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Archive for the ‘biological’ category

Mar 28, 2017

Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI

Posted by in categories: biological, Elon Musk, robotics/AI

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is backing a brain-computer interface venture called Neuralink, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is still in the earliest stages of existence and has no public presence whatsoever, is centered on creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain, with the eventual purpose of helping human beings merge with software and keep pace with advancements in artificial intelligence. These enhancements could improve memory or allow for more direct interfacing with computing devices.

Musk has hinted at the existence of Neuralink a few times over the last six months or so. More recently, Musk told a crowd in Dubai, “Over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” He added that “it’s mostly about the bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, particularly output.” On Twitter, Musk has responded to inquiring fans about his progress on a so-called “neural lace,” which is sci-fi shorthand for a brain-computer interface humans could use to improve themselves.

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Mar 25, 2017

Evolution Strategies as a Scalable Alternative to Reinforcement Learning

Posted by in category: evolution

We’ve discovered that evolution strategies (ES), an optimization technique that’s been known for decades, rivals the performance of standard reinforcement learning (RL) techniques on modern RL benchmarks (e.g. Atari/MuJoCo), while overcoming many of RL’s inconveniences.

In particular, ES is simpler to implement (there is no need for backpropagation), it is easier to scale in a distributed setting, it does not suffer in settings with sparse rewards, and has fewer hyperparameters. This outcome is surprising because ES resembles simple hill-climbing in a high-dimensional space based only on finite differences along a few random directions at each step.

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Mar 22, 2017

Of man and machine: The evolution of transhumanism

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, evolution, transhumanism

Really good article by Dr. Kristin Kostick at Bayor College of Medicine. I’m excited to see #transhumanism spreading!


Dr. Kristin Kostick discusses LVADs, transhumanism, and how the integration of our bodies with technology can lead to longer, healthier lives.

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Mar 21, 2017

Researchers Seek Guidelines for Embryo-Like Entities Created in Labs

Posted by in category: biological

A group of prominent researchers is calling for changes to scientific-research guidelines to address a range of new biological entities created in labs that may share similar characteristics to embryos.

These entities, created through a variety of techniques, have been studied at only the earliest stages of development. In some cases, scientists have taken cells from an embryo and manipulated them to generate another embryo-like…

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Mar 19, 2017

New Artificial Synapse Bridges the Gap to Brain-Like Computers

Posted by in categories: biological, robotics/AI

From AlphaGo’s historic victory against world champion Lee Sedol to DeepStack’s sweeping win against professional poker players, artificial intelligence is clearly on a roll.

Part of the momentum comes from breakthroughs in artificial neural networks, which loosely mimic the multi-layer structure of the human brain. But that’s where the similarity ends. While the brain can hum along on energy only enough to power a light bulb, AlphaGo’s neural network runs on a whopping 1,920 CPUs and 280 GPUs, with a total power consumption of roughly one million watts—50,000 times more than its biological counterpart.

Extrapolate those numbers, and it’s easy to see that artificial neural networks have a serious problem—even if scientists design powerfully intelligent machines, they may demand too much energy to be practical for everyday use.

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Mar 16, 2017

Warming Mars and thickening its atmosphere can be done in 10–100 years

Posted by in categories: biological, engineering, environmental, space

If all the solar incident on Mars were to be captured with 100% efficiency, then Mars would warm to Earth-like temperatures in about 10 years. However, the efficiency of the greenhouse effect is plausibly about 10%, thus the time it would take to warm Mars would be ~100 years. This assumes, of course, adequate production of super greenhouse gases over that entire time. The super greenhouse gases desired for use on Mars would be per fluorinated compounds (PFCs) as these are not toxic, do not destroy ozone, will resist degradation by ultraviolet life, and are composed of elements (C, S, and F) that are present on Mars. Fluorine has been detected on Mars by Curiosity.

The Warming Phase of a terraforming project on Mars results in a planet with a thick CO2 atmosphere. The thickness is determined by the total releasable CO2 present on Mars.

The temperatures would become well above freezing and liquid water is common. An Earth-like hydrological cycle is maintained. Photosynthetic organisms can be introduced as conditions warm and organic biomass is thus produced. A rich flora and fauna are present. A natural result of this is the biological consumption of the nitrate and perchlorate in the.

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Mar 4, 2017

Stellaris: Utopia “Path to Ascension” Release Date Reveal Trailer

Posted by in categories: biological, habitats, space

Would you like to know more? http://pdxint.at/2mvFVSx

Stellaris: Utopia brings even greater depth and variety to a game already celebrated for its story-telling power and near endless possibilities. Are you ready for perfection?

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Feb 23, 2017

Artificial intelligence in quantum systems, too

Posted by in categories: biological, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Quantum biomimetics consists of reproducing in quantum systems certain properties exclusive to living organisms. Researchers at University of the Basque Country have imitated natural selection, learning and memory in a new study. The mechanisms developed could give quantum computation a boost and facilitate the learning process in machines.

Unai Alvarez-Rodriguez is a researcher in the Quantum Technologies for Information Science (QUTIS) research group attached to the UPV/EHU’s Department of Physical Chemistry, and an expert in information technologies. Quantum information technology uses quantum phenomena to encode computational tasks. Unlike classical computation, quantum computation “has the advantage of not being limited to producing registers in values of zero and one,” he said. Qubits, the equivalent of bits in classical computation, can take values of zero, one or both at the same time, a phenomenon known as superposition, which “gives quantum systems the possibility of performing much more complex operations, establishing a computational parallel on a quantum level, and offering better results than classical computation systems,” he added.

The research group to which Alvarez-Rodriguez belongs decided to focus on imitating biological processes. “We thought it would be interesting to create systems capable of emulating certain properties exclusive of living entities. In other words, we were seeking to design protocols whose dynamics were analogous to these properties.” The processes they chose to imitate by means of quantum simulators were natural selection, memory and intelligence. This led them to develop the concept of quantum biomimetics.

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Feb 21, 2017

NI Science Festival

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, food, neuroscience, quantum physics, science, space

Combines, space, poetry, optics, stories, TV, cognitive computing, atomic food safety, astrophysics and quantum biology in a fun-packed programme for everyone.

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Feb 20, 2017

Tiny 3D-printed lenses will help robots see like eagles

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biological, robotics/AI

In many ways, the human eye is nothing like a digital camera. Our eyes don’t have a fixed frame rate or resolution; there’s no consistent color reproduction, and we have literal, sizable blind spots. But, these optic inconsistencies — found in every biological eye — are the product of natural selection, and offer a number of benefits which scientists working in digital vision can take advantage of.

Case in point is a new type of 3D-printed lens created by researchers from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Each lens is made from plastic and is no bigger than a grain of salt. But, their size is only one aspect of their cleverness. The real innovation here is that the lenses mimic the action of the “fovea,” a key physiological feature of the eyes of humans and eagles, that allows for for speedier image processing.

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