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Accelerating Intelligence

Last Build Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:41:53 +0000


Artificial ‘skin’ gives robotic hand a sense of touch

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:41:53 +0000

A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a development in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, and also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices. The work, reported in the open-access journal Science Advances, [...]

A battery-free origami robot powered and controlled by external magnetic fields

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 01:23:34 +0000

Harvard University researchers have created a battery-free, folding robot “arm” with multiple “joints,” gripper “hand,” and actuator “muscles” — all powered and controlled wirelessly by an external resonant magnetic field. The design is inspired by the traditional Japanese art of origami (used to transform a simple sheet of paper into complex, three-dimensional shapes through a [...]

Scientists remove one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 02:23:03 +0000

Researchers at the Columbia Engineering Creative Machines lab have developed a 3D-printable, synthetic soft muscle that can mimic natural biological systems, lifting 1000 times its own weight. The artificial muscle is three times stronger than natural muscle and can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight — no external devices required. Existing soft-actuator technologies are [...]

New system allows near-zero-power sensors to communicate data over long distances

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 07:11:14 +0000

University of Washington (UW) researchers have developed a low-cost, long-range data-communication system that could make it possible for medical sensors or billions of low-cost “internet of things” objects to connect via radio signals at long distances (up to 2.8 kilometers) and with 1000 times lower required power (9.25 microwatts in an experiment) compared to existing technologies. [...]

Walking DNA nanorobot could deliver a drug to a precise location in your body

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 01:28:48 +0000

Caltech scientists have developed a “cargo sorting” DNA nanorobot programmed to autonomously “walk” around a surface, pick up certain molecules, and drop them off in designated locations. The research is described in a paper in the Friday, September 15, 2017 issue of Science. The major advance in this study is “their methodology for designing simple DNA [...]

Miniature MRI simulator chip could help diagnose and treat diseases in the body at sub-millimeter precision

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 04:27:39 +0000

Caltech researchers have developed a “Fantastic Voyage” style prototype microchip that could one day be used in “smart pills” to diagnose and treat diseases when inserted into the human body. Called ATOMS (addressable transmitters operated as magnetic spins), the microchips could one day monitor a patient’s gastrointestinal tract, blood, or brain, measuring factors that indicate [...]

‘Fog computing’ could improve communications during natural disasters

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 02:07:52 +0000

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a system that uses edge computing (also known as fog computing) to deal with the loss of internet access in natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, and floods. The idea is to create an ad hoc decentralized network that uses computing power built into mobile phones, [...]

These fast, low-cost medical technologies will replace ultrasound and X-rays for specific uses

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 05:19:08 +0000

A radical software invention by three Caltech engineers promises to allow your smartphone camera* to provide detailed information about a critical measure of your heart’s health: the “left ventricular ejection fraction” (LVEF) — the amount of blood in the heart that is pumped out to the blood system with each beat. This figure is used by [...]

A cooling system that works without electricity

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 03:02:24 +0000

Stanford University scientists have developed a high-tech mirror-like optical surface that uses “radiative sky cooling” to dramatically lower the energy required for air conditioning and refrigeration. The system cools water (flowing through pipes connected to an air-conditioning system) without requiring electricity by radiating excess heat from water into cold space. Panels covered in specialized optical [...]

Leading AI country will be ‘ruler of the world,’ says Putin

Mon, 04 Sep 2017 03:20:28 +0000

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Friday (Sept. 1, 2017) that the country that becomes the leader in developing artificial intelligence will be “the ruler of the world,” reports the Associated Press. AI development “raises colossal opportunities and threats that are difficult to predict now,” Putin said in a lecture to students, warning that “it would [...]

A single-molecule room-temperature transistor made from 14 atoms

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 03:00:38 +0000

Columbia Engineering researchers have taken a key step toward atomically precise, reproducible transistors made from single molecules and operating at room temperature — a major goal in the field of molecular electronics. The team created a two-terminal transistor with a diameter of about 0.5 nanometers and core consisting of just 14 atoms. The device can reliably [...]

Astronomers detect 15 high-frequency ‘fast radio bursts’ from distant galaxy

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 05:37:07 +0000

Using the Green Bank radio telescope, astronomers at Breakthrough Listen, a $100 million initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe, have detected 15 brief but powerful “fast radio bursts” (FRBs). These microwave radio pulses are from a mysterious source known as FRB 121102* in a dwarf galaxy about 3 billion light years [...]

Will AI enable the third stage of life?

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 10:00:08 +0000

In his new book Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, MIT physicist and AI researcher Max Tegmark explores the future of technology, life, and intelligence. The question of how to define life is notoriously controversial. Competing definitions abound, some of which include highly specific requirements such as being composed of cells, which might [...]

