Systems Theory
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Systems Theory
theoretical aspects of (social) systems theory
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Important and complex systems may be more controllable than they appear

Important and complex systems may be more controllable than they appear | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

We don't often think of them in these terms, but our brains, global financial markets and groups of friends are all examples of different kinds of complex networks or systems. And unlike the kind of system that exists in your car that has been intentionally engineered for humans to use, these systems are convoluted and not obvious how to control. Economic collapse, disease, and miserable dinner parties may result from a breakdown in such systems, which is why researchers have recently being putting so much energy into trying to discover how best to control these large and important systems.

 

But now two brothers, Profs. Justin and Derek Ruths, from Singapore University of Technology and Design and McGill University respectively, have suggested, in an article published in Science, that all complex systems, whether they are found in the body, in international finance, or in social situations, actually fall into just three basic categories, in terms of how they can be controlled.

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Machine Consciousness: Fact Or Fiction?

Machine Consciousness: Fact Or Fiction? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
To build a conscious machine, we must first understand what makes us conscious.

Via Constantine Andoniou
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Top Quark: Mass of World's Heaviest Elementary Particle Found

Top Quark: Mass of World's Heaviest Elementary Particle Found | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
In the first joint result from the world's two leading particle colliders, scientists have determined the mass of the heaviest elementary particle, the top quark.
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Too Fast to Fail: Is High-Speed Trading the Next Wall Street Disaster?

Too Fast to Fail: Is High-Speed Trading the Next Wall Street Disaster? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Computer algorithms swap thousands of stocks each instant—and could set off a financial meltdown.
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20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
We live in an era of accelerating change, when scientific and technological advancements are arriving rapidly. As a result, we are developing a new language to describe our civilization as it evolves. Here are 20 terms and concepts that you'll need to navigate our future.
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The Golem Genie and Unfriendly AI (Part One)

The Golem Genie and Unfriendly AI (Part One) | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
This is the first of two posts on Muehlhauser and Helm’s article “The Singularity and Machine Ethics”. It is part on my ongoing, but completely spontaneous and unplanned, series on the technological singularity.

Via Alistair Parker
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Lockheed Martin's bet on quantum computing - Washington Post

Lockheed Martin's bet on quantum computing - Washington Post | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Washington Post
Lockheed Martin's bet on quantum computing
Washington Post
... often cooled to the temperature of outer space.
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Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science

Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
As government financing of basic research has fallen off precipitously, philanthropists have stepped in, setting personal priorities and raising questions about science research for the public good.
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Cybernetics and Stochastic Systems

Cybernetics is the science of control and a precursor
of complexity theory. Whilst generally applied to deterministic artificial machines these techniques
are of equal validity in the more stochastic biological and social realms.
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Neil Gershenfeld and JP Vasseur | The Promise and Peril of the Internet of Things | Foreign Affairs

Since 1969, when the first bit of data was transmitted over what would come to be known as the Internet, that global network has evolved from linking mainframe computers to connecting personal computers and now mobile devices. By 2010, the number of computers on the Internet had surpassed the number of people on earth.
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The Consequences of Machine Intelligence

The Consequences of Machine Intelligence | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

The question of what happens when machines get to be as intelligent as and even more intelligent than people seems to occupy many science-fiction writers. The Terminator movie trilogy, for example, featured Skynet, a self-aware artificial intelligence that served as the trilogy's main villain, battling humanity through its Terminator cyborgs. Among technologists, it is mostly "Singularitarians" who think about the day when machine will surpass humans in intelligence. The term "singularity" as a description for a phenomenon of technological acceleration leading to "machine-intelligence explosion" was coined by the mathematician Stanislaw Ulam in 1958, when he wrote of a conversation with John von Neumann concerning the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."


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Swarming in Biological and Related Systems

Swarming in Biological and Related Systems | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

In the last 15 years, the collective motion of large numbers of self-propelled objects has become an increasingly active area of research. The examples of such collective motion abound: flocks of birds, schools of fish, swarms of insects, herds of animals etc. Swarming of living creatures is believed to be critical for the population survival under harsh conditions. The ability of motile microorganisms to communicate and coordinate their motion leads to the remarkably complex self-organized structures found in bacterial biofilms. Active intracellular transport of biological molecules within the cytoskeleton has a profound effect on the cell cycle, signaling and motility. In recent years, significant progress has also been achieved in the design of synthetic self-propelled particles. Their collective motion has many advantages for performing specific robotic tasks, such as collective cargo delivery or harvesting the mechanical energy of chaotic motion.

