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Katyanna Quach

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Space, image via shutterstock

NASA? More like NASAI: Brainy robots 'crucial' to space exploration

Autonomous space robots are going to be key to making new discoveries and exploring the furthest reaches of our Solar System and beyond, according to NASA scientists. “By making their own exploration decisions, robotic spacecraft can conduct traditional science investigations more efficiently and even achieve otherwise …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Jun 2017

Breaking news, literally: Newspaper's quakebot rumbled for fake story

A Los Angeles Times article-writing bot sent shockwaves through the internet Wednesday – by falsely reporting a hefty 6.8M earthquake had hit Santa Barbara county, California. The quake did occur, but it was back in 1925 – 92 years ago. It’s not the first time bots have been accused of spreading fake news. The US elections in …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jun 2017

PLATO mission to find alien life is given the thumbs up

The European Space Agency’s PLATO mission hunting for habitable exoplanets has been given the green light to move from blueprint into construction. It was previously selected in 2014 as part of the ESA’s Cosmic Vision Programme, but the launch date has been pushed out two years from 2024 to 2026. The goal is to detect Earth- …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Jun 2017

Darkness to fall over North America from a total solar eclipse

America will witness, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse stretching from coast to coast on August 21. The Sun, Moon and Earth will sit perfectly in a line. The Moon will block out the Sun, making the solar corona, a crown of hot plasma, visible. A shadow of darkness will be cast over the Earth in a 70-mile ( …
Katyanna Quach, 21 Jun 2017

No, really. You can see through walls using drones and Wi-Fi

Video Drones can perform three-dimensional imaging of objects through walls using Wi-Fi, a team of researchers demonstrated for the first time. Chitra Karanam, a PhD student, and Yasamin Mostofi, a professor at the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara, presented their …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Jun 2017

NASA's Kepler space telescope finishes its original mission catalog

NASA’s Kepler space telescope has finished cataloging possible planets in the direction of the Cygnus constellation. At a news conference today, NASA astrobuffs announced that the telescope has identified 219 new planet candidates. Ten are about the size of the Earth and are in the “Goldilocks zone” – they’re at the magic …

You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

Nearly all stars, including our Sun, are born from hot, dense molecular clouds and come in pairs, according to a paper to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Binary star systems are common in space. It was estimated that up to 80 per cent of massive, bright O‑type and B‑type stars are locked …
Katyanna Quach, 17 Jun 2017
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at Samsung's Galaxy S7 launch

Facebook has a solution to all the toxic dross on its site – wait, it's not AI?

Facebook is once again trying to scrub clean its public image after it was criticized for allowing extremism to spread on its social media platform. “Our stance is simple: There’s no place on Facebook for terrorism. We remove terrorists and posts that support terrorism whenever we become aware of them,” the company declared in …
Katyanna Quach, 16 Jun 2017

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Microsoft's 'Ms Pac-Man beating AI' is more Automatic Idiot

Analysis Back in a bygone era – September last year – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told a developer conference: "We are not pursuing AI to beat humans at games." This week, we learned Redmond has done more or less that – lashed together a proof-of-concept AI that can trounce gamers at Ms Pac-Man, and snatch some headlines along the way …
Robot talks unto robot photo via Shutterstock

Facebook tried teaching bots art of negotiation – so the AI learned to lie

Let's be honest, despite last year's burst of hype, chatbots haven’t progressed beyond asking and answering simple questions. Still, researchers aren't letting go of their dream of a perfect digital assistant. If bots are to be really helpful, they’ll need to be more than a dumb user interface. They will have to engage in more …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Jun 2017

It came from space! Two-headed flatworm stuns scientists

A flatworm sent to the International Space Station has sprouted two heads, an anomaly that never happens in the wild, according to a paper published in the journal Regeneration. Flatworms may not look particularly interesting at first. But lop one to pieces and it’ll magically grow a new head and tail to become a different …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Jun 2017

OpenAI, DeepMind double team to make future AI machines safer

Researchers from OpenAI and DeepMind are hoping to make artificial intelligence safer using a new algorithm that learns from human feedback. Both companies are experts in reinforcement learning – an area of machine learning that rewards agents if they take the right actions to complete a task under a given environment. The …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jun 2017

Curiosity drills into the watery origins of Mars

The Martian rock samples dug up by NASA's Curiosity robotic rover show that there is a wide diversity of minerals, allowing scientists to piece together the planet's past. The results have been published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Elizabeth Rampe, first author of the study and NASA researcher at the …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Jun 2017

