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Eric Berlow: How complexity leads to simplicity

Eric Berlow: How complexity leads to simplicity | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
Ecologist Eric Berlow doesn't feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points.
TED Fellow Eric Berlow studies ecology and networks, exposing the interconnectedness of our ecosystems with climate change, government, corporations and more.
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Dynamics of Social Interaction
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Inside the Moonshot Effort to Finally Figure Out the Brain

Inside the Moonshot Effort to Finally Figure Out the Brain | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
AI is only loosely modeled on the brain. So what if you wanted to do it right? You’d need to do what has been impossible until now: map what actually happens in neurons and nerve fibers.
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A Less-Artificial Intelligence - Studying 70,000 mouse neurons

A Less-Artificial Intelligence - Studying 70,000 mouse neurons | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
Studying 70,000 mouse neurons could help Andreas Tolias build smarter AI.
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Abstract concept learning in a simple neural network inspired by the insect brain

The capacity to learn abstract concepts such as 'sameness' and 'difference' is considered a higher-order cognitive function, typically thought to be dependent on top-down neocortical processing. It is therefore surprising that honey bees apparantly have this capacity. Here we report a model of the structures of the honey bee brain that can learn sameness and difference, as well as a range of complex and simple associative learning tasks. Our model is constrained by the known connections and properties of the mushroom body, including the protocerebral tract, and provides a good fit to the learning rates and performances of real bees in all tasks, including learning sameness and difference. The model proposes a novel mechanism for learning the abstract concepts of 'sameness' and 'difference' that is compatible with the insect brain, and is not dependent on top-down or executive control processing.

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There Is No Such Thing as a Smart City

There Is No Such Thing as a Smart City | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
The term “smart city” is interesting yet not important, because nobody defines it. “Smart” is a snazzy political label used by a modern alliance of leftist urbanites and tech industrialists. To deem yourself “smart” is to make the nimbyites and market-force people look stupid.

Smart-city devotees all over this world will agree that London is particularly smart. Why? London is a huge, ungainly beast whose cartwheeling urban life is in cranky, irrational disarray. London is a god-awful urban mess, but London does have some of the best international smart-city conferences.
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AI Listens to Radio

AI Listens to Radio | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
We’ve seen plenty of examples of neural networks listening to speech, reading characters, or identifying images. KickView had a different idea. They wanted to learn to recognize radio signals. Not just any radio signals, but Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) waveforms.

OFDM is a modulation method used by WiFi, cable systems, and many other systems. In particular, they look at an 802.11g signal with a bandwidth of 20 MHz. The question is given a receiver for 802.11g, how can you reliably detect that an 802.11ac signal — up to 160 MHz — is using your channel? To demonstrate the technique they decided to detect 20 MHz signals using a 5 MHz bandwidth.


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Polisis AI Reads Privacy Policies So You Don't Have To

Polisis AI Reads Privacy Policies So You Don't Have To | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
YOU DON'T READ privacy policies. And of course, that's because they're not actually written for you, or any of the other billions of people who click to agree to their inscrutable legalese. Instead, like bad poetry and teenagers' diaries, those millions upon millions of words are produced for the benefit of their authors, not readers—the lawyers who wrote those get-out clauses to protect their Silicon Valley employers.

But one group of academics has proposed a way to make those virtually illegible privacy policies into the actual tool of consumer protection they pretend to be: an artificial intelligence that's fluent in fine print. Today, researchers at Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL), the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan announced the release of Polisis—short for "privacy policy analysis"—a new website and browser extension that uses their machine-learning-trained app to automatically read and make sense of any online service's privacy policy, so you don't have to.
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Closed-loop stimulation of temporal cortex rescues functional networks and improves memory

Closed-loop stimulation of temporal cortex rescues functional networks and improves memory | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
Memory failures are frustrating and often the result of ineffective encoding. One approach to improving memory outcomes is through direct modulation of brain activity with electrical stimulation. Previous efforts, however, have reported inconsistent effects when using open-loop stimulation and often target the hippocampus and medial temporal lobes. Here we use a closed-loop system to monitor and decode neural activity from direct brain recordings in humans. We apply targeted stimulation to lateral temporal cortex and report that this stimulation rescues periods of poor memory encoding. This system also improves later recall, revealing that the lateral temporal cortex is a reliable target for memory enhancement. Taken together, our results suggest that such systems may provide a therapeutic approach for treating memory dysfunction.

