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Proteus 2004

Selections from the the film Proteus, a documentary concerning the life, work, and philosophy of Ernst Haeckel, a 19th century naturalist. The film tells of ...
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LilyGiraud's comment, January 12, 2013 6:41 PM
A documentary centered on Ernst Haeckel's drawings of radiolarians sets the unity of art and science in motion.
On the coast of Sicily, a man sits hunched over a microscope peering at what look to be grains of sand. It's the late 1870s, and these specimens are mineral-shelled protozoans called radiolarians collected from the depths of the Marianas Trench by the HMS Challenger in science's first attempt to take a c"
LilyGiraud's comment, January 12, 2013 7:24 PM
"I am here to wonder"
Science And Wonder
Soul The Fuel of Science
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Do we have free will? | KurzweilAI

Do we have free will? | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Human duels against a brain-computer interface (BCI) in an experiment. (credit: Carsten Bogler/Charité) It's a question that's been debated by
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‘Bubble pen’ can precisely write patterns with nanoparticles as small as 1 nanometer | KurzweilAI

‘Bubble pen’ can precisely write patterns with nanoparticles as small as 1 nanometer | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Illustration of the bubble-pen pattern-writing process using an optically controlled microbubble on a plasmonic substrate. The small blue spheres are colloidal
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Practical artificial intelligence tools you can use today | KurzweilAI

Practical artificial intelligence tools you can use today | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
(credit: KurzweilAI) By Bob Gourley Courtesy of CTOvision.com Practical artificial intelligence has made its way out of the labs and into our daily
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"Writable" Circuits Could Let Scientists Draw Electronics into Existence

"Writable" Circuits Could Let Scientists Draw Electronics into Existence | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
New method uses soft sheets made of silicone rubber that have many tiny droplets of liquid metal embedded inside them
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Robotic Toddler Learns to Stand by “Imagining” How to Do It

Robotic Toddler Learns to Stand by “Imagining” How to Do It | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Instead of being programmed, a robot uses brain-inspired algorithms to “imagine” doing tasks before trying them in the real world.

 

Like many toddlers, Darwin sometimes looks a bit unsteady on its feet. But with each clumsy motion, the humanoid robot is demonstrating an important new way for androids to deal with challenging or unfamiliar environments. The robot learns to perform a new task by using a process somewhat similar to the neurological processes that underpin childhood learning.


Darwin lives in the lab of Pieter Abbeel, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley. When I saw the robot a few weeks ago, it was suspended from a camera tripod by a piece of rope, looking a bit tragic. A little while earlier, Darwin had been wriggling around on the end of the rope, trying to work out how best to move its limbs in order to stand up without falling over.


Darwin’s motions are controlled by several simulated neural networks—algorithms that mimic the way learning happens in a biological brain as the connections between neurons strengthen and weaken over time in response to input. The approach makes use of very complex neural networks, which are known as deep-learning networks, which have many layers of simulated neurons.


For the robot to learn how to stand and twist its body, for example, it first performs a series of simulations in order to train a high-level deep-learning network how to perform the task—something the researchers compare to an “imaginary process.” This provides overall guidance for the robot, while a second deep-learning network is trained to carry out the task while responding to the dynamics of the robot’s joints and the complexity of the real environment. The second network is required because when the first network tries, for example, to move a leg, the friction experienced at the point of contact with the ground may throw it off completely, causing the robot to fall.


The researchers had the robot learn to stand, to move its hand to perform reaching motions, and to stay upright when the ground beneath it tilts. “It practices in simulation for about an hour,” says Igor Mordatch, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley who carried out the study. “Then at runtime it’s learning on the fly how not to slip.”


“We’re trying to be able to deal with more variability,” says Abbeel. “Just even a little variability beyond what it was designed for makes it really hard to make it work.” The new technique could prove useful for any robot working in all sorts of real environments, but it might prove especially useful for more graceful legged locomotion.


The current approach is to design an algorithm that takes into account the dynamics of a process such as walking or running (see “The Robots Walking This Way”). But such models can struggle to deal with variation in the real world, as many of the humanoid robots involved in the DARPA Robotics Challenge demonstrated by falling over when walking on sand, or when unbalancing themselves by reaching out to grasp something (see “Why Robots, and Humans, Struggled with DARPA’s Challenge”). “It was a bit of a reality check,” Abbeel says. “That’s what happens in the real world.”

 

Dieter Fox, a professor in the computer science and engineering department at the University of Washington who specializes in robot perception and control, says neural network learning has huge potential in robotics. “I’m very excited about this whole research direction,” Fox says. “The problem is always if you want to act in the real world. Models are imperfect. Where machine learning, and especially deep learning comes in, is learning from the real-world interactions of the system.”



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Can a thousand tiny swarming robots outsmart nature? — Aeon Videos

Human biology is complex but imperfect. Could mini robots reveal how to ‘programme’ cells for improved performance?
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classic film | The Age of Intelligent Machines | KurzweilAI

classic film | The Age of Intelligent Machines | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Dear readers, From my archives, I wanted to share this classic documentary film and book from the late 1980s, almost 30 years ago. It's an interesting
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F.a.s.c.i.n.a.t.i.n.g

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Paradox at the heart of mathematics makes physics problem unanswerable

Paradox at the heart of mathematics makes physics problem unanswerable | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Gödel’s incompleteness theorems are connected to unsolvable calculations in quantum physics.
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This Is How Dolphins 'See' Humans With Echolocation

This Is How Dolphins 'See' Humans With Echolocation | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A news study capture images of what dolphins 'see' underwater
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Playing 3-D video games can boost memory formation | KurzweilAI

