Knowmads, Infocol...
Follow
Find
46.4K views | +31 today
 
Scooped by Wildcat2030
onto Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Scoop.it!

Bidirectional brain signals sense and move virtual objects | KurzweilAI

Bidirectional brain signals sense and move virtual objects | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Two monkeys trained at the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering have learned to employ brain activity alone to move an avatar hand and identify the...
more...
No comment yet.

From around the web

Knowmads, Infocology of the future
Exploring the possible , the probable, the plausible
Curated by Wildcat2030
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

This company is using machine learning to develop a cure for cancer

This company is using machine learning to develop a cure for cancer | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Boston-based Berg has spent the last six years perfecting an artificial intelligence platform that may soon crack the cancer code.

Could we be just two or three years away from curing cancer? Niven Narain, the president of Berg, a small Boston-based biotech firm, says that may very well be the case.

With funding from billionaire real-estate tycoon Carl Berg as well as from Mitch Gray, Narain, a medical doctor by training, and his small army of scientists, technicians, and programmers, have spent the last six years perfecting and testing an artificial intelligence platform that he believes could soon crack the cancer code, in addition to discovering valuable information about a variety of other terrible diseases, including Parkinson’s.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Short probabilistic programming machine-learning code replaces complex programs for computer-vision tasks | KurzweilAI

Short probabilistic programming machine-learning code replaces complex programs for computer-vision tasks | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Probabilistic programming does in 50 lines of code what used to take thousands

On some standard computer-vision tasks, short programs — less than 50 lines long — written in a probabilistic programming language are competitive with conventional systems with thousands of lines of code, MIT researchers have found.

Most recent advances in artificial intelligence — such as mobile apps that convert speech to text — are the result of machine learning, in which computers are turned loose on huge data sets to look for patterns.

To make machine-learning applications easier to build, computer scientists have begun developing so-called probabilistic programming languages, which let researchers mix and match machine-learning techniques that have worked well in other contexts. In 2013, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a four-year program to fund probabilistic-programming research.

“This is the first time that we’re introducing probabilistic programming in the vision area,” says Tejas Kulkarni, an MIT graduate student in brain and cognitive sciences and first author on the new paper. “The whole hope is to write very flexible models, both generative and discriminative models, as short probabilistic code, and then not do anything else. General-purpose inference schemes solve the problems.”

By the standards of conventional computer programs, those “models” can seem absurdly vague. One of the tasks that the researchers investigate, for instance, is constructing a 3-D model of a human face from 2-D images. Their program describes the principal features of the face as being two symmetrically distributed objects (eyes) with two more centrally positioned objects beneath them (the nose and mouth).

It requires a little work to translate that description into the syntax of the probabilistic programming language, but at that point, the model is complete. Feed the program enough examples of 2D images and their corresponding 3D models, and it will figure out the rest for itself.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The science of sexiness: why some people are just more attractive

The science of sexiness: why some people are just more attractive | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Face shape, body ratio, hair colour and smell are all linked to attraction

-

A new study suggests that long-distance runners are more attractive because they have greater levels of testosterone which makes them more manly and fertile.

But there are other biological and evolutionary triggers which are constantly drawing us to certain individuals, even if we don’t realise it is happening. Scientists in Geneva discovered that determining whether we are attracted to someone is one of the most complex tasks that the brain undertakes. Here are the scientific secrets of attraction:

Symmetry

Charles Darwin once wrote: "It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any universal standards of beauty with respect to the human body."

However recent research suggests that there are universal agreements about beauty which hold true across all cultures and even throughout the animal kingdom.

Probably the most important is facial symmetry. Having a face which is equal on both sides is a biological advert which tells prospective partners that good genes will be found in this body.

