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This Crystal Mimics Learning and Forgetting - Facts So Romantic

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There's also forgetting--when you have limited space for memory, it's vital to be able to make room for new memories, and SNO can do that, too: After a period of time without exposure to hydrogen, SNO's electric resistance decreases. SNO may be the first synthetic material to both habituate and gradually forget--organism-like properties strange to witness in a lifeless, synthetic crystal. Unable to forget 0 when shown another digit, the STDP algorithm muddled 0 and 1, and then, shown the next digit, muddled all three. But the second algorithm, called adaptive synaptic plasticity (ASP), used SNO's ability to remember and gradually forget information and was able to represent each successive digit with little trouble.


Your Next New Best Friend Might Be a Robot - Issue 52: The Hive

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She is an artificially intelligent software program designed to chat with people, called a chatbot. For example, when we input the picture below into a traditional computer's visual recognition system, it produces a cognitive answer: "There's an ankle in the image." In this sense, Xiaoice is a big data project, built on top of the Microsoft Bing search engine, which holds 1 billion data entries and 21 billion relationships among those entries. Microsoft has made many technology breakthroughs in developing its chatbot technology, such as detecting facial expressions and searching for and identifying emotional features in text.


A Simple Visual Proof of a Powerful Idea in Graph Theory - Facts So Romantic

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Ramsey's theorem states that in any graph where all points are connected by either red lines or blue lines, you're guaranteed to have a large subset of the graph that is completely uniform--that is, either all red or all blue. Ramsey's theorem states that somewhere out there there's a graph in which a subset of that size must arise. Again, to avoid a red triangle, we have to color that edge blue. In larger graphs--cases with a million people, or many billion--Ramsey's theorem guarantees that all points in some vast subset of the graph will be connected with lines of the same color.


Why A.I. Is Just Not Funny - Facts So Romantic

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Researchers from Rutgers University, Facebook, and the College of Charleston have developed a system for generating original art called C.A.N. In a 2017 paper in arXiv, the scientists report that "human subjects could not distinguish art generated by the proposed system from art generated by contemporary artists and shown in top art fairs." It improves its routine via a machine learning technique called reinforcement learning: Much like a human comic using trial-and-error, Zoei maximizes the "reward" (laughter or a positive response) for its jokes by exploring its options and exploiting the best one. According to Jonah Katz and David Pesetsky, from West Virginia University and M.I.T., respectively, these building blocks consist of "arbitrary pairings of sound and meaning in the case of language; pitch-classes and pitch-class combinations in the case of music."


Will the Earth Ever Fill Up? - Issue 51: Limits

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"Preventive" checks reduced the birth rate: When times were hard, and food scarce, men--particularly poor men--would foresee the troubles ahead and delay getting married and starting families. In 1838, the Belgian mathematician Pierre Verhulst expanded on Malthus' work by putting the theory in mathematical terms. In this model, which Verhulst called the logistic function, K is the carrying capacity. This had been the missing ingredient in early population models: Humans don't just extract from a fixed set of resources, but can create new resources through invention.


When Driver and Car Share the Same Brain - Issue 51: Limits

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Instead of eliminating the human dimension, the driver is more fully integrated into the vehicle. In collaboration with Hyundai and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Art Technology Lab, I'm exploring a future in which sensor technologies enhance the driver's awareness. Instead of eliminating the human dimension, the driver is more fully integrated into the vehicle. His conceptually driven interdisciplinary art projects, which explore aspects of society through science and technology, have been presented at institutions ranging from Arizona State University to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to ZKM Karlsruhe.


The Fundamental Limits of Machine Learning - Facts So Romantic

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To tackle my aunt's puzzle, the expert systems approach would need a human to squint at the first three rows and spot the following pattern: The human could then instruct the computer to follow the pattern x * (y 1) z. Even when machines teach themselves, the preferred patterns are chosen by humans: Should facial recognition software infer explicit if/then rules, or should it treat each feature as an incremental piece of evidence for/against each possible person? And so they designed deep neural networks, a machine learning technique most notable for its ability to infer higher-level features from more basic information. These questions have constrained efforts to apply neural networks to new problems; a network that's great at facial recognition is totally inept at automatic translation.


How Information Got Re-Invented - Issue 51: Limits

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He kept odd hours, played music too loud, and relished the New York jazz scene. John Pierce was another of the Bell Labs friends whose company Shannon shared in the off hours. It turns out that there were three certified geniuses at BTL [Bell Telephone Laboratories] at the same time, Claude Shannon of information theory fame, John Pierce, of communication satellite and traveling wave amplifier fame, and Barney. If people didn't believe in them, he ignored those people," McMillan told Gertner.


Can a Living Creature Be as Big as a Galaxy? - Issue 51: Limits

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If both our brains and our neurons were 10 times bigger, we'd have 10 times fewer thoughts during our lifetimes. We can argue, then, that, it is difficult to imagine any life-like entities with complexity rivaling the human brain that occupy scales larger than the stellar size scale. Conversely, a planet with 10 times lower gravity than Earth's could potentially have animals that are 10 times bigger. As was first pointed out in the 1930s by Max Kleiber, the metabolic rate per kilogram of Earth's animals decreases in proportion to the mass of the animal raised to the power of 0.25.2 Indeed, if this heating rate didn't decrease, large animals would literally cook themselves (as recently and vividly illustrated by Aatish Batia and Robert Krulwich).


Emotional Intelligence Needs a Rewrite - Issue 51: Limits

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Our traditional understanding and practice of emotional intelligence badly needs a tuneup. Your brain may automatically make sense of someone's movements in context, allowing you to guess what a person is feeling, but you are always guessing, never detecting. To teach emotional intelligence in a modern fashion, we need to acknowledge this variation and make sure your brain is well-equipped to make sense of it automatically. A reasonable, science-backed way to define and practice emotional intelligence comes from a modern, neuroscientific view of brain function called construction: the observation that your brain creates all thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, automatically and on the fly, as needed.