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Posts Tagged ‘Scientific American’

A Vision of AI for Joyful Education

Posted by hkarner - 29. Februar 2020

Date: 28‑02‑2020

Source: Scientific American By Chris Piech, Lisa Einstein

Here’s how we can avert the dangers and maximize the benefits of this powerful but still emerging technology

In a 2013 post, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sketched out a “rough plan” to provide free, basic internet to the world and thus spread opportunity and interconnection. However, the United Nations Human Rights Council reported that, in Myanmar, Facebook’s efforts to follow through on such aspirations accelerated hate speech, fomented division, and incited offline violence in the Rohingya genocide. Free, basic internet now serves as a warning of the complexities of technological impact on society. For Chris, an AI researcher in education, and Lisa, a science educator and student of international cyber policy, this example gives pause: What unintended consequences could AI in education have?

Many look to AI‑powered tools to address the need to scale high‑quality education and with good reason. A surge in educational content from online courses, expanded access to digital devices, and the contemporary renaissance in AI seem to provide the pieces necessary to deliver personalized learning at scale. However, technology has a poor track record for solving social issues without creating unintended harm. What negative effects can we predict, and how can we refine the objectives of AI researchers to account for such unintended consequences? Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Like It or Not, Automation Is Coming: We should embrace its benefits

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2020

Date: 25‑01‑2020

Source: Scientific American By Erica Jedynak, Taylor Barkley

Like It or Not, Automation Is Coming

More than a century ago, the great composer John Philip Sousa worried about the future of his profession. He feared that a new invention, the record player, would render obsolete “the ennobling discipline of learning music,” putting professional musicians out of work. Sousa’s works have stood the test of time, but judging by the hundreds of music schools and tens of thousands of full and part‑time musicians in America, his prediction has not.

Fear of technological progress is as old as technology itself, especially when it comes to its effect on employment. That is exactly what we are now seeing with automation, which is being described as a threat to the well‑being of Americans. We also hear warnings of millions of workers in the retail, call‑center, fast‑food and trucking industries getting kicked to the curb. More ominously, we are told of possible mass riots, leading to violent deaths and widespread destruction of property.  To ward off this impending social upheaval, some have proposed that the government guarantee everyone over 18 an income, whether they lose their job or not. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Watch Out for These Science Events in 2020

Posted by hkarner - 3. Januar 2020

Date: 31‑12‑2019

Source: Scientific American By Davide Castelvecchi, Nature

A Mars invasion, a climate meeting and human–animal hybrids are set to shape the research agenda

2020 will see a veritable Mars invasion as several spacecraft, including three landers, head to the red planet. NASA will launch its Mars 2020 rover, which will stash rock samples that will be returned to Earth in a future mission and will also feature a small, detachable helicopter drone. China will send its first lander to Mars, Huoxing‑1, which will deploy a small rover. A Russian spacecraft will deliver a European Space Agency (ESA) rover to the red planet — if issues with the landing parachute can be resolved. And the United Arab Emirates will send an orbiter, in the first Mars mission by an Arab country.

Closer to home, China is planning to send the Chang’e‑5 sample‑return mission to the Moon. And elsewhere in the Solar System, Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission is due to return samples of the asteroid Ryugu to Earth, and NASA’s OSIRIS‑REx will bite off a chunk of its own asteroid, Bennu.

BIG SKY, BIG DATA Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Top 10 Emerging Technologies Of 2019

Posted by hkarner - 20. November 2019

Date: 20-11-2019
Source: Scientific American

World-changing technologies that are poised to rattle the status quo

One day soon an emerging technology highlighted in this report will allow you to virtually teleport to a distant site and actually feel the handshakes and hugs of fellow cyber travelers. Also close to becoming commonplace: humanoid (and animaloid) robots designed to socialize with people; a system for pinpointing the source of a food-poisoning outbreak in just seconds; minuscule lenses that will pave the way for diminutive cameras and other devices; strong, biodegradable plastics that can be fashioned from otherwise useless plant wastes; DNA-based data-storage systems that will reliably stow ginormous amounts of information; and more.

Together with the World Economic Forum, Scientific American convened an international Steering Group of leading technology experts and engaged in an intense process to identify this year’s “Top 10 Emerging Technologies.” After soliciting nominations from additional experts around the globe, the Steering Group evaluated dozens of proposals according to a number of criteria: Do the suggested technologies have the potential to provide major benefits to societies and economies? Could they alter established ways of doing things? Are they still in early stages of development but attracting a lot of interest from research labs, companies or investors? Are they likely to make significant inroads in the next several years? The group sought more information where needed and honed the list in four virtual meetings. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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AI Doesn’t Actually Exist Yet

Posted by hkarner - 14. November 2019

Date: 13-11-2019
Source: Scientific American By Max Simkoff, Andy Mahdavi

Many businesses claim they’re using it, but they’re kidding themselves—and they’re kidding you, too

During the past few years, all kinds of businesses have begun using what they call “artificial intelligence.” One international survey said 37 percent of organizations have, as a press release put it, “implemented AI in some form.” A different survey, looking at U.S. businesses, put the figure at 61 percent. A third, focused on the U.S. and the U.K., said, in the words of another press release, a whopping “77% have implemented some AI-related technologies in the workplace.”