Lopsidedness is thought to reflect how development in the womb has been derailed by general poor health, bad DNA, alcohol or tobacco use.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

New group seeks to timeline the Anthropocene—when humans became the dominant force on Earth

New group seeks to timeline the Anthropocene—when humans became the dominant force on Earth | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
(Phys.org)—A team of four scientists has published a Perspectives piece in the journal Science outlining their arguments for reaching back further in time than others have suggested for the beginning of the Anthropocene—a geologic epoch defined by the impact of homo sapiens on planet Earth. William Ruddiman, Erle Ellis, Jed Kaplan and Dorian Fuller suggest that current arguments that point to modern exploits overlook the huge impact of forest clearing and farming many thousands of years ago.

Humans have had a major impact on planet Earth, there is no debating that. But have our efforts resulted in an un-reversible geologic impact? And if so, when exactly did it happen? That is what climatologists, geologists and other scientists have been debating for the past several years. Back in 2000 Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer published a paper igniting the debate by coining the word Anthropocene to describe what they felt was the current epoch—where humans are the driving force, instead of nature. They suggested its start was the 1700's because that was when the industrial revolution got going.

Over the past fifteen years, many others have published papers offering their ideas on when the Anthropocene got its start, with some debating whether it ever really did. In this new paper, the authors suggest that if a start date is to be identified it should take into account the massive changes wrought by cutting down forests and the start of agriculture, which they say pushes the date back 11,000 years, or perhaps to the time when humans began wiping out other large animals such as the woolly mammoth, around 50,000 years ago.

The thing that is making it difficult to settle the matter is the absence of a clearly identifiable marker, known as a golden spike, e.g., the comet that killed off the dinosaurs. Some have suggested that scientists finding traces of radiation worldwide from nuclear tests is such a marker, while others point to the finding of carbon ash (due to burning coal) in soils.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Why organism engineering could be a foodie’s dream come true

Why organism engineering could be a foodie’s dream come true | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Thanks to recent advances in synthetic biology — a hybrid discipline of engineering and biology that makes possible the manipulation of DNA of microorganisms such as yeast, bacteria, fungi and algae — a new generation of “organism engineers” has already started experimenting with the creation of new flavors and ingredients. In doing so, they have the potential to transform synthetic biology into a new creative platform to enable chefs, bakers or brewers to create new flavor profiles for food and drink.

Imagine being able to create the next acclaimed ingredient that makes foods more savory, harnessing the power of the “noble rot” to make a wine the equal of a bottle of Château d’Yquem, or fermenting a new cheese that has more flavor complexity than Roquefort. Creative types in foodie capitals around the nation would no doubt be interested in experimenting with these new products and tastes, just as visionary chefs Ferran Adrià, Wylie Dufresne and Grant Achatz experimented with the molecular gastronomy trend when it first started to go mainstream.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Science’s Path From Myth to Multiverse | Quanta Magazine

Science’s Path From Myth to Multiverse |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
We can think of the history of physics as an attempt to unify the world around us: Gradually, over many centuries, we’ve come to see that seemingly unrelated phenomena are intimately connected. The physicist Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas, Austin, received his Nobel Prize in 1979 for a major breakthrough in that quest — showing how electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force are manifestations of the same underlying theory (he shared the prize with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow). That work became a cornerstone of the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes how the fundamental building blocks of the universe come together to create the world we see.

In his new book To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science, Weinberg examines how modern science was born. By tracing the development of what we now call the “scientific method” — an approach, developed over centuries, that emphasizes experiments and observations rather than reasoning from first principles — he makes the argument that science, unlike other ways of interpreting the world around us, can offer true progress. Through science, our understanding of the world improves over time, building on what has come before. Mistakes can happen, but are eventually corrected. Weinberg spoke with Quanta Magazine about the past and future of physics, the role of philosophy within science, and the startling possibility that the universe we see around us is a tiny sliver of a much larger multiverse. An edited and condensed version of the interview follows.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Photosynthesis hack needed to feed the world by 2050 | KurzweilAI

Photosynthesis hack needed to feed the world by 2050 | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
High-performance computing and genetic engineering could boost crop photosynthetic efficiency enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in an open-access paper in the journal Cell.

