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Jan 20, 2022

Why Timnit Gebru Isn’t Waiting for Big Tech to Fix AI’s Problems

Posted by in categories: education, health, policy, robotics/AI, surveillance

For the past decade, AI has been quietly seeping into daily life, from facial recognition to digital assistants like Siri or Alexa. These largely unregulated uses of AI are highly lucrative for those who control them but are already causing real-world harms to those who are subjected to them: false arrests; health care discrimination; and a rise in pervasive surveillance that, in the case of policing, can disproportionately affect Black people and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.

Gebru is a leading figure in a constellation of scholars, activists, regulators, and technologists collaborating to reshape ideas about what AI is and what it should be. Some of her fellow travelers remain in Big Tech, mobilizing those insights to push companies toward AI that is more ethical. Others, making policy on both sides of the Atlantic, are preparing new rules to set clearer limits on the companies benefiting most from automated abuses of power. Gebru herself is seeking to push the AI world beyond the binary of asking whether systems are biased and to instead focus on power: who’s building AI, who benefits from it, and who gets to decide what its future looks like.

Full Story:

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Jan 19, 2022

Berkeley researchers design self-folding in-flight drone arms

Posted by in categories: drones, education

Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a drone whose hinged arms can fold themselves from horizontal to vertical position in order to pass through tight spaces or carry light objects.

Previous limb-adjusting vehicles created by labs like Purdue University’s Engineering Technology school were outfitted with actuators that shifted the arms and rotors into different positions, making them more efficient in certain conditions like heavy winds. The HiPeRLab staff wanted to avoid inclusion of actuators, which draw off the drone’s batteries and thereby reduce its flight time. Their solution: use passive hinges whose up and down folding is powered by the rotors themselves.

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Jan 17, 2022

Why Are We Genetically Modifying Humans? | Epigenetics | Spark

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, genetics, health, neuroscience

The idea that our genes are our fate” is dead. Exciting new discoveries in the field of epigenetics have proven that our lifestyle and environment can turn off and on many of the genes that control our health and wellbeing. Simple things like where we live, what we eat, pollution, stress, and exercise all impact which genes are silenced and expressed throughout our lives.

Research has shown that that the current dramatic rise in obesity, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s all have epigenetic mechanisms at play. Not only that but many epigenetic changes are actually passed to future generations: your grandmother’s dietary deficits may have caused your diabetes. Your father’s smoking may have turned on your marker for obesity or ADHD. Three generations later the descendants of holocaust survivors are still suffering stress disorders.

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Jan 17, 2022

What a terminal cancer diagnosis is teaching this neuroscientist about the human mind

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education

Neuroscientist David J. Linden is dying.

But the impending end of his life doesn’t mean he’s done learning about the human mind just yet. Linden was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. In a piece in The Atlantic, he writes: “I may be dying, but I’m still a science nerd.”

During a routine echocardiogram, doctors noticed something sticking up next to Linden’s heart that they thought was a hiatal hernia or a benign growth called a teratoma, he says. After the tumor was removed, a biopsy found it was a form of malignant cancer called synovial sarcoma that had grown into the wall of his heart — making it impossible to remove.

Jan 17, 2022

These birds have been singing the same songs for literally a million years

Posted by in categories: biological, education

A million years ago, the soundtrack of the “sky island” mountains of East Africa may have been very similar to what it is today. That’s because a group of tiny, colorful birds has been singing the exact same tunes for more than 500,000 years — and maybe as long as 1 million years, according to a new study.

Sunbirds in the family Nectariniidae are colorful, tiny, nectar-feeding birds that resemble hummingbirds and are common throughout Africa and Asia. They are the “little jewels that appear before you,” senior author Rauri Bowie, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a curator in the school’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, said in a statement.

Jan 17, 2022

There’s only one Universal Consciousness

Posted by in categories: education, evolution, neuroscience

we individualize our conscious awareness through the filter of our nervous system, our “local” mind, our very inner subjectivity, but consciousness itself, the Self in a greater sense, our “core” self is universal, and knowing it through experience has been called enlightenment, illumination, awakening, or transcendence, through the ages.

Here’s Consciousness: Evolution of the Mind (2021), Part IV: UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS >

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Jan 14, 2022

Exploring Tesla Model S High Voltage Cabling

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, sustainability, transportation

When he’s not busy with his day job as professor of computer and automotive engineering at Weber State University, [John Kelly] is a prolific producer of educational videos. We found his video tracing out the 22+ meters of high voltage cabling in a Tesla Model S (below the break) quite interesting. [John] does warn that his videos are highly detailed and may not be for everyone:

This is not the Disney Channel. If you are looking to be entertained, this is not the channel for you.

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Jan 14, 2022

How Superintelligent AI Will Likely Transform Our Future

Posted by in categories: biological, education, food, robotics/AI

Is artificial superintelligence (ASI) imminent? Adam Ford will assess the evidence and ethical importance of artificial intelligence; its opportunities and risks. Drawing on the history of progress in AI and how today it surpasses peak human capability in some domains, he will present forecasts about further progress.

“Progress in AI will likely be explosive; even more significant than both the agricultural and industrial revolutions” — Adam will explore the notion of intelligence and what aspects are missing in AI now and how ‘understanding’ arises in biological intelligence and how it could be realised in AI over the next decade or two. He will conclude with takes on ideal AI outcomes and some recommendations for increasing the likelihood of achieving them.

BIO: Adam Ford (Masters of IT at RMIT) is an IEET Affiliate Scholar, a futurologist and works as a data/information architect, a data analyst and data engineer. He co-organised a variety of conferences in Australia, USA and China. Adam also convenes the global effort of ‘Future Day’ seeking to ritualize focus on the future to a specific day. He is a grass roots journalist, having interviewed many experts on the future, and is currently working on a documentary project focusing on preparing for the future of artificial intelligence.

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Jan 13, 2022

Are 3D-Printed Schools a Solution to Africa’s Classroom Shortage?

Posted by in categories: education, energy, finance

Olipa Elisa said her 10-year-old son used to have to hike 5km (3 miles) every day to the nearest school, often arriving late and exhausted.

“I am very excited that we now have a school closer to my home, and my child will not have to take the long journey,” said Elisa, 38. “What we need is more of these learning blocks to accommodate other classes.”

Run by 14Trees, a joint venture between Swiss cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim and British development finance agency CDC Group, the project was faster, cheaper and less energy-intensive than conventional construction, said 14Trees managing director Francois Perrot.

Jan 13, 2022

Tesla Tops Ranking In Automotive Future Readiness Indicator Study

Posted by in categories: business, education

One of Europe’s top business schools recently released its Future Readiness Indicator study and focused on the automotive sector for its analysis.

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