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Our Brains Are Big Because We're Good At Sizing Each Other Up

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"Cooperation in the form of generosity has been observed to be contagious, with receipt of donations positively influencing their subsequent generosity," the researchers wrote. It plays into our survival instincts: I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine. Constantly evaluating our own and other peoples' social standings is a hard workout for our brains -- we have the largest cerebral cortex relative to our body size of all mammals -- as we've evolved to process social and communication norms. These findings could also be useful for artificial intelligence algorithms like self-driving cars or other machine learning systems that need to interact with other bots. In these one-off interactions, they'll "need to self-manage their behavior but at the same time cooperate with others in their environment."

Paris-based machine learning startup raises €1.5 million


The rail company's fund is managed by VC firm Hi Inov. Bpifrance, the government-backed investment firm, and Net Venture also participated in the round. "Funds will be used to accelerate our development and our commercial exposure," said a spokesperson. It is currently launched with a select few customers and the company will now focus on large scale deployment. Sectors it serves include transportation, insurance, and energy.

Machine Learning Is Everywhere, But What Is It Exactly?


From Google's language translation app to autonomous cars, machine learning has become a key ingredient in multiple areas of our lives--but what exactly is it? In the simplest sense, machine learning is a method of computer data analysis that learns from its own experience. Once a machine learning algorithm learns what specific patterns look like, it can apply the knowledge on a vast scale. For example, a fraud detection machine learning algorithm may miss a few false charges initially, but once it identifies the pattern, it can protect against millions of future attacks. Check out this week's episode of Tech-x-planations to learn more about the basics of machine learning.

Japan to spend a billion on artificial intelligence


According to, the Riken Center for advanced integrated intelligence research will open near Tokyo railway station and involve 100 researchers from companies including Toyota and NEC. The aim is to create AI that will match the intelligence of an average human being by the middle of this century. While previous attempts to create viable AI have foundered, the wire reports that high capacity computing, processing of big data and automated processing techniques will make it a viable technology. It's reported that an IBM Watson cognitive system can help diagnose treatment for people with cancer that are better than human doctors can devise.