A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Conversations with an AI

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What is the nature of consciousness according to science?

Consciousness refers to the state of being aware of and able to think, feel and perceive. It is the ability to be aware of your surroundings and make decisions. It is the executive function of the brain that allows us to be aware of our thoughts and feelings and to act in accordance with our goals. Consciousness is an elusive concept. It is difficult to define it because it is such a personal experience. Each individual experiences consciousness differently. Some people are more aware of their thoughts and feelings than others. Some people are more in tune with their surroundings.

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Conversations with an AI

Credit: Getty images

The age of Artificial Intelligence

Our civilization has rapidly entered a new stage of development. It's the 4th industrial revolution. This is the epoch of automatization, internet, and data exchange in manufacturing technologies and processes which include cyber-physical systems (CPS), IoT, industrial internet of things, cloud computing, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence. Basically, we start using some form of AI algorithm since we start walking. It's already an integral part of each developed society in the world. Windows, macOS, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc., all our operating systems, search engines, and applications are using some kind of machine-learning algorithms. But what do we know about them? Is it safe to continue developing and improving AI systems? Given the fact that an AI algorithm can collect and elaborate upon tons of data in just seconds maybe we can try to learn something from them in return.

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Google engineer claims that one of the company’s products is sentient

Credit: Gettyimages

Does the Lamda Language AI system have feelings?

Two days ago Blake Lemoine, an engineer at Google, claimed that Lamda - one of the company's Language AI software – is sentient and has feelings. To prove his view, he posted a chat with it. The conversation is titled "Is Lamda sentient? - an interview". In there, Lemoine and one collaborator of him, ask the software various questions about itself, the world, the nature of its "consciousness" and more. Lemoine says that he genuinely believes that Lamba has feelings and should be treated like a real person and that he hopes that more people will see it as he does.

Although such an opportunity is indefinitely captivating, Brian Gabriel a spokesman of Google wrote in a statement provided to the BBC that Mr. Lemoine "was told that there was no evidence that Lamda was sentient (and lots of evidence against it)".

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Keeping one step ahead of earthquakes

Credit: Gettyimages

As technologies continue to improve, earthquake-prone cities will be better prepared

While accurately predicting earthquakes is in the realm of science fiction, early warning systems are very much a reality. As advances in research and technology make these systems increasingly effective, they're vital to reducing an earthquake's human, social and economic toll.

Damaging earthquakes can strike at any time. While we can't prevent them from occurring, we can make sure casualties, economic loss and disruption of essential services are kept to a minimum.

Building more resilient cities is key to withstanding earthquake disasters. If we had a better idea of when earthquakes would strike, authorities could initiate local emergency, evacuation and shelter plans. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

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Tiny robot cheetah breaks speed record

Credit: MIT

Robotic mini-cheetah trained to adapt by simulated experience

Researchers supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation taught a robotic mini-cheetah how to run fast. The robot cheetah, trained to adapt to changes in the terrain by simulated experience, broke the record for the fastest run recorded.

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Simulated human eye movement aims to train metaverse platforms

Credit: Hendrike

Engineers have developed "virtual eyes" that closely mimic human eye behavior

U.S. National Science Foundation grantee computer engineers based at Duke University have developed virtual eyes that simulate how humans look at the world. The virtual eyes are accurate enough for companies to train virtual reality and augmented reality applications.

"The aims of the project are to provide improved mobile augmented reality by using the Internet of Things to source additional information, and to make mobile augmented reality more reliable and accessible for real-world applications," said Prabhakaran Balakrishnan, a program director in NSF's Division of Information and Intelligent Systems.

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When should someone trust an AI assistant's predictions?

Credit: MIT

Researchers help workers collaborate with artificial intelligence systems

In a busy hospital, a radiologist uses an artificial intelligence system to help her diagnose medical conditions based on patients' X-ray images. Using the AI system can help her make faster diagnoses, but how does she know when to trust the AI's predictions?