(...)

In this focus issue we have tried to assemble papers from leading experts which we hope will provide a current snapshot of this young and rapidly expanding field of research. They cover both theoretical and experimental investigations of the dynamics of active matter on different spatial and temporal scales.

 

Focus on Swarming in Biological and Related Systems
Lev Tsimring, Hugues Chate, Igor Aronson

2014 New J. Phys. 16

http://iopscience.iop.org/1367-2630/focus/Focus%20on%20Swarming%20in%20Biological%20and%20Related%20Systems


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Sociological Theory | Chapter 9 Chapter Summary

Sociological Theory | Chapter 9 Chapter Summary | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Sociology and Modern Systems Theory http://t.co/UDjth9xFNg @nemetics
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This Week's Cosmic Inflation Discovery: Five Big Questions Answered - KQED (blog)

This Week's Cosmic Inflation Discovery: Five Big Questions Answered - KQED (blog) | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
KQED (blog) This Week's Cosmic Inflation Discovery: Five Big Questions Answered KQED (blog) Greene said it's important to recognize that without inflation, the Big Bang theory contained an unsolved puzzle: “It wasn't at all clear what drove the...
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Why Android Wear Is the Beginning of the Wearable Devices Era

Why Android Wear Is the Beginning of the Wearable Devices Era | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Every hardware platform needs software to be successful. By giving manufacturers a known operating system to work with, Google’s Android Wear will jump-start the wearables industry, says Molly Wood.
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How Norbert Wiener invented cybernetics and Brian Eno

How Norbert Wiener invented cybernetics and Brian Eno | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Remembering the late scientific genius who laid the groundwork for the last half-century of art, literature and electronic music (Just saw this, w/ nice mention of my Eno book. It's worth noting that Eno's fave cybernetics books weren't by Wiener.
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The Golem Genie and Unfriendly AI (Part Two)

The Golem Genie and Unfriendly AI (Part Two) | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
This is the second (and final) part in my series looking at the arguments from Muehlhauser and Helm’s (MH’s) paper “The Singularity and Machine Ethics”. As noted in part one, proponents of the Doomsday Argument hold that if a superintelligent machine (AI+) has a decisive power advantage over human beings, and if the machine has goals and values that are antithetical to the goals and values that we human beings think are morally ideal, then it spells our doom. The naive response to this argument is to claim that we can avoid this outcome by programming the AI+ to “want what we want”. One of the primary goals of MH’s paper is to dispute the credibility of this response. The goal of this series of blog posts is to clarify and comment upon the argument they develop.
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When the Turing Test is Not Enough

When the Turing Test is Not Enough | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Towards a functionalist determination of consciousness and the advent of an authentic machine ethics.
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Medical microrobots to deliver drugs on demand

Medical microrobots to deliver drugs on demand | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

Advances in micro- and nanoscale engineering in the medical field have led to the development of various robotic designs that one day will allow a new level of minimally invasive medicine. These micro- and nanorobots will be able to reach a targeted area, provide treatments and therapies for a desired duration, measure the effects and, at the conclusion of the treatment, be removed or degrade without causing adverse effects. Ideally, all these tasks would be automated but they could also be performed under the direct supervision and control of an external user.Several approaches have been explored for the wireless actuation of microrobots. Among these, magnetic fields have been the most widely employed strategy for propulsion because they do not require special environmental properties such as conductivity or transparency (for instance: "Artificial nano swimmers", with a video that shows the controlled motions of particles in a magnetic field).


This approach allows for the precise manipulation of magnetic objects toward specific locations, and magnetic fields are biocompatible even at relatively high field strengths (MRI).In a new work, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich and Harvard University (David Mooney's lab) demonstrate that additional intelligence – including sensing and actuation – can be instantiated in these microrobots by selecting appropriate materials and methods for the fabrication process.


"Our work combines the design and fabrication of near infrared light (NIR) responsive hydrogel capsules and biocompatible magnetic microgels with a magnetic manipulation system to perform targeted drug and cell delivery tasks, Dr." Mahmut Selman Sakar, a research scientist in Bradley Nelson's Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich, tells Nanowerk.Reporting their results in the November 4, 2013 online edition of Advanced Materials ("An Integrated Microrobotic Platform for On-Demand, Targeted Therapeutic Interventions"), first-authored by Sakar's co-researcher Stefano Fusco, the team fabricated an untethered, self-folding, soft microrobotic platform, in which different functionalities are integrated to achieve targeted, on-demand delivery of biological agents.