“We now know every step in the processes that drive photosynthesis in plants such as soybeans and maize,” said University of Illinois plant biology professor Stephen P. Long, who wrote the report with colleagues from Illinois and the CAS-MPG Partner Institute of Computational Biology in Shanghai.

Improvement strategies

“We have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and determine where the bottlenecks are, and advances in genetic engineering will help us augment or circumvent those steps that impede efficiency. Long suggested several strategies.

Add pigments. “Our lab and others have put a gene from cyanobacteria into crop plants and found that it boosts the photosynthetic rate by 30 percent. ” But Long says we could improve that. “Some bacteria and algae contain pigments that utilize more of the solar spectrum than plant pigments do. If added to plants, those pigments could bolster the plants’ access to solar energy.

Add the blue-green algae system. Some scientists are trying to engineer C4 photosynthesis in C3 plants, but this means altering plant anatomy, changing the expression of many genes and inserting new genes from C4 plants, Long said. “Another, possibly simpler approach is to add to the C3 chloroplast the system used by ,” he said. This would increase the activity of Rubisco, an enzyme that catalyzes a vital step of the conversion of atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant biomass. Computer models suggest adding this system would increase photosynthesis as much as 60 percent, Long said.

More sunlight for lower leaves. Computer analyses of the way plant leaves intercept sunlight have revealed other ways to improve photosynthesis. Many plants intercept too much light in their topmost leaves and too little in lower leaves; this probably allows them to outcompete their neighbors, but in a farmer’s field such competition is counterproductive, Long said. Studies headed by U. of I. plant biology professor Donald Ort aim to make plants’ upper leaves lighter, allowing more sunlight to penetrate to the light-starved lower leaves.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The 3D Additivist Manifesto

The 3D Additivist Manifesto | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Derived from petrochemicals boiled into being from the black oil of a trillion ancient bacterioles, the plastic used in 3D Additive manufacturing is a metaphor before it has even been layered into shape. Its potential belies the complications of its history: that matter is the sum and prolongation of our ancestry; that creativity is brutal, sensual, rude, coarse, and cruel. 1 We declare that the world’s splendour has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of crap, kipple 2 and detritus. A planet crystallised with great plastic tendrils like serpents with pixellated breath 3 …for a revolution that runs on disposable armaments is more desirable than the contents of Edward Snowden’s briefcase; more breathtaking than The United Nations Legislative Series.

Wildcat2030's insight:

A fascinating manifesto.. go read

more...
Alessio Erioli's curator insight, March 25, 12:48 PM

"There is nothing which our infatuated race would desire to see more than the fertile union between a man and an Analytical Engine. Yet humankind are the antediluvian prototypes of a far vaster Creation. 4 The whole of humankind can be understood as a biological medium, of which synthetic technology is but one modality. Thought and Life both have been thoroughly dispersed on the winds of information. 5 Our power and intelligence do not belong specifically to us, but to all matter. 6 Our technologies are the sex organs of material speculation. Any attempt to understand these occurrences is blocked by our own anthropomorphism.  7 In order to proceed, therefore, one has to birth posthuman machines, a fantasmagoric and unrepresentable repertoire of actual re-embodiments of the most hybrid kinds. 8"

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Breakthrough DNA Editor Borne of Bacteria | Quanta Magazine

Breakthrough DNA Editor Borne of Bacteria |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Interest in a powerful DNA editing tool called CRISPR has revealed that bacteria are far more sophisticated than anyone imagined.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question | Quanta Magazine

Game Theory Calls Cooperation Into Question |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A new solution to the prisoner’s dilemma, a classic game theory scenario, has created new puzzles in evolutionary biology.

When the manuscript crossed his desk, Joshua Plotkin, a theoretical biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, was immediately intrigued. The physicist Freeman Dyson and the computer scientist William Press, both highly accomplished in their fields, had found a new solution to a famous, decades-old game theory scenario called the prisoner’s dilemma, in which players must decide whether to cheat or cooperate with a partner. The prisoner’s dilemma has long been used to help explain how cooperation might endure in nature. After all, natural selection is ruled by the survival of the fittest, so one might expect that selfish strategies benefiting the individual would be most likely to persist. But careful study of the prisoner’s dilemma revealed that organisms could act entirely in their own self-interest and still create a cooperative community.

