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Apr 11, 2017

There’s a big problem with AI: even its creators can’t explain how it works

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do what they do. That could be a problem.

  • by.

    Will Knight

  • April 11, 2017
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    Apr 11, 2017

    NASA to announce new discoveries about ocean worlds

    Posted by in category: space travel

    NASA will present new discoveries about the ocean worlds in our solar system on Thursday, the agency announced. Learning more about ocean worlds could help in the agency’s quest for life beyond Earth.

    The findings were gathered by researchers through the Hubble Space Telescope and Cassini spacecraft. Cassini has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, and the mission ends this year.

    “During its time at Saturn, Cassini has made numerous dramatic discoveries, including a global ocean that showed indications of hydrothermal activity within the icy moon Enceladus, and liquid methane seas on its moon Titan,” NASA said in a release.

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    Apr 11, 2017

    Quantum effects cloak impossible singularities with black holes

    Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, quantum physics

    By Leah Crane

    Break out the censor’s black bars for naked singularities. Quantum effects could be obscuring these impossible predictions of general relativity, new calculations show.

    Albert Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity do a fairly good job of describing gravity and space-time. But when it comes to the most extreme objects, such as black holes, general relativity runs into problems.

    Continue reading “Quantum effects cloak impossible singularities with black holes” »

    Apr 11, 2017

    What the Wealthy’s Quest for Immortality Means for You

    Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

    The ruling class tell us universal healthcare is ‘unfeasible’ while they pour millions into immortality drugs and seek godhood itself.

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    Apr 11, 2017

    What is a city? The SDGs depend on an answer — By Brendon Bosworth | GreenBiz

    Posted by in categories: business, economics, environmental, governance, sustainability

    “This month, urban thinkers from the United Nations, the European Commission and other organizations are meeting in Brussels to continue a curiously complex attempt: developing a universal definition of the “city.””

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    Apr 11, 2017

    Flow Cell Power – 1,000 km in 8:21 Hours

    Posted by in categories: energy, transportation

    We are pleased to announce that QUANT is no longer a car. QUANT is three cars: one street legal e-Sportlimousine, one research vehicle, and one even more ambitious concept car for the mass market.

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    Apr 11, 2017

    Limits to the Nonparametric Intuition: Superintelligence and Ecology

    Posted by in categories: environmental, existential risks, machine learning

    In a previous essay, I suggested how we might do better with the unintended consequences of superintelligence if, instead of attempting to pre-formulate satisfactory goals or providing a capacity to learn some set of goals, we gave it the intuition that knowing all goals is not a practical possibility. Instead, we can act with a modest confidence having worked to discover goals, developing an understanding of our discovery processes that allows asserting an equilibrium between the risk of doing something wrong and the cost of work to uncover more stakeholders and their goals. This approach promotes moderation given the potential of undiscovered goals potentially contradicting any particular action. In short, we’d like a superintelligence that applies the non-parametric intuition, the intuition that we can’t know all the factors but can partially discover them with well-motivated trade-offs.

    However, I’ve come to the perspective that the non-parametric intuition, while correct, on its own can be cripplingly misguided. Unfortunately, going through a discovery-rich design process doesn’t promise an appropriate outcome. It is possible for all of the apparently relevant sources not to reflect significant consequences.

    How could one possibly do better than accepting this limitation, that relevant information is sometimes not present in all apparently relevant information sources? The answer is that, while in some cases it is impossible, there is always the background knowledge that all flourishing is grounded in material conditions, and that “staying grounded” in these conditions is one way to know that important design information is missing and seek it out. The Onion article “Man’s Garbage To Have Much More Significant Effect On Planet Than He Will” is one example of a common failure at living in a grounded way.

    In other words, “staying grounded” means recognizing that just because we do not know all of the goals informing our actions does not mean that we do not know any of them. There are some goals that are given to us by the nature of how we are embedded in the world and cannot be responsibly ignored. Our continual flourishing as sentient creatures means coming to know and care for those systems that sustain us and creatures like us. A functioning participation in these systems at a basic level means we should aim to see that our inputs are securely supplied, our wastes properly processed, and the supporting conditions of our environment maintained.

    Continue reading “Limits to the Nonparametric Intuition: Superintelligence and Ecology” »

    Apr 11, 2017

    Reprogramming brain cells offers hope for Parkinson’s

    Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

    This week saw researchers announce a promising new approach to Parkinson’s by the use of cellular reprogramming. The team lead by Ernest Arenas used a cocktail of four transcription factors to reprogram support cells inside the brain.

    The research team placed the reprogramming factors into a harmless type of lentivirus and injected them en masse into a Parkinson’s disease model mice. The viruses infected support cells in the brain known as astrocytes (a support cell that regulates the transmission of electrical impulses within the brain) which are present in large numbers. The lentiviruses delivered their four factor payload to the target cells changing them from astrocytes into dopamine producing neurons.

    Within three weeks the first cells had been reprogrammed and could be detected, and after fifteen weeks there were abundant numbers of dopamine producing neurons present. This is good news indeed as it also confirms that once reprogrammed the cells remain changed and stable and do not revert back into astrocytes.

    Continue reading “Reprogramming brain cells offers hope for Parkinson’s” »

    Apr 11, 2017

    Technology|Canada Tries to Turn Its A.I. Ideas Into Dollars

    Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

    In its new budget, the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged $93 million ($125 million Canadian) to support A.I. research centers in Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton, which will be public-private collaborations.

    Today’s striking advances in artificial intelligence owe a lot to research in Canada over the years. But the country has so far failed to cash in.

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    Apr 11, 2017

    Accountants are embracing artificial intelligence

    Posted by in categories: employment, robotics/AI

    Despite the popular belief that artificial intelligence is coming to take your jobs away, accountants would love some robotic help to get them through the day. This is according to a new report by Sage, which says 96 percent of accountants are confident about the future of accountancy as well as their role in it.

    Despite welcoming change, more than two thirds of respondents (68 percent) expect their roles to change through automation, in the future.

    Here’s what accountants are expecting from automation: almost four in ten (38 percent) see number-crunching as their number one frustration. Thirty-two percent still use manual methods for this work. A quarter (25 percent) use Excel while seven percent still use handwritten notes.

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