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"The hang up is what's going on in the robot's head," she adds. Perceiving stimuli and calculating a response takes a "boatload of computation," which limits reaction time, says Neuman, who recently graduated with a PhD from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Neuman has found a way to fight this mismatch between a robot's "mind" and body. The method, called robomorphic computing, uses a robot's physical layout and intended applications to generate a customized computer chip that minimizes the robot's response time. The advance could fuel a variety of robotics applications, including, potentially, frontline medical care of contagious patients.
A robotic cargo vessel has passed through the Panama Canal for the first time. The uncrewed ship, an Overlord Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) of the US Navy, made a 4700 nautical mile (8700 kilometre) journey including passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific almost entirely without human assistance. Pentagon spokesman Josh Frey says the vessel was in autonomous mode for over 97 per cent of the trip's length. A remote crew assisted when needed.
"Most professional scientists aim to be the first to publish their findings, because it is through dissemination that the work realises its value." So wrote mathematician James Ellis in 1987. By contrast, he went on, "the fullest value of cryptography is realised by minimising the information available to potential adversaries." Ellis, like Alan Turing, and so many of the driving forces in the development of computers and the Internet, worked in government signals intelligence, or SIGINT. Today, this covers COMINT (harvested from communications such as phone calls) and ELINT (from electronic emissions, such as radar and other electromagnetic radiation).
Ignorance of history is a badge of honour in Silicon Valley. "The only thing that matters is the future," self-driving-car engineer Anthony Levandowski told The New Yorker in 20181. Levandowski, formerly of Google, Uber and Google's autonomous-vehicle subsidiary Waymo (and recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets), is no outlier. The gospel of'disruptive innovation' depends on the abnegation of history2. 'Move fast and break things' was Facebook's motto. Another word for this is heedlessness. And here are a few more: negligence, foolishness and blindness.
Cybersecurity researchers revealed on Thursday a newfound vulnerability in an app that controls the world's most popular consumer drones, threatening to intensify the growing tensions between China and the United States. In two reports, the researchers contended that an app on Google's Android operating system that powers drones made by China-based Da Jiang Innovations, or DJI, collects large amounts of personal information that could be exploited by the Beijing government. The world's largest maker of commercial drones, DJI has found itself increasingly in the cross hairs of the United States government, as have other successful Chinese companies. The Pentagon has banned the use of its drones, and in January the Interior Department decided to continue grounding its fleet of the company's drones over security fears. DJI said the decision was about politics, not software vulnerabilities.
A free facial recognition tool that allows people to find pictures of themselves or others from around the internet has drawn criticism from privacy campaigners. PimEyes describes itself as a privacy tool to help prevent misuse of images. But Big Brother Watch said it could "enable state surveillance, commercial monitoring and even stalking on a scale previously unimaginable". It comes as Amazon decides to pause its use of facial recognition for a year. Polish website PimEyes was set up in 2017 as a hobby project, and commercialised last year.
New AI technologies are helping scientists to sort through the wealth of COVID-19 papers -- hopefully hastening the research process.Credit: Adapted from Getty The COVID-19 literature has grown in much the same way as the disease's transmission: exponentially. But a fast-growing set of artificial-intelligence (AI) tools might help researchers and clinicians to quickly sift through the literature. Driven by a combination of factors -- including the availability of a large collection of relevant papers, advances in natural-language processing (NLP) technology and the urgency of the pandemic itself -- these tools use AI to find the studies that are most relevant to the user, and in some cases to extract specific findings from the results. Beyond the current pandemic, such tools could help to bridge fields by making it easier to identify solutions from other disciplines, says Amalie Trewartha, one of the team leads for the literature-search tool COVIDScholar, at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California. The tools are still in development, and their utility is largely unproven.
Drone firm Zipline has been given the go-ahead to deliver medical supplies and personal protective equipment to hospitals in North Carolina. The firm will be allowed to use drones on two specified routes after the Federal Aviation Administration granted it an emergency waiver. It is the first time the FAA has allowed beyond-line-of-sight drone deliveries in the US. Experts say the pandemic could help ease some drone-flight regulations. Zipline, which has been negotiating with the FAA, wants to expand to other hospitals and eventually offer deliveries to people's homes.
Early in 2018, the volcano Anak Krakatau in Indonesia started falling apart. It was a subtle transformation -- one that nobody noticed at the time. The southern and southwestern flanks of the volcano were slipping towards the ocean at a rate of about 4 millimetres per month, a shift so small that researchers only saw it after the fact as they combed through satellite radar data. By June, though, the mountain began showing obvious signs of unrest. It spewed fiery ash and rocks into the sky in a series of small eruptions. And it was heating up.