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The Vatican is worried about artificial intelligence


At a recent conference on the challenges of artificial intelligence, Christof Koch made clear in his remarks that the stakes were high: "By mid-century, humanity will be surrounded by ubiquitous, flexible, highly intelligent autonomous agents, and this will profoundly affect our future--including whether we have any." Dr. Koch--who is the chief scientist of the Mindscope Program at the Allen Institute for brain science in Seattle--was speaking to a group of roughly a hundred academics, diplomats and journalists. The conference was hosted by the Vatican at the Cancelleria, a 15th-century Renaissance palace in Rome, and centered around the theme of "the challenge of artificial intelligence for human society and the idea of the human person." This was the second event at the Vatican to focus on artificial intelligence, commonly abbreviated as A.I. Just before Italy entered into a nationwide lockdown last year, the Pontifical Academy for Life held a workshop on A.I. in February 2020. This workshop ultimately produced a "Call for AI Ethics," which was signed by Microsoft, IBM, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the Italian government, in addition to the Academy.

The Brain Guesses What Word Comes Ne-


In the midst of a conversation with an acquaintance, your brain might skip ahead, anticipating the words that the other person will say. Perhaps then you will blurt out whatever comes to mind. Or maybe you will nurse your guess quietly, waiting to see if--out of all the hundreds of thousands of possibilities--your conversational partner will arrive at the same word you have been thinking of. Amazingly, your companion will often do so. How does the brain do this?

Japanese robot uses neurons grown in the lab to avoid obstacles

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Japanese researchers have built a robot with brain-like neurons that were grown in the lab, in order to teach it to'think like us'. In experiments at the University of Tokyo, the compact robotic vehicle on wheels, small enough to fit in a person's palm, was placed in a simple maze. The robot was connected to a culture of brain neurons, also known as nerve cells, that were grown from living cells. When these artificial neurons were electrically stimulated, the machine successfully reached its goal – a black circular box. A neuron, also known as nerve cell, is an electrically excitable cell that takes up, processes and transmits information through electrical and chemical signals.

Natural Interactive Techniques for the Detection and Assessment of Neurological Diseases

Communications of the ACM

Neurological diseases, such as cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease, have become the leading cause of death in China. Neurological function evaluation is crucial for the diagnosis and intervention of neurological diseases. Clinically, neurological function is evaluated by various scales, tests, and questionnaires. However, these methods rely on costly professional equipment and medical personnel. They cannot be used as a means of daily evaluation of neurological diseases.

Artificial intelligence sheds light on how the brain processes language


In the past few years, artificial intelligence models of language have become very good at certain tasks. Most notably, they excel at predicting the next word in a string of text; this technology helps search engines and texting apps predict the next word you are going to type. The most recent generation of predictive language models also appears to learn something about the underlying meaning of language. These models can not only predict the word that comes next, but also perform tasks that seem to require some degree of genuine understanding, such as question answering, document summarization, and story completion. Such models were designed to optimize performance for the specific function of predicting text, without attempting to mimic anything about how the human brain performs this task or understands language.

The human memory--facts and information

National Geographic

From the moment we are born, our brains are bombarded by an immense amount of information about ourselves and the world around us. So, how do we hold on to everything we've learned and experienced? Humans retain different types of memories for different lengths of time. We also have a working memory, which lets us keep something in our minds for a limited time by repeating it. Whenever you say a phone number to yourself over and over to remember it, you're using your working memory.

Paralysis patients get aid from AI startup


The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research has spun out a startup whose artificial-intelligence device could help paralyzed patients regain the use of their hands. Earlier this month, the startup, Neuvotion Inc., announced a $1.1 million funding round from the Long Island Angel Network and the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network based in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Darien, Connecticut, startup is in the process of transferring research developed in the laboratory of Chad Bouton, vice president of advanced engineering at the Feinstein Institutes, a unit of Northwell Health. Bouton also is founder of Neuvotion. The company's initial device, NeuStim, is worn as a patch on the patient's forearm and is being positioned for use in clinics and at home.

Scientists used a tiny brain implant to help a blind teacher see letters again

NPR Technology

Former science teacher Berna Gómez played a pivotal role in new research on restoring some sight to blind people. She is named as a co-author of the study that was published this week. Former science teacher Berna Gómez played a pivotal role in new research on restoring some sight to blind people. She is named as a co-author of the study that was published this week. A former science teacher who's been blind for 16 years became able to see letters, discern objects' edges -- and even play a Maggie Simpson video game -- thanks to a visual prosthesis that includes a camera and a brain implant, according to American and Spanish researchers who collaborated on the project.

Can AI Predict Behavior from Brain Activity?


A new neuroscience study backed with funding from Wellcome and the European Research Council demonstrates how an AI deep learning algorithm is able to predict behavior by decoding brain activity. "The neural code provides a complex, non-linear representation of stimuli, behaviors, and cognitive states," wrote scientists affiliated with the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, UCL, and other institutions in eLife. "Reading this code is one of the primary goals of neuroscience – promising to provide insights into the computations performed by neural circuits." The decoding of brain data from imaging and neural recordings is a complex, time-consuming undertaking that the study's scientists characterize as "a non-trivial problem, requiring strong prior knowledge about the variables encoded and, crucially, the form in which they are represented." In efforts to decipher the neural code, the researchers created a convolutional neural network (CNN) to predict behaviors or other co-recorded stimuli from minimally processed, wide-band neural data.

FDA Clears 5-Minute Test for Early Dementia


The US Food and Drug Administration has given marketing clearance to CognICA, an artificial intelligence–powered integrated cognitive assessment for the early detection of dementia. Developed by Cognetivity Neurosciences Ltd, CognICA is a 5-minute, computerized cognitive assessment that is completed using an iPad. The test offers several advantages over traditional pen-and-paper-based cognitive tests, the company said in a news release. "These include its high sensitivity to early-stage cognitive impairment, avoidance of cultural or educational bias and absence of learning effect upon repeat testing," the company notes. Because the test runs on a computer, it can support remote, self-administered testing at scale and is geared toward seamless integration with existing electronic health record systems, they add.