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Sidewalk Labs Is Building a Platform for Making the City of Tomorrow

Sidewalk Labs Is Building a Platform for Making the City of Tomorrow | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
The Alphabet company is the latest to offer an "operating system" for the age of urban mobility.
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Let's make this the year we reclaim control of our data

Let's make this the year we reclaim control of our data | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
We have always kept data about ourselves, from household accounts to lovingly kept records of our baby's height and weight. But when data like this is stored centrally it can be used to benefit lots of other people, too.
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The most important connection in any network is the local.

The most important connection in any network is the local. | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
Networks regulate everything from ant colonies and middle schools to epidemics and the internet. Here’s how they work
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MIT launches the MIT Intelligence Quest

MIT launches the MIT Intelligence Quest | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
At a time of rapid advances in intelligence research across many disciplines, the Intelligence Quest — MIT IQ — will encourage researchers to investigate the societal implications of their work as they pursue hard problems lying beyond the current horizon of what is known.
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Your brain reveals who your friends are: Study illustrates how similar neural responses predict friendships

Your brain reveals who your friends are: Study illustrates how similar neural responses predict friendships | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
You may perceive the world the way your friends do, according to a Dartmouth study finding that friends have similar neural responses to real-world stimuli and these similarities can be used to predict who your friends are.
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How Fast Is AI Progressing? Stanford's New Report Card for Artificial Intelligence

How Fast Is AI Progressing? Stanford's New Report Card for Artificial Intelligence | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
When? This is probably the question futurists, AI experts, and even people with a keen interest in technology dread most. It's been famously difficult to predict when developments in AI will take place. Stanford's new AI Index aims to clarify the situation by regularly defining and measuring AI progress.
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Neural Networking Shows Promise in Earthquake Monitoring

Neural Networking Shows Promise in Earthquake Monitoring | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
A team of Harvard University and MIT researchers report their new neural networking method for monitoring earthquakes is more accurate and orders of magnitude faster than traditional approaches.
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Selective Maintenance of Value Information Helps Resolve the Exploration/Exploitation Dilemma

Laboratory studies of value-based decision-making often involve choosing among a few discrete actions. Yet in natural environments, we encounter a multitude of options whose values may be unknown or poorly estimated. Given that our cognitive capacity is bounded, in complex environments, it becomes hard to solve the challenge of whether to exploit an action with known value or search for even better alternatives. In reinforcement learning, the intractable exploration/exploitation tradeoff is typically handled by controlling the temperature parameter of the softmax stochastic exploration policy or by encouraging the selection of uncertain options. We describe how selectively maintaining high-value actions in a manner that reduces their information content helps to resolve the exploration/exploitation dilemma during a reinforcement-based timing task. By definition of the softmax policy, the information content (i.e., Shannon's entropy) of the value representation controls the shift from exploration to exploitation. When subjective values for different response times are similar, the entropy is high, inducing exploration. Under selective maintenance, entropy declines as the agent preferentially maps the most valuable parts of the environment and forgets the rest, facilitating exploitation. We demonstrate in silico that this memory-constrained algorithm performs as well as cognitively demanding uncertainty-driven exploration, even though the latter yields a more accurate representation of the contingency. We found that human behavior was best characterized by a selective maintenance model. Information dynamics consistent with selective maintenance were most pronounced in better-performing subjects, in those with higher non-verbal intelligence, and in learnable vs. unlearnable contingencies. Entropy of value traces shaped human exploration behavior (response time swings), whereas uncertainty-driven exploration was not supported by Bayesian model comparison. In summary, when the action space is large, strategic maintenance of value information reduces cognitive load and facilitates the resolution of the exploration/exploitation dilemma.

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AI Uses Titan Supercomputer to Create Deep Neural Nets in Less Than a Day

AI Uses Titan Supercomputer to Create Deep Neural Nets in Less Than a Day | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
You don’t have to dig too deeply into the archive of dystopian science fiction to uncover the horror that intelligent machines might unleash. The Matrix and The Terminator are probably the most well-known examples of self-replicating, intelligent machines attempting to enslave or destroy humanity in the process of building a brave new digital world.

