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Mar 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking’s TV show is now free to watch online

Posted by in categories: alien life, robotics/AI

Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, a three-part TV series that made its debut in January, has been made available to watch online for free in honor of Hawking’s life, according to tech and science video streaming site CuriosityStream. The renowned astrophysicist passed away today in Cambridge, England. He was 76.

The final episode, which had still not been released, was also published today for free.

In the show, Hawking takes trips in a digital spaceship called the S.S. Hawking to the sun and planets in our solar system and beyond. In the first episode, Hawking ponders how AI can impact a civilization over time, not on Earth, but on an alien planet where its inhabitants appear to have left or gone extinct.

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Mar 14, 2018

A new test could tell us whether an AI has common sense

Posted by in categories: materials, robotics/AI

Virtual assistants and chatbots don’t have a lot of common sense. It’s because these types of machine learning rely on specific situations they have encountered before, rather than using broader knowledge to answer a question. However, researchers at the Allen Institute for AI (Ai2) have devised a new test, the Arc Reasoning Challenge (ARC) that can test an artificial intelligence on its understanding of the way our world operates.

Humans use common sense to fill in the gaps of any question they are posed, delivering answers within an understood but non-explicit context. Peter Clark, the lead researcher on ARC, explained in a statement, “Machines do not have this common sense, and thus only see what is explicitly written, and miss the many implications and assumptions that underlie a piece of text.”

The test asks basic multiple-choice questions that draw from general knowledge. For example, one ARC question is: “Which item below is not made from a material grown in nature?” The possible answers are a cotton shirt, a wooden chair, a plastic spoon and a grass basket.

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Mar 14, 2018

Scientists discover 15 new planets, including ‘super-Earth’ that could harbor liquid water

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Scientists have discovered 15 new planets, including a “super-Earth” that may have liquid water on its surface.

The planets are orbiting small, cool stars near our solar system that are known as “Red Dwarfs.”

One of the brightest Red Dwarfs, K2-155, has three “super-Earths,” one of which, K2-155d, could be within the star’s habitable zone. K2-155d, which has a radius 1.6 times that of Earth, may harbor liquid water, according to three-dimensional global climate simulations.

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Mar 14, 2018

A Year in Space Changed 7% of This Astronaut’s DNA

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, space travel

Spending an extended period of time in outer space takes a toll on the human body. And while NASA was aware of some physical changes that astronauts needed to be prepared for upon coming back to Earth, they were curious to learn further about how extended space time would affect a human body on a molecular level. After one astronaut spent a year in space, NASA was able to determine that the prolonged spaceflight actually altered his DNA.

Astronaut Scott Kelly and his twin brother Mark Kelly took part in NASA’s twin study, a means to compare the human body on Earth to its counterpart following a year in space. While Scott spent a year in space, Mark stayed behind, and upon Scott’s return, NASA was able to track and monitor the ways that spaceflight had altered Scott’s body.


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Mar 14, 2018

Hospitals use protons to fight cancer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The difference between traditional radiation and proton therapy is in how the radiation is delivered.

Traditional therapy irradiates tumors with X-ray waves, and all tissue along the beams’ path gets a similar dose of radiation.

Proton therapy instead uses beams of protons, charged subatomic particles that can be controlled with magnets. A small amount of radiation is deposited on the way into the body, most of it goes directly into the tumor, and none passes through the other side.

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Mar 14, 2018

Mad Scientists Want to 3D Print Every Dead Person Back to Life

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, life extension, mathematics, quantum physics, transhumanism

This major religious site suggests I’m part of a group of mad scientists, but Quantum Archaeology is a very interesting idea that more people should ponder. The article also highlights the challenge of #transhumanism vs. religion and conservative attitutes:…k-to-life/ #transhumanism

But the self-described secular transhumanist is perfectly serious in his posturing about the future of technology, life and death. Within 50 years, he believes scientists may be able to bring back people from the dead.

“After all, everything is matter and energy. And human life, human thoughts and human existence are mathematical, determinable calculations of that subatomic world of matter and energy,” Istvan writes.

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Mar 14, 2018

Ancient DNA Is Rewriting Human (and Neanderthal) History

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

The genomes of the long dead are turning up all sorts of unexpected and controversial findings.

Geneticist David Reich used to study the living, but now he studies the dead.

The precipitating event came in the form of 40,000-year-old Neanderthal bones found in a Croatian cave. So well-preserved were the bones that they yielded enough DNA for sequencing, and it became Reich’s job in 2007 to analyze the DNA for signs that Neanderthals interbred with humans—a idea he was “deeply suspicious” of at the time.

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Mar 14, 2018

Scientists Find All Galaxies Have This One Surprising Trait in Common

Posted by in category: space

A new study from ICRAR finds that all galaxies move once every billion years or so, regardless of size.

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Mar 14, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Sophia, The World’s First Robot Citizen

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

I hope to meet, and interact with Sophia one day.

What does being a ‘robot citizen’ entail?

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Mar 14, 2018

Why China’s Neo Can Do What No Other Cryptocurrency Can

Posted by in category: cryptocurrencies

China’s Neo cryptocurrency may be the answer to the escalating regulatory concerns surrounding virtual currencies.

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