Press and Dyson’s new solution to the problem, however, threw that rosy perspective into question. It suggested the best strategies were selfish ones that led to extortion, not cooperation.

Plotkin found the duo’s math remarkable in its elegance. But the outcome troubled him. Nature includes numerous examples of cooperative behavior. For example, vampire bats donate some of their blood meal to community members that fail to find prey. Some species of birds and social insects routinely help raise another’s brood. Even bacteria can cooperate, sticking to each other so that some may survive poison. If extortion reigns, what drives these and other acts of selflessness?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

A Machine That Trains Your Brain to Pay Attention

A Machine That Trains Your Brain to Pay Attention | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A new brain-scanning technique could change the way scientists think about human focus.

Human attention isn’t stable, ever, and it costs us: lives lost when drivers space out, billions of dollars wasted on inefficient work, and mental disorders that hijack focus. Much of the time, people don’t realize they’ve stopped paying attention until it’s too late. This “flight of the mind,” as Virginia Woolf called it, is often beyond conscious control.

So researchers at Princeton set out to build a tool that could show people what their brains are doing in real time, and signal the moments when their minds begin to wander. And they've largely succeeded, a paper published today in the journal Nature Neuroscience reports. The scientists who invented this attention machine, led by professor Nick Turk-Browne, are calling it a “mind booster.” It could, they say, change the way we think about paying attention—and even introduce new ways of treating illnesses like depression.

Here’s how the brain decoder works: You lie down in an a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (fMRI)—similar to the MRI machines used to diagnose diseases—which lets scientists track brain activity. Once you're in the scanner, you watch a series of pictures and press a button when you see certain targets. The task is like a video game—the dullest video game in the world, really, which is the point. You see a face, overlaid atop an image of a landscape. Your job is to press a button if the face is female, as it is 90 percent of the time, but not if it’s male. And ignore the landscape. (There’s also a reverse task, in which you’re asked to judge whether the scene is outside or inside, and ignore the faces.)

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Risk of extreme weather 'doubles'

Risk of extreme weather 'doubles' | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling.

-

Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling.

Parts of the world will have weather patterns that switch between extremes of wet and dry, say scientists.

The US will see more droughts while flooding will become more common in the western Pacific, research suggests.

The study, in Nature Climate Change, adds to a growing body of evidence over climate change and extreme weather.

The latest data - based on detailed climate modelling work - suggests extreme La Nina events in the Pacific Ocean will almost double with global warming, from one in 23 years to one in 13 years.

Most will follow extreme El Nino events, meaning frequent swings between opposite extremes from one year to the next.

Lead researcher Dr Wenju Cai from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, said this would mean an increase in the occurrence of "devastating weather events with profound socio-economic consequences".

"El Nino and La Nina can be a major driver of extreme weather," he said. "We are going to see these extreme weather [events] become more frequent."

El Nino and La Nina are complex weather patterns arising from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. They can have large-scale impacts on global weather and climate.

La Niña is sometimes referred to as the cold phase and El Niño as the warm phase of this natural climate phenomenon.

more...
Sameha's curator insight, January 27, 8:25 AM

Hi every body 

Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Energy-harvesting discovery generates 200 times higher voltage to power wearables, other portable devices | KurzweilAI

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) researchers have discovered how to radically improve conversion of ambient energy (such as body movement) to electrical energy for powering wearable and portable devices.

As has been noted on KurzweilAI, energy-harvesting devices can convert ambient mechanical energy sources — including body movement, sound, and other forms of vibration — into electricity. The energy-harvesting devices or “nanogenerators” typically use piezoelectric materials such as zinc oxide* (ZnO) to convert mechanical energy to electricity. Uses of such devices include wearables and devices for portable communication, healthcare monitoring, environmental monitoring; and for medical implants.

