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Knowmads, Infocology of the future
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Embodiment, Computation And the Nature of Artificial Intelligence - Technology Review

Embodiment, Computation And the Nature of Artificial Intelligence - Technology Review | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
The notion of intelligence makes no sense without a broader view of computation, argues one of the world's leading AI researchers...

One of the buzzwords in artificial intelligence research these days is 'embodiment', the idea that intelligence requires a body.

But in the last few years, a growing body researchers have begun to explore the possibility that this definition is too limited. Led by Rolf Pfeifer at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, these guys say that the notion of intelligence makes no sense outside of the environment in which it operates.

For them, the notion of embodiment must, of course, capture how the brain is embedded in a body but also how this body is embedded in the broader environment.

Today, Pfeifer and Matej Hoffmann, also at the University of Zurich, set out this thinking in a kind of manifesto for a new approach to AI. And their conclusion has far reaching consequences. They say it's not just artificial intelligence that we need to redefine, but the nature of computing itself.

The paper takes the form of a number of case studies examining the nature of embodiment in various physical systems. For example, Pfeifer and Hoffmann look at the distribution of light-sensing cells within fly eyes.

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The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance: Scientific American

The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance: Scientific American | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Do you enjoy having time to yourself, but always feel a little guilty about it? Then Susan Cain’s “Quiet : The Power of Introverts” is for you. It’s part book, part manifesto. We live in a nation that values its extroverts – the outgoing, the lovers of crowds – but not the quiet types who change the world. She recently answered questions from Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook.

Cook: This may be a stupid question, but how do you define an introvert? How can somebody tell whether they are truly introverted or extroverted?

Cain: Not a stupid question at all! Introverts prefer quiet, minimally stimulating environments, while extroverts need higher levels of stimulation to feel their best. Stimulation comes in all forms – social stimulation, but also lights, noise, and so on. Introverts even salivate more than extroverts do if you place a drop of lemon juice on their tongues! So an introvert is more likely to enjoy a quiet glass of wine with a close friend than a loud, raucous party full of strangers.

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Will Artificial Intelligence be America’s Next Big Thing?

Will Artificial Intelligence be America’s Next Big Thing? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

In the next decade, the United States will use increasingly capable artificial intelligence (AI) to greatly reduce the cost of health care, accelerate research and development into new medicines, improve cars and roads to reduce gridlock, and even regain much of the manufacturing base we lost to countries like China, say researchers in computer science, robotics, and management. They claim that AI will soon change the work of doctors, nurses and teachers across the country, create entirely new businesses, and radically remake industries already in existence.

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Human Brains Wire Up Slowly but Surely - ScienceNOW

Human Brains Wire Up Slowly but Surely - ScienceNOW | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

As the father-to-son exchange in the old Cat Stevens song advised, "take your time, think a lot, ... think of everything you’ve got." Turns out the mellow ’70s folkie had stumbled upon what may explain a key feature of our brains that sets us apart from our closest relatives: We unhurriedly make synaptic connections through much of our early childhoods, and this plasticity enables us to slowly wire our brains based on our experiences. Given that humans and chimpanzees share 98.8% of the same genes, researchers have long wondered what drives our unique cognitive and social skills. Yes, chimpanzees are smart and cooperative to a degree, but we clearly outshine them when it comes to abstract thinking, self-regulation, assimilation of cultural knowledge, and reasoning abilities. Now a study that looks at postmortem brain samples from humans, chimpanzees, and macaques collected from before birth to up to the end of the life span for each of these species has found a key difference in the expression of genes that control the development and function of synapses, the connections among neurons through which information flows.

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Mourning Digitally | Anthropology in Practice, Scientific American Blog Network

Mourning Digitally | Anthropology in Practice, Scientific American Blog Network | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
How are social technologies changing the experience of death for those charged with remembering?

