April 30, 2003
The April 2003 issue of ERCIM News is dedicated to cognitive systems, with 21 articles. Some of the more interesting articles are featured in A Gallery of Cognitive Systems, a weblog.
Intel has released software that lets computers read lips, a step forward that could lead to better voice recognition applications.
The Audio Visual Speech Recognition (AVSR) software tracks a speaker’s face and mouth movements. By matching these movements with speech, the application can provide a computer with enough data to respond to voice recognition commands, even when these are given in noisy environments.
Researchers are on the brink of obtaining human stem cells by parthenogenesis and animal experiments suggest such cells are indistinguishable from normal stem cells.
Tiny nanocontainers composed of polymers may one day distribute drugs to specific spots within individual cells.
Humans will begin to genetically enhance themselves — and their unborn children — in the next 50 years, said DNA pioneers at the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA’s structure.
DARPA has funded a project to equip a battalion of 120 military robots with swarm intelligence software to enable them to mimic organized insect behavior.
“Swarm intelligence describes the way that complex behaviours can arise from large numbers of individual agents each following very simple rules. For example, ants use the approach to find the most efficient route to a food source.”
Computer hard drive capacity could be increased a hundredfold by using the protein apoferritin (the main molecule in which iron is stored in the body) to fabricate nanoscale magnetic particles, claims UK company Nanomagnetics.
Each particle can store a bit of information; they can be packed onto a disk drive at much greater density than with existing hard disk manufacturing methods.
Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing nanotubes 100 times longer than usual (4 mm.), while maintaining straightness with controllable orientation and cross-connecting nanotube grids. The achievement solves a major barrier to nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices.
Researchers are creating computer models for voice analysis and synthesis that break the human singing voice into components (such as pitch, duration, and vibrato) that can then be modified to produce a more professional-sounding rendition of the original voice.
Microsoft Corp. is using FM radio waves to deliver instant messages, headlines and traffic updates to a new generation of gadgets that will fit on your wrist or keychain.
Molecular movies are helping IBM understand how molecules can be directed to assemble into useful structures. Using a stream of electrons, the system can resolve structures as small as 5 nanometers.
“We’re headed toward an era when human beings will be as casually “enhanced” as chickens or marigolds, with higher IQs, better looks, longer lives.”
In his book, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, Bill McKibben “indicts germline technology, the so-called designer baby science that aims to let parents improve their offspring by pasting desirable genes into their kid’s DNA.”
Duke University chemists have developed a method of growing one-atom-thick cylinders of carbon (nanotubes) 100 times longer than usual, while maintaining a soda-straw straightness with controllable orientation. Their achievement solves a major barrier to the nanotubes’ use in ultra-small nanoelectronic devices, said the team’s leader.
Scientists have discovered that baby teeth are a source of stem cells. The cells could differentiate into neural cells and fat cells to help repair damaged teeth and perhaps even treat neural injuries or degenerative diseases.
New York — The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) issued a report today identifying 11 significant risks of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) along with possible solutions.
MNT has “the potential to disrupt many aspects of society and politics,” the report says. “The power of the technology may cause two competing nations to enter a disruptive and unstable arms race. The flexibility and small size of molecular manufacturing systems and their… read more