The numbers don’t differ based on geography alone. They highlight a problem facing any discussion about AI: Few people agree on what it is.

Working in this space, we believe all such discussions are premature. In fact, artificial intelligence for business doesn’t really exist yet. To paraphrase Mark Twain (or rather a common misquote of what Twain actually said), reports of AI’s birth have been greatly exaggerated. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Creativity and AI: The Next Step

Posted by hkarner - 4. Oktober 2019

Date: 03-10-2019
Source: Scientific American By Arthur I. Miller

Combining two types of machine intelligence could open new frontiers of art

In 1997 IBM’s Deep Blue famously defeated chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov after a titanic battle. It had actually lost to him the previous year, though he conceded that it seemed to possess “a weird kind of intelligence.” To play Kasparov, Deep Blue had been pre-programmed with intricate software, including an extensive playbook with moves for openings, middle game and endgame.

Twenty years later, in 2017, Google unleashed AlphaGo Zero which, unlike Deep Blue, was entirely self-taught. It was given only the basic rules of the far more difficult game of Gogo, without any sample games to study, and worked out all its strategies from scratch by playing millions of times against itself. This freed it to think in its own way. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Despite What You Might Think, Major Technological Changes Are Coming More Slowly Than They Once Did

Posted by hkarner - 15. August 2019

Date: 14-08-2019
Source: Scientific American By Wade Roush

Major technological shifts are fewer and farther between than they once were

On June 22, 1927, Charles Lindbergh flew into Dayton, Ohio, for dinner at Orville Wright’s house. It had been just a month since the young aviator’s first ever solo nonstop crossing of the Atlantic, and he felt he ought to pay his respects to the celebrated pioneer of flight.

Forty-two years later, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong was allowed to bring a personal guest to the Kennedy Space Center to witness the launch of NASA’s towering Saturn V rocket. Armstrong invited his hero, Charles Lindbergh.

That’s how fast technology advanced in the 20th century. One man, Lindbergh, could be the living link between the pilot of the first powered flight and the commander of the first mission to another world.

In our century, for better or worse, progress isn’t what it used to be. Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon argues that by 1970, all the key technologies of modern life were in place: sanitation, electricity, mechanized agriculture, highways, air travel, telecommunications, and the like. After that, innovation and economic growth simply couldn’t keep going at the breakneck pace set over the preceding 100 years—a period Gordon calls “the special century.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use

Posted by hkarner - 6. August 2019

Date: 06-08-2019
Source: Scientific American By James DeGregori, Robert Gatenby

Principles of evolution and natural selection drive a radical new approach to drugs and prevention strategies

IN BRIEF

  • Medical efforts to defeat cancer typically focus on malignant mutations within a cell and administer large doses of toxic drugs in an attempt to eradicate the disease.
  • A new concept emphasizes that cancer growth is stimulated by changes outside the cell, alterations in the surrounding tissue that accelerate the evolution of cancerous traits.
  • The evolutionary approach, tested in animals and humans with advanced prostate cancer, sharply limits the natural selection of cancer cells through a more judicious use of chemotherapy.

This year at least 31,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of their body, such as bones and lymph nodes. Most of them will be treated by highly skilled and experienced oncologists, who have access to 52 drugs approved to treat this condition. Yet eventually more than three quarters of these men will succumb to their illness. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Wall Street Became a Cult of Risk

Posted by hkarner - 21. Juni 2019

Date: 20-06-2019
Source: Scientific American By Gillian Tett

What caused the global financial crisis? And how can the United States avoid a repeat? Those questions have sparked endless handwringing among economists, policymakers, financiers, and voters over the last decade. Little wonder: the crisis not only entailed the worst financial shock and recession in the United States since 1929; it also shook the country’s global reputation for financial competence.

Before the crisis, Wall Street seemed to epitomize the best of twenty-first-century finance. The United States had the most vibrant capital markets in the world. It was home to some of the most profitable banks; in 2006 and early 2007, Goldman Sachs’ return on equity topped an eye-popping 30 percent. American financiers were unleashing dazzling innovations that carried newfangled names such as “collateralized debt obligations,” or CDOs. The financiers insisted that these innovations could make finance not only more effective but safer, too. Indeed, Wall Street seemed so preeminent that in 2003, when I published a book about the Japanese banking crisis, Saving the Sun, I presumed that one of the ways to “fix” Japanese finance was to make it more American. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Tech Offers a Virtual Window into Future Climate Change Risk

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2019

Date: 24-04-2019
Source: Scientific American

AI and supercomputing are rapidly shifting the way disaster planners, regulators and insurers gauge climate hazards

Accurately predicting the on-the-ground impacts of climate change remains one of the thorniest challenges facing scientists, regulators, planners and insurers.

But as climate disasters occur with alarming frequency, experts are relying more heavily on predictive technologies that leverage supercomputing and artificial intelligence to identify the where, how and why of climate impacts.

Known as “climate risk analytics,” the delivery of data-based predictive information about risks associated with wind, floods, fires, droughts and other climate disasters is rapidly proliferating, according to experts. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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