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GitHub’s Commercial AI Tool Was Built From Open Source Code

GitHub’s Commercial AI Tool Was Built From Open Source Code
Copilot is pitched as a helpful aid to developers. But some programmers object to the blind copying of blocks of code used to train the algorithm.

Earlier this month, Armin Ronacher, a prominent open-source developer, was experimenting with a new code-generating tool from GitHub called Copilot when it began to produce a curiously familiar stretch of code. The lines, drawn from the source code of the 1999 video game Quake III, are infamous among programmers—a combo of little tricks that add up to some pretty basic math, imprecisely. The original Quake coders knew they were hacking. “What the fuck,” one commented in the code beside an especially egregious shortcut.

So it was strange for Ronacher to see such code generated by Copilot, an artificial intelligence tool that is marketed to generate code that is both novel and efficient. The AI was plagiarizing—copying the hack (including the profane comment) verbatim. Worse yet, the code it had chosen to copy was under copyright protection. Ronacher posted a screenshot to Twitter, where it was entered as evidence in a roiling trial-by-social-media over whether Copilot is exploiting programmers’ labor.

Copilot, which GitHub calls “your AI pair programmer,” is the result of a collaboration with OpenAI, the formerly nonprofit research lab known for powerful language-generating AI models such as GPT-3. At its heart is a neural network that is trained using massive volumes of data. Instead of text, though, Copilot’s source material is code: millions of lines uploaded by the 65 million users of GitHub, the world’s largest platform for developers to collaborate and share their work. The aim is for Copilot to learn enough about the patterns in that code that it can do some hacking itself. It can take the incomplete code of a human partner and finish the job. For the most part, it appears successful at doing so. GitHub, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2018, plans to sell access to the tool to developers.

To many programmers, Copilot is exciting because coding is hard. While AI can now generate photo-realistic faces and write plausible essays in response to prompts, code has been largely untouched by those advances. An AI-written text that reads strangely might be embraced as “creative,” but code offers less margin for error. A bug is a bug, and it means the code could have a security hole or a memory leak, or more likely that it just won’t work. But writing correct code also demands a balance. The system can’t simply regurgitate verbatim code from the data used to train it, especially if that code is protected by copyright. That’s not AI code generation; that’s plagiarism.

GitHub says Copilot’s slip-ups are only occasional, but critics say the blind copying of code is less of an issue than what it reveals about AI systems generally: Even if code is not copied directly, should it have been used to train the model in the first place? GitHub has been unclear about precisely which code was involved in training Copilot, but it has clarified its stance on the principles as the debate over the tool has unfolded: All publicly available code is fair game regardless of its copyright.

That hasn’t sat well with some GitHub users who say the tool both depends on their code and ignores their wishes for how it will be used. The company has taken both free-to-use and copyrighted code and “put it all in a blender in order to sell the slurry to commercial and proprietary interests,” says Evelyn Woods, a Colorado-based programmer and game designer whose tweets on the topic went viral. “It feels like it’s laughing in the face of open source.”

AI tools bring industrial scale and automation to an old tension at the heart of open source programming: Coders want to share their work freely under permissive licenses, but they worry that the chief beneficiaries will be large businesses that have the scale to profit from it. A corporation takes a young startup’s free-to-use code to corner a market or uses an open source library without helping with the maintenance. Code-generating AI systems that rely on large data sets mean everyone’s code is potentially subject to reuse for commercial applications.

“I’m generally happy to see expansions of free use, but I’m a little bitter when they end up benefiting massive corporations who are extracting value from smaller authors’ work en masse,” Woods says.

One thing that’s clear about neural networks is that they can memorize their training data and reproduce copies. That risk is there regardless of whether that data involves personal information or medical secrets or copyrighted code, explains Colin Raffel, a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina who coauthored a preprint (not yet peer-reviewed) examining similar copying in OpenAI’s GPT-2. Getting the model, which is trained on a large corpus of text, to spit out training data was rather trivial, they found. But it can be difficult to predict what a model will memorize and copy. “You only really find out when you throw it out into the world and people use and abuse it,” Raffel says. Given that, he was surprised to see that GitHub and OpenAI had chosen to train their model with code that came with copyright restrictions.

