What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?


Nick Bostrom asks big questions: What should we do, as individuals and as a species, to optimize our long-term prospects? Will humanity’s technological advancements ultimately destroy us?
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds — within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as “smart” as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: “Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.” A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we’re building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values — or will they have values of their own?

A ingenious and brilliant insight on the human condition and technology by Nick Bostrom, very interesting and frighting at the same time.

A Solar Panel That Doesn’t Block The View


A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window called transparent luminescent solar concentrator, which can be used on buildings, cell phones and any other device that has a clear surface.Transparent Solar Panel

“Because the materials do not absorb or emit light in the visible spectrum, they look exceptionally transparent to the human eye”.

Original Source – My Science Academy

What Weight Loss Does To Your Brain


TIME

Too much fat weighs down not just your body, but also your brain.

Obesity harms most organs in the body, and new research suggests the brain is no exception. What’s more, the researchers found that getting rid of excess fat actually improves brain function, reversing the ill effects of the extra weight. The new study, which focused on people who underwent bariatric surgery, found that the procedure had positive effects on the brain, but other research has shown that less invasive weight loss strategies, like exercise, can also reverse brain damage thought to be related to body fat.

Here’s why that matters: Obese men and women are estimated to be about 35% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared to people of a normal weight. Some research suggests that body fat ups the number of proteins in the brain that trigger a cascade of events that predispose someone to the disease…

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How and Why Academics Really Use Twitter


Many academics view Twitter with serious skepticism. At best, it seems difficult to communicate anything of complexity within 140 characters. However, university professors in many disciplines are increasingly using Twitter to share links to articles and ideas, to reach out to colleagues in other parts of the world, and to reflect on papers presented at conferences.  Twitter helps researchers to foster interdisciplinary connections, to spread the word about research fellowships and opportunities, and to share information quickly (and at scale). – Alisa Gross

How Academics Use Twitter

As the use of Twitter amongst academics has become more widespread, researchers have become interested in considering academic patterns of use and perspectives on its professional and research utility.
Articles published over the past five years have covered the following topics:
1) General statistics and observations about academics on Twitter
2) How Twitter is used as a mechanism for both discussing and publicizing research
3) Differences between Twitter scholarly communication amongst disciplines
4) How Twitter is used within academic conferences
5) Perspectives on Twitter’s utility for making professional connections and for networking. – Alisa Gross

Original Source: The Acclaim Blog

Genetic Influence on Hangovers


Some people get hangovers after a night of drinking, while others don’t, and the reason may be in their genes, a new study in Australia suggests.


Researchers looked for links between the study participants’ genetic makeups and the number of hangovers the individuals reported experiencing in the past year.

Results:

Genetic factors accounted for 45% of the difference in hangover frequency in women and 40% in men.

In other words, genetics accounts for nearly half of the reason why one person experiences a hangover and another person doesn’t, after drinking the same amount of alcohol, the study said. The other half probably comes from outside influences unrelated to DNA, such as how quickly a person drinks, whether they eat while they drink and their tolerance for alcohol.

See also from LiveScience:
How 8 Common Medications Interact with Alcohol
7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health
11 Interesting Facts About Hangovers

Original Source

7 Things Learned From Watching TEDxCERN


1) Water is weird.
2) Thanks to a particle detector mounted on the International Space Station, scientists are keeping tabs on a lot of cosmic rays.
3) A surprising threat to the rainforest? Noise.
4) The future of antibiotics may lie in silver nanoparticles.
5) Cardiovascular medicine is becoming easier to get (in Cameroon).
6) We owe our lives to aerosol particles.
7) Despite what it may seem at times, we are living in a hugely exciting moment.

Read more about each thing at: 7 things learned from a day spent watching TEDxCERN

TED Blog

slider_speakers

Wednesday marked the second-ever TEDxCERN, the event organized by the folks at CERN, the famed particle physics research center in Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for bringing us the World Wide Web, the Large Hadron Collider, and confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson. You know, just a few minor things.