We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

A team of researchers has created the largest virtual model of our universe, complete with billions of galaxies, to probe the effects of dark energy and dark matter. The ambitious project took about three years to complete. A group of astrophysicists from the University of Zurich (UZH) developed their code, PKDGRAV3, to …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Jun 2017

DeepMind takes a shot at teaching AI to reason with relational networks

Analysis The ability to think logically and to reason is key to intelligence. When this can be replicated in machines, it will no doubt make AI smarter. But it’s a difficult problem, and current methods used in deep learning aren’t advanced enough. Deep learning is good for processing information, but it can struggle with reasoning. …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Jun 2017
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Science megablast: Comets may have brought xenon to Earth

Scientists working on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe mission have found xenon on Comet 67P – a discovery that introduces a link between the cosmic rock and Earth for the first time. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004, and its companion lander unit, Philae, arrived at the comet a decade later. Both were …
Katyanna Quach, 09 Jun 2017

Feeling old? Well, we're older than that: Newly found Homo sapiens jaw dates back 350k years

Pics It's a double-whammy discovery for fossil enthusiasts this week. Two groups of scientists have reportedly found the world's oldest known remains of Homo sapiens – and a really old mushroom. Both studies are independent. The bones were found at a site in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and date back approximately 300,000 to 350,000 …
Katyanna Quach, 08 Jun 2017

Horror in space: Hot alien giant boiled alive by nasty radiation-belching star

Astronomers have discovered KELT‑9b – the hottest giant exoplanet yet seen. It is twice the size of Jupiter, has a dayside temperature of 4,600 Kelvin, and is being stripped by ultraviolet radiation from its star, KELT‑9. Thousands of exoplanets – alien worlds beyond our own solar system – have been spotted in the depths of …
Katyanna Quach, 06 Jun 2017

Going to Mars may give you cancer, warns doc

Aspiring astronauts might want to think twice before going to Mars, as scientists estimate that the risk of cancer doubles for long-term missions outside Earth’s magnetic field. A study by Francis Cucinotta, professor at the department of Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences and Eliedonna Cacao, a PhD student at the …
Katyanna Quach, 06 Jun 2017

Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Scientists have discovered bizarre evidence in the US state of Wyoming – that bacteria hidden deep within the Earth's crust secrete uranium. Uranium, the silvery white metal known for its radioactive properties and usage in nuclear power plants, is thought to occur within ore deposits in the form of uraninite. The uranium in …
Katyanna Quach, 02 Jun 2017
Las Vegas - Circa July 2016: Microsoft Retail Technology Store Mall Location III Editorial credit: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft boosts its AI framework with Cognitive Toolkit 2.0

Microsoft has updated its AI framework with the launch of Cognitive Toolkit 2.0 on Thursday. All major companies investing in deep learning have some sort of packaged software that helps developers create neural network models. Google has TensorFlow, DeepMind released Sonnet, Facebook recently announced Caffe2, and Amazon …
Katyanna Quach, 01 Jun 2017

LIGO physicists eyeball a new gravitational wave

Physicists working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) have spotted gravitational waves rippling through the universe for the third time, according to results published in Physical Review Letters on Thursday. The discovery of gravitational waves was announced for the first time in February 2016. …
Katyanna Quach, 01 Jun 2017

Spacecraft spots possible signs of frozen water on the Moon

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has captured evidence that shows that parts of the Moon may be coated in thin bits of frost, and it could help scientists unlock the mystery of how water ended up on Earth. The LRO has been in orbit since 2009, collecting vital information to aid space agencies in planning future human and …
Katyanna Quach, 01 Jun 2017

Boffins play with the world's most powerful X‑ray gun to shoot molecules

A group of scientists has focused the world’s most powerful X‑ray beam on a molecule to test out the Linac Coherent Light Source at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The pulse was so intense that within 30 femtoseconds – a millionth of a billionth of a second – more than 50 electrons were …
Katyanna Quach, 31 May 2017

NASA boffins find an explanation for Saturn's wonky moon

Enceladus, Saturn’s watery moon, may have been tipped on its axis after being battered with an asteroid, new evidence reveals. NASA’s Cassini mission may be entering its Grand Finale stage, but the data collected is still a treasure trove for discovery. Results published last month in Icarus, a planetary science journal, show …
Katyanna Quach, 31 May 2017

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