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Katyanna Quach

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How DeepMind's AlphaGo Zero learned all by itself to trash world champ AI AlphaGo

Analysis DeepMind published a paper today describing AlphaGo Zero – a leaner and meaner version of AlphaGo, the artificially intelligent program that crushed professional Go players. Go was considered a difficult game for computers to master because, besides being complex, the number of possible moves – more than chess at 10170 – is …
Katyanna Quach, 18 Oct 2017
robot

Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

Minds Mastering Machines Mark Bishop, a professor of cognitive computing and a researcher at the Tungsten Centre for Intelligent Data Analytics (TCIDA) at Goldsmiths, University of London, celebrated the successes of deep learning during a lecture at the Minds Mastering Machines conference on Monday, but stressed the limits of modern AI. Elon Musk, …

What does the Moon 4bn years ago and Yahoo! towers this week have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere

Our Moon had an atmosphere visible from space almost four billion years ago – thanks to volcanic eruptions on its surface spewing a concoction of gases at a rate faster than they could escape the heavenly body. A NASA study published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters this week describes our ancient rocky companion in a …
Google Home

Google Assistant clears its throat, very weird 'machine IQ' tests, new AMD chip – plus more

AI Roundup Hello, here's this week's snippets of artificial intelligence news. It shows how some AI frameworks are beginning to mature, and that some research is applicable to the real world, while other papers are questionable. More natural sounding robo-assistants DeepMind's WaveNet model, a neural network that generates machine speech …

In current affairs news: Teen boffin with lots of potential crafts electric honeycombs out of oil

A teenager studying electrically charged particles has captured the formation of an ill-understood electric honeycomb structure called the Rose window. The Rose window – named after stained-glass designs in Gothic churches – is interesting to physicists, because how electricity moves through fluids is important for printing, …

Biochem boffins win the Nobel Prize for cryo-electron microscopy

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to a trio of researchers that have developed a new technique that captures three dimensional images of biological molecules. Jacques Dubochet, an honorary professor at the Swiss University of Lausanne, Joachim Frank, a professor at New York's Columbia University and Richard …
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

Here's a gentle guide to building JavaScript AI in web browsers. Totally not a scary thing

Google today popped online something called Teachable Machines, a simple demo for programmers interested in deep learning. The point is, it works directly in your web browser so you can get going tinkering with an educational neural network right away without having to spin up a full machine-learning development stack and …

Life began after meteorites splashed into warm ponds of water, say astronomers

Life began on Earth only a few hundred million years after the planet’s surface was cool enough for pools of liquid water to form, according to a new study published today. Astronomers from McMaster University, Canada and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany have calculated the probability of meteorites carrying …
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Bad news! Astroboffins find the stuff of life in space for the first time

Scientists have announced today that a stable organohalogen, a class of compounds normally produced by organisms on Earth, has been detected for the first time in space. But discovering the faint traces of the chemical known as Freon-40 or methyl chloride (CH3Cl) or chloromethane in places that predate life has dashed hopes of …
asteroid

Geoboffins claim to find oldest trace of life in rocks 4bn years old

Scientists claim to have found the oldest evidence of life on Earth – contained in Canadian rocks 3.95 billion years ago, when our planet had no oxygen and was being pelted by asteroids. A paper published on Thursday in Nature describes grains of graphite found encased in a rock structure called the Saglek Block along the …
Katyanna Quach, 30 Sep 2017

Hubble spies most distant comet zipping through Solar System

The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a picture of the farthest-away inbound comet, at a whopping 1.5 billion miles from Earth. It's a strange find. The comet – codenamed C/2017 K2 PANSTARRS, or K2 for short – has already become active. It is developing a vast 80,000-mile-wide halo of dust as its surface sublimes, despite …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Sep 2017
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Ancient fat black holes created by belching Big Bang's dark matter

The largest and oldest supermassive black holes were created from a giant clump of dark matter and gas after the Big Bang, according to a supercomputer simulation. Supermassive black holes have long been a mystery to the world's eggheads. It’s a puzzle how the gigantic voids over 13 billion light years away – and date back to …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Sep 2017

'Self learning' Intel chips glimpsed, Nvidia emits blueprints, AMD and Tesla rumors, and more

AI roundup Here's your weekly dose of key announcements in the world of artificial intelligence. The flurry of hardware-related news shows how machine learning software is reinvigorating chip design. Chipzilla's "self-learning chip" Intel is the latest company to hype up a chip specialized for AI. But it's not a GPU, a CPU, nor an FPGA …
Katyanna Quach, 28 Sep 2017
Black holes come together to produce gravitational waves in a visualisation

Did the Earth move for you, too? Grav waves sensed from black holes' bang 1.8bn LYs away

Scientists have recorded the most accurate reading of gravitational waves yet by using the upgraded LIGO and Virgo observatories together for the first time. The ripples were detected on August 14 at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatories (LIGO) in Louisiana and Washington state in the US, and the Virgo …
Katyanna Quach, 28 Sep 2017

Boeing slams $2m on the desk, bellows: Now where's my jetpack?

