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Aug 6, 2022

Major Applications of Natural Language Processing

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

NLP will experience exponential growth due to the growing prominence of computers and Artificial Intelligence and the digitization of society. Click here to learn more.

Aug 6, 2022

Cannibal squid change color to “speak” in a way that resembles human language

Posted by in category: futurism

Humboldt squid can communicate complex messages. Let’s hope that they don’t evolve lungs and legs, or humanity might be in real trouble.

Aug 6, 2022

30 Free Circuit Simulators Lightly Reviewed

Posted by in category: computing

We live in a time where great software is available with the click of a mouse, often for free or — at least — low cost. But there’s a problem: how do you select from so many alternatives? We were interested in [Lee Teschler]’s review earlier this year of 30 free circuit simulators. If you are selecting one or don’t like the one you are currently using, it is well worth the time to review.

There are several on the list that you’ve probably heard of before like GNUCap and LTspice. There are also some lesser-known products. Some of those are just trial or student versions of paid products. Some are branded versions of commercial products (like Tina) or were made free after selling for higher price tags (like MicroCap 12).

Old favorites like Falstad (which is apparently known as Circuit Sims) and TinkerCAD made the list. Many of the trial versions were very limited. For example, DCAClab only provides an NPN bipolar transistor model. Proteus doesn’t let you save or print unless you pay. While the list includes TI’s Tina, it doesn’t seem to mention that TI also provides a free version of PSpice which is a very popular professional product.

Aug 6, 2022

How GPT-3 Wrote a Movie About a Cockroach-AI Love Story

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, entertainment, internet, robotics/AI

In artist Miao Ying’s animated film Surplus Intelligence, a cockroach falls in love with the artificial intelligence responsible for monitoring her behavior. There’s only one problem: The AI, personified as a man with movie-star looks, committed a crime in Walden XII, the quasi-medieval fantasyland where the story is set. He stole the village’s power stone, and so the roach sets off to mine bitcoin to save him.

Viewers might see in the plot a metaphor for the conflicted relationship some Chinese people have with social credit scoring, which is meant to nudge citizens toward better behavior. Or it could be a nod to the insidious ways social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook condition our behavior and mine us for data. If the tale itself seems a little ridiculous at times, that’s because Miao had a stealth collaborator: the AI text-generating system GPT-3, which wrote the script for the film. That power stone in the village? GPT-3 determined that it looks like “a burrito from Mexico,” perhaps a side effect of all the advertising copy GPT-3 has been tasked with writing.

The half-hour film is on view through the end of the year at the Asia Society in New York as part of the exhibition Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity. “All of Miao Ying’s work is a satirical look at what digital means in China,” says Barbara Pollack, who curated Mirror Image and wrote the book Brand New Art from China. But, she notes, the works also celebrate the creativity the policies inspire in its citizens. Miao’s Hardcore Digital Detox (2018) challenges viewers to experience the internet behind the Great Firewall—and without the filter bubbles that platforms in the East and West impose. Chinternet Plus (2016) describes how to brand a “counterfeit ideology.” And for 2007’s Blind Spot, Miao manually annotated a Chinese dictionary to indicate all of the words that were censored on Google.cn at the time.

Aug 6, 2022

New discovery in cancer progression paves way to combat the disease

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers have identified an important gene that could enable more targeted treatment for cancer.

Scientists from Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), as well as the NUS Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore), National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have identified an important cancer progression mechanism that is observed in 90 percent of cancer cells. This discovery, which was published in Nucleic Acid Research, will guide further development of cancer specific drugs with potentially fewer side effects.

Aug 6, 2022

Solaris Hits A Milestone With Its 2000th Electric Bus

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Electric buses are great for municipalities. They are cheaper to operate and maintain than diesel buses, and they emit no pollutants. For passengers, they’re awesome because they’re comfortable, smooth, and relatively quiet. But, even a decade ago they were almost unheard of. The price of batteries has come down significantly in recent years, making electric buses a more viable option for many city transit agencies.

So, it’s no surprise that sales of electric buses have exploded as prices fell and made them the superior choice in most circumstances. In 2012, only 15 electric buses were put into service throughout Europe’s urban areas. In 2021, every fourth newly registered bus in Western Europe was electric. Now, they’re showing up all over the place in much greater numbers.

Continue reading “Solaris Hits A Milestone With Its 2000th Electric Bus” »

Aug 6, 2022

Motion Synchronization Goes Long Distance

Posted by in category: food

Researchers have optically synced the motion of two micrometer-sized objects separated by 5 km, a distance around a hundred million times longer than previous demonstrations.


Simulations indicate that plankton can gain quicker access to food by riding ascending turbulent ocean currents.

Aug 6, 2022

Turbulence-Surfing Plankton Can Double Their Speed

Posted by in category: food

Simulations indicate that plankton can gain quicker access to food by riding ascending turbulent ocean currents.

Turbulence can be a nuisance for planes and boats, but for marine plankton, researchers have now shown that turbulence can be a boon. In simulations, they found that plankton that can hitch rides on the right turbulent ocean plumes can double their swimming speeds [1]. The researchers say that this ability could help a variety of tiny ocean organisms quickly rise to the water’s surface to reach food at night before returning to its murky depths to escape daytime predators.

Plankton consist of a wide variety of small and microscopic organisms that drift in the ocean. Unable to propel themselves very effectively, they travel by riding ocean currents. For example, the planktonic larvae of the Chesapeake blue crab ride vertical and horizontal water currents when migrating toward the shore and up an estuary.

Aug 6, 2022

Addressing WWW Production in Particle Collisions

Posted by in category: particle physics

The ATLAS Collaboration has detected triple W-boson production—a rare event that could eventually offer signs of new physics.


A new model suggests that lattice defects are responsible for the way some semiconductors become harder under illumination.

Aug 6, 2022

Semiconductors in the Spotlight

Posted by in categories: electronics, materials

A new model suggests that lattice defects are responsible for the way some semiconductors become harder under illumination.

Understanding how semiconductors respond to illumination has been crucial to the development of photovoltaics and optical sensors. But some light-induced behaviors have been less thoroughly investigated. For example, when some semiconductors are illuminated, their mechanical properties can change drastically, a phenomenon known as photoelasticity. Photoelastic materials could be useful in the development of flexible electronics, but researchers do not understand in detail the mechanism behind the effect. Now, based on experiments and simulations, Rafael Jaramillo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues present a new theoretical framework that explains photoelasticity in terms of lattice defects [1].

The researchers used a diamond-tipped probe to make nanometer-scale indentations in samples of zinc oxide, zinc sulfide, and cadmium sulfide—first in the dark, and then under a range of visible and ultraviolet wavelengths. All three materials hardened to varying degrees when illuminated, with cadmium sulfide showing the largest and most consistent response. For every sample, the effect increased as the photon energy increased toward the material’s band gap.

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