Death has been referred to as the great equalizer—it is the one fate we cannot escape. And cultures around the world have developed highly ritualized approaches to coping with death. For example, Alan Klima (2002) documents the funeral casino in Thailand where rites of exchange work to mediate the relationships between the living, and between the living and the deceased (7). In Thailand, Klima reports, wakes are transformed into impromptu casinos. He describes the wake scene of the death of a beloved father:.

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Ethics and Genomic Research: ‘Genomethics’ « Genomes Unzipped

Ethics and Genomic Research: ‘Genomethics’ « Genomes Unzipped | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Dr Anna Middleton is an Ethics Researcher and Registered Genetic Counsellor, based at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. She leads the ethics component of the Deciphering Developmental Disorders study, a collaborative project involving WTSI and the 23 National Health Service Regional Clinical Genetics Services in the UK. This project involves searching for the genetic cause of developmental disorders, using array-CGH, SNP genotyping and exome sequencing, in ~12,000 children in the UK who currently have no genetic diagnosis. One of the issues raised by this, and many other research projects, is what should happen to ‘incidental’ findings, i.e. potentially interesting results from genomic analyses that are not directly related to the condition under study. Here Anna discusses the research she is conducting on this topic as part of the DDD study, and provides a link to the DDD Genomethics survey where you can share your own views (I should also disclose here that both Caroline and I also work on the DDD study).[KIM]

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Meet the beetles: Social networks provide clues to natural selection | Science Codex

Meet the beetles: Social networks provide clues to natural selection | Science Codex | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Think of them as a group of guys, hanging out together, but not spending much time with the ladies, nor getting much "action." Except these "guys" are forked fungus beetles. Forked what? Yes, forked fungus beetles.
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Catching A Mood On Facebook -Positive and negative emotions spread on social network Science News

Catching A Mood On Facebook -Positive and negative emotions spread on social network Science News | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Positive and negative emotions spread on social network...

SAN DIEGO — Facebook users can spread emotions to their online connections just by posting a written message, or status update, that’s positive or negative, says a psychologist who works for the wildly successful social network.

This finding challenges the idea that emotions get passed from one person to another via vocal cues, such as rising or falling tone, or by a listener unconsciously imitating a talker’s body language, said Adam Kramer on January 27 at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Kramer works at Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

“It’s time to rethink how emotional contagion works, since vocal cues and mimicry aren’t needed,” Kramer said. “Facebook users’ emotion leaks into the emotional worlds of their friends.”


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Cloning scientists create human brain cells

Cloning scientists create human brain cells | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Scientists in Edinburgh who pioneered cloning have made a technological breakthrough that could pave the way for better medical treatment of mental illnesses and nerve diseases...
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Meet Deep Dive, the New York Times’ experimental context engine and story explorer

Meet Deep Dive, the New York Times’ experimental context engine and story explorer | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Using an article as a jumping-off point, Deep Dive can create a custom, contextual feed that will allow readers to follow topics in the news.
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“Who’s There?” Is The Self A Convenient Fiction?

“Who’s There?” Is The Self A Convenient Fiction? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
For a long time people thought that the self was unified and eternal. It’s easy to see why. We feel like we have an essence; we grow old, gain and lose friends, and change preferences but we are ...
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Our Digital Book Future: Turning A New Virtual Page In Human Evolution - Forbes

Our Digital Book Future: Turning A New Virtual Page In Human Evolution - Forbes | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Digital books, streaming music, apps that allow people to compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores with the price on Amazon.com.  The more we talk about these things, the more I feel like we're having the same conversation over and over again with a slightly new twist each time: how to think about the future and the co-evolution of society and technology in a time of rapid change. It’s not an easy conversation to have, and yet it’s really the foundation for everything from anti-piracy legislation like SOPA to understanding how the internet can have an impact on a musician’s paycheck.

 

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Brain Interfaces Made of Silk -Gentler, softer electrodes wrap around the folds of the brain Technology Review

Brain Interfaces Made of Silk -Gentler, softer electrodes wrap around the folds of the brain Technology Review | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Gentler, softer electrodes wrap around the folds of the brain to take higher-resolution measurements.

