Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers are invited to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes -- including speakers such as Jill Bolte Taylor, Sir Ken Robinson, Hans Rosling, Al Gore and Arthur Benjamin. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, politics and the arts. Watch the Top 10 TEDTalks on TED.com, at http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/top10
Eric Ladizinsky visited the Quantum AI Lab at Google LA to give a talk "Evolving Scalable Quantum Computers." This talk took place on March 5, 2014.
"The nineteenth century was known as the machine age, the twentieth century will go down in history as the information age. I believe the twenty-first century will be the quantum age". Paul Davies
Quantum computation represents a fundamental paradigm shift in information processing. By harnessing strange, counterintuitive quantum phenomenon, quantum computers promise computational capabilities far exceeding any conceivable classical computing systems for certain applications. These applications may include the core hard problems in machine learning and artificial intelligence, complex optimization, and simulation of molecular dynamics .. the solutions of which could provide huge benefits to humanity.
Realizing this potential requires a concerted scientific and technological effort combining multiple disciplines and institutions ... and rapidly evolving quantum processor designs and algorithms as learning evolves. D-Wave Systems has built such a mini-Manhattan project like effort and in just a under a decade, created the first, special purpose, quantum computers in a scalable architecture that can begin to address real world problems. D-Wave's first generation quantum processors (now being explored in conjunction with Google/NASA as well as Lockheed and USC) are showing encouraging signs of being at a "tipping point" .. matching state of the art solvers for some benchmark problems (and sometimes exceeding them) ... portending the exciting possibility that in a few years D-Wave processors could exceed the capabilities of any existing classical computing systems for certain classes of important problems in the areas of machine learning and optimization.
In this lecture, Eric Ladizinsky, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at D-Wave will describe the basic ideas behind quantum computation , Dwave's unique approach, and the current status and future development of D-Wave's processors. Included will be answers to some frequently asked questions about the D-Wave processors, clarifying some common misconceptions about quantum mechanics, quantum computing, and D-Wave quantum computers.
Speaker Info: Eric Ladizinsky is a physicist, Co-founder, and Chief Scientist of D-Wave Systems. Prior to his involvement with D-Wave, Mr. Ladizinsky was a senior member of the technical staff at TRW's Superconducting Electronics Organization (SCEO) in which he contributed to building the world's most advanced Superconducting Integrated Circuit capability intended to enable superconducting supercomputers to extend Moore's Law beyond CMOS. In 2000, with the idea of creating a quantum computing mini -Manhattan-project like effort, he conceived, proposed, won and ran a multi-million dollar, multi-institutional DARPA program to develop a prototype quantum computer using (macroscopic quantum) superconducting circuits. Frustrated with the pace of that effort Mr. Ladizinsky, in 2004, teamed with D-Wave's original founder (Geordie Rose) to transform the then primarily IP based company to a technology development company modeled on his mini-Manhattan-project vision. He is also responsible for designing the superconducting (SC) IC process that underlies the D-Wave quantum processors ... and transferring that process to state of art semiconductor production facilities to create the most advanced SC IC process in the world.
The Global Brain can be defined as the self-organizing network formed by all people on this planet together with the information and communication technologies that connect and support them. As the Internet becomes faster, smarter, and more encompassing, it increasingly links its users into a single information processing system, which functions like a nervous system for the planet Earth.
The intelligence of this system is collective and distributed: it is not localized in any particular individual, organization or computer system. It rather emerges from the interactions between all its components—a property characteristic of a complex adaptive system. Such a distributed intelligence may be able to tackle current and emerging global problems that have eluded more traditional approaches. Yet, at the same time it will create technological and social challenges that are still difficult to imagine, transforming our society in all aspects.
Physicist and cosmologist Prof. Stephen Hawking, at his first Australian public lecture, appears at the Sydney Opera House from Cambridge University in England via hologram technology. Hawking reflects on the state of the universe and why he believes we need to set up colonies in outer space. Before his BBC Reith Lecture on black holes, Hawking discusses the danger inherent in progress and the chances of disaster on Earth.
instein struggled from 1905 to 1915 to formulate a new theory of gravity—his general relativity. He announced his theory 90 years ago, on November 25, 1915; it describes gravity as a consequence of a warping of space and time. Since 1915, physicists have struggled to understand and test the predictions. This struggle led to black holes, gravitational waves, and the acceleration of the universe; and atCaltech/JPL, to powerful tools for probing warped spacetime.
