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Systems Theory
theoretical aspects of (social) systems theory
Curated by Ben van Lier
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Scientists are starting to worry about 'conscious' machines, as in the movie 'Transcendence'

If "Terminator," "The Matrix" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" taught us anything, it is that super-intelligent machines are bad news for humans. Now comes the new film, Transcendence, where a human brain is uploaded into a computer, with disturbing results. Could it actually happen?
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Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone, but academics warn of dangerous future

Computer becomes first to pass Turing Test in artificial intelligence milestone, but academics warn of dangerous future | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
A programme that convinced humans that it was a 13-year-old boy has become the first computer ever to pass the Turing Test. The test — which requires that computers are indistinguishable from humans — is considered a landmark in the development of artificial intelligence, but academics have warned that the technology could be used for cybercrime.

Via Martin Talks
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Martin Talks's curator insight, June 8, 2014 5:25 PM

On the 60th anniversary of Turing's death, his artificial intelligence test is finally passed

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The Mission to Bring Google’s AI to the Rest of the World | Enterprise | WIRED

The Mission to Bring Google’s AI to the Rest of the World | Enterprise | WIRED | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Deep learning seeks to remake computing by more closely mimicking the way the human brain processes information, giving machines far more power to “learn” as time goes on.

Via Spaceweaver
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Europe launches largest civilian robotics research program, worth $3.8BN

Europe launches largest civilian robotics research program, worth $3.8BN | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
The SPARC partnership between the European Commission and the private sector will create many jobs and help keep Europe competitive, the Commission claims.
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Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes - Wired

Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes - Wired | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Physicists Prove Surprising Rule of Threes
Wired
Illustration: Harald Ritsch/IQOQI.
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Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data

Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
It’s not “Star Trek,” but the physicists say they can send quantum information from one electron to another 10 feet away with perfect accuracy.
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DARPA Program Seeks to Use Brain Implants to Control Mental Illness | MIT Technology Review

DARPA Program Seeks to Use Brain Implants to Control Mental Illness | MIT Technology Review | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
A $70 million program will try to develop brain implants able to regulate emotions in the mentally ill.
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The Inside Story of #OculusRift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality | #cyborgs #VR

The Inside Story of #OculusRift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality | #cyborgs #VR | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Oculus has found a way to make a headset that does more than just hang a big screen in front of your face. By combining stereoscopic 3-D, 360-degree visuals, and a wide field of view—along with a supersize dose of engineering and software magic—it hacks your visual cortex. As far as your brain is concerned, there’s no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world.

Via luiy
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luiy's curator insight, May 27, 2014 12:32 PM

ANATOMY OF THE RIFT

 

The Brain.

The biggest challenge in creating realistic VR is getting the image to change with your head movements, precisely and without any perceptible lag. The Rift fuses readings from a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer to evaluate head motion. Even better, it takes 1,000 readings a second, allowing it to predict motion and pre-­render images, shaving away precious milliseconds of latency.

 

The Display.

Even the best LCD can take 15 milliseconds for all its pixels to change color. The Rift uses AMOLED screens, which can switch color in less than a millisecond. Oculus also figured out how to deactivate those pixels rapidly so the image doesn’t smear or shake when you whip your head around.

 

The Optics.

You want an image that fills your entire field of vision without distortion. Typically that requires heavy, expensive lenses. The Rift uses a pair of cheap magnifying lenses, and Oculus developers distort their games so they look right when viewed through the optics.

 

Positional Tracking.

Previous VR headsets let you look around but not move around. The Rift’s small exter­nal camera monitors 40 infrared LEDs on the headset, tracking motion and letting you crouch, lean, or approach an in-game object.

Mlik Sahib's curator insight, May 27, 2014 8:39 PM

"Beyond that, though, the company and its technology herald nothing less than the dawn of an entirely new era of communication. Mark Zuckerberg gestured at the possibilities himself in a Facebook post in March when he announced the acquisition: “Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world, or consulting with a doctor face-to-face—just by putting on goggles in your home.” That’s the true promise of VR: going beyond the idea of immersion and achieving true presence—the feeling of actually existing in a virtual space."

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US particle physics roadmap: Build facilities for neutrinos and muons

US particle physics roadmap: Build facilities for neutrinos and muons | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
But goals face a budget crunch before they leave the starting line.
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Wirelessly-powered pacemaker the size of a grain of rice implanted into a rabbit

Wirelessly-powered pacemaker the size of a grain of rice implanted into a rabbit | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

US researchers have built a wirelessly powered pacemaker the size of a grain of rice and implanted it in a rabbit. They were able to hold a metal plate a few centimetres above the rabbit's chest and use it to regulate the animal's heartbeat. If such medical implants could be made to work in humans, it could lead to smaller devices that are safer to fit. The findings are published in the journal PNAS.


