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Sep 25, 2022

Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Raise Privacy Concerns

Posted by in categories: computing, neuroscience, privacy

Brain-computer interfaces may have a profound effect on people with limited mobility or other disabilities, but experts say they also introduce privacy issues that must be mitigated.

Sep 25, 2022

Where Does Consciousness Reside in the Brain? New Discovery Helps Pinpoint Its Location

Posted by in category: neuroscience

Science may be getting closer to figuring out where consciousness resides in the brain. New research demonstrates the significance of certain kinds of neural connections in identifying consciousness.

Jun Kitazono, a corresponding author of the study and project researcher at the Department of General Systems Studies at the University of Tokyo, conducted the study, which was published in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

“Where in the brain consciousness resides has been one of the biggest questions in science,” said Associate Professor Masafumi Oizumi, corresponding author and head of the lab conducting the study. “Although we have not reached a conclusive answer, much empirical evidence has been accumulated in the course of searching for the minimal mechanisms sufficient for conscious experience, or the neural correlates of consciousness.”

Continue reading “Where Does Consciousness Reside in the Brain? New Discovery Helps Pinpoint Its Location” »

Sep 25, 2022

Viruses ‘watch’ us to decide when to attack: Study

Posted by in category: futurism

According to recent studies, viruses are taking use of their abilities to keep an eye on their surroundings.

Sep 25, 2022

DeepMind scientists win $3 million ‘Breakthrough Prize’ for AI that predicts every protein’s structure

Posted by in categories: innovation, robotics/AI

Scientists from Google DeepMind have been awarded a $3 million prize for developing an artificial intelligence (AI) system that has predicted how nearly every known protein folds into its 3D shape.

One of this year’s Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences went to Demis Hassabis, the co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, which created the protein-predicting program known as AlphaFold, and John Jumper, a senior staff research scientist at DeepMind, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced (opens in new tab) Thursday (Sept. 22).

Sep 25, 2022

An AI program voiced Darth Vader in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ so James Earl Jones could finally retire

Posted by in categories: entertainment, information science, robotics/AI

After 45 years of voicing one of the most iconic characters in cinema history, James Earl Jones has said goodbye to Darth Vader. At 91, the legendary actor recently told Disney he was “looking into winding down this particular character.” That forced the company to ask itself how do you even replace Jones? The answer Disney eventually settled on, with the actor’s consent, involved an AI program.

If you’ve seen any of the recent Star Wars shows, you’ve heard the work of Respeecher. It’s a Ukrainian startup that uses archival recordings and a “proprietary AI algorithm” to create new dialogue featuring the voices of “performers from long ago.” In the case of Jones, the company worked with Lucasfilm to recreate his voice as it had sounded when film audiences first heard Darth Vader in 1977.

Sep 25, 2022

Jupiter is coming its closest to Earth in decades

Posted by in category: space travel

The gas giant Jupiter is coming the closest it has come to Earth in 59 years this Monday and will be particularly visible because it coincides with another event called opposition.

When in opposition, a planet is on the opposite side of Earth from the sun, so you could draw a straight line from the sun to Earth to Jupiter, all in alignment. Jupiter’s opposition happens every 13 months. Looking from the Earth, when the sun sets in the west, Jupiter will rise in the east, directly opposite. During opposition, planets appear at their biggest and brightest.

Separately, Jupiter is coming closer to Earth than it has since 1963. Because of Earth’s and Jupiter’s differing orbits around the sun, they don’t pass each other at the same distance each time. When it’s closest on Monday, Jupiter will be about 367 million miles from Earth, according to NASA. At its farthest, it’s 600 million miles away.

Sep 25, 2022

Space Telescope Reveals Neptune’s Ghostly Rings in Stunning Detail

Posted by in category: space

The James Webb Space Telescope continues to show off like that kid in high school who could juggle bowling pins. Though, this time, instead of peering…

Sep 25, 2022

SFIA Monthly Livestream: September 25, 2022

Posted by in categories: futurism, media & arts

Our monthly livestream Q&A session. Join us on 4pm EST, Sunday, September 25, and get your questions about the channel and episodes on chat to be answered!

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Music Courtesy of Epidemic Sound

Sep 25, 2022

Exploring the Mechanisms Underlying Disorders of Consciousness

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Summary: Study reveals altered brain dynamics in those with unresponsive arousal syndrome, previously known as “vegetative state”, and in those with minimally conscious state.

Source: University of Liege.

A study by the Human Brain Project (HBP), led by scientists from the University of Liège (Belgium), has explored new techniques that may help distinguish between two different neurological conditions in patients with severe brain damage and or in a coma. The results of this study have just been published in open access in the journal eLife.

Sep 25, 2022

Manufacturing of quantum qubits connected with conventional computer devices

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Computers that can make use of the “spooky” properties of quantum mechanics to solve problems faster than current technology may sound alluring, but first they must overcome a massive disadvantage. Scientists from Japan may have found the answer through their demonstration of how a superconducting material, niobium nitride, can be added to a nitride-semiconductor substrate as a flat, crystalline layer. This process may lead to the easy manufacturing of quantum qubits connected with conventional computer devices.

The processes used to manufacture conventional silicon microprocessors have matured over decades and are constantly being refined and improved. In contrast, most quantum computing architectures must be designed mostly from scratch. However, finding a way to add quantum capabilities to existing fabrication lines, or even integrate quantum and conventional logic units in a , might be able to vastly accelerate the adoption of these new systems.

Now, a team of researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have shown how thin films of niobium nitride (NbNx) can be grown directly on top of an aluminum nitride (AlN) layer. Niobium nitride can become superconducting at temperatures colder than about 16 degrees above absolute zero. As a result, it can be used to make a superconducting qubit when arranged in a structure called a Josephson junction.

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