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Accelerating Intelligence

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 07:28:09 +0000


Deep neural network models score higher than humans in reading and comprehension test

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 04:55:53 +0000

Microsoft and Alibaba have developed deep neural network models that scored higher than humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test, Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD). Microsoft achieved 82.650 on the ExactMatch (EM) metric* on Jan. 3, and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. scored 82.440 on Jan. 5. The best human score so far is [...]

Scientists map mammalian neural microcircuits in precise detail

Sat, 13 Jan 2018 04:47:53 +0000

Neuroscientists at the Francis Crick Institute have developed a new technique to map electrical microcircuits* in the brain at far more detail than existing techniques*, which are limited to tiny sections of the brain (or remain confined to simpler model organisms, like zebrafish). In the brain, groups of neurons that connect up in microcircuits help [...]

How to grow functioning human muscles from stem cells

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 07:54:45 +0000

Biomedical engineers at Duke University have grown the first functioning human skeletal muscle from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). (Pluripotent stem cells are important in regenerative medicine because they can generate any type of cell in the body and can propagate indefinitely; the induced version can be generated from adult cells instead of embryos.) [...]

DARPA-funded ‘unhackable’ computer could avoid future flaws like Spectre and Meltdown

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 03:15:39 +0000

A University of Michigan (U-M) team has announced plans to develop an “unhackable” computer, funded by a new $3.6 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of the project, called MORPHEUS, is to design computers that avoid the vulnerabilities of most current microprocessors, such as the Spectre and Meltdown flaws [...]

Researchers hack cell biology to create complex shapes that form living tissue

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 06:32:13 +0000

Many of the complex folded and curved shapes that form human tissues can now be programmatically recreated with very simple instructions, UC San Francisco (UCSF) bioengineers report December 28 in the journal Developmental Cell. The researchers used 3D cell-patterning to shape active mouse and human embryonic cells into thin layers of extracellular matrix fibers (a structural [...]

Brainwave ‘mirroring’ neurotechnology improves post-traumatic stress symptoms

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 04:08:52 +0000

You are relaxing comfortably, eyes closed, with non-invasive sensors attached to your scalp that are picking up signals from various areas of your brain. The signals are converted by a computer to audio tones that you can hear on earbuds. Over several sessions, the different frequencies (pitches) of the tones associated with the two hemispheres [...]

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Will artificial intelligence become conscious?

Fri, 22 Dec 2017 07:44:27 +0000

By Subhash Kak, Regents Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Oklahoma State University Forget about today’s modest incremental advances in artificial intelligence, such as the increasing abilities of cars to drive themselves. Waiting in the wings might be a groundbreaking development: a machine that is aware of itself and its surroundings, and that could take in and process massive [...]

A breakthrough low-light image sensor for photography, life sciences, security

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 04:13:35 +0000

Engineers from Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering have created a radical new imaging technology called “Quanta Image Sensor” (QIS) that may revolutionize a wide variety of imaging applications that require high quality at low light. These include security, photography, cinematography, and medical and life sciences research. Low-light photography (at night with only moonlight, for example) [...]

How to program DNA like we do computers

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 03:52:00 +0000

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have programmed DNA molecules to follow specific instructions to create sophisticated molecular machines that could be capable of communication, signal processing, problem-solving, decision-making, and control of motion in living cells — the kind of computation previously only possible with electronic circuits. Future applications may include health care, [...]

A new low-cost, simple way to measure medical vital signs with radio waves

Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:54:53 +0000

Replacing devices based on 19th-century technology* and still in use, Cornell University engineers have developed a simple method for gathering blood pressure, heart rate, and breath rate from multiple patients simultaneously. It uses low-power radio-frequency signals and low-cost microchip radio-frequency identification (RFID) “tags” — similar to the ubiquitous anti-theft tags used in department stores. The RFID [...]

Video games and piano lessons improve cognitive functions in seniors, researchers find

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:40:23 +0000

For seniors, playing 3D-platform games like Super Mario 64 or taking piano lessons can stave off mild cognitive impairment and perhaps even prevent Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study by Université de Montréal psychology professors. In the studies, 33 people ages 55 to 75 were instructed to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes [...]

AlphaZero’s ‘alien’ superhuman-level program masters chess in 24 hours with no domain knowledge

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:39:46 +0000

Demis Hassabis, the founder and CEO of DeepMind, announced at the Neural Information Processing Systems conference (NIPS 2017) last week that DeepMind’s new AlphaZero program achieved a superhuman level of play in chess within 24 hours. The program started from random play, given no domain knowledge except the game rules, according to an arXiv paper [...]

