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!

Infinite conversation

Credit: Getty images

The project

Infinite conversation is a website where you can enjoy a literally endless AI-generated conversation between the Bavarian film director Werner Herzog and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. If you are really familiar with them, you will immediately acknowledge two things: 1. These are not exactly their voices, and 2. Yet, the authenticity of the ideas expressed and the way they speak is frightening. After all, this is an experiment made by one person. What if it was a company with the scale of Google?

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Ancient world's multicultural secrets revealed by handwriting analysis of scrolls

Credit: Greek Gospel (c. 10th century); Getty images

Advanced techniques to analyse the Dead Sea Scrolls and Eastern papyri are revealing vibrant secrets about daily life in the ancient world.

Around 2 100 years ago, a Judaean scribe deftly swirled a stylus to dab the final strokes of black ink onto a piece of parchment.

His work, a copy of the biblical Book of Isaiah from the Old Testament, would soon be complete in the form of a seven-metre-long scroll. But was he finishing his own work – or someone else's?

Though the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered more than 70 years ago, sophisticated computing techniques are now revealing the invisible hands that wrote the famous texts and Professor Mladen Popović at the University of Groningen thinks he knows the answer.

'My simple idea was to use palaeography – their handwriting,' he said.

Palaeography is the scientific study of ancient handwritten texts. The goal of the palaeographer is to identify the location and time of writing. Texts come on parchment but also pottery, metal, cloth and even casual graffiti as discovered on the walls of Pompeii.

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Conversations with an AI

Credit: Getty images

Nuclear Fusion

Today, we ask our AI interlocutor about the nature of nuclear fusion power plants. What are the methods used to develop the potentially most efficient way of producing electricity and what are the greatest challenges? 

Below you can read what GPT-3 has to say.

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Researchers engineer novel material capable of 'thinking'

Credit: Kelby Hochreither/Penn State; A mechanical integrated circuit can perform computation like a computer, without needing the computer.

Findings build on decades-old research to engineer advanced material

Someone taps your shoulder. The touch receptors in your skin send a message to your brain, which processes the information and directs you to look left, in the direction of the tap. This processing of mechanical information has now been harnessed by Penn State and U.S. Air Force researchers and integrated into engineered materials that "think."

The results, published in Nature, are supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and hinge on a novel, reconfigurable alternative to integrated circuits. Integrated circuits are typically composed of multiple electronic components housed on a single semiconductor material, usually silicon, and run all types of modern electronics, including phones, cars and robots.

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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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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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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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A new AI project could change the way we recycle plastic bottles

Photo credit: unilever.com

The Waste Free World project

The co-operation of two of the world's biggest consumer goods firms results in an innovative recycling project. They have created machines that use artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically identify and sort plastic packaging.

The initiative is called The Waste Free World and it was recently announced as a collaboration between Unilever and the Chinese giant Alibaba. The goal of the project is to unite the packaging technologies of the former with the business operating system of the latter to advance and ensure a highly efficient process of returning plastics back into a closed-loop recycling system.

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SSA Recent Posts

02 December 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Portrait of Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939) as he sits behind his desk in his study, Vienna, Austria, 1930s. The office is filled with figurines and statuettes of various origins. (Photo by Authenticated News/Getty Images) V...
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30 November 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: American artist, musician and producer of Haitian and Puerto Rican origins Jean-Michel Basquiat, in front of one of his paintings, during an exhibition at the Yvon Lambert gallery. (Photo by julio donoso/Sygma via Getty Images) The art of Bas...
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27 November 2022
Social Sciences & Arts (SSA)
Credit: Portrait Franz Kafka, around 1905; Getty Images Thoughts to reflect on 1. "A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity." 2. "All language is but a poor translation." 3. "By believing passionately in something that still does not exist...
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