The full title of this lecture is Einstein's General Relativity, from 1905 to 2005: Warped Spacetime, Black Holes, Gravitational Waves, and the Accelerating Universe.
Kip Thorne is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech.
Theories of science have ignored time… until now. A new idea reveals how it created the Universe – and you, writes Robert Matthews.
Time: it rules our lives, and we all wish we had more of it. Businesses make money out of it, and scientists can measure it with astonishing accuracy. Earlier this year, American researchers unveiled an atomic clock accurate to better than one second since the Big Bang 14 billion years ago.
But what, exactly, is time? Despite its familiarity, its ineffability has defied even the greatest thinkers. Over 1,600 years ago the philosopher Augustine of Hippo admitted defeat with words that still resonate: “If no-one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.”
Yet according to theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, the time has come to grapple with this ancient conundrum: “Understanding the nature of time is the single most important problem facing science,” he says.
As one of the founders of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada, which specialises in tackling fundamental questions in physics, Professor Smolin has spent more time pondering deep questions than most. So why does he think the nature of time is so important? Because, says Smolin, it is central to the success of attempts to understand reality itself.
To most people, this may sound a bit overblown. Since reality in all its forms, from the Big Bang to the Sunday roast, depends on time, isn’t it obvious that we should take time seriously? And didn’t scientists sort out its mysteries centuries ago?
"New Epigenome Analysis and Engineering Technologies for Reversal of Aging". Presenter: George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard and MIT.
George Church is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental & Trait data (GET). His 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding. These led to the first genome sequence (pathogen, Helicobacter pylori) in 1994. His innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies (CGI, Life, Illumina, nanopore). This plus chip-based DNA synthesis and stem cell engineering resulted in founding additional application-based companies spanning fields of medical diagnostics (Knome, Alacris, AbVitro, Pathogenica) and synthetic biology / therapeutics (Joule, Gen9, Editas, Egenesis, enEvolv, WarpDrive).
He has also pioneered new privacy, biosafety, environmental & biosecurity policies. He is director of NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science. His honors include election to NAS & NAE & Franklin Bower Laureate for Achievement in Science. He has coauthored 330 papers, 60 patents & one book (Regenesis).
As the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally is the country’s leading figure in public health. In this lecture, she will talk about microbial resistance and the dire threat it poses if action is not taken to reinvigorate research into a new class of antibiotic.
She has described the threat posed by antibiotic resistance as being on a par with that of terrorism and climate change and warned that “Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics."
Her highlighting of the issue in the CMO’s Annual Report, published in March 2013, included 17 recommendations on antibiotic resistancy, many of which are designed to tackle the ‘discovery void’ in pharmaceutical research. A year on from the report, Dame Sally will talk about the Government’s strategy for action, the challenges she faces and the progress made.
Could simple worms help unravel complex human brains? Dr. Aimee Kao, Dr. Dena Dubal and Jennifer Yokoyama explore the role genes play in the brain. Series: "UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine presents Mini Medical School for the Public" [6/2013] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 24712].
Quantum theory has allowed scientists to understand better the subatomic world, and led to revolutionary technologies including computers, lasers and atomic clocks. In spite of its successes, quantum physics can seem strange and counterintuitive. It describes a world in which the concepts of waves and particles are deeply intertwined; and has led to the bizarre notions of superposition, which allows particles to exist in many concurrent states until observed, and entanglement, whereby particles control the state of distant and seemingly unconnected partners within a system.
Recent technological advances have allowed us to control and observe isolated quantum systems such as atoms, molecules, photons or superconducting microchips. Beyond fuelling a fundamental interest in their quantum behaviour, these advances open fascinating perspectives for new applications in which quantum strangeness could be directly harnessed to achieve tasks that are impossible with classical physics.
The age of bioengineering is upon us, with scientists' understanding of how to engineer cells, tissues and organs improving at a rapid pace. Here, how this could affect the future of our physical bodies.
Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.
But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?
This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom's work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Matthew Zeiler, PhD, Founder and CEO of Clarifai Inc, speaks about large convolutional neural networks. These networks have recently demonstrated impressive object recognition performance making real world applications possible. However, there was no clear understanding of why they perform so well, or how they might be improved. In this talk, Matt covers a novel visualization technique that gives insight into the function of intermediate feature layers and the operation of the overall classifier. Used in a diagnostic role, these visualizations allow us to find model architectures that perform exceedingly well.