3D-printing biocompatible living bacteria

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 01:17:38 +0000

Researchers at ETH Zurich university have developed a technique for 3D-printing biocompatible living bacteria for the first time — making it possible to produce produce high-purity cellulose for biomedical applications and nanofilters that can break down toxic substances (in drinking water, for example) or for use in disastrous oil spills, for example. The technique, called [...]

New technology allows robots to visualize their own future

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 04:45:35 +0000

UC Berkeley | Vestri the robot imagines how to perform tasks UC Berkeley researchers have developed a robotic learning technology that enables robots to imagine the future of their actions so they can figure out how to manipulate objects they have never encountered before. It could help self-driving cars anticipate future events on the road [...]

Why (most) future robots won’t look like robots

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 04:10:21 +0000

Future robots won’t be limited to humanoid form (like Boston Robotics’ formidable backflipping Atlas). They’ll be invisibly embedded everywhere in common objects. Such as a shoe that can intelligently support your gait, change stiffness as you’re running or walking, and adapt to different surfaces — or even help you do backflips. That’s the vision of researchers [...]

Using light instead of electrons promises faster, smaller, more-efficient computers and smartphones

Sat, 02 Dec 2017 02:08:28 +0000

By forcing light to go through a smaller gap than ever before, a research team at Imperial College London has taken a step toward computers based on light instead of electrons. Light would be preferable for computing because it can carry much-higher-density information, it’s much faster, and more efficient (generates little to no heat). But [...]

New nanomaterial, quantum encryption system could be ultimate defenses against hackers

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 04:43:24 +0000

Recent advances in quantum computers may soon give hackers access to machines powerful enough to crack even the toughest of standard internet security codes. With these codes broken, all of our online data — from medical records to bank transactions — could be vulnerable to attack. Now, a new low-cost nanomaterial developed by New York [...]

Space dust may transport life between worlds

Sun, 26 Nov 2017 06:06:57 +0000

Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, according to a study published in the journal Astrobiology. A huge amount of space dust (~10,000 kilograms — about the weight of two elephants) enters our atmosphere every day — possibly delivering organisms from far-off worlds, according [...]

Using microrobots to diagnose and treat illness in remote areas of the body

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 00:54:09 +0000

Imagine a swarm of remote-controlled microrobots, a few micrometers in length (blood-vessel-sized), unleashed into your body to swim through your intestinal track or blood vessels, for example. Goal: to diagnose illness and treat it in hard-to-reach areas of the body. An international team of researchers, led by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is now [...]

Take a fantastic 3D voyage through the brain with immersive VR system

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:37:37 +0000

Wyss Center for Bio and Neuroengineering/Lüscher lab (UNIGE) | Brain circuits related to natural reward What happens when you combine access to unprecedented huge amounts of anatomical data of brain structures with the ability to display billions of voxels (3D pixels) in real time, using high-speed graphics cards? Answer: An awesome new immersive virtual reality [...]

Disturbing video depicts near-future ubiquitous lethal autonomous weapons

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:02:33 +0000

Campaign to Stop Killer Robots | Slaughterbots In response to growing concerns about autonomous weapons, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a coalition of AI researchers and advocacy organizations, has released a fictional video that depicts a disturbing future in which lethal autonomous weapons have become cheap and ubiquitous worldwide. UC Berkeley AI researcher Stuart Russell [...]

How to open the blood-brain-barrier with precision for safer drug delivery

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 04:13:09 +0000

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a safer way to use focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier* to allow for delivering vital drugs for treating glioma brain tumors — an alternative to invasive incision or radiation. Focused ultrasound drug delivery to the brain uses “cavitation” — creating microbubbles — to temporarily open [...]

Consumer Technology Association inducts Ray Kurzweil, 11 other visionaries into the 2017 Consumer Technology Hall of Fame

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:49:35 +0000

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) inducted Ray Kurzweil and 11 other industry leaders into the Consumer Technology (CT) Hall of Fame at its 19th annual awards dinner, held Nov. 7, 2017 at the Rainbow Room, atop 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. CTA, formerly Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), created the Hall of Fame in 2000 to honor industry [...]

Nearly every job is becoming more digital — Brookings study

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 03:52:12 +0000

Digital technology is disrupting the American workforce, but in vastly uneven ways, according to a new analysis of 545 occupations in a report published today by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The report, “Digitalization and the American workforce,” provides a detailed analysis of changes since 2001 in the digital content of 545 occupations that represent 90 [...]

Mapping connections of single neurons using a holographic light beam

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 04:33:02 +0000

Researchers at MIT and Paris Descartes University have developed a technique for precisely mapping connections of individual neurons for the first time by triggering them with holographic laser light. The technique is based on optogenetics (using light to stimulate or silence light-sensitive genetically modified protein molecules called “opsins” that are embedded in specific neurons). Current [...]