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Jose Mejia R's comment, March 30, 2014 11:40 AM
TRADUCCION:<br>Los avances en la ingeniería de micro-y nanoescala en el campo de la medicina han conducido al desarrollo de diversos diseños robóticos que un día permitirá un nuevo nivel de la medicina mínimamente invasiva. Estos micro-y nano-robots serán capaces de llegar a un área objetiva, proporcionar tratamientos y terapias para una duración deseada, medir los efectos y, a la conclusión del tratamiento, deberá ser eliminado o degradado sin causar efectos adversos. Lo ideal sería que todas estas tareas se pueden automatizar, pero también pueden ser realizados bajo la supervisión y el control directos de un usuario externo. Varios enfoques se han explorado para el accionamiento inalámbrico de microrobots. Entre éstos, los campos magnéticos han sido la estrategia más ampliamente empleada para la propulsión, ya que no requieren propiedades especiales del medio ambiente tales como la conductividad o la transparencia (por ejemplo: "nadadores nano artificial", con un vídeo que muestra los movimientos controlados de partículas en una magnética campo).<br> <br>Este enfoque permite la manipulación precisa de objetos magnéticos hacia lugares específicos, y los campos magnéticos son biocompatibles, incluso a intensidades de campo relativamente altas (MRI). En un nuevo trabajo, un equipo de investigadores de ETH Zurich y la Universidad de Harvard (el laboratorio de David Mooney) demuestran que con inteligencia adicional - incluyendo detección y actuación - se puede crear instancias de estos microrobots seleccionando materiales y procedimientos para el proceso de fabricación adecuadas.<br><br>"Nuestro trabajo combina el diseño y la fabricación de la luz en el infrarrojo cercano (NIR) cápsulas de hidrogel sensible y microgeles magnéticas biocompatibles con un sistema de manipulación magnética para realizar tareas de administración de drogas y de suministro de células específicas, nos diece el Dr. Mahmut Sakar Selman, un científico de investigación en el Instituto de Bradley Nelson de Robótica y Sistemas Inteligentes en la ETH Zurich. Sus resultados indicados el 04 de noviembre 2013 en la edición en línea de Materiales Avanzados ...
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Relax, Robots Won't Take Every Job - Daily Beast

Relax, Robots Won't Take Every Job - Daily Beast | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Relax, Robots Won't Take Every Job
Daily Beast
Much of the theory and evidence says that left to its own devices, private industry doesn't do enough of that stuff. Things like Google X and ...
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Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO

Internet surveillance predicts disease outbreak before WHO | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

Have you ever Googled for an online diagnosis before visiting a doctor? If so, you may have helped provide early warning of an infectious disease epidemic.

 

In a new study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, Internet-based surveillance has been found to detect infectious diseases such as Dengue Fever and Influenza up to two weeks earlier than traditional surveillance methods, according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research fellow and senior author of the paper Wenbiao Hu.

 

Hu, based at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, said there was often a lag time of two weeks before traditional surveillance methods could detect an emerging infectious disease.

 

“This is because traditional surveillance relies on the patient recognizing the symptoms and seeking treatment before diagnosis, along with the time taken for health professionals to alert authorities through their health networks. In contrast, digital surveillance can provide real-time detection of epidemics.”

 

Hu said the study used search engine algorithms such as Google Trends and Google Insights. It found that detecting the 2005–06 avian influenza outbreak “Bird Flu” would have been possible between one and two weeks earlier than official surveillance reports.

 

“In another example, a digital data collection network was found to be able to detect the SARS outbreak more than two months before the first publications by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Hu said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, Semiotic Sorceress
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The Consequences of Machine Intelligence

The Consequences of Machine Intelligence | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

The question of what happens when machines get to be as intelligent as and even more intelligent than people seems to occupy many science-fiction writers. The Terminator movie trilogy, for example, featured Skynet, a self-aware artificial intelligence that served as the trilogy's main villain, battling humanity through its Terminator cyborgs. Among technologists, it is mostly "Singularitarians" who think about the day when machine will surpass humans in intelligence. The term "singularity" as a description for a phenomenon of technological acceleration leading to "machine-intelligence explosion" was coined by the mathematician Stanislaw Ulam in 1958, when he wrote of a conversation with John von Neumann concerning the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."


Via Szabolcs Kósa
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