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Jun 4, 2023

Quantum Physics Could Explain Nearly All the Mysteries of How Life Works

Posted by in categories: biological, particle physics, quantum physics

Quantum effects are phenomena that occur between atoms and molecules that can’t be explained by classical physics. It has been known for more than a century that the rules of classical mechanics, like Newton’s laws of motion, break down at atomic scales. Instead, tiny objects behave according to a different set of laws known as quantum mechanics.

For humans, who can only perceive the macroscopic world, or what’s visible to the naked eye, quantum mechanics can seem counterintuitive and somewhat magical. Things you might not expect happen in the quantum world, like electrons “tunneling” through tiny energy barriers and appearing on the other side unscathed or being in two different places at the same time in a phenomenon called superposition.

I am trained as a quantum engineer. Research in quantum mechanics is usually geared toward technology. However, and somewhat surprisingly, there is increasing evidence that nature – an engineer with billions of years of practice — has learned how to use quantum mechanics to function optimally. If this is indeed true, it means that our understanding of biology is radically incomplete. It also means that we could possibly control physiological processes by using the quantum properties of biological matter.

Jun 4, 2023

Scientists ‘stunned’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

An international team of astrophysicists has discovered hundreds of mysterious structures in the centre of the Milky Way.

The one-dimensional cosmic threads are made up of hundreds of horizontal or radial filaments, slender, elongated bodies of luminous gas that potentially originated a few million years ago — and seem to be pointing the direction of the black hole.

“I was actually stunned when I saw these. We had to do a lot of work to establish that we weren’t fooling ourselves,” added Yusef-Zadeh, who’s also a member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics.

Jun 4, 2023

Car-Free Cities Are the Future, Biometrics Reveal

Posted by in categories: privacy, transportation

Advanced tools for tracking people’s eye movements and facial expressions can be used to design better places.

Jun 4, 2023

This AI used GPT-4 to become an expert Minecraft player

Posted by in categories: physics, robotics/AI

AI researchers have built a Minecraft bot that can explore and expand its capabilities in the game’s open world — but unlike other bots, this one basically wrote its own code through trial and error and lots of GPT-4 queries.

Called Voyager, this experimental system is an example of an “embodied agent,” an AI that can move and act freely and purposefully in a simulated or real environment. Personal assistant type AIs and chatbots don’t have to actually do stuff, let alone navigate a complex world to get that stuff done. But that’s exactly what a household robot might be expected to do in the future, so there’s lots of research into how they might do that.

Minecraft is a good place to test such things because it’s a very (very) approximate representation of the real world, with simple and straightforward rules and physics, but it’s also complex and open enough that there’s lots to accomplish or try. Purpose-built simulators are great, too, but they have their own limitations.

Jun 4, 2023

Scientists detect the breath between atoms

Posted by in category: particle physics

Ruoming Peng/University of Washington.

This is according to a press release published by the institution on Friday.

Jun 4, 2023

Very powerful AI may be banned, warns UK govt adviser

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

Stepping closer to AI regulation.

As AI continues to develop at a rapid rate, concerns have been raised by experts and the so-called AI ‘godfathers’ about the imminent risks it could pose to people’s privacy, human rights, and safety.

Amid steps taken by the United Kingdom government and the European Union, in partnership with the U.S, to regulate the technology, a member of the non-statutory AI Council of the U.K. government has said that the very powerful artificial general intelligence (AGI) systems may eventually have to be banned.

Jun 4, 2023

Dream Chaser: Space Shuttle-like spaceplane could soon fly to orbit after acing key test

Posted by in category: space travel

This is a “key moment in a long journey for Dream Chaser,” which could fly to orbit for the first time this year.

Sierra Space successfully carried out a key test on its Dream Chaser spaceplane, which is designed to lift passengers to the International Space Station (ISS) and Orbital Reef, the private orbital station it’s developing alongside Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Colorado-based Sierra Space announced in a press statement that it has successfully powered up its spaceplane for the first time. The new milestone means Dream Chaser isn’t too far away from performing its first orbital flight test, currently scheduled for this year.

Jun 4, 2023

Mphasis to set up generative AI business unit

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI

Midcap information technology (IT) services firm, Mphasis, on Thursday, announced the setting up of a business unit dedicated to generative artificial intelligence (AI). The unit will offer advisory on adoption of generative AI solutions to clients, develop the company’s own generative AI properties, offer licenses to over 250 AI models through the company’s ‘Hyperscaler’ solutions marketplace for clients, partnerships with 50 startups for helping clients build solutions, and offer conversational AI tools such as chatbots for clients to deploy in their business.

Anup Nair, who has so far served as senior vice-president and chief technology officer (CTO) of Mphasis Digital, will helm the unit, called, as its chief architect and CTO.

The launch of the dedicated business unit comes after a flurry of similar launches by pretty much every large-cap IT services firm in the country. On 6 April, Tech Mahindra became the first of the large domestic IT firms to launch a generative AI solution, called ‘Generative AI Studio’, to help clients deploy the technology for content generation use cases.

Jun 3, 2023

Meet the Folks Lining Up for Elon Musk’s Brain Implant

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, neuroscience

Neuralink Corp. has been cleared by the FDA to start human trials for its medical technology — and there’s no shortage of potential volunteers.

Jun 3, 2023

Joscha Bach: Time, Simulation Hypothesis, & Existence

Posted by in categories: cosmology, economics, education, government, information science, mathematics, quantum physics, robotics/AI

Joscha Bach is a cognitive scientist focusing on cognitive architectures, consciousness, models of mental representation, emotion, motivation and sociality.

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