New method 3D-prints fully functional electronic circuits

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 02:27:00 +0000

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have developed a method for rapidly 3D-printing fully functional electronic circuits such as antennas, medical devices, and solar-energy-collecting structures. Unlike conventional 3D printers, these circuits can contain both both electrically conductive metallic inks (like the silver wires in the photo above) and insulating polymeric inks (like the yellow and orange [...]

Integrated circuits printed directly onto fabric for the first time

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 02:26:21 +0000

Researchers at the University of Cambridge, working with colleagues in Italy and China, have incorporated washable, stretchable, and breathable integrated electronic circuits into fabric for the first time — opening up new possibilities for smart textiles and wearable textile electronic devices. The circuits were made with cheap, safe, and environmentally friendly inks, and printed using conventional [...]

New silicon ‘Neuropixels’ probes record activity of hundreds of neurons simultaneously

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:48:09 +0000

In a $5.5 million international collaboration, researchers and engineers have developed powerful new “Neuropixels” brain probes that can simultaneously monitor the neural activity of hundreds of neurons at several layers of a rodent’s brain for the first time. Described in a paper published today (November 8, 2017) in Nature, Neuropixels probes represent a significant advance in neuroscience [...]

Scientists decipher mechanisms in cells for extending human longevity

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 05:57:09 +0000

A team of scientists at the University of California San Diego led by biologist Nan Hao have combined engineering, computer science, and biology technologies to decode the molecular processes in cells that influence aging. Protecting DNA from damage As cells age, damage in their DNA accumulates over time, leading to decay in normal functioning — [...]

New magnetism-control method could lead to ultrafast, energy-efficient computer memory

Sat, 04 Nov 2017 03:42:41 +0000

Researchers at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside have developed an ultrafast new method for electrically controlling magnetism in certain metals — a breakthrough that could lead to more energy-efficient computer memory and processing technologies. “The development of a non-volatile memory that is as fast as charge-based random-access memories could dramatically improve performance and energy efficiency [...]

Daydreaming means you’re smart and creative

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 03:49:26 +0000

Daydreaming during meetings or class might actually be a sign that you’re smart and creative, according to a Georgia Institute of Technology study. “People with efficient brains may have too much brain capacity to stop their minds from wandering,” said Eric Schumacher, an associate psychology professor who co-authored a research paper published in the journal [...]

A tool to debug ‘black box’ deep-learning neural networks

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 02:49:38 +0000

Researchers at Columbia and Lehigh universities have developed a method for error-checking the reasoning of the thousands or millions of neurons in unsupervised (self-taught) deep-learning neural networks, such as those used in self-driving cars. Their tool, DeepXplore, feeds confusing, real-world inputs into the network to expose rare instances of flawed reasoning, such as the incident last [...]

Researchers watch video images people are seeing, decoded from their fMRI brain scans in near-real-time

Sat, 28 Oct 2017 03:29:59 +0000

Purdue Engineering researchers have developed a system that can show what people are seeing in real-world videos, decoded from their fMRI brain scans — an advanced new form of  “mind-reading” technology that could lead to new insights in brain function and to advanced AI systems. The research builds on previous pioneering research at UC Berkeley’s [...]

IBM scientists say radical new ‘in-memory’ computing architecture will speed up computers by 200 times

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 05:49:10 +0000

IBM Research announced Tuesday (Oct. 24, 2017) that its scientists have developed the first “in-memory computing” or “computational memory” computer system architecture, which is expected to yield 200x improvements in computer speed and energy efficiency — enabling ultra-dense, low-power, massively parallel computing systems. Their concept is to use one device (such as phase change memory [...]

This voice-authentication wearable could block voice-assistant or bank spoofing

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:11:34 +0000

University of Michigan (U-M) scientists have developed a voice-authentication system for reducing the risk of being spoofed when you use a biometric system to log into secure services or a voice assistant (such as Amazon Echo and Google Home). A hilarious example of spoofing a voice assistant happened during a Google commercial during the 2017 Super [...]

A sneak peak at radical future user interfaces for phones, computers, and VR

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 22:41:49 +0000

Drawing in air, touchless control of virtual objects, and a modular mobile phone with snap-in sections (for lending to friends, family members, or even strangers) are among the innovative user-interface concepts to be introduced at the 30th ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium (UIST 2017) on October 22–25 in Quebec City, Canada. Here are three [...]

AlphaGo Zero trains itself to be most powerful Go player in the world

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:42:19 +0000

Deep Mind has just announced AlphaGo Zero, an evolution of AlphaGo, the first computer program to defeat a world champion at the ancient Chinese game of Go. Zero is even more powerful and is now arguably the strongest Go player in history, according to the company. While previous versions of AlphaGo initially trained on thousands of [...]

