This paper presents a heuristic proof (and simulations of a primordial soup) suggesting that life—or biological self-organization—is an inevitable and emergent property of any (ergodic) random dynamical system that possesses a Markov blanket. This conclusion is based on the following arguments: if the coupling among an ensemble of dynamical systems is mediated by short-range forces, then the states of remote systems must be conditionally independent. These independencies induce a Markov blanket that separates internal and external states in a statistical sense. The existence of a Markov blanket means that internal states will appear to minimize a free energy functional of the states of their Markov blanket. Crucially, this is the same quantity that is optimized in Bayesian inference. Therefore, the internal states (and their blanket) will appear to engage in active Bayesian inference. In other words, they will appear to model—and act on—their world to preserve their functional and structural integrity, leading to homoeostasis and a simple form of autopoiesis.
Life as we know it Karl Friston
J. R. Soc. Interface 6 September 2013 vol. 10 no. 86 20130475
The 2007-2008 financial crisis, you might think, was an unpredictable one-time crash. But Didier Sornette and his Financial Crisis Observatory have plotted a set of early warning signs for unstable, growing systems, tracking the moment when any bubble is about to pop. (And he's seeing it happen again, right now.)
As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it’s simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us … if we think of computers as our teammates. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Robert Gordon.
Shimon Schocken and Noam Nisan developed a curriculum for their students to build a computer, piece by piece. When they put the course online -- giving away the tools, simulators, chip specifications and other building blocks -- they were surprised that thousands jumped at the opportunity to learn, working independently as well as organizing their own classes in the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). A call to forget about grades and tap into the self-motivation to learn.
http://bougue.me is a startup that helps people — living in Brazil — find a local professional to help them do things like house cleaning, plumbing, and other trades. What I found interesting here was talking about what’s happening in Brazil.
We’ve previously highlighted the top startup failure post-mortems (32 in total) written by a group of startup entrepreneurs gracious enough to share their lessons learned from failure. Many of you read those post-mortems and asked, what are the most common reasons why these startups failed? After a thorough analysis of those 32 start-up post-mortems, we compiled this list of the top 20 causes of startup failure.
This morning I read Dave Chaffeyâ€™s post on Online brand reputation or listening software â€“ a review of 26 tools and found a lot of richness in the list, including the idea of segmenting the list of Social Media tools by function (see below): ...
In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D'Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D'Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together -- and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads.
Abraham Lincoln once said: "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my axe." The same is true for measurement: it is of extreme importance to spend the necessary time thinking through which data should be collected and whether the collection works as planned (once implemented). Very often, the implementation model and quality assurance do not receive the proper attention.
If your favorite soda is Diet Dr. Pepper, the chances are that you’ll be supporting Mitt Romney tomorrow. Pepsi drinker? You’re most likely voting for Barack Obama. If you drink Mountain Dew, you probably don’t care either way.
These types of conclusions may seem simplistic and superficial, but both campaigns are betting that they will be the key to deciding who the next President of the United States is.
Russian scientists are closer than they have ever been to creating artificial intelligence. The program called “Eugene” has almost passed the famous Turing test, which checks a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior.
The program-emulating a personality of a 13-year old boy was exhibited at an international science contest in the United Kingdom along with four other programs.
Even with the exacting criteria, “Eugene” has left all its competitors far behind.
The test was designed by mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing over 60 years ago. During the examination a human judge engages in a text conversation with a machine and an actual human being without seeing them. If the judge fails to tell the machine from the human in at least 30 percent of the answers, the program passes.
So far no program has managed to pass successfully but Russia’s “Eugene” has come strikingly close. It deceived human judges in 29,2 percent of the answers.
A total of 29 judges took part in the test with some 150 dialogues taking place.
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