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Apr 20, 2024

Microsoft’s new AI model makes images talk, sing

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

VASA is a framework for generating lifelike talking faces with appealing visual affective skills.

Apr 20, 2024

Cannabis use linked to enhanced ability to understand others’ emotions

Posted by in category: neuroscience

A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research offers an intriguing perspective on the effects of regular cannabis use. Contrary to the commonly held view that cannabis has primarily negative impacts on mental health and behavior, the study suggests that regular cannabis users may have a heightened ability to understand the emotions of others. This enhanced empathetic ability is linked to increased connectivity within certain brain regions, particularly the anterior cingulate cortex, a key area involved in processing empathy.

Cannabis is one of the most widely used psychoactive substances worldwide, yet its impact on mental health and cognitive functions remains a subject of contentious debate. Traditional research predominantly highlights the negative consequences associated with cannabis use, particularly its potential to impair cognitive functions and contribute to mental health issues.

These studies often focus on how cannabis interacts with brain regions like the anterior cingulate cortex, which is known to have a high density of cannabinoid receptors and plays a significant role in cognitive processes such as decision making and emotion regulation.

Apr 20, 2024

Tesla’s Robotaxi Network Launch: What You Need to Know

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Herbert Ong Brighter with Herbert.

Apr 20, 2024

Risk of bird flu spreading to humans is ‘enormous concern’, says WHO

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

“This remains I think an enormous concern,” the UN health agency’s chief scientist, Jeremy Farrar, told reporters in Geneva.

Cows and goats joined the list of species affected last month – a surprising development for experts because they were not thought susceptible to this type of influenza. US authorities reported this month that a person in Texas was recovering from bird flu after being exposed to dairy cattle, with 16 herds across six states infected apparently after exposure to wild birds.

The A(H5N1) variant has become “a global zoonotic animal pandemic”, Farrar said.

Apr 20, 2024

Google’s AI consolidation continues as DeepMind takes the reins on generative models

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Google is consolidating its generative AI teams under the leadership of DeepMind to accelerate the development of more advanced models, building on previous consolidation efforts such as the merger of DeepMind and Brain last year.

Apr 20, 2024

Internet Fooled by AI-Generated Kendrick Lamar Diss Track

Posted by in categories: internet, robotics/AI

A diss track featuring the apparent vocals of rapper Kendrick Lamar made its rounds on social media earlier this week, escalating the beef between him and Aubrey “Drake” Graham.

Now a 23-year-old musician who goes by the moniker Sly the Rapper has come forward, alleging he’s behind the viral track, which was titled simply “Freestyle.” And guess what? He says it was AI-generated.

Continue reading “Internet Fooled by AI-Generated Kendrick Lamar Diss Track” »

Apr 20, 2024

The Hubble Tension is solved

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

But not in the Einstein/Newtonian Lambda-cold-dark-matter model

This post is based on the research paper by Mazurenko, Banik, Kroupa & Haslbauer (2023, MNRAS). Sergij Mazurenko is an undergraduate physics student at the University of Bonn, and Indranil Banik was an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow with us until recently and is currently at the University of St. Andrews. Moritz Haslbauer is a finishing PhD student at the University of Bonn who has been contributing to The Dark Matter Crisis (DMC). The press release from the University of Bonn on this matter can be read here (and from Charles University in Prague here) and a description can also be found in The Conversation.

Apr 20, 2024

Top Nanotechnology Expert to Lead UVA’s NanoSTAR Institute

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Evan A. Scott, PhD, comes to UVA from Northwestern University, where he has conducted groundbreaking research into the use of tiny nanostructures to battle heart disease, cancer, glaucoma and more. Scott’s nanostructures, far too small for the eye to see, allow for the precise delivery of drugs and other therapeutics to specific inflammatory cells to benefit the body’s immune response. His research provides important answers about the fundamental processes responsible for diseases and paves the way for high-tech treatments using cleverly designed, and mind-blowingly miniscule, synthetic materials.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Scott to head up nanoSTAR at this critical turning point in nanotechnology research at the University of Virginia,” said Melina R. Kibbe, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “Nanotechnology has vast untapped potential to benefit patients everywhere. It is a long-standing strength for UVA and will be a foundational pillar of the Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology.”

The Manning Institute, under construction at Fontaine Research Park, will tackle some of the greatest challenges in medicine by focusing on cutting-edge areas of research such as nanotechnology, targeted drug delivery, cellular therapies and gene therapy. NanoSTAR, with Scott at the helm, will play a key role in that nanotechnology research, and Scott will work to foster collaborations across Grounds, including among the School of Medicine, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Data Science and the College of Arts and Sciences, among others.

Apr 20, 2024

MIT’s New AI Model Predicts Human Behavior With Uncanny Accuracy

Posted by in categories: futurism, robotics/AI

A new technique can be used to predict the actions of human or AI agents who behave suboptimally while working toward unknown goals.

MIT and other researchers developed a framework that models irrational or suboptimal behavior of a human or AI agent, based on their computational constraints. Their technique can help predict an agent’s future actions, for instance, in chess matches.

To build AI systems that can collaborate effectively with humans, it helps to have a good model of human behavior to start with. But humans tend to behave suboptimally when making decisions.

Apr 20, 2024

Researchers develop sodium battery capable of rapid charging in just a few seconds

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

Sodium (Na), which is over 500 times more abundant than lithium (Li), has recently garnered significant attention for its potential in sodium-ion battery technologies. However, existing sodium-ion batteries face fundamental limitations, including lower power output, constrained storage properties, and longer charging times, necessitating the development of next-generation energy storage materials.

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