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Mar 4, 2018

More Americans now support a universal basic income

Posted by in categories: economics, government

Pilots of such programs are underway in Finland and Canada. In rural Kenya, a basic income is managed by nonprofit GiveDirectly. India — with a population of more than 1.3 billion residents — is considering establishing a universal basic income.


Half of Americans want the government to send them weekly checks, regardless of their income or work.

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Mar 3, 2018

This AI has officially been granted residence

Posted by in categories: biological, government, robotics/AI

Tokyo, Japan may have just become the first city to officially grant residence to an artificial intelligence (AI). The intelligence’s name is Shibuya Mirai and exists only as a chatbot on the popular Line messaging app. Mirai, which translates to ‘future’ from Japanese, joins Hanson Robotic’s “Sophia” as pioneering AI gaining statuses previously reserved for living, biological entities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted Sophia citizenship last month.

The Shibuya Ward of Tokyo released a statement through Microsoft saying, “His hobbies are taking pictures and observing people. And he loves talking with people… Please talk to him about anything.” The goal of Mirai is said to be to familiarize some of the 224,000 citizens of the district with the local government and give them an avenue to share opinions with officials.

Mirai is programmed to be a seven-year-old boy and can have text conversations with users and even “make light-hearted alterations to selfies he is sent,” according to Agence France Presse.

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Mar 3, 2018

Waymo Is Millions Of Miles Ahead In Robot Car Tests; Does It Need A Billion More?

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Alphabet’s self-driving unit has racked up 5 million miles of on-road testing in autonomous mode — more than double its closest competitor — and 5 billion miles of computer-simulated scenarios. Ensuring the technology’s reliability could take much, much more.

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Mar 3, 2018

These Walking, Rolling Robots Are Designed To Replace Human Couriers

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

What if Uber carried robots instead of people? This startup is working on it.

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Mar 3, 2018

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques visits Montreal robotics competition

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space

“To have the opportunity to talk to someone like that and to show what we did, it feels great,” said participant Ruby Novoa Forcier, 18.

Saint-Jacques’ visit was part of the Robotics FIRST (Favoriser l’Inspiration et la Reconnaissance des Sciences et de la Technologie) Quebec competition.

Around 5,000 students from different schools across Quebec, the United States and Europe got the chance to compete at the event.

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Mar 3, 2018

Researchers Devise a New Way to Solve Long-Standing Mystery About the Universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

We know that the universe is expanding, but a strange discrepancy in just how fast that expansion is occurring continues to confound physicists—and make them wonder whether there’s some new, unexplained physics afoot.

For every 3.3 million light years, or one megaparsec, the universe expands around another 70 kilometers per second faster. There are two discrepant measurements of this so-called “Hubble constant.” The light from the most distant parts of the universe reveals an expansion of 68 km/s per megaparsec, while a method taken from extrapolating data from nearby sources reveals a rate of 73 km/s per megaparsec. Scientists can’t explain this discrepancy by chance alone, which means they’re leaving something out, either in their experiments or in the laws of physics. A team of researchers have an idea for another measurement that could help close the gap between these numbers—by measuring how gravity affects the light from distant supernovae.

“If you want to tell the difference between new physics and unknown errors, you need another measurement,” study author Thomas Collett from the University of Portsmouth in the UK told Gizmodo. “If you have measurements that have completely independent methods and they’re all pointing in the same direction, you can robustly believe it’s new physics, not that they’re screwing up in the same way.”

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Mar 3, 2018

Three-dimensional skyrmion: Scientists observe theoretical particle for first time

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

March 2 (UPI) — Forty years after scientists first theoretically predicted the existence of a three-dimensional skyrmion, scientists have observed the particle in the lab.

The particle, observed cold quantum gas, isn’t a normal particle composed of electrons, protons and electrons. It is a quantum particle, the energy signature created by the interactions between a particle and the surrounding system.

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Mar 3, 2018

China’s Google Equivalent Can Clone Voices After Seconds of Listening

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

Baidu’s AI research team has developed a nueral network that can mimic a voice with less than a minute long sample. The software can also change the voice into other genders and accents.

The Google of China, Baidu, has just released a white paper showing its latest development in artificial intelligence (AI): a program that can clone voices after analyzing even a seconds-long clip, using a neural network. Not only can the software mimic an input voice, but it can also change it to reflect another gender or even a different accent.

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Mar 3, 2018

Would you hack your own body?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, futurism

The body-hackers who believe chips under the skin could replace keys and wallets in future.

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Mar 3, 2018

Can you trust a diagnosis made with the help of Artificial Intelligence?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health, robotics/AI

The only difference is that in the case of the new technology Qure.ai is using, the artificial neuro network will be exposed to millions of cases instead of thousands. But can one trust a diagnosis made with the help of machines or AI? Human beings would typically trust another human being over a machine. But Warrier says that that is part and parcel of the diagnosis – human or artificial. Eighty-million chest X-rays happen in India every year, with radiology error rates for chest X-rays at 20–23 per cent. In fact, 19 per cent of lung nodules are missed! So even now if one goes to a trained radiologist, there are chances he can read or make a mistake in the diagnosis. But since the software runs through “millions” of scans instead of thousands as a human might, chances of an error are, in fact, lower. So chances of an error are, if anything, minimised. Secondly, as of now, Qure.ai is not producing a final report but developing a report that is ready for further analysis by a radiologist. “At locations across the country where radiologists are not available, this report can be the one that is physically available. It could go wrong but something is better than nothing,” argues Warrier. In cases where physicians disagree – often happens in cases like interstitial lung disease — the report produced through AI is “consistent and reproducible” and can be relied upon to arrive at a final conclusion. In India, Qure.ai has no competitors, but globally Zebra Medical Vision is the nearest competitor. The software has been adopted and deployed in five centres in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru. The company is also working with public health programmes in some countries. TB Reach has used it for processing TB cases (chest X-rays) from Nepal and Cameroon. Its solutions are being marketed in North America through its partners EnvoyAI (TeraRecon). According to Warrier, the global sales team of their parent company, Fractal Analytics, is helping them to reach out to health care providers and possible customers in the US and Europe. It may be early days yet, but if the technology and product prove as good as they claim, the benefits for patients will be felt for a long time to come.

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