According to GitHub’s internal tests, direct copying occurs in roughly 0.1 percent of Copilot’s outputs—a surmountable error, according to the company, and not an inherent flaw in the AI model. That’s enough to cause a nit in the legal department of any for-profit entity (“non-zero risk” is just “risk” to a lawyer), but Raffel notes this is perhaps not all that different from employees copy-pasting restricted code. Humans break the rules regardless of automation. Ronacher, the open source developer, adds that most of Copilot’s copying appears to be relatively harmless—cases where simple solutions to problems come up again and again, or oddities like the infamous Quake code, which has been (improperly) copied by people into many different codebases. “You can make Copilot trigger hilarious things,” he says. “If it’s used as intended I think it will be less of an issue.”

GitHub has also indicated it has a possible solution in the works: a way to flag those verbatim outputs when they occur so that programmers and their lawyers know not to reuse them commercially. But building such a system is not as simple as it sounds, Raffel notes, and it gets at the larger problem: What if the output is not verbatim, but a near copy of the training data? What if only the variables have been changed, or a single line has been expressed in a different way? In other words, how much change is required for the system to no longer be a copycat? With code-generating software in its infancy, the legal and ethical boundaries aren’t yet clear.

Many legal scholars believe AI developers have fairly wide latitude when selecting training data, explains Andy Sellars, director of Boston University’s Technology Law Clinic. “Fair use” of copyrighted material largely boils down to whether it is “transformed” when it is reused. There are many ways of transforming a work, like using it for parody or criticism or summarizing it—or, as courts have repeatedly found, using it as the fuel for algorithms. In one prominent case, a federal court rejected a lawsuit brought by a publishing group against Google Books, holding that its process of scanning books and using snippets of text to let users search through them was an example of fair use. But how that translates to AI training data isn’t firmly settled, Sellars adds.

It’s a little odd to put code under the same regime as books and artwork, he notes. “We treat source code as a literary work even though it bears little resemblance to literature,” he says. We may think of code as comparatively utilitarian; the task it achieves is more important than how it is written. But in copyright law, the key is how an idea is expressed. “If Copilot spits out an output that does the same thing as one of its training inputs does—similar parameters, similar result—but it spits out different code, that’s probably not going to implicate copyright law,” he says.

The ethics of the situation are another matter. “There’s no guarantee that GitHub is keeping independent coders’ interests to heart,” Sellars says. Copilot depends on the work of its users, including those who have explicitly tried to prevent their work from being reused for profit, and it may also reduce demand for those same coders by automating more programming, he notes. “We should never forget that there is no cognition happening in the model,” he says. It’s statistical pattern matching. The insights and creativity mined from the data are all human. Some scholars have said that Copilot underlines the need for new mechanisms to ensure that those who produce the data for AI are fairly compensated.

GitHub declined to answer questions about Copilot and directed me to an FAQ about the system. In a series of posts on Hacker News, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman responded to the developer outrage by projecting confidence about the fair use designation of training data, pointing to an OpenAI position paper on the topic. GitHub was “eager to participate” in coming debates over AI and intellectual property, he wrote.

Ronacher says that he expects advocates of free software to defend Copilot—and indeed, some already have—out of concern that drawing limits on fair use could jeopardize the free sharing of software more broadly. But it’s unclear if the tool will spark meaningful legal challenges that clarify the fair use issues anytime soon. The kind of tasks people are tackling with Copilot are mostly boilerplate, Ronacher points out—unlikely to run afoul of anyone. But for him, that’s part of why the tool is exciting, because it means automating away annoying tasks. He already uses permissive licenses whenever he can in the hopes that other developers will pluck out whatever is useful, and Copilot could help automate that sharing process. “An engineer shouldn’t waste two hours of their life implementing a function I’ve already done,” he says.

But Ronacher can see the challenges. “If you’ve spent your life doing something, you expect something for it,” he says. At Sentry, a debugging software startup where he is director of engineering, the team recently tightened some of its most permissive licenses—with great reluctance, he says—for fear that “a large company like Amazon could just run away with our stuff.” As AI applications advance, those companies are poised to run faster.

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Brian May: Why he never uses a guitar pick and how he built his Red Special guitar

Brian May: Why he never uses a guitar pick and how he built his Red Special guitar

Brian added: “So in the end, I picked up a coin, and it was just perfect. That’s all I needed. And I changed the way that I held the pick, sort of bending one of the fingers around, and I never went back from that point.

“The sixpence has another great advantage – it’s hard enough to, you know, give you all that contact, it’s also soft enough not to break your steel strings because it’s made of nickel silver, or whatever.

