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May 1, 2020

Common Sense Comes to Computers

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The problem of common-sense reasoning has plagued the field of artificial intelligence for over 50 years. Now a new approach, borrowing from two disparate lines of thinking, has made important progress.

May 1, 2020

A ‘sniff test’ signals consciousness after a brain injury, study shows

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

An unconscious person’s response to odors after a serious brain injury may be a simple yet powerful signal of how aware they are and how likely they are to survive and recover, a new study suggests, relying on responses to the scent of shampoo and the stench of rotting fish.

Patients who survive brain damage from trauma, stroke, or heart attack are plunged into forms of unconsciousness that vary from minimal consciousness to unresponsive wakefulness, sometimes called a vegetative state. Specialists trying to tell who is in which state have fared only a little better than a coin flip: About 4 in 10 people thought to be unconscious are actually aware.

That uncertainty makes decisions for families and clinicians supremely difficult, from weighing how to treat pain to whether to withdraw life support. Sophisticated imaging of unconscious patients’ brain activity can reveal hints of awareness that go beyond behavioral assessments, sometimes only to deepen the mystery of who will get better. Now Israeli scientists have turned to the sense of smell, evolutionarily speaking our most ancient sensory system, as a window into our brain. Their paper appears Wednesday in Nature.

May 1, 2020

Robot with pincers can detect and remove weeds without harming crops

Posted by in categories: food, robotics/AI

Artificial intelligence is getting down in the weeds. An AI-powered robot that can distinguish weeds from crops and remove them could eventually be used as an alternative to chemical insecticides.

Kevin Patel and Nihar Chaniyara at tech start-up AutoRoboCulture in Gandhinagar, India, have created a prototype device, called Nindamani, specifically for cauliflower crops.

May 1, 2020

How To Detect Signs Of Life From Planets Circling Dying Stars

Posted by in category: alien life

Cornell astronomers plot how to take spectra from extrasolar earths trapped in orbits around dying white dwarfs.

Apr 30, 2020

This Grad Student Used a Neural Network to Write His Papers

Posted by in categories: business, education, robotics/AI

I was confident enough to turn it in. However, I then was looking online and found out there’s a really easy way to find out if an essay was written by GPT-2. It’s to feed it to GPT-2 and if it’s able to predict the next words, then it was written by the AI. It’s easier to find out than normal plagiarism.

I knew that the business school had software that they were using to look out for plagiarism in all the essays that are turned in to their online platform, which is how I turned in my essays. So I was slightly worried that the company that sold them the anti-plagiarism software would have made an update.

I don’t think the professors even considered the possibility of GPT-2 writing the essays, but I was slightly worried that the company making the software added a module. But not that much.

Apr 30, 2020

The Rise of the Fifth Reich?

Posted by in categories: energy, finance, policy

Over at the always interesting Small Wars Journal, Tony Corn has a stimulating piece on the implications of the European crisis for world politics. He sees a clueless German policy establishment recklessly moving toward an unsustainable quest for power reminiscent in too many ways of problems Germany has had in its past.

Germany, warns Corn, is planning to use its financial domination of Europe to remake the EU into an extension of German power — more or less the way that Prussia used the Zollverein to bring northern Germany under its control and then dominated the Bismarckian Reich through a rigged constitutional system. Once that is in place, he writes, the Germans will continue their policy of deepening relations with Russia at the expense of NATO and transatlantic ties, and end Europe’s embargo on arms sales to China.

As an analyst, Corn sometimes goes to what we more placid types at VM consider overexcited conclusions about Eurasian power realignments. Safely ensconced among the storied oaks and elms, gazebos, pergolas, ha-has, follies and deer parks surrounding the stately Mead manor in glamorous Queens, we tend to take a wait-and-see attitude toward organizations like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which Russia and China have sometimes posited as a kind of embryonic counter-NATO. Corn, in our perhaps excessively complacent view, can be too quick to take vague Eurasian fantasies and aspirations about diplomatic revolutions as accomplished facts; it is easier to dream about firm Russian and Chinese anti-US cooperation than for those two countries to make it work. But that said, there is no doubt that Corn’s industry, historical grounding and sensitive, even over-sensitive nerve endings give him the ability to produce original and striking ideas.

Apr 30, 2020

Trolls and bots are flooding social media with disinformation encouraging states to end quarantine

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Bot Sentinel conducted an analysis and found bots and trolls are using hashtags like #ReopenAmericaNow and #StopTheMadness to spread disinformation.

Apr 30, 2020

El COVID-19 puede permanecer en el aire de espacios cerrados

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

COVID-19 can remain in the air in closed spaces.


Tras la propagación del virus, científicos se han dedicado a comprobar si es posible el contagio por medio del aire

Investigadores del laboratorio Estatal de Virología de la Universidad de Wuhan indicaron que debido a la pandemia causada por el creciente número de contagios por coronavirus, distintos estudios se han dedicado a comprobar si es posible el contagio por medio del aire.

Continue reading “El COVID-19 puede permanecer en el aire de espacios cerrados” »

Apr 30, 2020

This drone is a generator and goes on surveillance missions

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI, surveillance

This robot is a drone and a generator that can go on surveillance missions. Is there anything it can’t do?

Apr 30, 2020

Data on Gilead’s remdesivir show no benefit for coronavirus patients

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

#OopsMyBad #Busted 🤔

Yes you read this right. The WHO criticized a drug and used a reference that was neither peer reviewed or published 🙄…Then they removed it as if no one would notice.


The antiviral medicine remdesivir from Gilead Sciences failed to speed the improvement of patients with Covid-19 or prevent them from dying, according to results from a long-awaited clinical trial conducted in China. Gilead, however, said the data suggest a “potential benefit.”

Continue reading “Data on Gilead’s remdesivir show no benefit for coronavirus patients” »