Cognitive Science

AI explainer: why machines have an edge


With AlphaGo, DeepMind demonstrated the power of machine-learning to beat humans. Put simply, AI refers to technologies that try to replicate core human functions. Peet van Biljon, formerly of McKinsey and now one of the leading innovation specialists engaging with the topic, sums it up neatly: "It's about computers doing things ever smarter than we used to expect of machines, and ever closer to what we thought only humans could do." The resemblance to human intelligence is no coincidence, he says, as "recent advances all involve some sort of neural network, which is modelled on how we think the human brain works." At the heart of the excitement over AI is the concept of machine learning: computers working things out for themselves without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Artificial Intelligence: A Way to Overcome the Limitations of Human Intelligence


The human brain is an amazing biological marvel of incredible complexities and astonishing capabilities. It is capable of creating art, devising engineering solutions, visualizing the future of technology, understanding and course-correcting to seek a better future for the planet, and guiding the growth of the human race. Howsoever incredible it may seem, the human brain still has certain limitations. There's a limit to how much information and data the human brain can compute and at what speed. Add to that the effects of aging, health factors, and numerous psychological factors, and it's clear that the human brain has serious limitations.

Will Artificial Intelligence really become a threat to humanity? Access AI


The highly contentious and arguably irresponsible comments from Alibaba founder Jack Ma around AI and its likelihood of creating a third World War – will have done little to inspire confidence in those that harbour fears around the subject of intelligent machines. For some, the two words placed together spark a sense of dread, trepidation or even fear. For others, it represents the beginning of an exciting new digital world with untold benefits and opportunities. Unfortunately, however, it's often the former, which seems to seep more into people's consciousness. It's perhaps then of little surprise that in a recent survey by the British Science Association (BSA) that 36% of respondents believe that AI will eventually takeover or destroy humanity.

3Q: D. Fox Harrell on his video game for the #MeToo era

MIT News

The Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory has released a new video game called Grayscale, which is designed to sensitize players to problems of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in the workplace. D. Fox Harrell, the lab's director, and students in his course CMS.628 (Advanced Identity Representation) completed the initial version of the game more than a year ago, and the ICE Lab has been working on it consistently since. But it addresses many of the themes brought to the fore by the recent #MeToo movement. The game is built atop the ICE Lab's Chimeria computational platform, which was designed to give computer systems a more subtle, flexible, and dynamic model of how humans categorize members of various groups. MIT News spoke to Harrell, a professor of digital media and artificial intelligence, about Grayscale (or to give it its more formal name, Chimeria:Grayscale). Q: How does the game work?

Antonio Damasio Tells Us Why Pain Is Necessary - Issue 56: Perspective


Following Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio may be the neuroscientist whose popular books have done the most to inform readers about the biological machinery in our heads, how it generates thoughts and emotions, creates a self to cling to, and a sense of transcendence to escape by. But since he published Descartes' Error in 1994, Damasio has been concerned that a central thesis in his books, that brains don't define us, has been muted by research that states how much they do. To Damasio's dismay, the view of the human brain as a computer, the command center of the body, has become lodged in popular culture. In his new book, The Strange Order of Things, Damasio, a professor of neuroscience and the director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, mounts his boldest argument yet for the egalitarian role of the brain. In "Why Your Biology Runs on Feelings," another article in this chapter of Nautilus, drawn from his new book, Damasio tells us "mind and brain influence the body proper just as much as the body proper can influence the brain and the mind.

Is 2018 the Year When the Future of Work Finally Becomes ... Work?


No one predicted in 2007 how the iPhone would transform both society and the workplace, sparking an age of mobility that changed the way we talk, share and connect. Yet here we are in 2018, with apps creating billion dollar businesses and millions of people paying $1000 a pop for the iPhone X. We sit at the precipice of a new era of disruption in the workplace. Pundits and technologists have talked about the future of work for years, and 2018 may be the year that future finally arrives. The next massive transformation, however, will not rely on a single tool or device.

John Fund: To stop a government shutdown and protect Dreamers, let's listen to problem-solvers

FOX News

The debate over what to do about the approximately 700,000 Dreamers – immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children – has often been conducted at a playground level. Democrats are threatening to shut down the government at midnight Friday night unless the Dreamer issue is resolved on their terms. President Trump is reported to have used some kind of obscenity to describe his view of some of the countries Dreamers and other immigrants come from. Immigration activists have freely and openly accused the president of being a "racist" or worse. In this kind of a toxic environment, it will be amazing if both sides can bridge the enormous gap between them.

5 Steps to begin or advance a Digital Transformation Strategy


A smart, connected enterprise can embrace the digital transformation in the coming Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) world by collecting data that could result in new levels of collaboration, operational excellence, agility and profitability. But the reality is that total adoption of IIoT is a ways off and users today need to start the digital transformation for their enterprise to reap benefits before the total technological integration. While the digital evolution of the $10 trillion global manufacturing sector will take time, manufacturers need to get these benefits today, according to a McKinsey & Company report. One major metal plant used digital tools to make step-change improvements in throughput. Real-time performance visualization for operators combined with daily problem solving led to a 50 percent increase in production rate in one of its lines.

Watch a thought race across the brain in under a second

Daily Mail

An amazing new video shows a thought racing across the surface of the human brain in less than a second. Experts tracked the path of singular thoughts through people's minds as they underwent open brain surgery. Electrodes were hooked directly to the surface of each patient's white matter, taking readings while they completed a simple call-and-response task. The scans show clearly how the brain acts in response to sight and sounds, which scientists say could explain'why we say things before we think'. Experts asked people to repeat the word'humid'.

This woman found a super-creative way to celebrate finishing her thesis


Does this count as plagiarism? Writing a thesis can certainly be a grind, and one student decided to celebrate finishing it in style. I said I'd do it and I did. I got my thesis printed on a scarf. The thesis itself is on neuroscience, and you can read the intro to it on Grace's blog.