“And it has this lovely serrated edge, and if you turn it at an angle to the strings, you get a lovely kind of splutter.

“So to me, the guitar is like a voice, and that splutter is one of the consonants that helps to make the guitar talk.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Video: Meet The Hori Flex, A Nintendo Switch Controller Built With Accessibility In Mind

UK distribution for the HORI Flex — the Japanese accessories manufacturer’s accessibility-focused controller — finally began last week and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a sample of this rather remarkable new device.

This little controller (well, quite sizeable, actually) has been available in Japan since last year, and features a frankly baffling array of options and inputs which enable you to attach a variety of buttons, sensors, sticks and more via 3.5mm jacks to create a totally unique control set-up.

As you’ll see in the video above featuring the lovely Alex-from-Nintendo-Life (full name), this could be as simple as attaching a single button for a specific input, or creating a bespoke control environment tailored to your personal comfort and physical ability. Suddenly, playing one-handed or with your head or feet or any other method you so wish becomes viable, and the world of Switch gaming becomes much more inclusive. Check out the video above for a small sample of the potential this controller opens up for gamers of all abilities.

Alex looks at how the controller can be used for a variety of games, including Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Sonic Mania and several more. And if all that wasn’t enticing enough, the video also features Alex’s rather lovely kitchen (we haven’t been this jealous of an island since dreaming in Animal Crossing), plus shots of prime British feet.

What more could you possibly want of an evening? Grab yourself a beverage and enjoy.

Hori Flex Nintendo Switch Controller© Nintendo Life

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

This Seminary Built on Slavery and Jim Crow Has Begun Paying Reparations

This Seminary Built on Slavery and Jim Crow Has Begun Paying Reparations

[Race affects our lives in countless ways. To read more stories on race from The New York Times, sign up here for our Race/Related newsletter.]

One night in 1858, Carter Dowling, an enslaved Black man forced to work without pay at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Northern Virginia, made the brave decision to escape.

He made it to Philadelphia, where he met the famed abolitionist William Still. He then continued north to Canada and, after the Civil War, returned to Washington, D.C., where he was able to open a bank account for his children. He eventually went on to work as a labor organizer in Buffalo.

To this day, Mr. Dowling’s family line continues. And, most likely for one of the first times in American history, his descendants could receive cash payments for his forced labor.

In February, the Virginia Theological Seminary began handing out cash payments to the descendants of Black Americans who were forced to work there during the time of slavery and Jim Crow.

The program is among the first of its kind. Though other institutions have created atonement programs, such as scholarships and housing vouchers for Black people, few, if any, have provided cash. (The Times could not verify whether the seminary is the first to provide cash payments.)

“When white institutions have to face up with the sins of their past, we’ll do everything we can to prevaricate, and we’ll especially prevaricate if it’s going to have some sort of financial implication,” said the Rev. Ian S. Markham, the president and dean of the seminary, which is in Alexandria, Va. “We wanted to make sure that we both not just say and articulate and speak what’s right, but also take some action — and we were committed to that from the outset.”

The checks, about $ 2,100 this year, will come annually and have begun to flow to the descendants of those Black workers. The money has been pulled from a $ 1.7 million fund, which is set to grow at the rate of the seminary’s large endowment. Though just 15 people have received payments so far, that number could grow by the dozens as genealogists pore through records to find living descendants.

The program authorized payments to the members of the generation closest to the original workers, calling them “shareholders.” If that generation includes people who have died, the payments would go to their children. And if that person had no children, the money would be split among the siblings of the eldest generation.

The Rev. Joseph Thompson, the seminary’s director of multicultural ministries, remembers the day that Mr. Markham walked into his office and asked what he thought about creating a reparations program.

“This is one of those things I never thought I would see in my lifetime — a serious, a kind of broad conversation about reparations in the United States of America,” he said. “That was a very striking moment for me.”

Credit…Linda J. Thomas

The seminary’s leaders acknowledge that the particulars of who will receive money, and how much, could be complicated. Take the case of Mr. Dowling. While he was Black, his grandchildren identified themselves on official records as white, and so have their descendants.

Maddy McCoy, a genealogist working with the seminary to find the descendants of enslaved individuals, said that while such situations have presented difficult questions, the seminary had tackled them head on.

“There is no manual that we are referring to as we move through this,” Ms. McCoy said. “With that, it’s going to be a lot of ups and downs and a lot of really, really difficult decisions and difficult conversations, but that’s what this work is.”