Via Andrea Graziano
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Bristol launches its own currency

Bristol launches its own currency | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
A new currency is launched in Bristol, which will be used in independent businesses and aims to be the largest local trading system in Europe.
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The complex relationship between memory and silence | Science Codex

People who suffer a traumatic experience often don't talk about it, and many forget it over time. But not talking about something doesn't always mean you'll forget it; if you try to force yourself not to think about white bears, soon you'll be imagining polar bears doing the polka. A group of psychological scientists explore the relationship between silence and memories in a new paper published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

"There's this idea, with silence, that if we don't talk about something, it starts fading," says Charles B. Stone of Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, an author of the paper. But that belief isn't necessarily backed up by empirical psychological research—a lot of it comes from a Freudian belief that everyone has deep-seated issues we're repressing and ought to talk about. The real relationship between silence and memory is much more complicated, Stone says.

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Discovery of extremely long-lived proteins may provide insight into cell aging | Science Codex

Discovery of extremely long-lived proteins may provide insight into cell aging | Science Codex | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
La Jolla, CA---- One of the big mysteries in biology is why cells age. Now scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies report that they have discovered a weakness in a component of brain cells that may explain how the aging process occurs in the brain.

The scientists discovered that certain proteins, called extremely long-lived proteins (ELLPs), which are found on the surface of the nucleus of neurons, have a remarkably long lifespan.

While the lifespan of most proteins totals two days or less, the Salk Institute researchers identified ELLPs in the rat brain that were over one year of age, a finding they reported today in Science.
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Too Big to Know: David Weinberger explains how knowledge works in the Internet age

Too Big to Know: David Weinberger explains how knowledge works in the Internet age | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
David Weinberger is one of the Internet's clearest and cleverest thinkers, an understated and deceptively calm philosopher who builds his arguments like a bricklayer builds a wall, one fact at a time.
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Bonobos (And Maybe Baboons) Domesticated Themselves « NextNature.net

Bonobos (And Maybe Baboons) Domesticated Themselves « NextNature.net | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

While evidence indicates that humans domesticated themselves, we’re not the only primates capable of self-domestication. Bonobos and baboons have shown they are just as capable of turning a kinder, gentler, and more cuddly culture into hardwired changes in their genomes.

Bonobos, aka the “sexy ape”, look a lot like chimpanzees and share the same forest habitat. It stands to reason that they should be similar in most other regards, but the two species are wildly different. On a physical level, bonobos have smaller skulls and canine teeth, but their greatest differences lie in the social realm. Bonobos are the laid-back lovers compared to the chimpanzee’s neurotic warmongers.

Bonobos spend more time playing and grooming than chimps. They have sex for just about any reason: so say hello, to solve conflicts, to celebrate finding food. A “bonobo handshake” is not how humans would want to start a business meeting. In the bonobo’s reduced physical stature and playful spirit, researchers have recently recognized the same changes that occurred when wolves became dogs, or when aurochs became cattle. But while dogs needed humans for domestication, bonobos have done it all on their own.

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The Realities of Reason

The Realities of Reason | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

The theory holds that when we reason, we generate models of what is possible given not only the stated premises but also our own knowledge. Our limited working memory makes it difficult for us to think of all possible models, and this limitation, according to Johnson-Laird, is one of our biggest cognitive failures.
We also assume that our mental models only represent what is true, which can lead to systematic fallacies. Some of these fallacies are so powerful that they seem to be cognitive illusions. Such fallacies present a dilemma for theories of reasoning that involve formal rules of inference, because we shouldn’t be making these kinds of mistakes as long as we have valid rules.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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The Breakthrough Institute: The Other Side of the Biodiversity Crisis

The Breakthrough Institute: The Other Side of the Biodiversity Crisis | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Visit almost any city in the US or elsewhere today, and you are likely to find restaurants from all corners of the world: Indian, Thai, Italian, American, you name it. Clearly, gastronomical diversity within cities has increased hugely over the past couple of centuries. Now go to a city in another country -- and the range of cuisines on offer is likely to be nearly identical. This is a hallmark of globalization: increased diversity locally, decreased diversity globally. As Breakthrough Institute Senior Fellow Erle Ellis and colleagues show in a recent paper, the same phenomenon also applies to plants.

