engineering

The idea of digital fakery is eroding the truth

From Youtube: At the White House, the idea of digital fakery is eroding the truth. The frightening future of digital fakery has arrived, in the form of a video of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The footage on the right shows Acosta roughly handling a White House aide during a press conference yesterday—or does it? (The original clip is shown to the left

This Brain Implant Could Change Lives

From Youtube: It sounds like science fiction: a device that can reconnect a paralyzed person’s brain to his or her body. But that’s exactly what the experimental NeuroLife system does. Developed by Battelle and Ohio State University, NeuroLife uses a brain implant, an algorithm and an electrode sleeve to give paralysis patients back control of their limbs. For Ian Burkhart, NeuroLife’s first test subject, the implications could be life-changing.

60 Years of Challenges and Breakthroughs by DARPA

From Youtube: With a focus on the people and perseverance behind DARPA’s ability to make the impossible possible, trace the agency’s history from its charter following the Soviet Union’s Sputnik launch to advances across a spectrum of technologies. Building on a legacy of innovation, DARPA continues to push technological boundaries to ensure U.S. military superiority and serve the people who serve and protect our nation.

What People See in a Robot: A New Look at Human-Like Appearance

From Youtube: What People See in a Robot: A New Look at Human-Like Appearance. A long-standing question in HRI is what effects a robot’s human-like appearance has on various psychological responses. A substantial literature has demonstrated such effects on liking, trust, ascribed intelligence, and so on. Much of this work has relied on a construct of uni-dimensional low to high human-likeness. I introduce evidence for an alternative view according to which robot appearance must be described in a three-dimensional space, encompassing Body/Manipulators (e.g., torso, arms, legs), Facial Features (e.g., head, eyes), and Surface Look (e.g., eyelashes, skin, genderedness). The broad human-likeness concept can thus be decomposed into more concrete appearance dimensions, and robots’ degrees of human-likeness are constituted by different combinations of these dimensions. In a study using 24 robots selected from this three-dimensional appearance space, I then show that the different dimensions separately predict inferences people make about the robot’s affective, social-moral, and physical capacities.

The secret physics of dandelion seeds

From Youtube: Every child knows that blowing on a dandelion clock will send its seeds floating off into the air. But physicists wanted to know more. How does an individual seed manage to maintain such stable flight? Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the fluid dynamics of air flow around the seed and discovered a completely new type of flight. It’s based on a previously unknown kind of vortex which may even be common in the plant and animal kingdoms, now that we know where to look.

You and AI – the history, capabilities and frontiers of AI - Demis Hassabis

From Youtube: Demis Hassabis, world-renowned British neuroscientist, artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and the co-founder and CEO of DeepMind, explores the groundbreaking research driving the application of AI to scientific discovery. The talk launches the Royal Society’s 2018 series: You and AI, a collaborative effort to help people understand what machine learning and AI are, how these technologies work and the ways they may affect our lives.

Why symmetry gets really interesting when it is broken

From aeon.co magazine: Anthony Phillips is a lecturer in condensed matter and materials physics at the Materials Research Institute of Queen Mary, University of London. A hypothetical alien visitor, sent to observe all of human culture – art and architecture, music and medicine, storytelling and science – would quickly conclude that we as a species are obsessed with patterns. Symmetry is at the core of my own work as a materials physicist. When atoms aggregate to make a material, they naturally arrange themselves into symmetrically repeating patterns. More than this, when we want the resulting material to be useful for a particular purpose – say, if we’re designing a touch sensor or an element of computer memory – these patterns must have the right symmetry to produce these useful properties.

Custom carpentry with help from robots

From mit.edu: Every year thousands of carpenters injure their hands and fingers doing dangerous tasks such as sawing. In an effort to minimize injury and let carpenters focus on design and other bigger-picture tasks, a team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has created AutoSaw, a system that lets nonexperts customize different items that can then be constructed with the help of robots.

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