The expansion of the program in the coming years will coincide with the seminary’s 200th anniversary in 2023. The seminary, a 25-minute drive south from Washington, has become the most powerful in the Episcopal Church. It graduates about 50 students a year and boasts a $ 191 million endowment.

But the institution, for all its prominence, depended for decades on the labor of Black people who were never paid adequately for their labor — or were never paid at all. They included gardeners, cooks, janitors, dishwashers and laundry workers. The exact number of Black workers from 1823 to 1951 is still unknown, but they probably numbered in the hundreds.

Among them was the grandfather of Linda J. Thomas, the first woman to receive a $ 2,100 payment from the seminary. Ms. Thomas’s grandfather, John Samuel Thomas Jr., worked at the seminary after World War I as a janitor, and most likely also as a laborer on the seminary’s farm.

Ms. Thomas, 65, said her mother remembered growing up in a little white house on the campus. She said her grandfather had dreamed of becoming a minister but had been barred from applying to the seminary because of his skin color. Eventually, near the end of World War II, he moved to Washington and became a minister before his death in 1967.

Though the payments are modest, she said she hoped the program would mark a shift in the American narrative around reparations — both about the exploitation of Black people and the institutions that benefited. “For so many years, people with the sweat on their backs not only picked cotton, but built institutions,” she said.

While the seminary’s program is groundbreaking in the United States, William A. Darity, a professor of public policy and African-American studies at Duke University, said such atonement programs should not be interpreted as sufficient in righting the wrongs of slavery or in eliminating the effects of racist policies.

The only institution that can fund a comprehensive reparations program large enough to atone for the lost wages of slavery or bridge the racial wealth gap is the federal government, he said. “This is not a matter of personal guilt,” he added, estimating that such a comprehensive program would require $ 11 trillion. “This is a matter of national responsibility.”

Public support for reparations has grown over the years, from 19 percent of those surveyed in 1999 to 31 percent in 2021, according to polls from ABC and The Washington Post. But even within the seminary, the atonement program drew some pushback.

Mr. Markham said a handful of donors had objected and had said they would no longer contribute money. They also heard from some people who asked to be removed from the seminary’s mailing lists.

In determining how to provide reparations, a common dividing line has been whether to provide cash. The City Council of Evanston, Ill., agreed to distribute $ 10 million to Black families in the form of housing grants, though the particulars of that plan remain unclear. Earlier this year, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia signed a law requiring five public universities to create scholarships and community development programs for Black individuals. And in March, a prominent order of Catholic priests vowed to raise $ 100 million to benefit the descendants of the enslaved people it once owned.

Payments are a fundamental part of the Virginia seminary’s program, said Ebonee Davis, the associate for multicultural ministries, but she added that relationships with families, as well as the recognition of their ancestors’ contributions, were also crucial. “I’ve cried on the phone with shareholders,” she said. “We’ve laughed and kind of shared our disbelief that this is actually happening.”

It is no small task to confirm the identities of enslaved people who worked at the seminary, along with their descendants. It is likely that from 1823 to 1865, at least 290 people labored there, according to the research staff. From 1865 to 1951, there were probably hundreds more.

Gerald Wanzer, one of the shareholders, said the records examined by the seminary had revealed new details about several members of his family who worked there as general laborers, laundresses and janitors. His great-grandfather, a blacksmith, is believed to have been the first.

But Mr. Wanzer, 77, said that the seminary “can never make up for what happened 150 years ago, and the money is not going to change, personally, my views.” Mr. Wanzer said that in his own lifetime, he had experienced much of the racism that his ancestors endured.

“I never had to ride in the back of the bus, but I do remember the separate bathrooms and the separate water foundations, and not being able to get served at the carry-outs,” he said, adding that those experiences had fueled his belief that he would never live to see atonement in the form of cash payments.

Mr. Markham said that he believed America was facing a reckoning over racial inequality and that the seminary’s program, though modest, would help nudge the nation away from its tendency to turn a blind eye.

“I think the time has come to say, ‘No, you can’t anymore,’” he said. “You actually do need to really face up to what happened, how it happened, and how you make it right.”