Single-molecule-level data storage may achieve 100 times higher data density

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 02:36:13 +0000

Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a data-storage method that could achieve 100 times higher data density than current technologies.* The system would allow for data servers to operate at the (relatively high) temperature of -213 °C. That could make it possible in the future for data servers to be chilled by liquid [...]

Black Mirror Season 4 coming to Netflix

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 03:39:44 +0000

Netflix has announced the episode titles for “Black Mirror’s” fourth season, to premiere on the streaming service later this year: “Arkangel,” “Black Museum,” “Crocodile,” “Hang the DJ,” “Metalhead,” and “USS Callister” (an apparent Star Trek takeoff).  

How to design a custom robot in minutes without being a roboticist

Sat, 26 Aug 2017 02:47:31 +0000

MIT’s new “Interactive Robogami” system will let you design a robot in minutes and then 3D-print and assemble it in about four hours. “Designing robots usually requires expertise that only mechanical engineers and roboticists have,” says PhD student Adriana Schulz, co-lead author of a paper in The International Journal of Robotics Research and a researcher [...]

Flexible ‘electronic skin’ patch provides wearable health monitoring anywhere on the body

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:18:24 +0000

A radical new electronic skin monitor developed by Korean and U.S. scientists tracks heart rate, respiration, muscle movement, acceleration, and electrical activity in the heart, muscles, eyes, and brain and wirelessly transmits it to a smartphone, allowing for continuous health monitoring. KurzweilAI has covered a number of biomedical skin-monitoring devices. This new design is noteworthy because [...]

A breakthrough new method for 3D-printing living tissues

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:48:47 +0000

Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a radical new method of 3D-printing laboratory-grown cells that can form complex living tissues and cartilage to potentially support, repair, or augment diseased and damaged areas of the body. Printing high-resolution living tissues is currently difficult because the cells often move within printed structures and can collapse [...]

KurzweilAI special project August 7–18

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 03:37:54 +0000

Dear reader, The KurzweilAI editorial/research team will be working on a special 10-day project starting Monday August 7, so we will be suspending newsletter publication until Monday August 21. Our website will remain up and we will continue to welcome your emails. We hope you’re enjoying your summer vacation. Thanks for your always-interesting participation, Amara [...]

How to turn a crystal into an erasable electrical circuit

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 03:34:55 +0000

Washington State University (WSU) physicists have found a way to write an electrical circuit into a crystal, opening up the possibility of transparent, three-dimensional electronics that, like an Etch A Sketch, can be erased and reconfigured. Ordinarily, a crystal does not conduct electricity. But when the researchers heated up crystal strontium titanate under the specific conditions, [...]

Ray Kurzweil reveals plans for ‘linguistically fluent’ Google software

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:45:25 +0000

Ray Kuzweil, a director of engineering at Google, reveals plans for a future version of Google’s “Smart Reply” machine-learning email software (and more) in a Wired article by Tom Simonite published Wednesday (Aug. 2, 2017). Running on mobile Gmail and Google Inbox, Smart Reply suggests up to three replies to an email message, saving typing [...]

Saturn moon Titan has chemical that could form bio-like ‘membranes’ says NASA

Wed, 02 Aug 2017 05:54:12 +0000

NASA researchers have found large quantities (2.8 parts per billion) of acrylonitrile* (vinyl cyanide, C2H3CN) in Titan’s atmosphere that could self-assemble as a sheet of material similar to a cell membrane. Consider these findings, presented July 28, 2017 in the open-access journal Science Advances, based on data from the ALMA telescope in Chile (and confirming [...]

Disney Research’s ‘Magic Bench’ makes augmented reality a headset-free group experience

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 20:51:17 +0000

Disney Research has created the first shared, combined augmented/mixed-reality experience, replacing first-person head-mounted displays or handheld devices with a mirrored image on a large screen — allowing people to share the magical experience as a group. Sit on Disney Research’s Magic Bench and you may see an elephant hand you a glowing orb, hear its [...]

A living programmable biocomputing device based on RNA

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 04:05:23 +0000

Synthetic biologists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and associates have developed a living programmable “ribocomputing” device based on networks of precisely designed, self-assembling synthetic RNAs (ribonucleic acid). The RNAs can sense multiple biosignals and make logical decisions to control protein production with high precision. As reported in Nature, the synthetic biological circuits could be used to [...]

How to run faster, smarter AI apps on smartphones

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 05:31:32 +0000

When you use smartphone AI apps like Siri, you’re dependent on the cloud for a lot of the processing — limited by your connection speed. But what if your smartphone could do more of the processing directly on your device — allowing for smarter, faster apps? MIT scientists have taken a step in that direction with [...]

