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Mar 9, 2017

Machines aren’t growing more intelligent—they’re just doing what we programmed them to do

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

For the most part, the AI achievements touted in the media aren’t evidence of great improvements in the field. The AI program from Google that won a Go contest last year was not a refined version of the one from IBM that beat the world’s chess champion in 1997; the car feature that beeps when you stray out of your lane works quite differently than the one that plans your route. Instead, the accomplishments so breathlessly reported are often cobbled together from a grab bag of disparate tools and techniques. It might be easy to mistake the drumbeat of stories about machines besting us at tasks as evidence that these tools are growing ever smarter—but that’s not happening.

Public discourse about AI has become untethered from reality in part because the field doesn’t have a coherent theory. Without such a theory, people can’t gauge progress in the field, and characterizing advances becomes anyone’s guess. As a result the people we hear from the most are those with the loudest voices rather than those with something substantive to say, and press reports about killer robots go largely unchallenged.

I’d suggest that one problem with AI is the name itself—coined more than 50 years ago to describe efforts to program computers to solve problems that required human intelligence or attention. Had artificial intelligence been named something less spooky, it might seem as prosaic as operations research or predictive analytics.

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Mar 9, 2017

This MIT robot reads your mind to know when it screws up

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Baxter can read your mind to learn if it’s getting a simple task right or wrong, possibly setting up a foundation for thought-controlled machines.

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Mar 9, 2017

Running shoes for MARS

Posted by in category: space travel

A prospective footwear concept inspired by SpaceX project of Mars colonization and my personal interest for this planet. PERSONAL PROJECT. 10 days.

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Mar 9, 2017

Google’s new machine learning API recognizes objects in videos

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

At its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco, Google today announced the launch of a new machine learning API for automatically recognizing objects in videos and making them searchable.

The new Video Intelligence API will allow developers to build applications that can automatically extract entities from a video. Until now, most similar image recognition APIs available in the cloud only focused on doing this for still images, but with the help of this new API, developers will be able to build applications that let users search and discover information in videos. That means you can search for “dog” or “flower,” for example.

Besides extracting metadata, the API allows you to tag scene changes in a video.

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Mar 9, 2017

Liquid Light: Scientists Unite Light and Electricity to Make Electronics Smaller and Faster

Posted by in categories: electronics, particle physics

In Brief Researchers have found a way to bridge the gap between light and electricity—the two main components of current data transmission. Using the liquid light produced by polaritons, they were able to unite the two, a development that would lead to faster data transmission.

As we reach the smallest units known to physics, it’s becoming more apparent than ever: Moore’s Law can’t hold strong forever. But although it seems we are exhausting the extent to which we can miniaturize processors (as far as we know now), it seems Moore’s Law won’t be scrapped for good…at least not entirely.

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Mar 9, 2017

Scientists May Have Solved the Biggest Mystery of the Big Bang

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) works to help us better understand what comprises the fabric of our universe. At this French association, engineers and physicists use particle accelerators and detectors to gain insight into the fundamental properties of matter and the laws of nature. Now, CERN scientists may have found an answer to one of the most pressing mysteries in the Standard Model of Physics, and their research can be found in Nature Physics.

According to the Big Bang Theory, the universe began with the production of equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Since matter and antimatter cancel each other out, releasing light as they destroy each other, only a minuscule number of particles (mostly just radiation) should exist in the universe. But, clearly, we have more than just a few particles in our universe. So, what is the missing piece? Why is the amount of matter and the amount of antimatter so unbalanced?

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Mar 9, 2017

Life and death: When the end arrives, should we upgrade or shut down?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cryonics, geopolitics, law, life extension, transhumanism

Transhumanism appearing in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) magazine: Science…


Modern technology and modern medical practice have evolved over the past decades, enabling us to enhance and extend human life to an unprecedented degree. The two books under review examine this phenomenon from remarkably different perspectives.

Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine is an examination of transhumanism, a movement characterized by technologies that seek to transform the human condition and extend life spans indefinitely. O’Connell, a journalist, makes his own prejudices clear: “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a transhumanist,” he writes. However, this does not stop him from thoughtfully surveying the movement.

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Mar 9, 2017

Data61 CEO Adrian Turner has a plan for the next jobs

Posted by in categories: business, economics, employment, finance, government

Forty per cent of Australia’s jobs will disappear in 10 years but the head of CSIRO’s data research unit has delivered an action plan for how they can be replaced.

“The fourth industrial revolution is under way and the winners will be so far ahead of the losers, Australia has no choice but to pivot to the new industries that will emerge,” Data61 chief executive Adrian Turner told The Australian Financial Review Business Summit on Wednesday.

Australia was already feeling the consequences of an economy whose greatest disruptors, such as Uber and Amazon, were mostly coming from elsewhere, Mr Turner said. He noted that GDP growth rates were below historic averages, government debt to GDP ratios were rising, wage growth was slowing and productivity plateauing.

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Mar 9, 2017

JPMorgan Software Does in Seconds What Took Lawyers 360,000 Hours — By Hugh Son | Bloomberg

Posted by in categories: automation, finance, innovation, robotics/AI, software

“At JPMorgan Chase & Co., a learning machine is parsing financial deals that once kept legal teams busy for thousands of hours.”

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Mar 9, 2017

Why and How Investors Use ESG Information: Evidence from a Global Survey — By Amir Amel-Zadeh & George Serafeim

Posted by in categories: environmental, ethics, governance

“Using survey data from a sample of senior investment professionals from mainstream (i.e. not SRI funds) investment organizations we provide insights into why and how investors use reported environmental, social and governance (ESG) information.”

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