The researchers explored ways to improve “vertically integrated nanogenerator” energy-harvesting chips based on ZnO. They inserted an aluminum-nitride insulating layer into a conventional energy-harvesting chip based on ZnO and found that the added layer increased the output voltage a whopping 140 to 200 times (from 7 millivolts to 1 volt, in one configuration). This increase was the result of the high dielectric constant (increasing the electric field) and large Young’s modulus (stiffness).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Cow Milk Without the Cow Is Coming to Change Food Forever | WIRED

Cow Milk Without the Cow Is Coming to Change Food Forever | WIRED | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Counter Culture Labs takes its name pretty literally. It is a bio lab, for sure, complete with pipettes, carboys, microscopes, and flasks. But it is decidedly counter to the traditional culture of laboratory science. The DIY tinkerers who hang out here—in the back of a sprawling space that used to house a heavy metal club in Oakland, California—are working beyond conventional notions of inquiry and research. Their goal is nothing less than to hack nature.

Consider one group of bio-hackers who meet in the lab each Monday night to work on a project that sounds like a contradiction in terms: They’re trying to make cow’s milk cheese without the cow. Using mail-order DNA, they’re tricking yeast cells into producing a substance that’s molecularly identical to milk. And if successful, they’ll turn this milk into cheese. Real cheese. But vegan cheese. Real vegan cheese.
That’s the name of the project: Real Vegan Cheese. These hackers want cheese that tastes like the real thing, but they don’t want it coming from an animal. Abandoning real cheese is one of the hardest sacrifices vegans must make, says one member of the group, Benjamin Rupert, a chemist by training and a vegan for the past decade. With Real Vegan Cheese, they won’t have to. “What we’re making is identical to the animal protein,” he says. “You’re not giving anything up, really.”
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

How Artificial Intelligence Will Eliminate The Need For The Vast Majority Of Life Insurance Agents

How Artificial Intelligence Will Eliminate The Need For The Vast Majority Of Life Insurance Agents | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
All the professions are going to be reconfigured by artificial intelligence. The result will be fewer professionals and many of their roles “downgraded.” Advances in artificial intelligence, also known as cognitive computing, are starting to cause a seismic shift in the professions. The eventual result is the eradication of many positions [...]
more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Ek Je Ache Blog
Scoop.it!

Carbon3d demonstrated a new 3D-Printer: One more step towards the future

Carbon3d demonstrated a new 3D-Printer: One more step towards the future | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Today every minute that goes by always brings something new. It doesn’t matter what domain we are talking about, we must accept that changes are happening faster. If we look at an example of technology

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Ants in space grapple well with zero-g

Ants in space grapple well with zero-g | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Ants carried to the International Space Station were still able to use teamwork to search new areas, despite falling off the walls of their containers for up to eight seconds at a time.

Their "collective search" was hampered but still took place, biologists said.

The insects also showed an impressive knack for regaining their footing after taking a zero-g tumble.

Researchers want to learn from the ants' cooperative methods and develop search algorithms for groups of robots

The ants were sent aloft in a supply rocket in January 2014, and results from the experiments are now published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Speaking to the BBC's Science in Action, senior author Deborah Gordon said that ants have demonstrated their remarkable collective abilities in myriad environments on Earth, but the results from the microgravity conditions of the Space Station were something new.

"We had no idea what the ants would do. We didn't know if they would be able to search at all," said Prof Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University.

As it turned out, although they had a little difficulty maintaining contact as they crawled, once adrift the ants showed a "remarkable ability" to get their six feet back on solid ground.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Study shows humans are evolving faster than previously thought

Study shows humans are evolving faster than previously thought | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Study shows humans are evolving faster than previously thought

Results of largest ever genetics study of a single population could also help refine dates for major events during human evolution

Humans are evolving more rapidly than previously thought, according to the largest ever genetics study of a single population.

