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Opinion | A.I. Is Harder Than You Think. How Frightened Should We Be of A.I.? Precisely how and when will our curiosity kill us? I bet you’re curious. A number of scientists and engineers fear that, once we build an artificial intelligence smarter than we are, a form of A.I. known as artificial general intelligence, doomsday may follow. Bill Gates and Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, recognize the promise of an A.G.I., a wish-granting genie rubbed up from our dreams, yet each has voiced grave concerns. Elon Musk warns against “summoning the demon,” envisaging “an immortal dictator from which we can never escape.” Stephen Hawking declared that an A.G.I. Many people in tech point out that artificial narrow intelligence, or A.N.I., has grown ever safer and more reliable—certainly safer and more reliable than we are. The assessments remain theoretical, because even as the A.I. race has grown increasingly crowded and expensive, the advent of an A.G.I. remains fixed in the middle distance.

So what remains to us alone? In Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. NASA’s Mars InSight Mission Launches for Six-Month Journey. Researchers Succeed in Keeping Disembodied Pig Brains Alive. FLICKR, NICK SALTMARSHA team of US researchers has kept disembodied pig brains alive in a comatose-like state for up to 36 hours, according to a report published last week (April 25) by MIT Technology Review. First revealed by Yale University neuroscientist Nenad Sestan at a meeting held on March 28 at the National Institutes of Health, the results have increased the urgency of the ethical debate surrounding the future of brain research.

Although other groups have managed to keep disembodied brainstems and hearts of rodents alive, the current project is noteworthy for the scale of the brain being preserved, and its apparent success. The results have yet to be published in a scientific journal. The researchers achieved the feat by experimenting with more than 100 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse, Sestan disclosed at the meeting (via MIT Technology Review). The reaction to the news has been mixed, The Guardian reports. See “Human Brain Organoids Thrive in Mouse Brains” Gmail - Free Storage and Email from Google.

Log In. Instead of arming ourselves against this alien presence, as some of my fellow science-fiction writers have fearfully suggested, we gawked as the vehicles pulled up to the curb. The driverless vehicles, some of which had no steering wheels or gas pedals, merged into traffic and stopped at stop signs, smoothly taking us to our destinations. We lounged in comfort, occasionally taking selfies. Photo Machine learning has been an important tool for autonomous car companies as they develop the systems that pilot their vehicles. Let’s try to envision that future. Robots will begin to creep into other areas of our lives — serving as busboys or waiters, for example — as our investments in robotic transport improve their prowess in areas such as environmental detection and modeling, hyper-complex problem solving and fuzzy-logic applications. There will be scandals when things go wrong and backlash movements from the new Luddites. Gradually the A.I. era will transform the essence of human culture.

Robot learning companion offers custom-tailored tutoring | NSF - National Science Foundation. Press Release 16-026 Robot learning companion offers custom-tailored tutoring New social robot from MIT helps students learn through personalized interactions March 14, 2016 Parents want the best for their children's education and often complain about large class sizes and the lack of individual attention. Goren Gordon, an artificial intelligence researcher from Tel Aviv University who runs the Curiosity Lab there, is no different.

He and his wife spend as much time as they can with their children, but there are still times when their kids are alone or unsupervised. That's the case, even if that companion is a robot. Working in the Personal Robots Group at MIT, led by Cynthia Breazeal, Gordon was part of a team that developed a socially assistive robot called Tega that is designed to serve as a one-on-one peer learner in or outside of the classroom. Tega is the latest in a line of smartphone-based, socially assistive robots developed in the MIT Media Lab. The classroom pilot. Multimedia Gallery - Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot | NSF - National Science Foundation. Description: Meet metal-muscled SAM, the bricklaying robotic assistant of the future.

SAM, short for Semi-Automated Mason, was developed by Construction Robotics, a small business funded by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program. SAM works alongside masons to install bricks, making the humans’ jobs less backbreaking. It is designed to increase productivity and reduce heavy-lifting burdens on construction crews.

Masons set SAM up and work alongside it, continuing to use their knowledge and skills while letting the robot handle the repetition and physical labor. Business co-founder Scott Peters hopes this new technology will attract new talent to the industry and ultimately boost the U.S. economy by adding jobs. NSF provides early stage R&D funding to small businesses such as Construction Robotics to help them move their innovative ideas into the marketplace. Learn more about NSF SBIR/STTR programs and Construction Robotics. Multimedia Gallery - Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot | NSF - National Science Foundation. Multimedia Gallery - Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot | NSF - National Science Foundation. Multimedia Gallery - Meet SAM, the bricklaying robot | NSF - National Science Foundation. Gmail - Free Storage and Email from Google. Virtual Reality Companies Look to Science Fiction for Their Next Play.