The researchers from Stanford University hope their development could also eventually dispense with the bulky batteries and clumsy recharging systems that are currently a feature of such devices.

The central discovery was a new type of wireless power transfer that could safely penetrate deep inside the body, using roughly the same power as a cell phone.

 

"We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body," said co-author Dr Ada Poon, from Stanford's department of electrical engineering. Near-field waves can be safely used, but they can only transfer power over short distances.


The researchers were able to design a device that blends the safety of near-field waves with the reach of far-field waves. "With this method, we can safely transmit power to tiny implants in organs like the heart or brain, well beyond the range of current near-field systems," said John Ho, a graduate student in Dr Poon's lab.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Future of Quantum Computing Could Depend on This Tricky Qubit | Science | WIRED

The Future of Quantum Computing Could Depend on This Tricky Qubit | Science | WIRED | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
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How the Internet of Things Will Change Business | MIT Technology Review

How the Internet of Things Will Change Business | MIT Technology Review | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Are companies ready for billions of everyday objects to join the Internet?
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Do We Need Asimov's Laws?

In recent years, roboticists have made rapid advances in the technologies that are bringing closer the kind of advanced robots that Asimov envisaged. Increasingly, robots and humans are working together on factory floors, driving cars, flying aircraft and even helping around the home.
And that raises an interesting question: do we need a set of Asimov-like laws to govern the behaviour of robots as they become more advanced?

 

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/527336/do-we-need-asimovs-laws/


Via Complexity Digest
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Eli Levine's curator insight, May 16, 2014 6:16 PM

Well, I will say this: robots only are capable of doing what they're programmed or commanded to do.

 

It's not like these laws are actually followed by designers.  Were that the case, there would be no such thing as Predator drones (which are technically a violation of all laws of robotics).  We can destroy ourselves with machines, quite easily.  We can make overly effective instruments of destruction and eliminate the need for our presence in the world through automation.  However, we can also benefit from machines, especially in the worlds of policy making and implants, to make us more intelligent and accurate/effective processors of reality.  I would keep the consequences of ones' actions in mind when designing machines.  However, especially in our current state, there's no guarantee of that happening.

 

So, we've got a Russian roulette thing going on now, until we become more knowledgeable and aware of what works and how things work.  We can kill or hurt ourselves severely with the development of technology, as much as we can help and heal ourselves.

 

Let the experiments begin?  No choice, already begun.

 

Onward to the edge.

 

Think about it.

Gary Bamford's curator insight, May 17, 2014 4:25 AM

Sign me up for the extra memory chip, current one seems to be struggling to keep up!

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Uploading the Mind: Could a Digital Brain Feel Pain?

Uploading the Mind: Could a Digital Brain Feel Pain? | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Scientists may one day be able to use electronic copies of human brains to explore the nature of the mind. But is it ethical to make that e-mind suffer and die if one can resurrect it at will and delete any memory of the suffering?
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The H+ shift of Google (Part 4/4: #Transhumanist shift) | #cybermonopoly

The H+ shift of Google (Part 4/4: #Transhumanist shift) | #cybermonopoly | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

As shown during the three last blog’s article (part 1 on Health, part 2 on Artificial Intelligence, part 3 on Robotics), Google is emancipating from its original core business.


Via luiy
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luiy's curator insight, June 8, 2014 2:53 PM

Before 2013, all purchases of Google were intended to develop and optimize services directly related to Internet (its core business), either in the domain of pictures, or data processing, web analytics, map software, ads, blogging…

 

But till 2013, Google seems to have completely changed its purchasing policy, and companies bought by Google are now related to various domains in addition to robotics, such as neural networks (DNNResearch), natural language understanding (Wavii), renewable energy  (Makani Power), wearable computing (WIMM Labs), movement/facial recognition (Flutter, Viewdle), home automation (Nest Labs), etc…

 

Google’s business is in mutation: this company is not focused on the IT domain only but also in the promising field of NBIC. The Nanotechnologies (N), Biology (B), Information technologies (I) and Cognitive sciences (artificial intelligence and brain-related sciences) (C) are improving and converging, in a sense that discoveries in a domain are serving the others domains, and this synergy allow fantastic advances.

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Welcome to the era of big, bad open information. Context needed.

Welcome to the era of big, bad open information. Context needed. | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Connected devices can generate gobs of data, but if we’re going to open it up we’re also going to the need the context that will make it meaningful.

