Spending time on the internet is reducing our ability to focus on one task at a time - and it means we no longer store facts in our brains. Our lives have been forever changed by gaining access to infinite amounts of information at the touch of a button, but the way our head works has too. A new review looking into the effect of the online world on our brain functions from researchers in the UK, US and Australia, has drawn a number of surprising conclusions. The review focused on the world wide web's influence in three areas: attention spans, memory, and social cognition. It notes that the internet is now'unavoidable, ubiquitous, and a highly functional aspect of modern living' before diving into how it has changed our society.
Cable company Comcast will add'eye control' to its suite of accessibility features, allowing physically disabled viewers to operate TV's using only their gaze. By partnering with popular makers of eye-gaze hardware, Comcast said its feature will allow users to do just about anything that can be done with a physical remote, including using the guide, scheduling recordings, and navigating other menus. Popular systems like those made by Tobii Assistive Technology use special cameras to track the movement of people's eyes and then translate those movements onto a screen. Using eye-reading hardware and software, Comcast is allowing people with physical disabilities to control their TV's with their gaze Each time someone gazes at a button, the corresponding action is initiated in Comcast's interface. Comcast's inclusion of those technologies mark a first among large telecom providers and also further add to a host of other features rolled out by the company throughout the last several years.
Adobe researchers have developed an AI tool that could make spotting'deepfakes' a whole lot easier. The tool is able to detect edits to images, such as those that would potentially go unnoticed to the naked eye, especially in doctored deepfake videos. It comes as deepfake videos, which use deep learning to digitally splice fake audio onto the mouth of someone talking, continue to be on the rise. Adobe researchers have developed an AI tool that could make it easier to spot'deepfakes'. Deepfakes are so named because they utilise deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to create fake videos.
A new BBC game show is to pit families against one another with a series of brain tests designed to assess different types of intelligence - but are you up to passing any of the cognitive challenges? The Family Brain Games, hosted by Dara Ó Briain, will follow eight different families from all walks of life as they come together in a specially designed'games lab' to compete in the ultimate test of intelligence. Questions are designed to go beyond traditional ideas about how to measure brain power, such as individual IQ. They will instead explore other measures including verbal ability, memory ability and even group intelligence. Dr Adam Hampshire, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London, is one of the brains behind the tests.
NASA says its presence on the moon won't just be for show. With new technology, the agency hopes to mine natural resources on the lunar surface as well as reachable asteroids. Through NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, the agency said it will begin to explore the feasibility of robotic rovers and mining technology that could make space mining a reality. To do so, it has green-lit two mission concepts this month. NASA wants to get a jump-start on mining in space with a tandem of proposals that would develop future technology.
Uber has taken flack throughout the last several years for its aggressive tactics against competitors and regulators, but according to one of the company's executives, Uber's self-driving cars have now become the victims. At a recent conference, Eric Meyhofer, the head of Uber's self-driving car unit said the company has captured people's alleged aggressive driving on camera. 'We've seen people bully these cars -- they feel like they can be more aggressive because we won't take a position on it, or we'll allow it,' Meyhofer said, according to a report by The Daily Telegraph. Uber says its self-driving cars are being victimized on roads by pedestrians and motorists. 'You're on video but still people do bully them, and that's a fascinating thing to see where people are testing the boundaries of what they can do to self-driving.'
Trains delayed by'leaves on the line' might soon be a thing of the past as an AI system is trialled to predict build ups on the line and warn of encroaching plants. The artificial intelligence studies footage of plants near the line taken from trains and attempts to spot when leaves change colour, indicating that they might fall. It can also warn of fallen trees and when vegetation growth might soon obstruct the path of trains and lead to delays. The project is one of 24 high-tech schemes that have today been funded a total of £7.8 million ($9.9 million) by the UK government to improve the nation's railways. Trains delayed by'leaves on the line' might soon be a thing of the past as an AI system is trialled to predict build ups on the line and warn of encroaching plants (stock image) Slippery rails -- commonly referred to as'leaves on the line' -- result when build ups on the track led to trains not being able to grip the rails properly.
A breakthrough discovery shows that pterodactyls could fly from birth, something no other species before or since has been able to do. And British scientists said that the revelation has a'profound impact' on our understanding of the reptiles. The common belief was the pterodactyls, like birds and bats, only took to the air once they were fully grown. A new study shows pterodactyls could fly from birth, something no other species before or since can do. The findings have a'profound impact' on our understanding of reptiles Pterodactyls used both their arms and legs to push themselves off the ground during take-off, in a manoeuvre known as the'quadrupedal launch'.
The US military is looking to expedite the deployment of'jam resistant' GPS units in an effort to guard against interference from Russian troops. According to Breaking Defense, a first-generation model of the device will be sent to soldiers in Germany by the end of the year. It's specially designed to be resistant to GPS jamming, or technology that attempts to disable GPS by transmitting fake signals or scrambling them. The US Military is looking to mitigate GPS jamming, as it presents security risks. While the actual technical details of the devices remain a mystery, the new GPS will look to combat what is suspected to be coordinated jamming by Russian military, which has been documented by the US in countries ranging from Syria to Scandinavia.
Brain scans on fanatical Islamists show they have a reduced capacity for rational thought, new research suggests. Members of a radical Islamist group were asked how willing they were to'fight and die' for their ideas. Their brains were then scanned during the process. The results showed that when questioned, the part of the brain that engages in evaluating costs and consequences showed reduced activity. The scientists say this shows that when it comes to values held'sacred' to the radicals, they are immune to arguments involving costs and benefits.