Scientists reached the conclusion after showing that almost every man alive can trace his origins to one common male ancestor who lived about 250,000 years ago. The discovery that so-called “genetic Adam”, lived about 100,000 years more recently than previously understood suggests that humans must have been genetically diverging at a more rapid rate than thought.

Kári Stefánsson, of the company deCODE Genetics and senior author of the study, said: “It means we have evolved faster than we thought.”

The study also shows that the most recent common male ancestor was alive at around the same time as “mitochondrial Eve” - the last woman to whom all females alive today can trace their mitochondrial DNA.

Unlike their biblical counterparts, genetic Adam and Eve were by no means the only humans alive, and although they almost certainly never met, the latest estimate which gives a closer match between their dates makes more sense, according to the researchers.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

‘Penguin’ Anomaly Hints at Missing Particles | Quanta Magazine

‘Penguin’ Anomaly Hints at Missing Particles |  Quanta Magazine | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A penguin-shaped anomaly first detected two years ago has survived a comprehensive new analysis of data from the first run of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), scientists revealed today at a meeting in La Thuile, Italy.

The anomaly, an unexpected measurement of rare particle decays called “penguin processes,” isn’t statistically significant enough to constitute a discovery, but if the signal strengthens in the LHC’s upcoming second run, it will imply the existence of new elementary particles beyond those of the Standard Model — the precise but incomplete equations that have governed particle physics for 40 years.

“What we find is that this anomaly has persisted,” said Guy Wilkinson, a physicist at the University of Oxford and the spokesperson for the LHCb collaboration, which first detected the statistical bump in penguin decays in 2013. “This is extremely interesting.”

The finding comes as the LHC sputters back to life after a two-year upgrade that will nearly double its previous operating energy. The hopes of thousands of particle physicists are riding on the protons that in the coming years will collide there, shattering into petabytes of data that may carry long-awaited answers to fundamental questions about nature, and the penguin anomaly is one reason for optimism.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Antarctic ice shelf thinning speeds up

Antarctic ice shelf thinning speeds up | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Scientists have their best view yet of the status of Antarctica's floating ice shelves and they find them to be thinning at an accelerating rate.

Fernando Paolo and colleagues used 18 years of data from European radar satellites to compile their assessment.

In the first half of that period, the total losses from these tongues of ice that jut out from the continent amounted to 25 cubic km per year.

But by the second half, this had jumped to 310 cubic km per annum.

"For the decade before 2003, ice-shelf volume for all Antarctica did not change much," said Mr Paolo from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, US.

"Since then, volume loss has been significant. The western ice shelves have been persistently thinning for two decades, and earlier gains in the eastern ice shelves ceased in the most recent decade," he told BBC News.

The satellite research is published in Science Magazine. It is a step up from previous studies, which provided only short snapshots of behaviour. Here, the team has combined the data from three successive orbiting altimeter missions operated by the European Space Agency (Esa).
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Are humans getting cleverer?

Are humans getting cleverer? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
What is behind the so-called Flynn Effect - the pattern of rising IQ scores around the world?

-

IQ is rising in many parts of the world. What's behind the change and does it really mean people are cleverer than their grandparents?

It is not unusual for parents to comment that their children are brainier than they are. In doing so, they hide a boastful remark about their offspring behind a self-deprecating one about themselves. But a new study, published in the journal Intelligence, provides fresh evidence that in many cases this may actually be true.

The researchers - Peera Wongupparaj, Veena Kumari and Robin Morris at Kings College London - did not themselves ask anyone to sit an IQ test, but they analysed data from 405 previous studies. Altogether, they harvested IQ test data from more than 200,000 participants, captured over 64 years and from 48 countries.

Focusing on one part of the IQ test, the Raven's Progressive Matrices, they found that on average intelligence has risen the equivalent of 20 IQ points since 1950. IQ tests are designed to ensure that the average result is always 100, so this is a significant jump.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

A prosthetic hand that moves and provides sensation, just like a natural hand | KurzweilAI

A prosthetic hand that moves and provides sensation, just like a natural hand | KurzweilAI | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
DARPA’s Hand Proprioception and Touch Interfaces (HAPTIX) program aims to develop fully implantable, modular and reconfigurable neural-interface systems that
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

University of California, Santa Cruz to Develop Human Genome Variation Map | Simons Foundation

University of California, Santa Cruz to Develop Human Genome Variation Map | Simons Foundation | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The Simons Foundation awarded a grant to a team of researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz to develop a graph-based human reference genome.