Leading brain-training game improves memory and attention better than competing method

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:07:42 +0000

A leading brain-training game called “dual n-back” was significantly better in improving memory and attention than a competing “complex span” game, Johns Hopkins University researchers found in a recent experiment.* These results, published Monday Oct. 16, 2017 in an open-access paper in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement, suggest it’s possible to train the brain like other body [...]

Scientists report first detection of gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 03:37:59 +0000

Scientists reported today (Oct. 16, 2017) the first simultaneous detection of both gravitational waves and light — an astounding collision of two neutron stars. The discovery was made nearly simultaneously by three gravitational-wave detectors, followed by observations by some 70 ground- and space-based light observatories. Neutron stars are the smallest, densest stars known to exist [...]

Using ‘cooperative perception’ between intelligent vehicles to reduce risks

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:05:59 +0000

Researchers at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have combined data from two autonomous cars to create a wider field of view, extended situational awareness, and greater safety. Autonomous vehicles get their intelligence from cameras, radar, light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensors, and navigation and mapping systems. But there are ways to make them even [...]

Ray Kurzweil + Peter Diamandis: Disruptive Technologies, Mind-Boggling Predictions, and ‘Dangerous Ideas’

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:50:36 +0000

Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis presented an Abundance 360 webinar on Friday, October 13 on mind-boggling predictions and transformative (even “dangerous”) ideas. The open-access video is here.

Controlled by a synthetic gene circuit, self-assembling bacteria build working electronic sensors

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 03:44:10 +0000

Using a synthetic gene circuit, Duke University researchers have programmed self-assembling bacteria to build useful electronic devices — a first. Other experiments have successfully grown materials using bacterial processes (for example, MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots). However, they have relied [...]

3D ‘body-on-a-chip’ project aims to accelerate drug testing, reduce costs

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 02:11:26 +0000

A team of scientists at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and nine other institutions has engineered miniature 3D human hearts, lungs, and livers to achieve more realistic testing of how the human body responds to new drugs. The “body-on-a-chip” project, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, aims to help reduce the estimated $2 billion [...]

Teleoperating robots with virtual reality: getting inside a robot’s head

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 23:03:26 +0000

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have developed a virtual-reality (VR) system that lets you teleoperate a robot using an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset. CSAIL’s “Homunculus Model” system (the classic notion of a small human sitting inside the brain and controlling the actions of the body) embeds you [...]

Fast-moving spinning magnetized nanoparticles could lead to ultra-high-speed, high-density data storage

Wed, 04 Oct 2017 05:54:21 +0000

An international team led by MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Geoffrey Beach has demonstrated a practical way to use “skyrmions” to create a radical new high-speed, high-density data-storage method that could one day replace disk drives — and even replace high-speed RAM memory. Rather than reading and writing data one bit at [...]

New transistor design enables flexible, high-performance wearable/mobile electronics

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 20:05:52 +0000

A team of University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW–Madison) engineers has created “the most functional flexible transistor in the world,” along with a fast, simple, inexpensive fabrication process that’s easily scalable to the commercial level. The development promises to allow manufacturers to add advanced, smart-wireless capabilities to wearable and mobile devices that curve, bend, stretch and move.* [...]

Ray Kurzweil on The Age of Spiritual Machines: A 1999 TV interview

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 19:25:21 +0000

Dear readers, For your interest, this 1999 interview with me, which I recently re-watched, describes some interesting predictions that are still coming true today. It’s intriguing to look back at the last 18 years to see what actually unfolded. This video is a compelling glimpse into the future, as we’re living it today. Enjoy! — [...]

Intel’s new ‘Loihi’ chip mimics neurons and synapses in the human brain

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 23:59:51 +0000

Intel announced this week a self-learning, energy-efficient neuromorphic (brain-like) research chip codenamed “Loihi”* that mimics how the human brain functions. Under development for six years, the chip uses 130,000 “neurons” and 130 million “synapses” and learns in real time, based on feedback from the environment.** Neuromorphic chip models are inspired by how neurons communicate and [...]

Why futurist Ray Kurzweil isn’t worried about technology stealing your job — Fortune

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 02:40:41 +0000

Last week, Fortune magazine asked Ray Kurzweil to comment on some often-expressed questions about the future. Does AI pose an existential threat to humanity? Kurzweil sees the future as nuanced, notes writer Michal Lev-Ram. “A lot of people think things are getting worse, partly because that’s actually an evolutionary adaptation,” Kurzweil said. “It’s very important [...]

Human vs. deep-neural-network performance in object recognition

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 01:36:46 +0000

Before you read this: look for toothbrushes in the photo above. Did you notice the huge toothbrush on the left? Probably not. That’s because when humans search through scenes for a particular object, we often miss objects whose size is inconsistent with the rest of the scene, according to scientists in the Department of Psychological [...]