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The deep sea discoveries of 2020 are stunning

Mashable

This spring, in a canyon over 2,000 feet beneath the Indian Ocean surface, a robot happened upon a fantastical, coiled creature. This siphonophore, found laying like loosely piled rope on the seabed, might be the longest animal ever discovered. The discovery, made by scientists aboard the R/V Falkor, a vessel operated by the marine research organization the Schmidt Ocean Institute, was one of many unique sightings in, or newly published research about, the deep sea this year. The worst pandemic in a century may have canceled many marine expeditions, but discoveries in the ocean deep -- abetted by robotic explorers -- continued apace in 2020. Marine scientists candidly admit humanity has "barely scratched the surface" of what transpires in the ocean's "twilight zone," a place extending some 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface.


AI Helped Uncover Chinese Boats Hiding in North Korean Waters

WIRED

Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters--while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. This story originally appeared on WIRED UK. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons--close to half a billion dollars' worth--of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests.


Huge fleets of Chinese boats have been hiding in North Korean waters

#artificialintelligence

Huge fleets of Chinese fishing boats have been caught stealthily operating in North Korean waters – while having their tracking systems turned off. The potentially illegal fishing operation was revealed through a combination of artificial intelligence, radar and satellite data. A study published today in the journal Science Advances details how more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin (over 900 in 2017 and over 700 in 2018) likely caught more than 160,000 metric tons --close to half a billion dollars' worth -- of Pacific flying squid over two years. This may be in violation of United Nations sanctions, which began restricting North Korea from foreign fishing in September 2017 following the country's ballistic missile tests. Illegal fishing threatens fish stocks and maritime ecosystem, and can also jeopardise food security for legitimate fishers.


Hundreds of illegal Chinese fishing vessels spotted near North Korea

New Scientist

Satellite imaging has revealed hundreds of vessels from China fishing off the coast of North Korea, violating UN resolutions prohibiting such activity in the largest known case of vessels from one country operating unlawfully in another country's waters. More than 800 vessels were seen in 2019, say researchers at the non-profit Global Fishing Watch, who traced the boats to Chinese ports and waters. A similar number were seen in 2017 and 2018. They estimate that the vessels, about a third of China's long-range fishing fleet, caught more than 160,000 tonnes of flying squid, rivalling the Japanese and South Korean total. Stocks of the squid, the main commercially fished species in the area, have declined dramatically in recent years.


r/proceduralgeneration - Procedurally generated squids learning to swim with evolved neural networks

#artificialintelligence

The squids in this simulation consist of a body an a number of connected tentacles controlled by a neural network. The agents get a higher score by eating, and at the end of a generation the best squids are copied and mutated to form a new generation. This clip shows squids after a few hundred generations of evolution. Organs like eyes and touch sensors will be added soon. I'll post updates on my twitter as the project progresses.


Integrating Deep Learning With clojure.spec - Squid's Blog

#artificialintelligence

It also provides a generative aspect that allows for robust testing as well as an additional way to understand your data through manual inspection. The dual nature of validation and generation is a natural fit for deep learning models that consist of paired discriminator/generator models. TLDR: In this post we show that you can leverage the dual nature of clojure.spec's A common use of clojure.spec is at the boundaries to validate that incoming data is indeed in the expected form. Again, this is boundary is a fitting place to integrate models for the deep learning paradigm and our traditional software code.


5 free apps to supercharge your memory

#artificialintelligence

Thankfully, we've got technology on our side. A nearly endless parade of tools can not only help us remember things, but even get our brains working a bit more efficiently in general. Here are some free apps to help you ramp up your recall. Sometimes the best apps are the ones you already have. Both Android and Apple devices feature quick ways to set reminders for yourself, whether that means leveraging Siri, Google Assistant, or some other AI-powered helper.


NOAA reveals the weirdest creatures found off the Southeast US

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The NOAA's Okeanos Explorer wrapped up its mission to investigate the poorly understood waters off the southeast US last week, revealing a stunning glimpse into life thousands of feet beneath the surface. From the adorable wide-eyed'deep sea dumpling' to the ferocious-looking lizardfish, scientists operating a remote vehicle stumbled upon all sorts of beautiful and unusual creatures during the 17 'Windows to the Deep' dives. The mission came to a close on July 2 after more than a month mapping and observing the US Southeast Continental Margin, which stretches from Florida to North Carolina. On July 1, the last day of the dive, the researchers caught a glimpse of the eerie lizardfish at around 1,771 meters (5,810 feet) deep. Dives kicked off on May 22, beginning a two-part ocean exploration mission in the deepwater areas off the southeast, which is said to contain'some of the least explored areas' of the East Coast.


Squid Communicate With a Secret, Skin-Powered Alphabet

WIRED

Squid and their cephalopod brethren have been the inspiration for many a science fiction creature. Their slippery appendages, huge proportions, and inking abilities can be downright shudder-inducing. But you should probably be more concerned by the cephalopod's huge brain--which not only helps it solve tricky puzzles, but also lets it converse in its own sign language. But it's not that: Certain kinds of squid send messages by manipulating the color of their skin. "Their body patterning is fantastic, fabulous," says Chuan-Chin Chiao, a neuroscientist at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan.


The Consuming Fervor of "Arrival"

The New Yorker

When aliens come, how will they get here? Well, unless they are sly infiltrators of the flesh, they will probably go for the kind of boastful, get-a-load-of-us craft that was immortalized by Douglas Adams in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." He wrote, "The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't." That was true of "Independence Day," and it is doubly true of "Arrival," in which a dozen mountainous ovoids--charcoal gray and rough to the touch, like a pumice stone--show up at various locations around Earth. Rather than land, the vessels suspend themselves in dignified fashion, with their tips facing downward and not quite touching the ground.