Is anyone home? A way to find out if AI has become self-aware

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 15:00:31 +0000

By Susan Schneider, PhD, and Edwin Turner, PhD Every moment of your waking life and whenever you dream, you have the distinct inner feeling of being “you.” When you see the warm hues of a sunrise, smell the aroma of morning coffee or mull over a new idea, you are having conscious experience. But could [...]

Supersapiens, the Rise of the Mind

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:30:49 +0000

In the new film Supersapiens, writer-director Markus Mooslechner raises a core question: As artificial intelligence rapidly blurs the boundaries between man and machine, are we witnessing the rise of a new human species? “Humanity is facing a turning point — the next evolution of the human mind,” notes Mooslechner. “Will this evolution be a hybrid [...]

Alphabet’s X announces Glass Enterprise Edition, a hands-free device for hands-on workers

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 02:08:05 +0000

Alphabet’s X announced today Glass Enterprise Edition (EE) — an augmented-reality device targeted mainly to hands-on workers. Glass EE is an improved version of the “Explorer Edition” — an experimental 2013 corporate version of the original Glass product. On January 2015, the Enterprise team in X quietly began shipping the Enterprise Edition to corporate solution [...]

Neural stem cells steered by electric fields can repair brain damage

Tue, 18 Jul 2017 03:26:01 +0000

Electric fields can be used to guide transplanted human neural stem cells — cells that can develop into various brain tissues — to repair brain damage in specific areas of the brain, scientists at the University of California, Davis have discovered. It’s well known that electric fields can locally guide wound healing. Damaged tissues generate [...]

Drinking coffee associated with lower risk of death from all causes, study finds

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:49:43 +0000

People who drink around three cups of coffee a day may live longer than non-coffee drinkers, a landmark study has found. The findings — published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine — come from the largest study of its kind, in which scientists analyzed data from more than half a million people across 10 [...]

Projecting a visual image directly into the brain, bypassing the eyes

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 03:41:04 +0000

Imagine replacing a damaged eye with a window directly into the brain — one that communicates with the visual part of the cerebral cortex by reading from a million individual neurons and simultaneously stimulating 1,000 of them with single-cell accuracy, allowing someone to see again. That’s the goal of a $21.6 million DARPA award to [...]

How to turn audio clips into realistic lip-synced video

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:04:35 +0000

UW (University of Washington) | UW researchers create realistic video from audio files alone University of Washington researchers at the UW Graphics and Image Laboratory have developed new algorithms that turn audio clips into a realistic, lip-synced video, starting with an existing video of  that person speaking on a different topic. As detailed in a paper to [...]

How to ‘talk’ to your computer or car with hand or body poses

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 02:33:20 +0000

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have developed a system that can detect and understand body poses and movements of multiple people from a video in real time — including, for the first time, the pose of each individual’s fingers. The ability to recognize finger or hand poses, for instance, will make it possible for [...]

Radical new vertically integrated 3D chip design combines computing and data storage

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 03:30:41 +0000

A radical new 3D chip that combines computation and data storage in vertically stacked layers — allowing for processing and storing massive amounts of data at high speed in future transformative nanosystems — has been designed by researchers at Stanford University and MIT. The new 3D-chip design* replaces silicon with carbon nanotubes (sheets of 2-D [...]

Carbon nanotubes found safe for reconnecting damaged neurons

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 02:39:39 +0000

Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) could safely help repair damaged connections between neurons by serving as supporting scaffolds for growth or as connections between neurons. That’s the conclusion of an in-vitro (lab) open-access study with cultured neurons (taken from the hippcampus of neonatal rats) by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists in Italy and Spain, published in [...]

Meditation, yoga, and tai chi can reverse damaging effects of stress, new study suggests

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 02:31:47 +0000

Mind-body interventions such as meditation, yoga*, and tai chi can reverse the molecular reactions in our DNA that cause ill-health and depression, according to a study by scientists at the universities of Coventry and Radboud. When a person is exposed to a stressful event, their sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response) is triggered, [...]

‘Mind reading’ technology identifies complex thoughts, using machine learning and fMRI

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 14:27:08 +0000

By combining machine-learning algorithms with fMRI brain imaging technology, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) scientists have discovered, in essense, how to “read minds.” The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to view how the brain encodes various thoughts (based on blood-flow patterns in the brain). They discovered that the mind’s building blocks for constructing complex thoughts [...]

How to capture videos of brains in real time

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 02:27:11 +0000

A team of scientists has peered into a mouse brain with light, capturing live neural activity of hundreds of individual neurons in a 3D section of tissue at video speed (30 Hz) in a single recording for the first time. Besides serving as a powerful research tool, this discovery means it may now be possible [...]