Boeing and its pals today offered a whopping $2m (£1.49m) in prizes to anyone who can design and build a working “personal flying device." The GoFly competition aims to spur on the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact jetpacks that can hover, take off and land, and fly for at least 20 miles. "Now is the time,” as the …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Sep 2017

Boffins take biometric logins to heart, literally: Cardiac radar IDs users to unlock their PCs

The next form of biometric identification may be a heart scan. A group of computer scientists have proposed a system called Cardiac Scan, which uses a cheap and cheerful Doppler radar to wirelessly map out the dimensions of your beating heart. They say your old ticker's shape and pulsations are unique, and therefore useful for …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Sep 2017

Wanna get started with practical AI? Check out this chap's Rubik's Cube solving neural-net code

The Rubik’s Cube is one of those toys that just won't go away. Solving it is either something you can do in minutes to impress, or find so hard you end up using it as a paperweight. There are several algorithms for solving the classic cube, which has a whopping 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 – about 43 quintillion – possible …
Katyanna Quach, 25 Sep 2017

Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

The most energetic cosmic rays bombarding Earth originate from outside our Milky Way Galaxy, according to research published just before the weekend. More than 400 scientists from 18 countries working under the Pierre Auger Collaboration wanted to solve the mystery of where these special rays – containing extremely rare and …
Katyanna Quach, 25 Sep 2017
his low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle at the site from which it reached down to drill into a rock target called "Buckskin." The MAHLI camera on Curiosity's robotic arm took multiple images on Aug. 5, 2015, that were stitched together into this selfie. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA, wait, wait lemme put my drink down... NASA, you need to be searching for vanadium

Scientists hoping to discover evidence of life on Mars should search for vanadium, a metallic element, according to a paper published in Astrobiology this month. Vanadium is a silvery, malleable transition metal with an atomic number of 23 in the periodic table. It’s rarely found in nature, but on Earth it is known to occur in …
Katyanna Quach, 22 Sep 2017

Top video game dev nerve-center Unity can now be used to train AI

Unity, the most popular cross-platform game engine favored by video game developers, on Tuesday opened up its platform for machine learning researchers to test their algorithms. Reinforcement learning is a strand of machine learning that teaches agents to perform a specific task in a given environment. It’s been useful for …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Sep 2017
Artist's view of a binary black hole. Pic credit: NASA, ESA and G Bacon (STScI)

Boffins discover tightest black hole binary system – and it's supermassive

Scientists have discovered the closest-ever supermassive black hole binary system. It's in the spiral galaxy NGC 7674, and the pair of voids are separated by a distance of less than one light year. Supermassive black hole binaries are rare. Until now, astronomers have only spotted one so far, about 24 light years apart. …
Katyanna Quach, 20 Sep 2017

Mad scientist zaps himself to determine the power of electric eel shocks

One man has calculated the power of electric shocks emitted from electric eels on the human arm - his in fact - all in the name of science. Kenneth Catania, a neurologist and biologist at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, repeatedly shoved his arm into a tank containing a small electric eel (Electrophorus electricus …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Sep 2017

Farewell Cassini! NASA's Saturnian spacecraft waves goodbye for its Grand Finale

Cassini, one of NASA’s flagship spacecraft, is poised to meet its fiery end today as it plunges down into Saturn’s atmosphere at a speed of 123,000kph (77,000mph) per hour, where it will soon vaporise. The shuttle was to point its antennas in the direction of Earth as it sent its final message at 03:32 PDT (10:32 UTC), …
Katyanna Quach, 15 Sep 2017

Hubble catches a glimpse WASP-12b, an almost pitch-black exoplanet

Scientists studying WASP-12b, an exoplanet 871 light years from Earth, have determined that it reflects almost no light, making it one of the darkest planets in space. The team has published their results in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal on Thursday. The Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on board the Hubble Space …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Sep 2017
Scott on the surface of the Moon during Apollo 15. Pic: NASA

Scientists produce a map marking water hotspots on the Moon

Scientists have created the first map that traces the water content on the surface of the Moon, in the hopes that it may come in handy for astronauts searching for drinking water or fuel. A paper published in Science Advances on Thursday shows how scientists used data taken from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) – an imaging …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Sep 2017

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