Author: Will Wright
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Mysterious airbase being built on volcanic island off Yemen in Red Sea strait

An airbase is being built on Mayun Island, a crucial maritime passageway for both energy shipments and commercial cargo. While no country has claimed the Mayun Island airbase in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, shipping traffic associated with a prior attempt to build a runway across the 3.5 mile-long island links back to the United Arab Emirates.
Officials in Yemen’s government now say the Emiratis are behind this latest effort as well, even though the UAE announced in 2019 it was withdrawing its troops from a Saudi-led military campaign battling Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Jeremy Binnie, the Middle East editor at the open-source intelligence company, Janes, said: “This does seem to be a longer-term strategic aim to establish a relatively permanent presence.

“It is possibly not just about the Yemen war and you have got to see the shipping situation as fairly key there.”

The runway on Mayun Island allows whoever controls it to project power into the strait and easily launch airstrikes into mainland Yemen.

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Mayun Island

Mysterious airbase being built on volcanic island off Yemen. (Image: Google Maps)

It also provides a base for any operations into the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and nearby East Africa.

Satellite images from Planet Labs Inc. obtained by The Associated Press showed dump trucks and graders building a 1.85 kilometre runway on the island on April 11.

By May 18, that work appeared complete, with three hangars constructed on a tarmac just south of the runway.

A runway of that length can accommodate attack, surveillance and transport aircraft.

An earlier effort that was later abandoned begun toward the end of 2016. The effort had workers try to build an even larger runway over three kilometres long, which would allow for the heaviest bombers.

Military officials with Yemen’s government, which the Saudi-led coalition has backed since 2015, say the UAE is building the runway.

The officials, speaking to Associated Press anonymously, say Emirati ships transported military weapons, equipment and troops to Mayun Island in recent weeks.

Emirati officials in Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment.

The military officials said recent tension between the UAE and Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi came in part from an Emirati demand for his government to sign a 20-year lease agreement for Mayun.

Emirati officials have not acknowledged any disagreement.

The initial, failed construction project came after Emirati and allied forces retook the island from Iranian-backed Houthi militants in 2015. By late 2016, satellite images showed construction underway there.

Tugboats associated with Dubai-based Echo Cargo & Shipping LLC and landing craft and carriers from Abu Dhabi-based Bin Nawi Marine Services LLC helped bring equipment to the island in that first attempt, according to tracking signals recorded by data firm Refinitiv.

Satellite photos at the time show they offloaded the gear and vehicles at a temporary beachside port.

Echo Cargo & Shipping declined to comment, while Bin Nawi Marine Services did not respond to a request for comment. Recent shipping data shows no recorded vessels around Mayun, suggesting whoever provided the sealift for the latest construction turned off their boats’ Automatic Identification System tracking devices to avoid being identified.

Construction initially stopped in 2017, probably when engineers realized they could not dig through a portion of the volcanic island’s craggy features to incorporate the site of the island’s old runway.

The building restarted in earnest on the new runway site around February 22, satellite photos show, several weeks after President Joe Biden announced he would end US support for the Saudi-led offensive against the Houthis.

The apparent decision by the Emiratis to resume building the air base comes after the UAE dismantled parts of a military base it ran in the East African nation of Eritrea as a staging ground for its Yemen campaign.

Eleonora Ardemagni, an analyst at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, said that while the Horn of Africa had “become a dangerous place” for the Emiratis due to competitors and local war risks, Mayun had a small population and offered a valuable site for monitoring the Red Sea. There has been a rise in attacks and incidents in the region.

Ms Ardemagni said: “The Emiratis have been shifting from a power-projection foreign policy to a power-protection foreign policy.

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“It increases their capacity to monitor what happens and to prevent possible threats by non-state actors close to Iran”.

The expeditionary al-Quds force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard was said to run a similar operation on a cargo ship long stationed nearby off Yemen before being apparently targeted by an Israeli attack.

Mayun, also known as Perim Island, sits two miles off the southwestern edge of Yemen.

World powers have recognized the island’s strategic location for hundreds of years, especially with the opening of the Suez Canal linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Couple moves into Europe’s first 3D-printed house as developer claims homes can be built in FIVE DAYS

Author: Jon Lockett
This post originally appeared on World News – breaking international headlines and exclusives | The Sun

A DUTCH couple has moved into Europe’s first fully 3D-printed house -which could change the way we live in the future.

Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers’ bizarre new home is a 94-square meter two-bed bungalow in Eindhoven which looks a giant boulder with windows.

