"Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. Its intellectual origins are in the mid-1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures."
– Paul Thagard. Cognitive Science , in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A study by MIT researchers has uncovered a new way of telling how well people are learning English: tracking their eyes. Using data generated by cameras trained on readers' eyes, the research team has found that patterns of eye movement -- particularly how long people's eyes rest on certain words -- correlate strongly with performance on standardized tests of English as a second language. "To a large extent [eye movement] captures linguistic proficiency, as we can measure it against benchmarks of standardized tests," says Yevgeni Berzak, a postdoc in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) and co-author of a new paper outlining the research. He adds: "The signal of eye movement during reading is very rich and very informative." Indeed, the researchers even suggest the new method has potential use as a testing tool.
Two years ago, Google made an internal video that didn't stay internal for long. Recently acquired by The Verge, it tells the speculative story of how the technology giant might develop a universal model of human behavior by collecting as much data from people as possible. The video, titled "The Selfish Ledger," is a thought experiment that shows how a major institution like Google could make use of the complex data profile built up by each person as they buy, browse, and communicate online. Then in true form to tech monoliths' disregard for data privacy, the video suggests the following: What if the ledger could be given a volition or purpose, rather than simply acting as a historical reference? What if we focused on creating a richer ledger by introducing more sources of information?
Ask engineers what the future of communication looks like and they'll show you a fiber-optic cable. Ask artists and they'll conjure something like the Sleeve. For the past year, engineers at Nokia Bell Labs, the famed New Jersey research facility that birthed the transistor, have been developing this wearable armband with input from artistic collaborators. "We're reductionist in our thinking; artists are divergent," research lead Domhnaill Hernon says. The labmates are part of a program called Experiments in Art and Technology, founded in the '60s and newly resurrected in partnership with the design incubator New Inc.
Ed Newton-Rex, who composes for choirs, says JS Bach demonstrated how the greatest creative artists draw on a wide range of qualities. "It wasn't just his knowledge of music, although that was a big part of it," he says. "It was also his fervent religious belief and very high sense of academic rigour." Until machines can encompass these, they are not likely to compose anything rivalling the Goldberg Variations. Nevertheless, as the founder of AI music composer Jukedeck, Newton-Rex thinks computers are capable of creativity.
There's no denying that human intelligence makes our species stand out from other life on Earth. Our modern brain is an evolutionary feat more than 520 million years in the making, and it is the key to everything that makes us human. But while human brains are extraordinary, we don't have a monopoly on intelligence. "Reserving the term'cognition' for typically human problem-solving abilities ... and dismissing simpler behavior as mechanistic, reflexive, and hard-wired does not do justice to the behavioral complexities of even the simplest of organisms," University of Gronigen psychologist Marc van Duijn and his colleagues write in a widely cited 2006 paper on cognition. You might think of tool use as an exclusively human activity, but macaques on an island off Thailand have learned to use stones as tools to shuck oysters.
This story was originally posted by Digital Trends. Whether it's beating us at games like the board game Go or stealing our jobs, the killer combination of artificial intelligence and robots are owning us puny humans left and right. The latest example of a high-tech achievement that will make you feel on the verge of extinction? A robot that's capable of completing a Rubik's Cube puzzle in just 0.38 seconds flat -- which includes image capture and computation time, along with physically moving the cube. Not only is that significantly faster than the human world record of 4.59 seconds, but it's also a big improvement on the official robot world record of 0.637 seconds, as set in late 2016.
If one ascribes to the theory that humans became the dominant species on Earth largely due to having the highest intellectual abilities, then what happens when artificial intelligence (AI) exceeds that of human intelligence? If technological singularity is achieved, will it be the inflection point that will ultimately lead to improvement of the human condition? Or is there reason to fear that AI will lead to a dystopian future with artificially intelligent robots and machines running amok as fictionalized by films such as The Matrix, Blade Runner, The Terminator, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the science-fiction television series Westworld? Here are twenty of the best quotes on artificial intelligence from notable thinkers. "It's likely that machines will be smarter than us before the end of the century--not just at chess or trivia questions but at just about everything, from mathematics and engineering to science and medicine."
Eight MIT students and recent alumni have been named winners of Fulbright U.S. Student Program research awards. An additional student received an award but declined the grant to pursue other opportunities. Destinations for this year's Fulbright recipients include Germany, Switzerland, and other countries of the European Union; Chile; and Indonesia. Students' research interests range from astronomy, art criticism, architectural history, and biohacking to neuroscience, nuclear policy, and computer science. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Fulbright aims to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through international educational exchange.
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With the I-PAS system, a driver wears goggles that are connected to a computer. The tester is able to track "eyeballs, the whites of their eyes, the pupils, the iris and so on. So you can see the eye muscles contract, get bigger and smaller," Trammell said. "Think of going to the doctor, he said, 'Follow my finger back and forth, follow it into your nose, back out of your nose.' This does that, but it does it optically.