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How To Be Human

September 20, 2006

Call-center data could be what’s needed to achieve the ultimate goal of AI: creating a computer program smart enough to hold a natural conversation and passing the Turing Test.

Rollo Carpenter, this year’s winner of the Loebner Prize, created a program that learns by analyzing its conversations with people as they “chat” with it online. He is now extending his nearly 10 years of data by training a bot… read more

The bootless PC and terabytes on a dime

September 20, 2006

Imagine a PC with instantaneous boot up or storing 10TB of data on a device the size of a dime with data-transfer rates unhampered by any latency.

Antisocial robots go to finishing school

September 20, 2006

Robots will need emotional capabilities if they are to cooperate smoothly and flexibly with humans in our residential environments, says Shuji Hashimoto, director of the humanoid robotics centre at Waseda University.

One method: sensors worn by their owner to spot signs of stress. These could include galvanic skin sensors that detect sweat by measuring the conductivity of the skin, and pulse monitors. Neural networks will then be able to… read more

Cardiologist’s ‘living chip’ changes science of disease monitoring

September 19, 2006

University of Rochester Medical Center cardiologist Spencer Rosero, M.D. is developing implantable biosensors to create a “biological chip.”

When implanted, this chip can detect physiologic and chemical changes with faster, improved accuracy.

For a patient with heart failure, for example, the biosensor could detect a change in blood protein levels at an early stage, prompting the physician to alter medications to correct the problem.

Source:… read more

Discovery allows for connecting nanotubes in circuits

September 19, 2006
Some molecular handles can transform between a bond-intact state (left), and a bond-broken state (right), allowing the nanotubes to act like switches that can be turned on or off in the presence of certain substances or with a laser beam.

MIT researchers have identified a class of chemical molecules that preserve the metallic properties of carbon nanotubes and their near-perfect ability to conduct electricity with little resistance.

Using these molecules as handles could overcome fabrication problems and lend the nanotubes new properties for a host of potential applications as detectors, sensors or components in novel optoelectronics.

Source: MIT news

‘Spectrum of empathy’ found in the brain

September 19, 2006

Our ability to empathise with others seems to depend on the action of “mirror neurons” in the brain, according to a new study of neurons in humans that fire when sounds are heard.

In other words, if you hear the noise of someone eating an apple, some of the same neurons fire as when you eat the apple yourself.

Big Brother is shouting at you

September 18, 2006

Middlesbrough has fitted loudspeakers on seven of its 158 cameras, publicly berating bad behaviour and shaming offenders into acting more responsibly.

A Chip That Can Transfer Data Using Laser Light

September 17, 2006

Intel and University of California, Santa Barbara researchers plan to announce on Monday that they have created a silicon-based chip that can produce laser beams. The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips.

Chip makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs (Moore’s law) that… read more

How to Burn a Three Terabyte CD

September 15, 2006

A new nano-optical device can focus laser light tighter than traditional optics, which could may possible storage of three terabytes on a CD-size disc.

New ‘superlens’ reveals hidden nanostructures

September 15, 2006

A microscope used to scan nanostructures can be dramatically enhanced by using a “superlens” capable of creating images of objects smaller than the wavelength of light.

Will airport of the future fly?

September 13, 2006

The airport of tomorrow might have virtual intelligence agents that check your bags, “smart dust” sensor networks that vet passengers heading through security, and commuter pilots who fly the plane from a home office.

Tracing the limits of quantum weirdness

September 13, 2006

The uncertainty principle is being harnessed to see if it is possible to identify a point at which matter begins to exhibit weird quantum behavior by detecting quantum superposition.

A projector the size of a sugar cube

September 13, 2006

No larger than a sugar cube, a video projector developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems contains just a single mirror which can be rotated around two axes.

Tiny fuel cell might replace batteries in laptop computers, portable electronics

September 13, 2006

Chemists at Arizona State University have created a tiny hydrogen-gas generator that they say can be developed into a compact fuel cell package that can power electronic devices three to five times longer than conventional batteries of the same size and weight.

The generator uses a special solution containing borohydride, an alkaline compound that has an unusually high capacity for storing hydrogen, a key element that is used by… read more

Colleges see the future in technology

September 13, 2006

Cutting-edge videogame and artificial intelligence technology are on the way to provide more individualized instruction.

Some of the most futuristic devices could even monitor students’ brainwaves to keep track of how they’re learning.

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