Emergent Futures Tumblelog

This is the Tumblelog of Paul Higgins and Sandy Teagle - Futurists from Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia. Go to Emergent Futures to see more or follow on Twitter at FuturistPaul . If you right click on the pictures, titles or links in these posts you will be able to go to the original story on the web. If you click on comments for each post you can either read what others have said or add your own comment via Disqus. If you click on the date of a post it will take you to a single post view where you can copy the web link if you want to send it to someone else. If you click on the tags it will take you to other stories from Emergent Futures with the same tag.

smarterplanet:

Navy pilots and other flight specialists soon will have a new “smart machine” installed in training simulators that learns from expert instructors to more efficiently train their students.

Sandia National Laboratories’ Automated Expert Modeling & Student Evaluation (AEMASE, pronounced “amaze”)…

Posted at 4:28am and tagged with: tech, technology, artificial intelligence, cognitive, education,.

smarterplanet:

Ivan Herman recently offered some insight into how Watson actually works. Herman reports, “I was at Chris Welty’s keynote yesterday at the WWW2012 Conference. His talk was on Jeopardy/Watson and, although this is not the first time I heard/saw something on Watson, some things really became clear only at his keynote. Namely: what is really the central paradigm that made the question answering mechanism so successful in the case of Watson? Well… query answering in Watson is not some sort of a deterministic algorithm that turns a natural language question into a query into a huge set of data. This approach does not work.”

He continues, “Instead, a question is analyzed and, based on search in various set of data, a large set of possible answers is extracted. These ‘candidate’ answers are analyzed separately along a whole series of different dimensions (geographical or temporal dimensions, or, which I found the most interesting, putting back candidate answers into the original question and search that again against various sources of information to rank them again). The result is a vector of numerical values representing the results of the analysis along those different dimensions. That ‘vector’ is summed up into one final value using a weight values for each dimension. The weights themselves are obtained through a prior training process (in this case using a number of stored Jeopardy question/answers). Finally, the answer with the highest value (I presume over a certain threshold value) is returned.”

Read more here.

Posted at 3:40pm and tagged with: tech, technology, artificial intelligence,.

roomthily:

LiveHood: New York City - social media and machine learning defining similar areas in a city (Carnegie Mellon University)

Posted at 5:33pm and tagged with: tech, technology, data, artificial intelligence,.

roomthily:

LiveHood: New York City - social media and machine learning defining similar areas in a city (Carnegie Mellon University)

smarterplanet:

First step toward creating a 3D artificial brain | KurzweilAI

Nerve cells growing on a three-dimensional nanocellulose scaffold. Functioning synapses are yellow; the red spots show where synapses have been destroyed (credit: Philip Krantz, Chalmers)

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have taken the first step in creating a three-dimensional model of the brain by attaching neurons to a positively charged nanocellulose scaffold.

The purpose is to understand Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease better, for example.

Nitrocellulose (microfibrillated cellulose) is obtained from plant materials, such as woodpulp.

‟Pores can be created in nanocellulose, which allows nerve cells to grow in a three-dimensional matrix. This makes it extra comfortable for the cells and creates a realistic cultivation environment that is more like a real brain compared with a three-dimensional cell cultivation well,” says Paul Gatenholm, Professor of Biopolymer Technology at Chalmers.

Posted at 10:47am and tagged with: tech, technology, artificial intelligence, brain, cognitive,.

smarterplanet:

First step toward creating a 3D artificial brain | KurzweilAI
Nerve cells growing on a three-dimensional nanocellulose scaffold. Functioning synapses are yellow; the red spots show where synapses have been destroyed (credit: Philip Krantz, Chalmers)
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg have taken the first step in creating a three-dimensional model of the brain by attaching neurons to a positively charged nanocellulose scaffold.
The purpose is to understand Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease better, for example.
Nitrocellulose (microfibrillated cellulose) is obtained from plant materials, such as woodpulp.
‟Pores can be created in nanocellulose, which allows nerve cells to grow in a three-dimensional matrix. This makes it extra comfortable for the cells and creates a realistic cultivation environment that is more like a real brain compared with a three-dimensional cell cultivation well,” says Paul Gatenholm, Professor of Biopolymer Technology at Chalmers.
Apple’s artificial intelligence is only the tip of the iceberg as we combine ubiquitous connectivity, sensor networks, big data and new methods of AI and programming into a truly connected network.

prostheticknowledge:

Mimicking the brain, in silicon (via MIT News)

New computer chip models how neurons communicate with each other at synapses:

For decades, scientists have dreamed of building computer systems that could replicate the human brain’s talent for learning new tasks.

MIT researchers have now taken a major step toward that goal by designing a computer chip that mimics how the brain’s neurons adapt in response to new information. This phenomenon, known as plasticity, is believed to underlie many brain functions, including learning and memory.