The prospect of artificially intelligent machines creating other artificially intelligent machines took a big step forward in 2017. However, we’re far from the runaway technological singularity futurists are predicting by mid-century or earlier, let alone murderous cyborgs or AI avatar assassins.
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A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing

A Ruling Over Embedded Tweets Could Change Online Publishing | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
ONE OF THE most ubiquitous features of the internet is the ability to link to content elsewhere. Everything is connected via billions of links and embeds to blogs, articles, and social media. But a federal judge’s ruling threatens that ecosystem. Katherine Forrest, a Southern District of New York judge, ruled Thursday that embedding a tweet containing an image in a webpage could be considered copyright infringement. The decision can be appealed, but if it stands and is adopted by other courts, it could change the way online publishing functions.
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Fast-Spiking Interneurons Supply Feedforward Control of Bursting, Calcium, and Plasticity for Efficient Learning

Fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs) are a prominent class of forebrain GABAergic cells implicated in two seemingly independent network functions: gain control and network plasticity. Little is known, however, about how these roles interact. Here, we use a combination of cell-type-specific ablation, optogenetics, electrophysiology, imaging, and behavior to describe a unified mechanism by which striatal FSIs control burst firing, calcium influx, and synaptic plasticity in neighboring medium spiny projection neurons (MSNs). In vivo silencing of FSIs increased bursting, calcium transients, and AMPA/NMDA ratios in MSNs. In a motor sequence task, FSI silencing increased the frequency of calcium transients but reduced the specificity with which transients aligned to individual task events. Consistent with this, ablation of FSIs disrupted the acquisition of striatum-dependent egocentric learning strategies. Together, our data support a model in which feedforward inhibition from FSIs temporally restricts MSN bursting and calcium-dependent synaptic plasticity to facilitate striatum-dependent sequence learning.

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Combining Convolutional Neural Networks and LSTMs for Segmentation-Free OCR

We present a novel end-to-end trainable OCR system combining a CNN for feature extraction with 1-D LSTMs for sequence modeling. We present results on English and Arabic handwriting data, and on English machine print data, showing state-of-the-art performance. We believe that our method is simpler than existing 2D LSTM models, and will make it easier to use techniques borrowed from CNN research in computer vision to improve OCR performance.
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What is the Team Data Science Process?

What is the Team Data Science Process? | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
The Team Data Science Process (TDSP) is an agile, iterative data science methodology to deliver predictive analytics solutions and intelligent applications efficiently. TDSP helps improve team collaboration and learning. It contains a distillation of the best practices and structures from Microsoft and others in the industry that facilitate the successful implementation of data science initiatives. The goal is to help companies fully realize the benefits of their analytics program.

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Diffix: High-Utility Database Anonymization

Diffix: High-Utility Database Anonymization | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
In spite of the tremendous privacy and liability benefits of anonymization, most shared data today is only pseudonymized. The reason is simple: there haven’t been any anonymization technologies that are general purpose, easy to use, and preserve data quality. This paper presents the design of Diffix, a new approach to database anonymization that promises to break new ground in the utility/privacy trade-off. Diffix acts as an SQL proxy between the analyst and an unmodified live database. Diffix adds a minimal amount of noise to answers—Gaussian with a standard deviation of only two for counting queries—and places no limit on the number of queries an analyst may make. Diffix works with any type of data and configuration is simple and data-independent: the administrator does not need to consider the identifiability or sensitivity of the data itself. This paper presents a high-level but complete description of Diffix. It motivates the design through examples of attacks and defenses, and provides some evidence for how Diffix can provide strong anonymity with such low noise levels.

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Differential privacy at the end of the rainbow

Differential privacy at the end of the rainbow | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
Apple’s heavily-marketed but proprietary implementation of differential privacy is no longer secret. Researchers at the University of Southern California
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Quants Bring AI and Blockchain Together in One Fund

Quants Bring AI and Blockchain Together in One Fund | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
A group of quantitative hedge fund traders long dreamed of bringing their artificial intelligence strategies to all. And now they have with the first exchange-traded fund to combine the worlds of AI and blockchain.
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IBM partnership aims to create smart shipping port with IoT sensors, AI, big data

IBM partnership aims to create smart shipping port with IoT sensors, AI, big data | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
IBM and the Port of Rotterdam are partnering to create a digitized smart shipping port, complete with IoT sensors and other connected devices.
By becoming a smart shipping port, the Port of Rotterdam will use data to boost efficiency and drive down cost.
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Predicting Future Lane Changes of Other Highway Vehicles using RNN-based Deep Models

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