Tech companies have spent years developing better, cheaper devices to immerse people in digital worlds. Yet they are still figuring out how to make virtual reality the kind of technology that people cannot live without. So for inspiration, they are turning to science fiction. At Oculus, a leading virtual reality company, a copy of the popular sci-fi novel “Ready Player One” is handed out to new hires. Magic Leap, a secretive augmented reality start-up, has hired science fiction and fantasy writers. The name of Microsoft’s HoloLens headset is a salute to the holodeck, a simulation room from “Star Trek.” “Like many other people working in the tech space, I’m not a creative person,” said Palmer Luckey, 23, a co-founder of Oculus, which was bought by Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. Those ideas are especially relevant now, as some of the biggest technology companies are nearing a major push of a new generation of virtual reality products. Photo Mr. In an interview, Mr. More broadly, Mr.

Multimedia Gallery - Robotic rehabilitation exoskeleton HARMONY (Image 9) | NSF - National Science Foundation. Cockrell School of Engineering graduate student Bongsu Kim demonstrates HARMONY, a first-of-its kind, two-armed, robotic rehabilitation exoskeleton that could provide a new method of high-quality, data-driven therapy to patients suffering from spinal and neurological injuries.

Developed by mechanical engineering researcher Ashish Deshpande and a team of graduate students with the Rehabilitation and Neuromuscular (ReNeu) Robotics Lab at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), HARMANY is designed to deliver full upper-body therapy with natural motion and tunable pressure and force, enabling the robot to feel weightless to patients.

HARMONYs software will enable therapists and doctors to deliver precise therapy while tracking and analyzing data. The researchers say HARMONY will help patients recover strength and motor skills after injuries and could also help them recover coordination for daily activities such as eating and dressing. Magnetic Nanoparticle Chains Offer New Technique for Controlling Soft Robots. Selective actuation of the side arms of a soft robot in a horizontal uniform magnetic field.

Image credit: Sumeet Mishra. Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique for using chains of magnetic nanoparticles to manipulate elastic polymers in three dimensions, which could be used to remotely control new “soft robots.” The ability to control the motion of soft robots, coupled with their flexibility, gives them potential applications ranging from biomedical technologies to manufacturing processes.

Researchers are interested in using magnetic fields to control the movement of these soft robots because it can be done remotely – the control can be exerted without physically connecting to the polymer – and because magnetic fields are easily obtained from permanent magnets and electromagnets. Chained magnetic polymer nanocomposite. The process begins by dispersing nanoparticles of magnetite – an iron oxide – into a solvent. How someday robots may run to the rescue -- literally | NSF - National Science Foundation. DiscoveryHow someday robots may run to the rescue -- literally University of Michigan engineers seek to perfect the science of balance December 14, 2015 Rescuers in Turkey are working tirelessly to free this young boy, one of the many victims of Sunday's devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

He's not yet been freed, but some have been lucky. Rescue workers manage to carry this toddler to safety on Monday morning. Some of the survivors aren't badly injured. Others, when rescued, are being taken straight to hospital. More than a thousand people are feared dead following the quake, and many more are thought to be still trapped under collapsed buildings. This was the call from an ITN/ODN television news reporter following a massive 2011 earthquake in Van Province, Turkey. "Tragedies like these remind the robotics community that robots are needed," he says. The walking problem In addition, bipedal robots require scientists and engineers to reprogram them to accomplish different walking tasks. Multimedia Gallery - 3-D-printed human cells - Biotech's Future | NSF - National Science Foundation. Nano3D Biosciences Inc., a small business funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, is using a magnetic 3-D bioprinting technology to re-imagine cell culture models and tissue printing engineering.

Hubert Tseng, a senior scientist at Nano3D Biosciences, Inc., explains the technology and its potentially transformative applications in this video. Tseng says he and his team magnetize these cells and then, use magnetic forces to print those cells into micro-tissues. He explains that they use a solution called "nanoshuttle," which consists of magnetic nanoparticles that attach to the cells to magnetize them. They can then print the magnetized cells into any shape they want by changing the shape of the magnet. In one experiment, Tseng describes taking induced pluripotent stem cell cardiomyocytes -- essentially, heart cells -- magnetizing and printing them into a sphere. The cells then started beating. Transhumanism knocking on your door. How evolutionary principles could help save our world. Press Release 14-120 How evolutionary principles could help save our world Battling modern threats to food, land and health with applied evolutionary biology September 11, 2014 The age of the Anthropocene--the scientific name given to our current geologic age--is dominated by human impacts on our environment.

