Abductive reasoning Abductive reasoning (also called abduction, abductive inference or retroduction) is a form of logical inference that goes from an observation to a hypothesis that accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation. In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as "inference to the best explanation".
How close are we to creating artificial intelligence... It is uncontroversial that the human brain has capabilities that are, in some respects, far superior to those of all other known objects in the cosmos. It is the only kind of object capable of understanding that the cosmos is even there, or why there are infinitely many prime numbers, or that apples fall because of the curvature of space-time, or that obeying its own inborn instincts can be morally wrong, or that it itself exists. Nor are its unique abilities confined to such cerebral matters.
Securing Your Wireless Network If you don't secure your wireless network, strangers could use it and gain access to your computer – including the personal and financial information you’ve stored on it. Protect your computer by using WPA encryption. Understand How a Wireless Network Works Going wireless generally requires connecting an internet "access point" – like a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router, which sends a signal through the air, sometimes as far as several hundred feet. Any computer within range with a wireless card can pull the signal from the air and access the internet. Unless you take certain precautions, anyone nearby with a wireless-ready computer or mobile device can use your network.
Cryptography Breakthrough Could Make Software Unhackable - Wired Science As a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996, Amit Sahai was fascinated by the strange notion of a “zero-knowledge” proof, a type of mathematical protocol for convincing someone that something is true without revealing any details of why it is true. As Sahai mulled over this counterintuitive concept, it led him to consider an even more daring notion: What if it were possible to mask the inner workings not just of a proof, but of a computer program, so that people could use the program without being able to figure out how it worked? The idea of “obfuscating” a program had been around for decades, but no one had ever developed a rigorous mathematical framework for the concept, let alone created an unassailable obfuscation scheme. Over the years, commercial software companies have engineered various techniques for garbling a computer program so that it will be harder to understand while still performing the same function. Too Powerful to Exist
IBM Scientists Show Blueprints for Brainlike Computing To create a computer as powerful as the human brain, perhaps we first need to build one that works more like a brain. Today, at the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks in Dallas, IBM researchers will unveil a radically new computer architecture designed to bring that goal within reach. Using simulations of enormous complexity, they show that the architecture, named TrueNorth, could lead to a new generation of machines that function more like biological brains. The announcement builds on IBM’s ongoing projects in cognitive computing. In 2011, the research team released computer chips that use a network of “neurosynaptic cores” to manage information in a way that resembles the functioning of neurons in a brain (see “IBM’s New Chips Compute More Like We Do”).
Beyond Zero and One: Machines, Psychedelics, and Consciousness by Andrew Smart review – inside the minds of computers Do androids dream of electric Kool-Aid acid tests? If there’s to be any hope for us, they will. That is the message of Andrew Smart’s splendidly mind-bending book, which mashes up Alan Turing, The Matrix, Immanuel Kant, “zombie AI”, Leibniz, and research on psychedelic drugs. In our age of techno-utopianism, we are routinely told in crypto-religious terms about the coming “Singularity” – the creation of superintelligent, conscious machines. One problem with superintelligent conscious machines, however – as SF writers down the ages and some modern philosophers agree – is that they might very well choose to destroy all humans. How to Secure Your Wireless Network Almost all of us have jumped onto someone else's unsecured Wi-Fi network. There's little harm in that if you're just an honest soul looking for an Internet connection. But if you're the owner of an unsecured network, you should be aware that the world's not made up entirely of honest souls--and it's not hard for the dishonest ones to see exactly what you're doing on your network. Sound scary?
NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar Alexander runs the nation’s cyberwar efforts, an empire he has built over the past eight years by insisting that the US’s inherent vulnerability to digital attacks requires him to amass more and more authority over the data zipping around the globe. In his telling, the threat is so mind-bogglingly huge that the nation has little option but to eventually put the entire civilian Internet under his protection, requiring tweets and emails to pass through his filters, and putting the kill switch under the government’s forefinger. “What we see is an increasing level of activity on the networks,” he said at a recent security conference in Canada. “I am concerned that this is going to break a threshold where the private sector can no longer handle it and the government is going to have to step in.” And he and his cyberwarriors have already launched their first attack.
DARPA, IBM Neurosynaptic Chip and Programming Language Mimic the Brain DARPA, IBM Neurosynaptic Chip and Programming Language Mimic the Brain Engineering is often inspired by nature—the hooks in velcro or dermal denticles in sharkskin swimsuits. Then there’s Darpa's SyNAPSE project. Not content with current computer architecture, SyNAPSE is building a new kind of computer based on the brain. Last year, scientists working on SyNAPSE announced they’d simulated 100 trillion synapses from a monkey brain on Sequoia, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
A Google DeepMind Algorithm Uses Deep Learning and More to Master the Game of Go Google has taken a brilliant and unexpected step toward building an AI with more humanlike intuition, developing a computer capable of beating even expert human players at the fiendishly complicated board game Go. The objective of Go, a game invented in China more than 2,500 years ago, is fairly simple: players must alternately place black and white “stones” on a grid of 19 horizontal and 19 vertical lines with the aim of surrounding the opponent’s pieces, and avoiding having one’s own pieces surrounded. Mastering Go, however, requires endless practice, as well as a finely tuned knack of recognizing subtle patterns in the arrangement of the pieces spread across the board. Google’s team has shown that the skills needed to master Go are not so uniquely human after all.
Five new threats to your mobile device security Attacks that proved successful on PCs are now being tested on unwitting mobile device users to see what works – and with the number of mobile devices with poor protection soaring, there are plenty of easy targets. “Attackers are definitely searching after the weakest point in the chain,” and then honing in on the most successful scams, says Lior Kohavi, CTO at CYREN, a cloud-based security solutions provider in McLean, Va. [Slideshow: 15 new, hot security and privacy apps for Android and iOS] Google’s Android operating system averaged 5,768 malware attacks daily over a six-month period, according to CYREN’s Security Report for 2013.
Paul Ford: What is Code? A computer is a clock with benefits. They all work the same, doing second-grade math, one step at a time: Tick, take a number and put it in box one. Tick, take another number, put it in box two. Tick, operate (an operation might be addition or subtraction) on those two numbers and put the resulting number in box one. Tick, check if the result is zero, and if it is, go to some other box and follow a new set of instructions.