Smart algorithm automatically adjusts exoskeletons for best walking performance

Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:38:21 +0000

Researchers at the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have developed a new automated feedback system for personalizing exoskeletons to achieve optimal performance. Exoskeletons can be used to augment human abilities. For example, they can provide more endurance while walking, help lift a heavy load, improve athletic performance, and help a stroke patient [...]

Tactile sensor lets robots gauge objects’ hardness and manipulate small tools

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 01:05:09 +0000

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have added sensors to grippers on robot arms to give robots greater sensitivity and dexterity. The sensor can judge the hardness of surfaces it touches, enabling a robot to manipulate smaller objects than was previously possible. The “GelSight” sensor consists of a block of transparent [...]

Two drones see through walls in 3D using WiFi signals

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:34:26 +0000

Researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara have demonstrated the first three-dimensional imaging of objects through walls using an ordinary wireless signal. Applications could include emergency search-and-rescue, archaeological discovery, and structural monitoring, according to the researchers. Other applications could include military and law-enforcement surveillance. Calculating 3D images from WiFi signals In the research, two [...]

Crystal ‘domain walls’ may lead to tinier electronic devices

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 03:02:03 +0000

Queen’s University Belfast physicists have discovered a radical new way to modify the conductivity (ease of electron flow) of electronic circuits — reducing the size of future devices. The two latest KurzweilAI articles on graphene cited faster/lower-power performance and device-compatibility features. This new research takes another approach: Altering the properties of a crystal to eliminate [...]

New chemical method could revolutionize graphene use in electronics

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 03:34:39 +0000

University of Illinois at Chicago scientists have solved a fundamental problem that has held back the use of wonder material graphene in a wide variety of electronics applications. When graphene is bonded (attached) to metal atoms (such as molybdenum) in devices such as solar cells, graphene’s superior conduction properties degrade. The solution: Instead of adding [...]

Graphene-based computer would be 1,000 times faster than silicon-based, use 100th the power

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 03:02:11 +0000

A future graphene-based transistor using spintronics could lead to tinier computers that are a thousand times faster and use a hundredth of the power of silicon-based computers. The radical transistor concept, created by a team of researchers at Northwestern University, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and University of Central [...]

High-speed light-based systems could replace supercomputers for certain ‘deep learning’ calculations

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 04:48:14 +0000

A team of researchers at MIT and elsewhere has developed a new approach to deep learning systems — using light instead of electricity, which they say could vastly improve the speed and efficiency of certain deep-learning computations. Deep-learning systems are based on artificial neural networks that mimic the way the brain learns from an accumulation of [...]

A noninvasive method for deep-brain stimulation for brain disorders

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 21:56:58 +0000

MIT researchers and associates have come up with a breakthrough method of remotely stimulating regions deep within the brain, replacing the invasive surgery now required for implanting electrodes for Parkinson’s and other brain disorders. The new method could make deep-brain stimulation for brain disorders less expensive, more accessible to patients, and less risky (avoiding brain [...]

Researchers decipher how faces are encoded in the brain

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 03:43:21 +0000

In a paper published (open access) June 1 in the journal Cell, researchers report that they have cracked the code for facial identity in the primate brain. “We’ve discovered that this code is extremely simple,” says senior author Doris Tsao, a professor of biology and biological engineering at the California Institute of Technology and senior [...]

Playing a musical instrument could help restore brain health, research suggests

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:35:10 +0000

A study by neuroscientists at Toronto-based Baycrest Rotman Research Institute and Stanford University involving playing a musical instrument suggests ways to improve brain rehabilitation methods. In the study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience on May 24, 2017, the researchers asked young adults to listen to sounds from an unfamiliar musical instrument (a Tibetan singing bowl). Half of [...]

33 blood-cancer patients have dramatic clinical remission with new T-cell therapy

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:42:04 +0000

Chinese doctors have reported success with a new type of immunotherapy for multiple myeloma*, a blood cancer: 33 out of 35 patients in a clinical trial had clinical remission within two months. The researchers used a type of T cell called “chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T.”** In a phase I clinical trial in China, the patient’s own T cells were collected, genetically reprogrammed in a lab, and [...]

How to design and build your own robot

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 00:52:24 +0000

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Robotics Institute researchers have developed a simplified interactive design tool that lets you design and make your own customized legged or wheeled robot, using a mix of 3D-printed parts and off-the-shelf components. The current process of creating new robotic systems is challenging, time-consuming, and resource-intensive. So the CMU researchers have created [...]