A warming climate. That's the recommendation of a diverse group of researchers, in a paper published today in the online version of the journal Science. "Evolution isn't just about the past anymore, it's about the present and the future," said Scott Carroll, an evolutionary ecologist at University of California-Davis and one of the paper's authors.

The paper reviews current uses of evolutionary biology and recommends specific ways the field can contribute to the international sustainable development goals (SDGs), now in development by the United Nations. Seldom are these issues described in an evolutionary context, said Smith. Get News Updates by Email. Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity. Will You Ever Be Able to Upload Your Brain? Photo SOME hominid along the evolutionary path to humans was probably the first animal with the cognitive ability to understand that it would someday die. To be human is to cope with this knowledge. Many have been consoled by the religious promise of life beyond this world, but some have been seduced by the hope that they can escape death in this world. Such hopes, from Ponce de León’s quest to find a fountain of youth to the present vogue for cryogenic preservation, inevitably prove false. In recent times it has become appealing to believe that your dead brain might be preserved sufficiently by freezing so that some future civilization could bring your mind back to life.

Assuming that no future scientists will reverse death, the hope is that they could analyze your brain’s structure and use this to recreate a functioning mind, whether in engineered living tissue or in a computer with a robotic body. Continue reading the main story I am a theoretical neuroscientist. But that’s not all.


Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt. Looks Like Rain Again. And Again. Photo The acid test of a scientific theory is whether it makes predictions that eventually come true. So consider this old prediction, from a pair of researchers in Australia and New Zealand. They were summarizing the results of then-primitive computerized forecasts about : “The available evidence suggests that a warmer world is likely to experience an increase in the frequency of heavy precipitation events, associated with a more intense hydrological cycle and the increased water-holding capacity of a warmer atmosphere.”

That was published in 1995, and it was based on research going back to the 1980s. Fast forward to 2014. In the National Climate Assessment, published last week, researchers in the United States reported that “large increases in heavy precipitation have occurred in the Northeast, Midwest and Great Plains, where heavy downpours have frequently led to runoff that exceeded the capacity of storm drains and levees, and caused flooding events and accelerated erosion.” ‘Black Mirror’ and the Horrors and Delights of Technology. Photo One of the most disturbing moments in the British TV series “Black Mirror” is what appears to be a passionate love scene.

The episode takes place in a version of the future where most people have had small devices, called “grains,” surgically implanted in their heads that can record and replay their memories on demand. As the encounter progresses, it is revealed that the couple are actually having dull and mechanical sex, their eyes grayed out as they both tune into their grains to watch memories of their previous trysts, from an earlier, steamier time in their relationship.

Each episode of “Black Mirror” — named for the way our screens look while powered down — paints a different nightmarescape of a future gone technologically awry. In one episode, for example, a woman uses a mail-order kit to create a golem of her deceased boyfriend using his social-media profiles. Continue reading the main story Despite all the recent hype, “Black Mirror” isn’t a new show at all. Black Mirror. More upwelling expected in critical parts of future oceans. Press Release 15-016 More upwelling expected in critical parts of future oceans Data-driven climate study in Nature shows consistent projections of ocean changes across 22 models; impact on fisheries unclear February 19, 2015 A team of researchers from Northeastern University and Oregon State University published results in Nature today investigating the effects of climate change on coastal ocean upwelling, the process by which deep, cold waters rise toward the surface, bringing nutrients.

The results indicate that by the end of the 21st century, periods of annual upwelling in particular coastal areas will lengthen and intensify, while the differences in upwelling across latitudes will diminish. The findings are the product of a unique comparison of 22 state-of-the-art climate models from research groups all over the globe, and represent one of the first studies in coastal upwelling to use multi-model or ensemble modeling. Media Contacts Aaron Dubrow, NSF, (703) 292-4489, Gmail. ?articles. Cancer-immortality-cryogenics. Software Is Smart Enough for SAT, but Still Far From Intelligent. Brain New World | The Scientist Magazine®

Brain New World | The Scientist Magazine®