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Mar 28, 2018

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Posted by in category: innovation

We need the arts to stimulate debate over the impact of technological breakthroughs on society.

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Mar 28, 2018

Artificial Brains Shed Light on the Workings of Our Own

Posted by in categories: neuroscience, robotics/AI


In the natural world, intelligence takes many forms. It could be a bat using echolocation to expertly navigate in the dark, or an octopus quickly adapting its behavior to survive in the deep ocean. Likewise, in the computer science world, multiple forms of artificial intelligence are emerging — different networks each trained to excel in a different task. And as will be presented today at the 25th annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS), cognitive neuroscientists increasingly are using those emerging artificial networks to enhance their understanding of one of the most elusive intelligence systems, the human brain.

“The fundamental questions cognitive neuroscientists and computer scientists seek to answer are similar,” says Aude Oliva of MIT. “They have a complex system made of components — for one, it’s called neurons and for the other, it’s called units — and we are doing experiments to try to determine what those components calculate.”

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Mar 28, 2018

33 Angry Physicists Came Together to Shut Down One Theory About the Universe

Posted by in categories: physics, space

Scientists are no strangers to healthy debate. You need criticism to strengthen your ideas, and when debate is done right, both parties leave knowing more than they did when they started. But there are some things that will just make a scientist mad. One of those things? Saying their scientific theory isn’t scientific. That’s what a trio of physicists did in a 2017 article they published in Scientific American, which stated that the idea of an expanding universe simply isn’t testable. The response from other physicists? Oh, it’s on.

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Mar 28, 2018

Astronomers detect a hot, metallic Earth-sized planet outside our solar system

Posted by in category: space

Situated at about 340 million light-years away from Earth, it finds itself very close to its host star (around a hundredth of the distance between the Earth and the Sun), which itself is a medium-sized active K dwarf in the Virgo Constellation.

K2-229b orbits this star every fourteen hours, according to the study published in the journal Nature Astronomy. “Interestingly K2-229b is also the innermost planet in a system of at least three planets, though all three orbit much closer to their star than Mercury. More discoveries like this will help us shed light on the formation of these unusual planets, as well as Mercury itself,” Armstrong added.

Using the K2 telescope, Armstrong and colleagues employed the Doppler spectroscopy technique — also known as the ‘wobble method’ to discover and characterise this faraway planet.

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Mar 28, 2018

The colors of stars

Posted by in category: futurism

Photographer Amanda Cross, of Lancashire, UK, wrote:

I wanted to compare the colors of different stars next to each other. These are stacks of Rigel, Betelgeuse and Sirius. I took individual images 60 seconds apart with iso 16000 and speed 1/50, stacked them with starstax and presented them together to show the different colors of the stars. I took the images deliberately out of focus to show the colors. The color variations are from the Earth’s atmosphere which splits the light from the star and the camera picks up the colors.

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Mar 28, 2018

Softbank to Build World’s Biggest Solar Park in Saudi Arabia

Posted by in categories: employment, solar power, sustainability

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said he envisions the project, which runs the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing, as a way to help wean Saudi Arabia off its dependence on oil for electricity, create as many as 100,000 jobs and shave $40 billion off power costs. The total capacity to be built under its umbrella will be 200 gigawatts by 2030, the company said.

Saudi Arabia and SoftBank Group Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding to build a $200 billion solar power development that’s exponentially larger than any other project.

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Mar 27, 2018

The case for an artificially intelligent POTUS

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transhumanism

Some of my thoughts on AI politicians out in The Next Web:…ent-potus/ #transhumanism

The duties of the President of the United States of America could, arguably, be performed by a computer. Here’s how and why we should make that happen.

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Mar 27, 2018

What will the Doctor order?

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Could advances in tech and medicine provide the key to finding solutions to some of humanity’s most devastating diseases?

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Mar 27, 2018

Cellulose know-how could lead to better biofuel

Posted by in category: sustainability

Insight into how plants make cellulose could lead to a better understanding of how to break it down for renewable fuels.

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Mar 27, 2018

Could Higgs Bosons and Primordial Black Holes Explain Dark Matter?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Without an actual discovery, it can be difficult to convince us laypeople that there’s really such a thing as “dark matter.” It seems to interact with our universe solely through gravity, and no experiment has detected it here on Earth yet. So what if there’s an explanation to what’s causing the dark matter’s using physics that already exists, like Higgs bosons and black holes?

A team of three European physicists has made what could be seen as a controversial statement: “The existence of dark matter might not require physics beyond the standard model.” It’s still just a hypothesis as the hunt for dark matter continues, but it’s an interesting thought to digest.

First, you might be wondering what I’m talking about at all. You only experience regular matter in your day-to-day life—it’s what makes up every planet, star, and galaxy. But astronomical observations imply that there’s gravity from six times more matter in the universe, stuff we can’t see with our eyes or instruments, called dark matter. As of yet, lots of experiments have tried and failed to identify the source of this gravity.

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