Via judycurtis
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Nat Sones's comment, October 13, 2014 9:48 AM
We all know this, but it's only recently that the numbers on context - and what impacts it has if you don't have them - have started to be available and understandable. Take a look here
Nat Sones's comment, October 13, 2014 9:48 AM
http://www.sdl.com/cxc/olp/web/power-of-customer-context.html?CampaignID=70160000000g5Wo
Nat Sones's comment, October 13, 2014 9:48 AM
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A Meta-Law to Rule Them All: Physicists Devise a “Theory of Everything”

A Meta-Law to Rule Them All: Physicists Devise a “Theory of Everything” | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
“Constructor theory” unites in one framework how information is processed in the classical and quantum realms (Oh the skeptics are all over this one. Information has no effect on physical systems? LOL.
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Quantum phenomenon shown in $15m D-Wave computer - BBC News

Quantum phenomenon shown in $15m D-Wave computer - BBC News | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
BBC News
Quantum phenomenon shown in $15m D-Wave computer
BBC News
... which takes hold at tiny (atomic or sub-atomic) scales.
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Financial Networks Key to Understanding Systemic Risk - International Monetary Fund

Financial Networks Key to Understanding Systemic Risk - International Monetary Fund | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Financial Networks Key to Understanding Systemic Risk International Monetary Fund With financial markets around the world so interconnected, the analysis of “networks” in the financial system would help deepen understanding of systemic risk and is...
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The Revolutionary Quantum Computer That May Not Be Quantum at All | Enterprise | WIRED

The Revolutionary Quantum Computer That May Not Be Quantum at All | Enterprise | WIRED | Systems Theory | Scoop.it

Google owns a lot of computers—perhaps a million servers stitched together into the fastest, most powerful artificial intelligence on the planet. But last August, Google teamed up with NASA to acquire what may be the search giant’s most powerful piece of hardware yet. It’s certainly the strangest.


Via Jean-Philippe BOCQUENET
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Everything Is Distributed

Everything Is Distributed | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
By Courtney Nash In September 2007, Jean Bookout, 76, was driving her Toyota Camry down an unfamiliar road in Oklahoma, with her friend Barbara Schwarz seated next to her on the passenger side. Suddenly, the Camry began to accelerate on its own. Bookout tried hitting the brakes, applying the emergency brake, [...]
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Must We Worry About Artificial Intelligence? - Huffington Post

Must We Worry About Artificial Intelligence? - Huffington Post | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Must We Worry About Artificial Intelligence?

Via Pekka Puhakka
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Everything is distributed - O'Reilly Radar

Everything is distributed - O'Reilly Radar | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
Everything is distributed
O'Reilly Radar
One thing we know from classic distributed computing theory is that distributed systems fail more often, and the failures often tend to be partial in nature.
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Stephen Hawking: 'Implications of artificial intelligence - are we taking AI seriously enough?'

Stephen Hawking: 'Implications of artificial intelligence - are we taking AI seriously enough?' | Systems Theory | Scoop.it
With the Hollywood blockbuster Transcendence playing in cinemas, with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman showcasing clashing visions for the future of humanity, it's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as mere science fiction. But this would be a mistake, and potentially our worst mistake in history.

 

Artificial-intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy! and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring.


The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilisation has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone's list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.


Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, world militaries are considering autonomous-weapon systems that can choose and eliminate targets; the UN and Human Rights Watch have advocated a treaty banning such weapons. In the medium term, as emphasised by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age, AI may transform our economy to bring both great wealth and great dislocation.

 

Looking further ahead, there are no fundamental limits to what can be achieved: there is no physical law precluding particles from being organised in ways that perform even more advanced computations than the arrangements of particles in human brains. An explosive transition is possible, although it might play out differently from in the movie: as Irving Good realised in 1965, machines with superhuman intelligence could repeatedly improve their design even further, triggering what Vernor Vinge called a "singularity" and Johnny Depp's movie character calls "transcendence".

 

One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.

 

So, facing possible futures of incalculable benefits and risks, the experts are surely doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome, right? Wrong. If a superior alien civilisation sent us a message saying, "We'll arrive in a few decades," would we just reply, "OK, call us when you get here – we'll leave the lights on"? Probably not – but this is more or less what is happening with AI. Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future of Life Institute. All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Tekrighter's curator insight, May 19, 2014 9:58 AM

Do we need to control it, or learn to coexist with it?

oliviersc's comment, May 19, 2014 4:01 PM
Partagé dans la Revue de blogs : Olivier-SC = http://oxymoron-fractal.blogspot.fr/2014/05/olivier-sc.html