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Artificial Intelligence

Computers

New computer program wants to teach itself everything about any subject

Word-picture association is one of the basic mechanisms of human memory. As children, it helps us to learn language by verbalizing what we see, as adults it is an invaluable aid to visualizing broader concepts or perhaps helping those with an LBLD (Language-Based Learning Disability). Now researchers from the University of Washington and the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence have created the first fully automated computer program named LEVAN that teaches itself everything there is to know about a visual concept by associating words with images.Read More

Computers

Eugene Goostman chatbot claimed to have passed Turing Test

It might be time to start being nicer to your laptop, because researchers at the University of Reading are claiming that a supercomputer program has passed the Turing Test for the first time in history. On Saturday, at the Turing Test 2014 organized by the University of Reading’s School of Systems Engineering, the chatbot Eugene Goostman reportedly convinced the judges 33 percent of the time that it was a human being and not a computer. Read More

Good Thinking

Hi-tech glasses aim to assist the blind with directions and obstacle detection

Researchers from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) in Mexico have developed a pair of glasses that use a combination of ultrasound, GPS, stereoscopic vision and artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired to navigate their environment. The device, perhaps the most sophisticated of its kind, is slated to reach mass production early next year and will likely cost up to US$1,500.Read More

Robotics

Scientists try to teach robots morality

A group of researchers from Tufts University, Brown University and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are collaborating with the US Navy in a multi-year effort to explore how they might create robots endowed with their own sense of morality. If they are successful, they will create an artificial intelligence able to autonomously assess a difficult situation and then make complex ethical decisions that can override the rigid instructions it was given.Read More

Computers

IBM's Watson can now debate any topic

Watson, IBM's supercomputer made famous three years ago for beating the very best human opponents at a game of Jeopardy, now comes with an impressive new feature. When asked to discuss any topic, it can autonomously scan its knowledge database for relevant content, "understand" the data, and argue both for and against that topic.Read More

Electronics

"Neurogrid" circuit modeled on the human brain is the fastest, most energy efficient of its kind

A group of engineers at Stanford have developed an iPad-sized, highly power-efficient way of simulating a million neurons and billions of synapses for as low as US$400. The advancement could both help our understanding of the brain and help develop a new generation of bionic limbs that are controlled by the patient's brain in real time with no effort at all.Read More

Wearables

One Llama app alerts users to important sounds while wearing headphones

Let's be honest, walking around in a busy city with loud music blasting through a pair of headphones is not a safe thing to do. Still, that doesn't stop people from doing it every day. A startup called One Llama has just announced a new application that's designed to make that activity a little less dangerous. It constantly listens to background noise, and when it hears something that the user needs to know about, such as a car horn, it automatically mutes the music and alerts them. At least, that's the promise. Read More

Robotics

Researchers use arm sensors to improve robot control

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a system that makes a human-controlled robot more "intelligent," and improves the amount of control that a human user has over it. It incorporates a number of sensors that are placed on the user's arm to read muscle information, and help the robot to anticipate the user's intentions. The system has been developed to improve safety and efficiency in manufacturing plants. Read More

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