Understanding how the brain works: “The brain is 400 different computers.”
Modeling and building a brain: “You can’t do it from the bottom up.”
Backing up the brain: “There’s no ‘you.’ … I’m not exactly like I was five minutes ago….”
Is the brain “just” a machine? “There’s no person in here … identity is an illusion.”
Emotional intelligence: “‘Emotions are different from thinking’: that’s nonsense.”
Human-level artificial intelligence: “We will need AIs because longevity is increasing. … There will be no one to do the work. … We’ll need to find something else to do.”
Unfriendly AI: “Machines may re-compile themselves. … People say, ‘Scientists should be more responsible for what they do.’ The fact is, the scientist is no better and possibly worse than the average person at deciding what’s good and what’s bad, and if you ask scientists to spend a lot of time deciding what to invent or not, all you can get from that is that they won’t invent some things that might be wonderful.”
Is the Singularity near? “Yes, depending on what you mean by ‘near’ … It may well be, within our lifetimes.”
At his lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar and his team have created autonomous aerial robots inspired by honeybees. Their latest breakthrough: Precision Farming, in which swarms of robots map, reconstruct and analyze every plant and piece of fruit in an orchard, providing vital information to farmers that can help improve yields and make water management smarter.
What are scientists looking for when searching for alien life? A lot, it turns out: the search for extraterrestrials requires the help from astronomers, planetary scientists, chemists, computer scientists, and geneticists, just to name a few. But are we barking up the wrong carbon-based tree? Could alien life develop in ways we haven't dreamed of here on Earth? Hear Paul Davies, Sara Seager, Jack Szostak, and Dimitar Sasselov give updates on the search for life outside our planet in "Alien Life: Will We Know It When We See It?" part of the Big Ideas series at the 2014 World Science Festival.
Comparison of scale: The universe has a volume of 3,5*10^80 m^3 while a planck space is 1,62*10^-35 m^3. So the number of space quantums that fit inside the observable universe is already very large, but now consider the number of spacetime quantums in the observable universe and its entire history too. The universe is 13,8 billion years old, while a plancktime is 5,39*10^-44 sec. That's 1,75*10^174 spacetime quantums. Take this number to the power of 8, then you're getting somewhere close to the final magnification of this zoom video.
Data Visualization (DV) has been around for centuries with cave paintings having been used to depict and preserve a story. But with the advent of data explosion and growing impatience to understand more in less
The concept of using lasers to synthesize DNA with a specified genetic sequence intrigued me so much that I tried to describe it in my October Photonic Frontiers feature . After receiving a grant from the National Science Foundation , the company behind the idea, Cambrian Genomics (San Francisco, CA), has released new details on the process, and my speculation about its nature turned out to be wrong.
Previously, DNA synthesis has been a two-stage assembly process. First individual base pairs are assembled into "oligonucleotide" sequences of 60 to 100 base pairs. Then, a number of those longer chains are stitched together into the synthetic DNA. The process is time-consuming and costs 30 to 50 cents per base pair, a number which adds up for long sequences. I had thought they might be using lasers to manipulate the base pairs into place.
Instead, Cambrian Genomics uses microarray cloning to mass-produce a million oligonucleotides in parallel, a process that has been tried before, but was hampered by the high error rates of microarray synthesis. To overcome that problem, Cambrian synthesizes large volumes of oligonucleotide fragments on microarrays, then uses massively parallel DNA sequencing to sort the different DNA variants and identify those with the desired sequence. Then, says Cambrian founder and CEO Austen Heinz, "we use laser catapulting, also known as laser-induced forward transfer, to eject clonal DNA populations," which were identified as having the desired sequences. The process is a variation on laser capture microdissection , which can excise part of a cell and move it to a desired location without damaging DNA. High-speed laser pulses then eject beads carrying the desired sequences in the right order to assemble into genes on a 384-well plates.
Cambrian Genomics process uses lasers to select oligonucleotides with the desired sequence. The goal, Cambrian wrote in a summary of its application for a phase-one Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, "is to be able to recover tens of thousands of sequence-verified oligonucleotides in several hours from sequencer flowcells." NSF announced on December 5, 2012, a $150,000 grant that will run through the first six months of 2013. Cambrian hopes that will open the door to disruptive reductions in the cost of DNA synthesis.