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The neuroscience of happiness- New discoveries are shedding light on the activities that make us happy.

The neuroscience of happiness-    New discoveries are shedding light on the activities that make us happy. | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

They say money can’t buy happiness. But can a better understanding of your brain? As recent breakthroughs in cognitive science break new ground in the study of consciousness — and its relationship to the physical body — the mysteries of the mind are rapidly becoming less mysterious. But does this mean we’ll soon be able to locate a formula for good cheer?

Shimon Edelman, a cognitive expert and professor of psychology at Cornell University, offers some insight in “The Happiness of Pursuit: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Good Life.” In his new book, Edelman walks the reader through the brain’s basic computational skills – its ability to compute information, perform statistical analysis and weigh value judgments in daily life – as a way to explain our relationship with happiness. Our capacity to retain memories and develop foresight allows us to plan for the future, says Edelman, by using a mental “personal space-time machine” that jumps between past, present and future. It’s through this process of motivation, perception, thinking, followed by motor movement, that we’re able not only to survive, but to feel happy. From Bayes’ theorem of probability to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Edelman offers a range of references and allegories to explain why a changing, growing self, constantly shaped by new experiences, is happier than the satisfaction any end goal can give us. It turns out the rewards we get for learning and understanding the workings of the world really make it the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

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The ethics of brain boosting-The idea of a simple, cheap and widely available device that could boost brain function sounds too good to be true.

The ethics of brain boosting-The idea of a simple, cheap and widely available device that could boost brain function sounds too good to be true. | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress) -- The idea of a simple, cheap and widely available device that could boost brain function sounds too good to be true.Yet promising results in the lab with emerging ‘brain stimulation’ techniques, though still very preliminary, have prompted Oxford neuroscientists to team up with leading ethicists at the University to consider the issues the new technology could raise. They spoke to Radio 4's Today program this morning.

Recent research in Oxford and elsewhere has shown that one type of brain stimulation in particular, called transcranial direct current stimulation or TDCS, can be used to improve language and maths abilities, memory, problem solving, attention, even movement.

Critically, this is not just helping to restore function in those with impaired abilities. TDCS can be used to enhance healthy people’s mental capacities. Indeed, most of the research so far has been carried out in healthy adults.
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Online echo chambers: A study of 250 million Facebook users reveals the Web isn’t as polarized as we thought.

Online echo chambers: A study of 250 million Facebook users reveals the Web isn’t as polarized as we thought. | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it
Today, Facebook is publishing a study that disproves some hoary conventional wisdom about the Web. According to this new research, the online echo chamber doesn’t exist. This is of particular interest to me.
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Why do we still believe when we know it’s probably not true?

Why do we still believe when we know it’s probably not true? | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

It's not about the benefits we gain from believing in this or that. Or the supposed reality of the objects these beliefs describe.

It's all about cost.


Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Startup Makes 'Wireless Router for the Brain' - #Optogenetics - Technology Review

Startup Makes 'Wireless Router for the Brain' - #Optogenetics - Technology Review | Knowmads, Infocology of the future | Scoop.it

Optogenetics has been hailed as a breakthrough in biomedical science—it promises to use light to precisely control cells in the brain to manipulate behavior, model disease processes, or even someday to deliver treatments.

But so far, optogenetic studies have been hampered by physical constraints. The technology requires expensive, bulky lasers for light sources, and a fiber-optic cable attached to an animal—an encumbrance that makes it difficult to study how manipulating cells affects an animal's normal behavior.
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