Playing 3-D video games can boost memory formation | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Video games used in the experiment : screenshot of 2-D Angry Birds (left) and Super Mario 3D World (right) (credit: Gregory D. Clemenson and Craig E.L.
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Czech firm presents new model of wall radar

Czech firm presents new model of wall radar | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Czech firm presents wall radar capable of detecting slightest movement, such as breathing, for use in hostage and search and rescue operations. Elly Park reports.
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Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species | KurzweilAI

Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Tufts biologists induced one species of flatworm ---- G. dorotocephala, top left --- to grow heads and brains characteristic of other species of flatworm, top
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First real-time imaging of neural activity invented | KurzweilAI

First real-time imaging of neural activity invented | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A series of images from a Duke engineering experiment show voltage spreading through a fruitfly neuron over a matter of just 4 milliseconds, a hundred times
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UCSD spinoffs create lab-quality portable 64-channel BCI headset | KurzweilAI

UCSD spinoffs create lab-quality portable 64-channel BCI headset | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A dry-electrode, portable 64-channel wearable EEG headset (credit: Jacobs School of Engineering/UC San Diego) The first dry-electrode, portable 64-channel
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Horsey beach seal births top 1,000 for first time - BBC News

Horsey beach seal births top 1,000 for first time - BBC News | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
The growth in number of seal pup births on a public beach in Norfolk is described as
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‘Aipoly Vision’ AI app opens up the world live for visually impaired | KurzweilAI

‘Aipoly Vision’ AI app opens up the world live for visually impaired | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
This just in: Aipoly Vision* --- a free AI app that runs on your iPhone/iPad** (Android coming) and recognizes objects and colors --- is now live on the App
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Pupil Size: A Measure of Trust?

Pupil Size: A Measure of Trust? | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Researchers examine why and when we unconsciously mirror another person's pupil size when we lock eyes
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Want to see through walls? Now you can with MIT's X-ray vision technology

Want to see through walls? Now you can with MIT's X-ray vision technology | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Scientists at MIT have developed software that detects radio signal variations in order to discern human silhouettes ... through walls.
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Scientists Ponder How to Create Artificial Intelligence That Won’t Destroy Us Later

Scientists Ponder How to Create Artificial Intelligence That Won’t Destroy Us Later | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
The creators of artificially intelligent machines are often depicted in popular fiction as myopic Dr. Frankensteins who are oblivious to the apocalyptic technologies they unleash upon the world. In real life, they tend to wring their hands over the big questions: good versus evil and the impact the coming wave of robots and machine brains will have on human workers.

Scientists, recognizing their work is breaking out of the research lab and into the real world, grappled during a daylong summit on Dec. 10 in Montreal with such ethical issues as how to prevent computers that are smarter than humans from putting people out of work, adding complications to legal proceedings, or, even worse, seeking to harm society. Today’s AI can learn how to play video games, help automate e-mail responses, and drive cars under certain conditions. That’s already provoked concerns about the effect it may have workers.

"I think the biggest challenge is the challenge to employment," said Andrew Ng, the chief scientist for Chinese search engine Baidu Inc., which announced last week that one of its cars had driven itself on a 30 kilometer (19 mile) route around Beijing with no human required. The speed with which AI advances may change the workplace means "huge numbers of people in their 20s and 40s and 50s" would need to be retrained in a way that’s never happened before, he said.

"There’s no doubt that there are classes of jobs that can be automated today that could not be automated before," said Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, citing workers such as junior lawyers tasked with e-discovery or people manning the checkout aisles in self- checkout supermarkets.

"You hope that there are some new jobs needed in this economy," he said. "Entrepreneurs and managers haven’t been as creative in inventing the new jobs as they have been in automating some of the existing jobs."

Yann LeCun, Facebook’s director of AI research, isn’t as worried, saying that society has adapted to change in the past. "It’s another stage in the progress of technology," LeCun said. "It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll have to deal with it."

There are other potential quandaries, like how the legal landscape will change as AI starts making more decisions independent of any human operator. "It would be very difficult in some cases to bring an algorithm to the fore in the context of a legal proceeding," said Ian Kerr, the Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law & Technology at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. "I think it would be a tremendous challenge."

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Why we can trust scientists with the power of new gene-editing technology | KurzweilAI

Why we can trust scientists with the power of new gene-editing technology | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Gene editing allows us to eliminate any misspellings, introduce beneficial natural variants, or perhaps cut out or insert new genes (credit: Libertas
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How robots can learn from babies | KurzweilAI

How robots can learn from babies | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
A collaboration between UW developmental psychologists and computer scientists aims to enable robots to learn in the same way that children naturally do. The
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As the worm turns: research tracks how an embryo’s brain is assembled | KurzweilAI

As the worm turns: research tracks how an embryo’s brain is assembled | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
The image on the left shows skin cells (green dots) and neurons (red cell) marking the shape of the embryo. The image on the right shows the skin cells
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How to animate a digital model of a person from images collected from the Internet | KurzweilAI

How to animate a digital model of a person from images collected from the Internet | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
UW researchers have reconstructed 3-D models of celebrities such as Tom Hanks from large Internet photo collections. The models can also be controlled and
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Can DNA predict a face?

Can DNA predict a face? | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
DNA-based facial sketches are moving into the crime-solving arena. With current science, predictions of some features are better than others.
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Army ants’ ‘living’ bridges suggest collective intelligence | KurzweilAI

Army ants’ ‘living’ bridges suggest collective intelligence | KurzweilAI | Science And Wonder | Scoop.it
Creating living bridges, army ants of the species Eciton hamatum automatically assemble with a level of collective intelligence that could provide new
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