With about 400 transistors, the silicon chip can simulate the activity of a single brain synapse — a connection between two neurons that allows information to flow from one to the other. The researchers anticipate this chip will help neuroscientists learn much more about how the brain works, and could also be used in neural prosthetic devices such as artificial retinas, says Chi-Sang Poon, a principal research scientist in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

More Here

Posted at 8:35pm and tagged with: technology, artificial intelligence, cognitive,.

prostheticknowledge:

Mimicking the brain, in silicon (via MIT News) 

New computer chip models how neurons communicate with each other at synapses:
For decades, scientists have dreamed of building computer systems that  could replicate the human brain’s talent for learning new tasks. MIT  researchers have now taken a major step toward that goal by designing a  computer chip that mimics how the brain’s neurons adapt in response to  new information. This phenomenon, known as plasticity, is believed to  underlie many brain functions, including learning and memory.With  about 400 transistors, the silicon chip can simulate the activity of a  single brain synapse — a connection between two neurons that allows  information to flow from one to the other. The researchers anticipate  this chip will help neuroscientists learn much more about how the brain  works, and could also be used in neural prosthetic devices such as  artificial retinas, says Chi-Sang Poon, a principal research scientist  in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

More Here

MIT researchers develop self-programming AI video game

What if programming a video-game AI could use an algorithm to figure things out for itself, extrapolating from a few decisions made by players  — and even reuse those lessons from one game to the next?

”Robotany,” a game prototype from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, wants to answer those questions. Set in a garden, the game features small, robot-like creatures that take care of plants

Full Story: Kurzweil

Posted at 3:40pm and tagged with: tech, technology, gaming, artificial intelligence,.

MIT researchers develop self-programming AI video game


What if programming a video-game AI could use an algorithm to figure things out for itself, extrapolating from a few decisions made by players  — and even reuse those lessons from one game to the next?
”Robotany,” a game prototype from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, wants to answer those questions. Set in a garden, the game features small, robot-like creatures that take care of plants
Full Story: Kurzweil

Robot solves Rubik’s cube in 5 seconds, sets world record [video]


Full Story: SmartPlanet

Posted at 10:36am and tagged with: tech, technology, robots, cognitive, art, artificial intelligence,.

- Farhad Manjoo, Will robots steal your job? If you’re highly educated, you should still be afraid.

The ephemeralization of work: why a really large number of people will be moving out of work requiring that application of (relatively) simple rules to (relatively) small heaps of data. Like doing taxes or putting pills in a bottle at the pharmacy.

(via stoweboyd)

Posted at 12:16pm and tagged with: ephemeralization, artificial intelligence, job polarization,.

Artificial intelligence machines are getting so good, so quickly, that they’re poised to replace humans across a wide range of industries. In the next decade, we’ll see machines barge into areas of the economy that we’d never suspected possible—they’ll be diagnosing your diseases, dispensing your medicine, handling your lawsuits, making fundamental scientific discoveries, and even writing stories just like this one. Economic theory holds that as these industries are revolutionized by technology, prices for their services will decline, and society as a whole will benefit. As I conducted my research, I found this argument convincing—robotic lawyers, for instance, will bring cheap legal services to the masses who can’t afford lawyers today. But there’s a dark side, too: Imagine you’ve spent three years in law school, two more years clerking, and the last decade trying to make partner—and now here comes a machine that can do much of your $400-per-hour job faster, and for a fraction of the cost. What do you do now?

There is already some evidence that information technology has done permanent damage to workers in a large sector of the economy. This specifically applies to workers who are considered “middle skilled,” meaning that they need some training, but not much, to do their jobs.

Middle-skilled jobs include many that are generally recognized to be antiquated—secretaries, administrative workers, repairmen, and manufacturing workers, among others. Since the 1980s, across several industrialized nations (including the United States), the number of workers in these job categories has been rapidly declining (the pace of the decline increased greatly during the last recession). Instead, most job growth has been at the poles, in professions that require very high skills and earn high wages, and in the service sector, where most jobs require few skills and pay tiny wages.

David Autor, an economist at MIT who is the leading scholar of this phenomenon, calls it “job polarization.” Autor identifies a number of causes for the decline of middle-skilled work, including the decreasing power of unions and the declining federal minimum wage. He puts one factor above the rest, however: The rise of information technology.

Autor argues that middle-skilled jobs tend to have two factors in common—they are composed of lots of tasks that are both routine and geographically portable. What does a secretary do all day? He files, sorts, organizes, watches for calendar conflicts, and in other ways manipulates information. What does a tax preparer do? He asks you a series of questions, and performs some calculations based on your answers. These are all tasks that can be written in software—and, once there, they can be done faster, and more cheaply, by machines. And even when a computer can’t completely replace these middle-skilled jobs, it can make them easier to transfer to lower-wage humans—you still need a human being to answer tech support questions, but now you can hire someone in Andra Pradesh rather than Alabama. This decimation of middle-skilled work explains another unsettling trend in American business. New companies today are starting up with far fewer workers than in the past, and they’re staying smaller as they grow.