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Apr 13, 2018

Space Threat Assessment 2018

Posted by in category: space

CSIS space experts complied open-source information on the counterspace capabilities and activities of other nations, focusing on China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Here’s what they found: cs.is/2Hv4fil

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Apr 13, 2018

Memory Successfully Boosted In Humans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, mathematics, neuroscience

Scientists from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center partnered with researchers from the University of Southern California to develop an innovative procedure to give hope to people struggling with remembering important information. A new implant uses a person’s own memory patterns in order to boost the brain’s natural ability to encode those memories and recall them quickly. There has been a reported 35 to 37 % increase in short-term memory performance.

“This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain cell code or pattern for memory and, in essence, ‘write in’ that code to make existing memory work better, an important first step in potentially restoring memory loss,” said the study’s lead author Robert Hampson, Ph.D., professor of physiology/pharmacology and neurology at Wake Forest Baptist.

Epilepsy patients from Wake Forest Baptist were surgically implanted with electrodes in the various parts of their brains. The electronic prosthetic system is based on a multi-input-multi-output (or MIMO) mathematical model to influence the patterns of neurons firing within the hippocampus.

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Apr 13, 2018

Does Facebook Use AI To Predict Your Future Actions For Advertisers?

Posted by in categories: ethics, robotics/AI, transportation

Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted in March, Facebook has been attempting to make a moral stand for your privacy, distancing itself from the unscrupulous practices of the U.K. political consultancy. “Protecting people’s information is at the heart of everything we do,” wrote Paul Grewal, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, just a few weeks before founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hit Capitol Hill to make similar reassurances, telling lawmakers, “Across the board, we have a responsibility to not just build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good.” But in reality, a confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the two companies are far more similar than the social network would like you to believe.

The recent document, described as “confidential,” outlines a new advertising service that expands how the social network sells corporations’ access to its users and their lives: Instead of merely offering advertisers the ability to target people based on demographics and consumer preferences, Facebook instead offers the ability to target them based on how they will behave, what they will buy, and what they will think. These capabilities are the fruits of a self-improving, artificial intelligence-powered prediction engine, first unveiled by Facebook in 2016 and dubbed “FBLearner Flow.”

One slide in the document touts Facebook’s ability to “predict future behavior,” allowing companies to target people on the basis of decisions they haven’t even made yet. This would, potentially, give third parties the opportunity to alter a consumer’s anticipated course. Here, Facebook explains how it can comb through its entire user base of over 2 billion individuals and produce millions of people who are “at risk” of jumping ship from one brand to a competitor. These individuals could then be targeted aggressively with advertising that could pre-empt and change their decision entirely — something Facebook calls “improved marketing efficiency.” This isn’t Facebook showing you Chevy ads because you’ve been reading about Ford all week — old hat in the online marketing world — rather Facebook using facts of your life to predict that in the near future, you’re going to get sick of your car. Facebook’s name for this service: “loyalty prediction.”

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Apr 13, 2018

CDC says romaine lettuce likely source of E. coli outbreak

Posted by in category: futurism

The outbreak has hit 11 states and has led to nearly two dozen hospitalizations so far.

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Apr 13, 2018

The Next Generation Exoplanet Hunter Launches Monday

Posted by in category: space

Updates, newsletters and special offers.

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Apr 13, 2018

‘We’re Out of Options’: Doctors Battle Drug-Resistant Typhoid Outbreak

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

An aggressive typhoid strain, resistant to five types of antibiotics, is expected to replace other endemic strains worldwide. It could evolve to become untreatable.

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Apr 13, 2018

Google’s latest AI experiments let you talk to books and test word association skills

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, habitats, information science, Ray Kurzweil, robotics/AI

Google today announced a pair of new artificial intelligence experiments from its research division that let web users dabble in semantics and natural language processing. For Google, a company that’s primary product is a search engine that traffics mostly in text, these advances in AI are integral to its business and to its goals of making software that can understand and parse elements of human language.

The website will now house any interactive AI language tools, and Google is calling the collection Semantic Experiences. The primary sub-field of AI it’s showcasing is known as word vectors, a type of natural language understanding that maps “semantically similar phrases to nearby points based on equivalence, similarity or relatedness of ideas and language.” It’s a way to “enable algorithms to learn about the relationships between words, based on examples of actual language usage,” says Ray Kurzweil, notable futurist and director of engineering at Google Research, and product manager Rachel Bernstein in a blog post. Google has published its work on the topic in a paper here, and it’s also made a pre-trained module available on its TensorFlow platform for other researchers to experiment with.

The first of the two publicly available experiments released today is called Talk to Books, and it quite literally lets you converse with a machine learning-trained algorithm that surfaces answers to questions with relevant passages from human-written text. As described by Kurzweil and Bernstein, Talk to Books lets you “make a statement or ask a question, and the tool finds sentences in books that respond, with no dependence on keyword matching.” The duo add that, “In a sense you are talking to the books, getting responses which can help you determine if you’re interested in reading them or not.”

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Apr 13, 2018

Ray Kurzweil: Universal Basic Income will arrive in the 2030s

Posted by in categories: economics, media & arts, Ray Kurzweil

That, he said, will lead to new forms of expression, such as music, that will be as different from today’s communication as current human expression is from that of primates.

Asked how the U.S. and other countries would pay for a basic income, given existing large deficits, Kurzweil predicted that massive deflation would make goods much cheaper.

Separately: Kurzweil debuted a new Google project called “Talk to Books,” a new free tool that allows people to use their voice to ask a question and that will go find the best answers from hundreds of thousands of books. Unlike traditional search, it is based on semantics, not keywords.

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Apr 13, 2018

Robot Cities: Three Urban Prototypes for Future Living

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, finance, governance, internet, robotics/AI

Before I started working on real-world robots, I wrote about their fictional and historical ancestors. This isn’t so far removed from what I do now. In factories, labs, and of course science fiction, imaginary robots keep fueling our imagination about artificial humans and autonomous machines.

Real-world robots remain surprisingly dysfunctional, although they are steadily infiltrating urban areas across the globe. This fourth industrial revolution driven by robots is shaping urban spaces and urban life in response to opportunities and challenges in economic, social, political, and healthcare domains. Our cities are becoming too big for humans to manage.

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Apr 13, 2018

12 Futuristic Technologies That Could Become Reality in 2018

Posted by in categories: business, privacy, robotics/AI, transportation

In the last year, the business and consumer markets alike have seen the release of advanced technologies that were once considered the stuff of science fiction. Smart gadgets that control every facet of your home, self-driving vehicles, facial and biometric identification systems and more have begun to emerge, giving us a glimpse of the high-tech reality we’re moving towards.

To find out which futuristic technologies are on the horizon, we asked a panel of YEC members the following question:

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