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Dec 4, 2017

WMAP Team Wins $3 Million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, physics

A team of researchers who helped shape our understanding of the origin, evolution and nature of the cosmos is now $3 million richer.

Those folks worked on NASA’s WMAP space mission, which was awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics today (Dec. 3) during a ceremony in Palo Alto, California.

From 2001 to 2009, WMAP mapped the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the light left over from the Big Bang — with unprecedented precision. This work allowed scientists to nail down the age of the universe (about 13.8 billion years), its rate of accelerating expansion (roughly 70 kilometers per second per megaparsec) and its basic composition (about 5 percent “normal” matter, 24 percent dark matter and 71 percent dark energy). [Dark Matter and Dark Energy: The Mystery Explained (Infographic)].

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Dec 4, 2017

I’m excited to share a short highlight video below of my work featured on NPO, Dutch Puublic TV

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transhumanism

The show Robosapiens (about #robots) aired last night and had about a 5 minute section on my #transhumanism work. The footage is from a while back but just aired yesterday. My part is in English:

“Liever een computer die de nucleaire codes heeft dan Trump? Transhumanist Zoltan Istvan is ervan overtuigd dat kunstmatige intelligentie politici ooit zal kunnen vervangen. Meer in Robo sapiens, vanavond om 20.15u @NPO2

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Dec 4, 2017

Dr. Aubrey de Grey Writes in MIT Technology Review

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Dr. Aubrey de Grey is the Chief Science Officer, founder of the SENS Research Foundation (SRF) and one of the original proponents of a damage repair-based approach to aging and age-related diseases. His work has inspired many others to think about aging differently and entertain the idea that, perhaps, we do not have to accept the suffering that age-related diseases cause.

Recently, Dr. de Grey published an article in MIT Technology Review; here, we explain why this is a real milestone of progress.

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Dec 4, 2017

Google’s AI Built Its Own AI That Outperforms Any Made

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

In May 2017, researchers at Google Brain announced the creation of AutoML, an artificial intelligence (AI) that’s capable of generating its own AIs.

More recently, they decided to present AutoML with its biggest challenge to date, and the AI that can build AI created a ‘child’ that outperformed all of its human-made counterparts.

The Google researchers automated the design of machine learning models using an approach called reinforcement learning. AutoML acts as a controller neural network that develops a child AI network for a specific task.

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Dec 4, 2017

Why This Aging Expert Thinks First 1,000-Year-Old Person is Already Alive

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Aubrey de Grey has set himself a simple task. The 54-year-old cofounder of the SENS Research Foundation wants to end biological aging for good. So sure is he of his mission, he proclaims the first human being to live to the age of 1,000 has already been born. De Grey believes that, within the next 20 years or so, scientists will finally solve one of humanity’s greatest problems.

“The fact is, aging kills 110,000 people worldwide every fucking day,” de Grey said at a Virtual Futures event attended by Inverse in London on Wednesday, in a conversation with group director Luke Robert Mason. “It doesn’t just kill them. You have to take into account all the suffering that comes before.”

Through his foundation, de Grey is working to solve seven types of aging damage that he believes are the key to a breakthrough. These are tissue atrophy, cancerous cells, mitochondrial mutations, death -resistant cells, extracellular matrix stiffening, extracellular aggregates, and intracellular aggregates. It may sound like a complex salad of jargon, but de Grey claims that because science has an understanding of how to fix all these damages, aging can end for good.

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Dec 4, 2017

Can extreme poverty ever be eradicated?

Posted by in categories: employment, food, sustainability

Poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than at any other time on record. The UN wants extreme poverty to disappear by 2030. We assess the data to see if this is achievable.

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Dec 3, 2017

Discovering the power of plants

Posted by in category: futurism

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Dec 3, 2017

This 3D-printed ‘living ink’ could someday help with skin replacements

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, biotech/medical

Other uses include biosensors and wound patches.

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Dec 3, 2017

The SMS text message turns 25 today

Posted by in category: computing

There weren’t too many historical events on December 3, 1992, but the date is an important one for mobile fans: 25 years ago today, the very first text message was sent. It simply read, “Merry Christmas”

On the same day that Whitney Houston’s I will always love you was the number 1 song in the US and Home Alone 2 topped the box office, 22-year-old Sema Group software architect Neil Papworth sent the first SMS (Short Message Service).

It was sent over the Vodafone GSM network in the UK, though back then handsets could only receive messages, not send them. Papworth sent it to an Orbitel 901 handset belonging to the then-director of Vodafone, Richard Jarvis, using a computer.

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Dec 3, 2017

The Tantalizing Dream of Blanketing the Sahara in Solar Panels

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability

Just need 400 billion and 1.2% of the land area.

Desertec continues in a smaller form; they’re still building power plants in Morocco to supply the local energy needs of that country. Perhaps a ground-up approach, where MENA countries increase their own solar production in the desert before becoming net exporters, will provide the solution. This project is not the first wildly ambitious scheme to provide for the world’s energy needs that has stalled; historians remember Atlantropa, a scheme to dam the Strait of Gibraltar and use it for hydroelectric power that had some interest in the 1920s.

Yet the prospect remains tantalizing. Surely, when only a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface need be devoted to energy production to provide us with more power than we could ever dream of consuming, we won’t wreck the planet by getting that energy through dirty and dangerous means. To starry-eyed idealists, it must seem equivalent to being on a raft in a lake full of drinking water—and choosing instead to swig from a bottle of seawater in your backpack. Solar power in the world’s deserts is one of the few feasible, renewable ways of providing energy on the scale we currently demand as humans. Someday, we will make better use of the abundant energy from the sun. We’ll have to.

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