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Jun 19, 2018

IBM Debater supercomputer argues against a human in landmark AI debate

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, supercomputing

Neither the machine or nor the professional human debaters were given prior knowledge of the subject of the on-stage debate, which took place in San Francisco on Monday.

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Jun 19, 2018

Washington firm could create nuclear fusion power within decades

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Olympia, Washington, firm Agni Energy has designed a nuclear fusion reactor that borrows elements from existing designs and could lead it to be the first to crack the Holy Grail of energy production.

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Jun 19, 2018

Google says its AI is better at predicting death than hospitals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, information science, robotics/AI

Nature article presents an AI developed by Google’s Medical Brain team which outperforms hospitals’ own warning system in predicting the death risk among hospit…al patients.

Google’s Medical Brain team is now training its AI to predict the death risk among hospital patients — and its early results show it has slightly higher accuracy than a hospital’s own warning system.

Bloomberg describes the healthcare potential of the Medical Brain’s findings, including its ability to use previously unusable information in order to reach its predictions. The AI, once fed this data, made predictions about the likelihood of death, discharge, and readmission.

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Jun 19, 2018

Sugarcoating aging won’t fight ageism

Posted by in category: life extension

Glossing over the fact ageing is a chronic decline in function won’t help with anything, let alone ending ageism.

At times, I think that I have written enough rejuvenation advocacy articles and that every time I write a new one, I’m just repeating myself. I sometimes say to myself that I’ve written about concerns and misconceptions from so many angles that I’ve probably exhausted all the options. However, from time to time, there comes the bittersweet reassurance that I’m not going to be out of a job any time soon.

The culprit

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Jun 19, 2018

Black Holes Could Actually Be Colliding Wormholes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Like the gravitational waves left behind by merging black holes, detectable ripples in space-time could come from colliding wormholes.

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Jun 19, 2018

US military wants to know what synthetic-biology weapons could look like

Posted by in categories: biological, military

Re-created viruses, toxic bacteria top new ranking of risks.

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Jun 19, 2018

California lawmakers debate creating regional electric grid

Posted by in categories: energy, sustainability

A contentious proposal to link oversight of California’s electric grid with other western states faces a crucial test Tuesday in a state Senate committee.

Supporters say regionalizing the grid would make it easier and cheaper to deploy renewable energy across the western United States. But critics, including some environmentalists and consumer advocates, say California would jeopardize its efforts to require the expansion of renewables.

California has greatly expanded the use of , particularly wind and solar, but that’s brought new challenges for grid operators to manage supply and demand as weather patterns and sunlight vary.

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Jun 19, 2018

Astronomers See Distant Eruption as Black Hole Destroys Star

Posted by in categories: cosmology, materials

For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the massive monster.

The scientists tracked the event with radio and infrared telescopes, including the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, in a pair of colliding galaxies called Arp 299. The galaxies are nearly 150 million light-years from Earth. At the core of one of the galaxies, a black hole 20 million times more massive than the Sun shredded a star more than twice the Sun’s mass, setting off a chain of events that revealed important details of the violent encounter. The researchers also used observations of Arp 299 made by NASA’s Hubble space telescope prior to and after the appearance of the eruption.

Only a small number of such stellar deaths, called tidal disruption events, or TDEs, have been detected. Theorists have suggested that material pulled from the doomed star forms a rotating disk around the black hole, emitting intense X-rays and visible light, and also launches jets of material outward from the poles of the disk at nearly the speed of light.

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Jun 19, 2018

Marc Benioff of Salesforce: ‘Are We Not All Connected?’

Posted by in category: futurism

So what is Salesforce doing about it?

A billionaire tech mogul with a spiritual side, Mr. Benioff riffs on his early days at Apple and Oracle, and what’s wrong with Facebook.

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Jun 19, 2018

This New Chip Design Could Make Neural Nets More Efficient and a Lot Faster

Posted by in categories: entertainment, robotics/AI

Neural networks running on GPUs have achieved some amazing advances in artificial intelligence, but the two are accidental bedfellows. IBM researchers hope a new chip design tailored specifically to run neural nets could provide a faster and more efficient alternative.

It wasn’t until the turn of this decade that researchers realized GPUs (graphics processing units) designed for video games could be used as hardware accelerators to run much bigger neural networks than previously possible.

That was thanks to these chips’ ability to carry out lots of computations in parallel rather than having to work through them sequentially like a traditional CPU. That’s particularly useful for simultaneously calculating the weights of the hundreds of neurons that make up today’s deep learning networks.

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