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Sep 20, 2023

Language acquisition may work differently in people with autism

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

You’re looking at a truck. You’re with a young child and he follows your gaze. He’s interested in the object you’re looking at without you pointing at it. This is called joint attention and it is one of the primary ways children learn to connect words with objects and acquire language.

Lack of joint attention is a core feature of autism. Until now, it was thought that stimulating joint attention in people with autism would help them express themselves verbally. But a of 71 studies on autism challenges this assumption and suggests that people with may acquire language differently.

The study—by Laurent Mottron, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at Université de Montréal and a psychiatrist at the Hôpital en santé mentale Rivière-des-Prairies of the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal; Mikhail Kissine, a professor of linguistics at Université Libre de Bruxelles; and Ariane St-Denis, a at McGill University—is published in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.

Sep 20, 2023

DeepMind is using AI to pinpoint the causes of genetic disease

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

Fresh from solving the protein structure challenge, Google’s deep-learning outfit is moving on to the human genome.

Sep 20, 2023

Telling AI model to “take a deep breath” causes math scores to soar in study

Posted by in categories: mathematics, robotics/AI

Google DeepMind researchers recently developed a technique to improve math ability in AI language models like ChatGPT by using other AI models to improve prompting—the written instructions that tell the AI model what to do. It found that using human-style encouragement improved math skills dramatically, in line with earlier results.

In a paper called “Large Language Models as Optimizers” listed this month on arXiv, DeepMind scientists introduced Optimization by PROmpting (OPRO), a method to improve the performance of large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s PaLM 2. This new approach sidesteps the limitations of traditional math-based optimizers by using natural language to guide LLMs in problem-solving. “Natural language” is a fancy way of saying everyday human speech.

Sep 20, 2023

Scientists Say New AI Can Translate What Chickens Are Saying

Posted by in categories: information science, mathematics, robotics/AI, sex

A team of researchers in Japan claims to have figured out a way to translate the clucking of chickens with the use of artificial intelligence.

As detailed in a yet-to-be-peer-reviewed preprint, the team led by University of Tokyo professor Adrian David Cheok — who has previously studied sex robots — came up with a “system capable of interpreting various emotional states in chickens, including hunger, fear, anger, contentment, excitement, and distress” by using “cutting-edge AI technique we call Deep Emotional Analysis Learning.”

They say the technique is “rooted in complex mathematical algorithms” and can even be used to adapt to the ever-changing vocal patterns of chickens, meaning that it only gets better at deciphering “chicken vocalizations” over time.

Sep 20, 2023

Living without pancreas: A vow to stay committed to insulin

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

With advanced technology and proper medical care, one can live without pancreas and lead a normal lifestyle.

Sep 20, 2023

Toyota conceives of more efficient method to train robots

Posted by in category: robotics/AI

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has unveiled a ground-breaking generative AI method that enables the rapid and efficient teaching of new and improved dexterous skills to robots.

This is according to a press release by the organization published on Tuesday.

Sep 20, 2023

How dark matter-powered stars could solve a huge cosmological puzzle

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

Astronomers say they have spotted evidence of stars fuelled by the annihilation of dark matter particles. If true, it could solve the cosmic mystery of how supermassive black holes appeared so early.

By Jonathan O’Callaghan

Sep 20, 2023

“Science, Technology, and Exaltation,” Keynote Speech by Ralph Merkle

Posted by in categories: science, transhumanism

At the 2015 Conference of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, held 3 Apr 2015 at the Salt Lake City Public Library, speakers addressed the themes of Mormonism, Transhumanism and Transfigurism, with particular attention to topics at the intersection of technology, spirituality, science and religion. Members, friends and critics of the association have many views. This is one of them. It is not necessarily shared by others.

Sep 20, 2023

‘Big Bang of Numbers’‘s book club explores how math alone could create the universe with author Manil Suri

Posted by in categories: alien life, mathematics

A book-length thought experiment uses math to investigate some of life’s big questions.

Sep 20, 2023

Suppressing negative thoughts may be good for mental health after all, study suggests

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

“We’re all familiar with the Freudian idea that if we suppress our feelings or thoughts, then these thoughts remain in our unconscious, influencing our behaviour and wellbeing perniciously,” said Anderson. “The whole point of psychotherapy is to dredge up these thoughts so one can deal with them and rob them of their power.” It had become dogma in clinical psychology that efforts to banish thoughts or memories of a particular subject were counterproductive and made people think more about them, he said. “We challenge the view that thought suppression worsens mental illness.”

The commonly-held belief that attempting to suppress negative thoughts is bad for our mental health could be wrong, a new study from scientists at the University of Cambridge suggests.

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