A Dutch couple has moved into Europe’s first fully 3D-printed house


A Dutch couple has moved into Europe’s first fully 3D-printed houseCredit: AFP
Harrie Dekkers and Elize Lutz' new home is a two-bed bungalow in Eindhoven


Harrie Dekkers and Elize Lutz’ new home is a two-bed bungalow in EindhovenCredit: AP

However, despite its natural look, it is actually at the cutting edge of housing construction and was printed at a nearby factory.

“It’s a form that’s unusual, and when I saw it for the first time, it reminds me of something you knew when you were young,” Elize said.

She will rent the house – which can be built in just five days – with Harrie for six months for £700 per month.

The house, for now, looks strange with its layers of printed concrete clearly visible even a few places where printing problems caused imperfections.

In the future, as the Netherlands seeks ways to tackle a chronic housing shortage, such construction could become commonplace.

The country needs to build hundreds of thousands of new homes this decade to accommodate a growing population.

Theo Salet, a professor at Eindhoven’s Technical University, is working in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to find ways of making concrete construction more sustainable.

He figures houses can be printed in the future using 30 per cent less material.

The futuristic 3D houses can be built from scratch in just five days


The futuristic 3D houses can be built from scratch in just five daysCredit: AP
Inside, the amazing property looks like any other modern home


Inside, the amazing property looks like any other modern homeCredit: AP
Outside, it looks like a giant boulder with windows


Outside, it looks like a giant boulder with windowsCredit: AP

“Why? The answer is sustainability,” he said. “And the first way to do that is by cutting down the amount of concrete that we use.”

He explained that printing can deposit the material only where you need it – saving waste.

A new generation of start-ups in the US also are among the companies looking to bring the futuristic properties to the mainstream.

The Eindhoven home is made up of 24 concrete elements printed by a machine that squirts layer upon layer of concrete before the finishing touches, including a roof, were added.

The layers give a ribbed texture to its walls, inside and out.

“This is also the first one which is 100 per cent permitted by the local authorities and which is habited by people who actually pay for living in this house,” said Bas Huysmans, chief exec of construction firm Weber Benelux.

“If you look at what time we actually needed to print this house it was only 120 hours,” he said.

“So all the elements, if we would have printed them in one go, it would have taken us less than five days because the big benefit is that the printer does not need to eat, does not need to sleep, it doesn’t need to rest.

“So if we would start tomorrow, and learned how to do it, we can print the next house five days from now.”

The home is the product of collaboration between city hall, Eindhoven’s Technical University and construction companies called Project Milestone.

They are planning to build a total of five houses, honing their techniques with each one. Future homes will have more than one floor.

The process uses concrete with the consistency of toothpaste, Professor Salet revealed.

The printing process uses concrete with the consistency of toothpaste


The printing process uses concrete with the consistency of toothpasteCredit: AP
The printed walls are hollow and filled with insulation material


The printed walls are hollow and filled with insulation materialCredit: AP
The bizarre homes could help tackle a housing shortage in the Netherlands


The bizarre homes could help tackle a housing shortage in the NetherlandsCredit: AFP

That ensures it is strong enough to build with but also wet enough so the layers stick to another.

The printed elements are hollow and filled with insulation material.

The hope is that such homes, which are quicker to build than traditional houses and use less concrete, could become a factor in solving housing shortages in the Netherlands.

In a report this month, the country’s Environmental Assessment Agency said that education and innovation can spur the construction industry in the long term.

But other measures are needed to tackle Dutch housing shortages, including reforming zoning.

Prof Salet believes 3D printing can help by digitizing the design and production of houses.

“If you ask me, will we build one million of the houses, as you see here? The answer is no. But will we use this technology as part of other houses combined with wooden structures…then my answer is yes,” he said.

Harrie has already noticed great acoustics in the home even when he’s just playing music on his phone.

And when he’s not listening to music, he enjoys the silence that the insulated walls provide.

“It gives a very good feel, because if you’re inside you don’t hear anything from outside,” he said.

DIY SOS building expert reveals the cheapest and most expensive kitchens he has ever built

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed

DIY SOS building expert reveals the cheapest and most expensive kitchens he has ever built

“The thing is with a kitchen, I always think to myself push the boat out with the money and get the best quality appliances because you don’t want to start changing things over in couple of years time when they break down.”

Types of kitchen worktop include quartz, stone, marble, ceramic, glass, wood, laminate and stainless steel among others.

Certain materials are likely to cost a lot more than others.

Mark said, at the moment, he is working on a kitchen that cost around £28,000.

However, he revealed that he has built kitchens for around £40,000 to £45,000.

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