TEDxCERN brought together a mix of experts from across the sciences and the world, people all working to answer the question: “What are the big ideas in science that will help us address tomorrow’s major global problems?” Particle physicist (and three-time TED speaker) Brian Cox served as quippy host, while more than a thousand attendees watched live in CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation.

If you weren’t one of the lucky thousand, or were too swamped with work to catch the live webcast, don’t despair. We watched for you. And created a list of things we…

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The Next Step for (Artificial) Intelligent Virtual Assistants


Gigaom

When we talk about the future of artificial intelligence (AI), the discussion often focuses on the advancements and capabilities of the technology, or even the risks and opportunities inherent in the potential cultural implications. What we frequently overlook, however, is the future of AI as a business.

[company]IBM[/company] Watson’s recent acquisition and deployment of [company]Cognea[/company] signals an important shift in the AI and intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) market, and offers an indication of both of the potentials of AI as a business and the areas where the market still needs development.

The AI business is about to be transformed by consolidation. Consolidation carries real risks, but it is generally a sign of technological maturation. And it’s about time, as AI is no longer simply a side project, or an R&D euphemism. AI is finally center stage.

IBM, for all its investment in the Watson platform, was still missing, among other…

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The Computer Scientist Trying to Digitize, Analyze and Visualize Our Past


Gigaom

We have written many times over the years about the potential benefits of easy access to data and computing, but we’ve probably never done it this well.

The guest on this week’s Structure Show podcast was Kalev Leetaru (pictured above), the Georgetown researcher behind the Global Database of Events, Language and Tones (GDELT), which we have covered before, and who also helped the Internet Archive with the book-digitization project it unveiled this week. Leetaru, who has spent time programming supercomputers, talks all about the amazing shifts currently underway in information technology that let people gather, store and analyze data with no physical gear and just a few lines (or a single line) of SQL code.

Turkey-1998-12-21-1999-02-19 One of Leetaru’s recent projects analyzed the 120 days surrounding the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in order to find the most-similar 120-day periods globally over the past 35 years.

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Researchers Get Access to Behavioral Data from Google, Facebook, Reddit, etc.


Gigaom

Whatever outsiders may think of online communities like Reddit, Imgur or Twitch — the video-game streaming site Google is said to be acquiring for $1 billion — there’s no question they provide a fascinating window into the ways people behave online, like a massive human Petri dish. Now, the three sites have formed a partnership to provide internal data to researchers who want to understand those communities better. The consortium is known as the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership, and will offer its data to universities and other institutions free of charge.

It’s a serious effort, but it wouldn’t be faithful to the Reddit ethos if it didn’t involve some sort of nerdy in-joke — hence the fact that the group’s name is abbreviated as DERP, a term commonly used on Reddit and other online communities to refer to a mistake or screw-up. In addition to Reddit, Imgur and Twitch…

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Why Mobile Ads Will Rule in 2015


Technopreneurph

Three Reasons Why Mobile Ads Will Rule in 2015 image Important Facts You Need to Know about Mobile Advertising 300x176 Certainly, mobile advertising has become of the hottest segments recently, and is continuously expanding these days. Does this expansion allow predicting the flourishing future of mobile ads? Well, according to the world’s experts, it actually does.

Mobile Investment Boom Leads to Mobile Ad Development

The global mobile market has shown incredible growth within the past years, and it is likely to develop further. According to the latest research, the amount of mobile investment has increased by about 267% in Q2 2014, if compared to Q2, 2013 results and the experts? expectations for 2015 are more, than optimistic.

In addition, the volume of M&As on mobile, even excluding the recent purchase of WhatsApp, has exceeded $28,5B, which leaves no doubt that there’s a wide range of mobile monetization opportunities for businesses versatile industry niches. Consequently, mobile advertising is getting even more popular among companies as one of the most promising and…

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