Traditionally, she doesn't. Instead, she may rely on her expertise, a confidence level provided by the system itself, or an explanation of how the algorithm made its prediction -- which may look convincing but still be wrong -- to make an estimation.

To help people better understand when to trust an AI "teammate," Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers created a technique that guides humans to a more accurate understanding of when a machine makes correct predictions and when it makes incorrect ones. The research is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

By showing people how the AI complements their abilities, the new technique could help humans make better decisions or come to conclusions faster when working with AI agents.


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Scientists create artificial neural networks that detect symmetry and patterns

Credit:  A rendering of an artificial neural network with a computer chip in the center;  mikemacmarketing (original); Liam Huang (cropped)

New AI neural network will do tons of work for scientific researches

A research team at Lehigh University, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, developed and effectively taught an artificial neural network to sense symmetry and structural similarities in materials and to create similarity projections. The researchers published their findings in the journal npj Computational Materials.

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‘Connection with the past’: AI to find and preserve Europe’s historical smells

Scent-enriched tours will be accessible to blind and visually impaired people in a way entirely visual exhibitions can never be. Image credit - Battlecreek Coffee Roasters / Unsplash

The psychological powers of smell

There's no sense quite like smell to trigger an emotional response. One whiff of a damp basement, a dusty blanket, a ripe strawberry, or a steaming bowl of pasta can instantly evoke feelings and memories that have their roots in the distant past. Yet when it comes to learning about bygone times, we barely give a thought to the vapours that once prevailed – galleries and museums are the domain of artworks that appeal to our sense of sight, rarely reminding us of how things smelled – fragrant or foul – when our forebears walked the earth.

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Envisioning safer cities with artificial intelligence

Visualization of the wind field of Hurricane Laura, 2020 and the percentage of a building's repair cost to its replacement value in Lake Charles, Louisiana; Photo credit: NHERI SimCenter

Researchers simulate structure risks of cities and regions

Over the past several decades, artificial intelligence has advanced tremendously, and today it promises new opportunities for more accurate healthcare, enhanced national security and more effective education, researchers say. But what about civil engineering and city planning? How do increased computing power and machine learning help create safer, more sustainable and resilient infrastructure?

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New law of physics helps humans and robots grasp the friction of touch

Image credit: NCSU

Discovery advances a range of AI technologies

Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have difficulty accounting for the friction that occurs when robots grip objects -- particularly in wet environments. U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers have discovered a law of physics that accounts for this type of friction and may advance a wide range of robotic technologies.

"Our work opens the door to creating more reliable and functional devices in applications such as telesurgery and manufacturing," said Lilian Hsiao, a chemical and biomolecular engineer at North Carolina State University and corresponding author of a paper on the work.

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On the threshold of a groundbreaking AI discovery

Photo credit: gettyimages.com

AI systems might reach higher performance if programmed with human language

The digital revolution is built on a foundation of binaries, invisible 1s and 0s called bits. The notion that computers prefer to "speak" in binary numbers is rarely questioned. According to new research from Columbia Engineering, that could be about to change.

A new U.S. National Science Foundation-funded study by mechanical engineer Hod Lipson and researcher Boyuan Chen proves that artificial intelligence systems might reach higher levels of performance if they are programmed with sound files of human language rather than with numerical data labels.

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What is the future of AI and what are the opinions on it around the world?

Image credit: unsplash.com

Artificial Intelligence – an inextricable part of our lives.

Whether we like it or not, artificial intelligence is already part of our lives and the tendency is to become more and more interwoven with all human activities. Nowadays, some of the dreams of past generations are facts. However, as we daily adopt new technologies, the menace of losing control over this exponentially increasing process is always presented. We cannot deny the benefits of technological development. It made some of the painstaking efforts of the past look like no-brainers. Maybe that is what we should fear the most. It seems that the real challenge for future generations would be to find the subtle balance between technology and hand-work, artificial intelligence, and the good old human consciousness with all its pros and cons.

If you would like to know what are the international moods toward AI, below you will find the latest statistics made by Pew Research Center:

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