drop in the cost of human-like robots over the next five years because China is moving to get into the industry in a big way, he detailed. China is developing robots to take the place of waiters and hotel staff, and we will see a huge increase of companion robots to converse with people over the next five years, Shults envisions. We are on the verge of combining biological and mechanical elements, and eventually people will be able to buy hybrid cyborg devices, he marveled. Shults also updated his research of Martian anomalies (view related images), and suggested that Mars had a decent biosphere as recent as a few thousand years ago that may have sustained primitive life forms.
In the latter half, 'ancient astronaut' proponent Giorgio Tsoukalos and TV producer Kevin Burns spoke about the ancient astronaut theory, and their TV series Ancient Aliens, which has now surpassed 100 episodes. Burns described how the TV show came out of a documentary on Indiana Jones that he'd done for the History Channel, which related to the ancient astronaut theory, and featured Giorgio talking about Erich von Daniken and his book "Chariot of the Gods?" Tsoukalos shared that he'd grown up in Switzerland and as a teenager he met von Daniken, who also lived there, and became involved in his research society. In 1998, von Daniken agreed to let Tsoukalos start an American branch of his research.
While Tsoukalos conceded there is not hard physical evidence such as a crashed spaceship proving that aliens visited the Earth in ancient times, he believes the cross-cultural testimonies in the form of ancient writings and circumstantial evidenceare very strong. Regarding the question of what do the aliens or ETs look like?, Tsoukalos thinks it should be reversed to ask, do we look like the aliens? A resounding yes, in his opinion. Burns announced the debut of Ancient Aliens: The Official Companion Book, which features essays by various experts and luminaries who have appeared on the series.
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