Thousands of planets are now known outside our solar system, from rocky worlds to "hot Jupiters" to planets orbiting not one, but two stars. So where did all this diversity come from? Join us for a conversation about how planets form, complete with data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, as well as ground-based scopes. See new images and 3-D computer models astronomers are using to try to learn how planets are born into such diversity.
This course of 25 lectures, filmed at Cornell University in Spring 2014, is intended for newcomers to nonlinear dynamics and chaos. It closely follows Prof. Strogatz's book, "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications to Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering."
The mathematical treatment is friendly and informal, but still careful. Analytical methods, concrete examples, and geometric intuition are stressed. The theory is developed systematically, starting with first-order differential equations and their bifurcations, followed by phase plane analysis, limit cycles and their bifurcations, and culminating with the Lorenz equations, chaos, iterated maps, period doubling, renormalization, fractals, and strange attractors.
A unique feature of the course is its emphasis on applications. These include airplane wing vibrations, biological rhythms, insect outbreaks, chemical oscillators, chaotic waterwheels, and even a technique for using chaos to send secret messages. In each case, the scientific background is explained at an elementary level and closely integrated with the mathematical theory. The theoretical work is enlivened by frequent use of computer graphics, simulations, and videotaped demonstrations of nonlinear phenomena.
The essential prerequisite is single-variable calculus, including curve sketching, Taylor series, and separable differential equations. In a few places, multivariable calculus (partial derivatives, Jacobian matrix, divergence theorem) and linear algebra (eigenvalues and eigenvectors) are used. Fourier analysis is not assumed, and is developed where needed. Introductory physics is used throughout. Other scientific prerequisites would depend on the applications considered, but in all cases, a first course should be adequate preparation.
What is time-reversal symmetry? How to find whether electron is perfectly round or not? Professor of Physics at Harvard University John Doyle discusses the Big Bang, time-reversal symmetry, and the electric dipole moment of the electron.
We see antimatter in experiments on Earth, but we have to create that antimatter using a very high-energy experiments. So we know that antimatter exists, we know that antimatter has almost exactly the same properties as matter. That means we can, for every particle of matter that we know about, like the proton or the electron, there is a corresponding antiparticle, antiproton, anti-electron. This is well-known. And the particles and antiparticles, say, the proton and the antiproton, have the same mass, they have the same charge, they have the same magnetic moment.
Time-reversal symmetry is very easy to see mathematically, a little bit harder to see physically. So mathematically one has a set of equations, physics equations, like force equals mass times acceleration, or conservation of energy. And we can use these equations to predict, for example, the path a ball takes as it bounces along the ground, or some other physical phenomenon. Now, if we look at those equations and we replace time by minus time, what we find is that the equations behave almost exactly the same. In other words, in the most common cases, in some parts of classical physics they behave exactly the same.
If the electron not only has a magnetic moment but also has an electric dipole moment, that means that the electron is not perfectly round, but it’s a little bit oval, then that’s an equivalent to having an extra positive charge here and a little bit of extra negative charge there. And that’s what we call an electric dipole. Now you can imagine, if the electron has an electric dipole and we reverse time, nothing happens. With the magnetic dipole the curving goes in the opposite direction, but if I reverse time, then the charge simply stays still. And because the electric dipole would not change, but the magnetic dipole would change, that violates time-reversal symmetry.
Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology and a senior lecturer in animal behaviour at the University of Manchester. After spending some time researching humans at the institute of psychiatry, a lot of his work now investigates insect behaviour and its evolutionary and genetic basis, particularly smell.
Dr. Doudna, who specializes in the study of RNA, will present a brief history of the bacterial RNA-guided CRISPR biology from its initial discovery through the elucidation of the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme mechanism. Using CRISPR-Cas "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats" technology provides the foundation for remarkable developments in modifying, regulating, or marking genomic loci in a wide variety of cells and organisms. These results highlight a new era in which genomic manipulation is no longer a bottleneck to experiments, paving the way to fundamental discoveries in biology with applications in all branches of biotechnology, and strategies for human therapeutics. Dr. Doudna will discuss recent findings regarding the molecular mechanism of Cas9 and its use for targeted cell-based therapies.
About the annual Margaret Pittman Lecture: This annual lecture honors Dr. Margaret Pittman, NIH’s first female lab chief, who made significant contributions to microbiology and vaccine development, particularly in the areas of pertussis and tetanus, during her long career at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Author: Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical Sciences and Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
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