Artificial neural network An artificial neural network is an interconnected group of nodes, akin to the vast network of neurons in a brain. Here, each circular node represents an artificial neuron and an arrow represents a connection from the output of one neuron to the input of another. For example, a neural network for handwriting recognition is defined by a set of input neurons which may be activated by the pixels of an input image. After being weighted and transformed by a function (determined by the network's designer), the activations of these neurons are then passed on to other neurons. This process is repeated until finally, an output neuron is activated. This determines which character was read.
Chapter 3: Neotechnological conditioning Chapter 3 Neotechnological Conditioning – Jean-Marc Mandosio “Reaction against machine-culture. The machine, itself a product of the highest intellectual energies, sets in motion in those who serve it almost nothing but the lower, non-intellectual energies. It thereby releases a vast quantity of energy in general that would otherwise lie dormant, it is true; but it provides no instigation to enhancement, to improvement, to becoming an artist. It makes men active and uniform—but in the long run this engenders a counter-effect, a despairing boredom of soul, which teaches them to long for idleness in all its varieties” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 1880).
Bioengineers Build Open Source Language for Programming Cells Drew Endy wants to build a programming language for the body. Endy is the co-director of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology — BIOFAB, for short — where he’s part of a team that’s developing a language that will use genetic data to actually program biological cells. That may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the project is already underway, and the team intends to open source the language, so that other scientists can use it and modify it and perfect it. The effort is part of a sweeping movement to grab hold of our genetic data and directly improve the way our bodies behave — a process known as bioengineering. With the Supreme Court exploring whether genes can be patented, the bioengineering world is at crossroads, but scientists like Endy continue to push this technology forward. According to Ziv Bar-Joseph, a computational biologist at Carnegie Mellon University, gene expression isn’t that different from the way computing systems talk to each other.
How to Understand Everything (and why) — Metamodern Too much to know, lots to know about In science and technology, there is a broad and integrative kind of knowledge that can be learned, but isn’t taught. It’s important, though, because it makes creative work more productive and makes costly blunders less likely. Formal education in science and engineering centers on teaching facts and problem-solving skills in a series of narrow topics. It is true that a few topics, although narrow in content, have such broad application that they are themselves integrative: These include (at a bare minimum) substantial chunks of mathematics and the basics of classical mechanics and electromagnetism, with the basics of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics close behind.
19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans 19-year-old Boyan Slat has unveiled plans to create an Ocean Cleanup Array that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic waste from the world’s oceans. The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling. At school, Boyan Slat launched a project that analyzed the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches.
Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet - Conor Friedersdorf An Air Force simulation says researchers are at work on killer robots so tiny that a group of them could blend into a cityscape. Science writer John Horgan's feature on the many ways drones will be used in coming years is interesting throughout, and terrifying in the passage where he describes an effort to build micro-drones that are, as the U.S. Air Force describes them, "Unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal." Air Force officials declined a request to observe flight tests at a "micro-aviary" they've built, he reported, but they did let him see a video dramatization "starring micro-UAVs that resemble winged, multi-legged bugs. The drones swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines. One of them sneaks up on a scowling man holding a gun and shoots him in the head."
Markus Kayser Builds a Solar-Powered 3D Printer that Prints Glass from Sand and a Sun-Powered Cutter Industrial designer and tinkerer Markus Kayser spent the better part of a year building and experimenting with two fantastic devices that harness the sun’s power in some of the world’s harshest climates. The first he calls a Sun Cutter, a low-tech light cutter that uses a large ball lens to focus the sun’s rays onto a surface that’s moved by a cam-guided system. As the surface moves under the magnified light it cuts 2D components like a laser. The project was tested for the first time in August 2010 in the Egyptian desert and Kayser used thin plywood to create the parts for a few pairs of pretty sweet shades. But he didn’t stop there.
MIT Creates New Energy Source This is some pretty exciting news. It seems that researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the most prestigious science and engineering schools in the United States, has created a new energy source -- and it's clean and renewable. The odd thing is that the only way you can see this energy source is with a very powerful microscope, because it is created by using nanotechnology. Man-Computer Symbiosis Man-Computer Symbiosis J. C. The 150 Things the World's Smartest People Are Afraid Of Every year, the online magazine Edge--the so-called smartest website in the world, helmed by science impresario John Brockman--asks top scientists, technologists, writers, and academics to weigh in on a single question. This year, that query was "What Should We Be Worried About?", and the idea was to identify new problems arising in science, tech, and culture that haven't yet been widely recognized. This year's respondents include former presidents of the Royal Society, Nobel prize-winners, famous sci-fi authors, Nassem Nicholas Taleb, Brian Eno, and a bunch of top theoretical physicists, psychologists, and biologists. And the list is long. Like, book-length long.
Marvin Minsky's Home Page MIT Media Lab and MIT AI Lab Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, MIT Professor of E.E.C.S., M.I.Tminsky at media.mit.edu Abstracts Bibliography Biography People Marvin Minsky has made many contributions to AI, cognitive psychology, mathematics, computational linguistics, robotics, and optics. The Turing Test First published Wed Apr 9, 2003; substantive revision Wed Jan 26, 2011 The phrase “The Turing Test” is most properly used to refer to a proposal made by Turing (1950) as a way of dealing with the question whether machines can think. According to Turing, the question whether machines can think is itself “too meaningless” to deserve discussion (442). However, if we consider the more precise—and somehow related—question whether a digital computer can do well in a certain kind of game that Turing describes (“The Imitation Game”), then—at least in Turing's eyes—we do have a question that admits of precise discussion.
Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. What Really Happened? In December 1996, snarky geeks created a newsgroup in his honor, alt.mckinstry.pencil-dick, taking as its charter "Discussion of Usenet kook McKinstry, aka 'McChimp.'" Leading the brigade was Jorn Barger, who would later run the site Robot Wisdom (and coin the term weblog). "You write like a teenager, and have shown frequent signs of extreme cluelessness," Barger emailed McKinstry in May 1995. McKinstry never shied away from a flame war. "I'm just sick of you spouting your highly uninformed opinion all over the net," he replied to Barger. He threatened legal action against people who, in an effort to refute his theories, quoted directly from his emails.
27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012 We may never have our flying cars, but the future is here. From creating fully functioning artificial leaves to hacking the human brain, science made a lot of breakthroughs this year. 1. Quadriplegic Uses Her Mind to Control Her Robotic Arm At the University of Pittsburgh, the neurobiology department worked with 52-year-old Jan Scheuermann over the course of 13 weeks to create a robotic arm controlled only by the power of Scheuermann’s mind.