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Katyanna Quach

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Eye eye! AI could stop blindness, Facebook's after math, and how to get started in the ML biz

Roundup Hello, here is a very quick roundup of this week's AI goodies you may have missed. Floating point maths for AI chips: Facebook has published code that improves the efficiency of number crunching to train and deploy neural networks using AI chips. There’s a ton of matrix maths that’s performed when you feed a neural network …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Nov 2018

Thank $deity that week's over. Look, here's some trippy music generated from pixels of a Martian sunrise to play us out

Video Scientists in England have documented the five thousandth sunrise spied by NASA’s Opportunity rover in the form of interpretive dance music. It was created using a technique known as image sonification. Domenico Vicinanza, director of the sound and game engineering group at the Anglia Ruskin University and Genevieve Williams, …
Katyanna Quach, 10 Nov 2018

Chinese teen braniacs are being trained to build new AI weapons

A top Chinese university has recruited a select group of whizkids straight from high school to develop new AI weapons. The Beijing Institute of Technology, which is piloting the scheme, is renowned for weaponry science and technology. It receives funding from the Chinese government, the Commission for Science, Technology and …
Schoolkids in uniform studying with books/apple. Photo by shutterstock

Here's a search engine for all you boffins and eggheads that makes it easier to learn science

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence has added new features to its academic search engine, Semantic Scholar, to make it easier for professionals and plebs to understand and advance research. Funded by the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and his sister Jody Allen, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, the Allen …

FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe has kept its cool, successfully surviving sweltering temperatures to reach its first close encounter with the Sun, coming within 15 million miles of the solar surface. Launched in August, the spacecraft is on a mission to study the star at the center of our Solar System. The goal is to help scientists …

Dollar for dollar, crafting cryptocurrency sucks up 'more energy' than mining gold, copper, etc

Cryptocurrencies require as much, if not more, energy to mine as precious metals like copper, gold or platinum, according to some latest calculations. The figures were jotted down by Max Krause, a researcher at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, and Thabet Toloymat, an environmental engineer working in …
Milky Way photo via Shutterstock

Astroboffins spot one of the oldest, coolest stars in the universe lurking in the Milky Way

Astronomers claim to have found the oldest star yet discovered – a 13.5-billion-year-old sun hovering on the edges of our Milky Way, according to a new study. The star may sound unremarkable, 2MASS J18082002-5104378 B, but its contents are pretty special. It’s classified as an ultra metal-poor star (UMP) and is “the most metal …
man holds magnifying glass

Fight AI with AI! Code taught to finger naughty deepfake vids made by machine-learning algos

The rise of AI systems that can generate fake images and videos has spurred researchers in the US to develop a technique to sniff out these cyber-shams, also known as deepfakes. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are commonly used for creative purposes. These neural networks have helped researchers create made-up data to …

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

Space agencies and private citizens spend millions of dollars and countless hours hunting for signs of extraterrestrial life. Yet, there may be an easier way to find intelligent civilizations, according to a pair of researchers from MIT in the US. Instead of sending spacecraft out into space or listening for a signal on …

Google flings $25m at Social Good AI contest, Baidu's whips up neural-net camera to treat eye diseases, and more

Roundup Hello, here’s this week's dose of AI news. Google has promised to throw more money at AI research that benefits society, OpenAI developed a new technique to get bots to be more curious, and Nvidia has launched its own AI Research Residency Program. AI for Social Good: The Chocolate Factory has launched the Google AI Impact …

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip

NASA’s Dawn space probe, our visitor to the Solar System’s protoplanets Vesta and Ceres, is cold and dead. The spacecraft finally ran out of fuel whilst it was orbiting Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt. NASA engineers noticed that it had missed two opportunities to check in with ground control on 31 October and 1 …

If you want to inject AI into your apps, and you can stomach Facebook's code, then have we got some news for you

Facebook has unveiled a software toolkit to help programmers plug AI – in the form of reinforcement-learning models – into their applications. Reinforcement learning (RL) involves using simulated environments to teach programs how to perform certain tasks. This approach has been used to build code that beats folks at Go, chess …

Boffins have fabricated microscopic sci-fi tractor beams for real

The idea of tractor beams, concentrated rays of energy used to trap and move objects at a distance, was first introduced in science fiction. A group of physicists from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and the Université de Limoges, France, however are trying to make them a reality. But don’t get too excited, current …
Katyanna Quach, 31 Oct 2018

Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel

The Kepler spacecraft has coughed up its last reserves of fuel and is now retired, after helping scientists discover thousands of exoplanets for nearly a decade, NASA announced on Tuesday. “Fuel exhaustion means it has reached the end of its space life,” Charlie Sobeck, a project system engineer at NASA’s Ames Research Center …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Oct 2018

Watch closely as NASA deploys the world's biggest parachute at supersonic speeds

Video NASA engineers have launched a gigantic parachute as big as a house at record speed to prepare for its Mars 2020 mission. The object, dubbed ASPIRE (Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiments), unfolded from a small cylinder to a massive parachute, weighing over 80 kilograms (180 pounds), in just four-tenths …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Oct 2018

AI can predict the structure of chemical compounds thousands of times faster than quantum chemistry

AI can help chemists crack the molecular structure of crystals much faster than traditional modelling methods, according to research published in Nature Communications on Monday. Scientists from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), a research institute in Switzerland, have built a machine learning programme …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Oct 2018
US govt photo of children detained

Amazon's neural net offer to border cops, Waymo charges fares, the first AI portrait sold at auction, and more

Roundup Let's kick Monday off with a bunch of bits and bytes you may have missed last week from the world of AI – alleged intelligence or artificial intelligence, depending on where you stand. Amazon and ICE: A leaked email has shown that Amazon tried to sell its facial recognition software to the US Immigration and Customs …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Oct 2018

Top AI conference NIPS won't change its name amid growing protest over 'bad taste' acronym

Special report Like something out of HBO's TV satire Silicon Valley, Neural Information Processing Systems is one of the world's top AI conferences. Yes, N. I. P. S. NIPS. And a decision to keep calling it that has somewhat split the machine-learning community. NIPS is one of the must-attend AI events of the year for those working or …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Oct 2018

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...

The question of the infamous trolley problem for self-driving cars has finally been answered – by humans. The people have spoken. Neural networks, take note... Imagine a robo-ride is about to crash into either a kid or a bunch of elderly people. It cannot brake in time, nor swerve out of the way. Where should it go? Who should …
Katyanna Quach, 25 Oct 2018

Excuse me, but have you heard the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Chr-AI-st?

Software has been trained by academics to produce different styles of biblical text, after swotting up on the original sacred texts. The neural network – developed at Dartmouth University and Indiana University Bloomington in the US – is an interesting demonstration of artificially intelligent code poring over writing in one …
Katyanna Quach, 25 Oct 2018

Linguists, update your resumes because Baidu thinks it has cracked fast AI translation

AI can translate between languages in real time as people speak, according to fresh research from Chinese search giant Baidu and Oregon State University in the US. Human interpreters need superhuman concentration to listen to speech and translate at the same time. There are, apparently, only a few thousand qualified …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Oct 2018

It's big, it's blue, and it'll be raining down on you – it's 3200 Phaethon

3200 Phaethon, a weird object that sends cosmic debris streaking through Earth's night skies during the Geminid meteor shower, is more puzzling than previously thought. For starters, Phaethon appears to be blue. When the researchers viewed the object using telescopes in Hawaii and Arizona, USA, they found that it reflected …
Katyanna Quach, 24 Oct 2018

AI clinician trained to save humans from sepsis – and, er, let's just say you should stick to your human doctor

Experts hope an artificially intelligent software system will help doctors tackle the deadly menace of sepsis in humans. The technology uses reinforcement learning, an area of machine learning more commonly used for teaching bots to play games such as Go, Dota 2 and poker. In this case, however, instead of games, a software …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Oct 2018

Cosmoboffins think grav waves hold the key to sorting out the disputed Hubble Constant

Scientists agree that the universe is expanding at an increasing rate, but by exactly how much is still an enigma. To measure the pace of expansion, slightly confusingly known as Hubble’s Constant because it's not actually constant, boffins need two bits of information. One is the speed at which an object is receding from …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Oct 2018

A DeepMind library to help build reinforcement learning bots, and how Google's Pixel 3 cameras handle zoom

Roundup Hello, here's a quick roundup of interesting or useful bits of AI news that happened this week. DeepMind release RL library: DeepMind has published a new library for coders looking to build reinforcement learning agents. The library, dubbed TRFL (pronounced truffle), contains a list of components commonly used by DeepMind …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Oct 2018

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