In 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) successfully mapped a large portion of the human genome. Since that time, the HGP’s genomic map — a linear sequence of the four DNA bases — has served as a single reference genome for all novel sequencing data. But while immensely valuable, the HGP’s reference genome does not account for all genomic variation, making it inadequate for representing humanity as a whole, which encompasses many and complicated genetic variants.

“In the decade since the HGP announced the completion of a major portion of their work, the vast improvement in our understanding of the complexity of the genome, the rapid improvement of technology for sequencing genomes and the increasingly broad application of this technology have created a need to rethink how scientists describe to one another the rich patterns of genomic variations uncovered by cutting-edge experiments,” says Nick Carriero, group leader for software development at the Simons Center for Data Analysis. “Given that study of variation is at the heart of most medical and life sciences genome-based research, addressing this challenge is critical to advancing these fields.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

The Incredible AI That Can Watch Videos and Tell You What It's Seeing | WIRED

A startup called Clarifai is able to search video images in a matter of seconds and figure out what's inside them. Watch how it works in this demo video.

-

We’ve glimpsed the future of online search, and here it is: a 17-second video of a puppy brought to you by Clarifai, a tiny startup that specializes in artificial intelligence.

The video (above) shows the puppy looking very cute as it nuzzles with its female owner, but the interesting stuff is happening in the squiggly lines below. Using a database of 10,000 visual categories Clarifai has built over the past six months, the company’s software tracks the images that appear in the video, automatically describing it with words like “dog,” “female,” “eyes,” and even “cute.”

The idea is that you can then search for these words, and the software will tell you when the corresponding images appear.

It’s part of a trend in artificial intelligence, called deep learning, that’s sweeping through technology giants, giving us software that approaches human levels of perception. Google uses it to boost Android’s voice recognition. Microsoft uses it in a Star Trek-like instant language translator. Facebook is using it to improve its automatic tagging of everyone in your photos. And soon, deep learning will change how we search through videos, making it possible for machines to analyze clips and quickly understand what’s within them.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Wildcat2030
Scoop.it!

Humanity is in the existential danger zone, study confirms

Humanity is in the existential danger zone, study confirms | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The Earth’s climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have, in the context of geological timescales, produced near instantaneous planetary-scale disruption. We are sowing the seeds of havoc on the Earth, it suggests, and the time is fast approaching when we will reap this harvest.

This in the year that the UN climate change circus will pitch its tents in Paris. December’s Conference of the Parties will be the first time individual nations submit their proposals for their carbon emission reduction targets. Sparks are sure to fly.

The research, published in the journal Science, should focus the minds of delegates and their nations as it lays out in authoritative fashion how far we are driving the climate and other vital Earth systems beyond any safe operating space. The paper, headed by Will Steffen of the Australian National University and Stockholm Resilience Centre, concludes that our industrialised civilisation is driving a number of key planetary processes into areas of high risk.

It argues climate change along with “biodiversity integrity” should be recognised as core elements of the Earth system. These are two of nine planetary boundaries that we must remain within if we are to avoid undermining the biophysical systems our species depends upon.

The original planetary boundaries were conceived in 2009 by a team lead by Johan Rockstrom, also of the Stockholm Resilience Centre. Together with his co-authors, Rockstrom produced a list of nine human-driven changes to the Earth’s system: climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone depletion, alteration of nitrogen and phosphorus cycling, freshwater consumption, land use change, biodiversity loss, aerosol and chemical pollution. Each of these nine, if driven hard enough, could alter the planet to the point where it becomes a much less hospitable place on which to live.

more...
No comment yet.