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Georgia Tech professor proposes another alternative to the Turing test

The Lovelace 2.0 Test of Artificial Creativity and Intelligence assesses a computer's capacity for human-level intelligence by its ability to create, rather than to converse or deceive
November 20, 2014

But would mathematician-programmer Countess Lady Lovelace have approved?

Georgia Tech associate professor Mark Ried has developed a new kind of “Turing test” — a test proposed in 1950 by computing pioneer Alan Turing to determine whether a machine or computer program exhibits human-level intelligence.Most Turing test designs require a machine to engage in dialogue and convince (trick) a human judge that it is an actual person. But creating certain types of art also requires intelligence, leading Reid to consider… read more

First genetic-based tool to detect circulating cancer cells in blood — lights up cancer cells

Method may detect trouble long before a cancerous tumor could form; live cells can be collected, cultured and studied for personalized treatment
November 20, 2014

NanoFlare ft

Northwestern University scientists have demonstrated a simple but powerful tool called NanoFlare that can detect live cancer cells in the bloodstream, potentially long before settling somewhere in the body and forming a dangerous tumor.

The NanoFlare technology is the first genetic-based approach that is able to detect live circulating tumor cells out of the complex matrix that is human blood — no easy feat. The NanoFlares are tiny spherical nucleic… read more

A computer-vision algorithm that can describe photos

Machine-learning takes computer vision to the next level with a system that can describe objects and put them into context. Coming soon, better visual search?
November 19, 2014

images with scenes ft

Computer software only recently became smart enough to recognize objects in photographs. Now, Stanford researchers using machine learning have created a system that takes the next step, writing a simple story of what’s actually happening in any digital image.

“The system can analyze an unknown image and explain it in words and phrases that make sense,” said  Fei-Fei Li, a professor of computer science and director of the… read more

How neurons multitask

November 19, 2014

(Credit: Cell)

University of Michigan scientists have come up with a possible explanation for the impressive ability of neurons to perform a wide range of functions.

They explored this using the C. elegans* roundworm. They found that a single neuron in C. elegans regulates both the speed and direction in which the worm moves, shedding light on how the human brain works, say investigators in the lab of… read more

How brain cells persuade other cells to do ‘the wave’

November 19, 2014

Stadium crowd performing "the wave" at the Confederations Cup 2005 in Frankfurt (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Neuroscientists have discovered mechanisms that enable certain brain cells to persuade others to create “the wave” (a wave of standing spectators that travels through a crowd*), which may help understand more about neurocognitive disorders such as dementia, the researchers say.

Inhibitory neurons** can persuade networks of other neurons to imitate their vibrations, setting off global synchronous oscillations in the brain. The neuroscientists, at Imperial College London and the… read more

Controlling genes with mental states to release drugs

November 18, 2014

mind-controlled genes ft

ETH Zurich researchers have developed a novel gene regulation method that allows specific brainwaves to control gene expression (conversion of a gene into a protein) for therapeutic purposes.

The concept is a thought-controlled implant that could one day help combat neurological diseases, such as chronic headaches, back pain, and epilepsy.

An EEG-based BCI (brain-controlled interface) would detect the patient’s related brainwave patterns, which would be used to trigger… read more

Playing action video games can boost learning

November 18, 2014

Call of Duty 2 (credit: Activision)

A new study shows for the first time that playing action video games improves learning capabilities more generally, not just the skills taught in the game.

According to Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, our brains keep predicting what will come next when listening to a conversation, driving, or even preforming surgery. “To sharpen its prediction skills, our brains constantly… read more

How to increase (or decrease) brain activity and memory

November 17, 2014

Limitless movie poster (credit: Virgin Produced)

Is it possible to rapidly increase (or decrease) the amount of information the brain can store?

A new international study led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) suggests it may be. Their research has identified a molecule that improves brain function and memory recall is improved. Published in the latest issue of Cell Reports, the study has implications for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, such as autism… read more

Magic tricks using artificial intelligence

November 17, 2014

Phoney app (credit: QApps Online)

Queen Mary University of London researchers have developed a Google Play app called Phoney based on a mind-reading card trick, part of a research exploration into what can be achieved when human intelligence is replaced or assisted by machine intelligence.

The app arranges a deck of playing cards in such a way that a specific card picked by an audience member can beread more

Lighter, cheaper radio-wave device could double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications

November 14, 2014

Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering have built a radio wave circulator that has the potential to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications by enabling full-duplex functionality, meaning devices can transmit and receive signals on the same frequency band at the same time. (Credit: Illustrator Erik Zumalt, Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin)

Researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a way to double the useful bandwidth in wireless communications by enabling full-duplex functionality in the same frequency band (channel).

“Full-duplex” refers to the ability to transmit and receive signals simultaneously, as in cell-phone conversations.

The new innovation is the creation of a magnetic-free radio wave “circulator” that could be… read more

IBM developing 150-petaflops supercomputers for national labs

New "data-centric" architecture deals with Big Data by embedding compute power everywhere data resides
November 14, 2014

One trillion connected objects and devices on the planet will be generating data by 2015 --- currently 2.5 gigabytes per day (credit: IBM)

IBM today (Nov. 14) announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded IBM contracts valued at $325 million to develop and deliver “the world’s most advanced ‘data-centric’ supercomputing systems” at Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories to advance innovation and discovery in science, engineering and national security.”

The world is generating more than 2.5 billion gigabytes of “big data” every day, according to IBM’s 2013 annual report, requiring… read more

Twisted-light waves transmitted in air over a 3-kilometer path

Could significantly increase data rates for non-fiber communications and improve encryption of quantum communications
November 13, 2014

twisted-light transmission

A group of researchers from Austria have sent twisted beams of light across the rooftops of Vienna — the first time that twisted light has been transmitted over a large distance outdoors.

Twisted light allows for transmitting a huge amount of data by twisting the light into a corkscrew shape, so that the rotation allows for encoding data on additional channels, for both classical and quantum communications. The light… read more

Cameras talk to each other to identify, track people

November 13, 2014

tracking subject

University of Washington electrical engineers have developed a way to automatically track people across moving and still cameras by using an algorithm that trains the networked cameras to learn one another’s differences. The cameras first identify a person in a video frame, then follow that same person across multiple camera views.

“Tracking humans automatically across cameras in a three-dimensional space is new,” said lead researcher Jenq-Neng Hwang,… read more

Whole-genome sequences of 17 of the world’s oldest living people published

Researchers unable to find genes significantly associated with extreme longevity
November 13, 2014

Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person

Using 17 genomes, researchers were unable to find rare protein-altering variants significantly associated with extreme longevity, according to a study published November 12, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hinco Gierman from Stanford University and colleagues.

Supercentenarians are the world’s oldest people, living beyond 110 years of age. Seventy-four are alive worldwide; 22 live in the U.S. The authors of this study performed whole-genome sequencing on 17 supercentenarians to… read more

An artificial retina based on semiconductor nanorods and carbon nanotubes

November 13, 2014

This novel, flexible film that can react to light is a promising step toward an artificial retina. (Credit: American Chemical Society)

An international team of researchers has combined semiconductor nanorods and carbon nanotubes to create a wireless, light-sensitive, flexible film that could potentially act in the place of a damaged retina.

When they tested it with a chick retina that normally doesn’t respond to light, they found that the film absorbed light, sparking neuronal activity.

Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for example, could potentially benefit from such a… read more

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