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Locusts spun in a centrifuge develop extra-strong exoskeletons

New Scientist

When the gravity acting on them is increased, locusts adapt. Locusts placed in a centrifuge to mimic the conditions of hypergravity grew tougher legs than those living normally – but not all of them survived the process. Many biological materials, such as bone and wood, can adapt and become stronger under physical strain, but it isn't clear whether animals with shell-like exoskeletons can adapt in the same way as those with internal skeletons. Karen Stamm and Jan-Henning Dirks at the City University of Applied Sciences in Bremen, Germany, studied this by placing locusts inside a specially designed centrifuge to stress-test their exoskeletons using simulated hypergravity. The locusts were assigned to one of four gravity conditions: 1g – which is typical gravity at sea level and didn't involve a centrifuge – and 3g, 5g or 8g conditions, all of which did involve centrifuging the insects.

Score a Blink video doorbell and two outdoor security cameras for under $100


As of Dec. 1, Amazon has bundled the Blink Video Doorbell with two Blink Outdoor 4 security cameras for a ridiculously low price of $99.99. Just when we thought Amazon had shown us all its cards for Cyber Week, it throws us yet another killer deal. We saw some solid savings on Blink smart home products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but this one takes the cake: For the next two days, the Blink Video Doorbell and two Blink Outdoor 4 security cameras are on sale for just under $100. As a members-only deal for Prime subscribers, not everyone will be able to grab this deal, but those who can are in luck. That's 68% in savings and easily the lowest price we've seen on this bundle.

Prime members can buy a Blink Video Doorbell and two Outdoor Cameras for $100


If you recently moved into a new place or are just looking to update your home's security, now's a good time to do so. Though Black Friday has come and gone, Blink's video doorbell and two fourth-generation outdoor smart security cameras bundle is currently on sale for $100 (the devices add up to $315 if bought separately). There's a small catch, though: the deal is only available to Prime Members. The trio are available for 68 percent off. While Prime Members had access to a similar deal back in September, this time around, the two Blink outdoor cameras included are the fourth-generation model.

8 ways AI and 5G are pushing the boundaries of innovation together


When 5G is combined with artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the result can be a powerful one-two punch for innovation, both technical- and business-focused. When designing systems or architectures for offices, factories, and homes of the future, the power of AI over 5G -- or 5G enhanced by AI -- cannot be ignored, industry experts point out. "Scaling AI to reach its full potential is no trivial undertaking. To do so efficiently, it's imperative for AI processing to be intelligently distributed between the cloud and edge devices," writes Taesang Yoo, senior director of technology for Qualcomm, in a recent blog post. "That's why we believe the future of AI is hybrid. AI computation is split where and when appropriate, to provide enhanced experiences and ensure efficient use of resources."

The best Black Friday gaming console deals on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation 5 and others


If you've been waiting to buy a new PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or Nintendo Switch, Black Friday looks like a good time to pounce. To save you a bit of Googling, we've rounded up the best Black Friday game console deals we could find and laid out everywhere you can buy each device below. The offers include genuine discounts on both of the latest Xbox consoles and both the new slim and (non-slim) PS5, as well as a few noteworthy bundles for all three Nintendo Switch models. If you're looking for a new handheld gaming PC or VR headset, both the ASUS ROG Ally and Meta Quest 2 are seeing unusually steep discounts as well. The new slim PS5 is 10 percent off for Black Friday at Amazon, an surprising discount on the just-released console.

Inflatable exoskeleton could build strength in injured wrists

New Scientist

An exoskeleton powered by air can flex the wrists with a rotation approaching that of the natural joints. Such a device could help people rehabilitate from wrist-related injuries at home by building strength. Katalin Schäffer at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and her colleagues used balloon-like materials to create inflatable artificial muscles for their exoskeleton. These can be blown up with air to move components within the device.

AI can steal passwords in virtual reality from avatar hand motions

New Scientist

Someone typing on a physical keyboard while attending a virtual reality meeting could end up leaking passwords and other sensitive information to an attacker who uses artificial intelligence to interpret the avatar's subtle hand movements. Researchers trained AIs to analyse each individual person's virtual avatar hand movements and reconstruct most keystrokes typed by the avatar's user over the course of 10- or 15-minute typing sessions. They tested the vulnerability in Meta Horizon Workrooms, a virtual office platform provided by Meta.

Diagnosing AI Explanation Methods with Folk Concepts of Behavior

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

We investigate a formalism for the conditions of a successful explanation of AI. We consider "success" to depend not only on what information the explanation contains, but also on what information the human explainee understands from it. Theory of mind literature discusses the folk concepts that humans use to understand and generalize behavior. We posit that folk concepts of behavior provide us with a "language" that humans understand behavior with. We use these folk concepts as a framework of social attribution by the human explainee--the information constructs that humans are likely to comprehend from explanations--by introducing a blueprint for an explanatory narrative (Figure 1) that explains AI behavior with these constructs. We then demonstrate that many XAI methods today can be mapped to folk concepts of behavior in a qualitative evaluation. This allows us to uncover their failure modes that prevent current methods from explaining successfully--i.e., the information constructs that are missing for any given XAI method, and whose inclusion can decrease the likelihood of misunderstanding AI behavior.

Humane Wants Its New Ai Pin to Liberate You From Your Phone Screen

TIME - Tech

Ken Kocienda walks toward me, with a small white square pinned to his shirt. "Play songs written by Prince, but not performed by Prince," he says. The Sinéad O'Connor version of'Nothing Compares 2 U'--a song originally written by Prince--begins to play. A green volume meter, pause button, and next-song button appear on his hand. He twists his wrist clockwise, and the volume rises. Anticlockwise, and the song gets quieter.

Amazon is bundling a Fire TV 4K Max and Blink Video Doorbell for $65 in early Black Friday deal


Amazon bundle deals are a relatively common occurrence, but the latest one is a pairing we'd never expect: Ahead of Black Friday, Prime Members can get the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and Blink Video Doorbell as a pair for $65. The Blink Video Doorbell is $60 on its own, so for another five bucks, you're getting the Fire TV Stick 4K Max -- not a bad deal. The 4K Max is having its own sale right now, with a 25 percent discount bringing its price to $45 from $60. So, even if you factor in the sale, you're saving $40 overall, a nice steal. While the only two things these items might seem to have in common is Amazon's ownership, if we think really hard, we can connect them. Well, not having to get up to check who's at the door while using your streaming device is good for starters.