The Ordnance Survey (national mapping agency for the UK) has just released their first map of a region on another planet. It’s a high resolution relief shaded contour map, and includes the area of Mars where ExoMars will land in 2018. Here is a close up view of it with the ESA landing ellipse in Oxia Planum superimposed.
Source: First OS Contour Map For A Mars Region – With ExoMars 2018 Landing Ellipse In Oxia Planum Superimposed
When researchers implanted ITOP-generated bone, muscle, and cartilage into rats and mice, the printed materials developed blood supplies and internal structures resembling those of natural tissue. The researchers are currently working with the Food and Drug Administration to set up human trials, with the ultimate goal of creating replacement body parts for people who need them.
Source: Tissue printer creates lifelike human ear | Science | AAAS
Unanimous A.I.’s UNU platform works by assembling a group of people online, all logged into an interface where they can interact to answer a series of questions together. A researcher asks a question and a selection of potential answers are laid out in a circle onscreen.
Participants must then drag a ‘puck’ in the center of the circle towards their preferred answer. The twist is that everyone is dragging the same puck, so that a consensus on the ideal result is quickly reached.
Source: Unanimous A.I. treats humans like bees to make decisions
I’ve always found the idea behind corporate hackathons to be questionable, but this is a hackathon I can get behind.
Some of my favorites:
“Unfriend the Poors by JB Rubinovitz is a free service that helps you ferret out and then unfriend your poor friends on Facebook.”
3D Cheese Printer. “Hightech 3D cheese prints, by Tyler Erdman, Morgan Steward, David Leach, Brian Wu, Andy Doro and Dano Wall.”
“Mansplain It To Me recreates the experience of asking a question and getting the response from a man who talks to you as though you are a less capable human being. By Cassie Tarakajian and Seth Kranzler.”
“iPad On A Face by Cheryl Wu is a telepresence robot, except it’s a human with an iPad on his or her face.”
Source: Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon
Vardi raised the concerning possibility that an over-reliance on automation and AI could have the same effect on our economy as the Roman dependence on slaves. “Can our economic system deal with labor participation rates below 25 percent? Below 50 percent?” he asked. The solution in ancient Rome, he pointed out, was bread and circuses or life as a legionary.
Source: Robots: Destroying jobs, our economy, and possibly the world | Ars Technica
Everyone knew the mission would fail — the technicians, the pilot and the friend who would replace him if he deserted the mission. But Soviet leaders demanded a triumph in space, and so in 1967, Vladimir Komarov allowed himself to be launched towards his own death.
Source: Cosmonaut Crashed Into Earth ‘Crying In Rage’ : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR
A large part of the human brain, just like the brain of other animals, is devoted to threat detection. These circuits are constantly evaluating our internal and external state for threats. This cannot be conscious, because that’s too slow. It’s deep in the brain below the cerebral cortex, where consciousness arises, in a region called the hypothalamic attack region.
The hypothalamus is where a lot of our urges and automatic functions are carried out, like sexual behavior. The hypothalamic attack region controls defensive-aggressive behavior. If scientists stimulate these neurons with an electrode, an animal will instantly become aggressive and attack a test animal in the cage.
Source: Your Brain Is Hardwired to Snap
The United States is one of only two countries in the world that has citizenship-based taxation (the other is Eritrea).
As a US citizen you must file a tax return, no matter where you live, and often pay US taxes on top of the tax you already pay in your country of residence – so-called double taxation.
Source: Why expat Americans are giving up their passports – BBC News
A new paper from researchers in India and Australia highlights one of the strangest and ironically most humorous facets of the problems in machine learning – humour.
Automatic Sarcasm Detection: A Survey [PDF] outlines ten years of research efforts from groups interested in detecting sarcasm in online sources. The problem is not an abstract one, nor does it centre around the need for computers to entertain or amuse humans, but rather the need to recognise that sarcasm in online comments, tweets and other internet material should not be interpreted as sincere opinion.
The need applies both in order for AIs to accurately assess archive material or interpret existing datasets, and in the field of sentiment analysis, where a neural network or other model of AI seeks to interpret data based on publicly posted web material.
Source: Why sarcasm baffles AIs
The top three hacking problems for the last 10 years are “phishing”, “password reuse”, and “SQL injection”. These problems are extremely simple, as measured by the fact that teenagers are able to exploit them. Yet they persist because, unless someone is interested in hacking, they are unable to learn them. They ignore important details. They fail at grasping the core concept.
Source: Errata Security: Hackers aren’t smart — people are stupid