Author: Peter Rudin

Device brings Silicon Computing Power to Brain Research

Posted by Peter Rudin on 3. April 2020 in News No Comments

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new device for connecting the brain directly to silicon-based technologies. While brain-machine interface devices already exist, this latest device can record more data while being less intrusive than existing options.

“Electrical activity is one of the highest-resolution ways of looking at brain activity,” said Nick Melosh, professor at Stanford and co-senior author of the paper. “With this microwire array, we can see what’s happening on the single-neuron level.”

If applied broadly, this technology will greatly excel our understanding of brain function in health and disease states.

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From the Corona Pandemic to Machine Viruses

Posted by Peter Rudin on 27. March 2020 in Essay 1 Comment

We have the means to uncover the start of a pandemic like never possible before. Personal tracking data (GPS) coupled with body sensor information (body temperature, heart rate, brain activity etc.) provide potential disease-status-information in real-time which can be processed by powerful service centers.

The existing threat of machine viruses, personal data theft, extortion with ransomware or the distribution of fake-information is likely to pose a threat as serious as global pandemics.

While biotechnology stands a good chance to keep future pandemics in check, punishment and imprisonment of cyber-criminals is a must to assure future prosperity and human wellbeing.

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From Mad Cows to the Coronavirus in 30 Years

Posted by Peter Rudin on 20. March 2020 in News No Comments

The BSE Mad Cow disease marked, what one expert later called, “an unprecedented breakdown of communication between British citizens and their public institutions.”

About 30 years later a majority of Americans (53%) recently told a YouGov poll that they do not trust Trump to tell the truth about the Corona virus.

But the lack of trust in the government is only one side of the equation: As the Trump administration first stalled, then blamed, then lied, and then doubled back on itself when faced with the imminence of the pandemic, both institutions and activist networks at the grassroots of American society have now begun to engage their skills and resources to battle the crisis.

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AI as Tool to Fight the Coronavirus

Posted by Peter Rudin on 13. March 2020 in News No Comments

As governments and health organizations scramble to contain the spread of coronavirus, they need all the help they can get, including from artificial intelligence.

Though current AI technologies are far from replicating human intelligence, they are proving to be very helpful in tracking the outbreak, diagnosing patients, disinfecting areas, and speeding up the process of finding a cure for COVID-19.

DeepMind, the AI research lab, recently declared that it has used deep learning to find new information about the structure of proteins associated with COVID-19. Every day saved in finding the coronavirus vaccine can save hundreds—or thousands—of lives.

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Can AI + Neuroscience Decode the Human Brain?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 6. March 2020 in Essay No Comments

There are several theoretical approaches to brain functions, including one to the most mysterious thing the human brain can do – producing consciousness. But so far none of these theories are widely accepted, and none has yet passed the decisive test of experimental investigation.

The implications of machine intelligence, for the process of doing science and for the philosophy of science, can be immense. With predictions obtained by methods that no human can understand, can we deny that machines have better knowledge?

If prediction is in fact one of the primary goals of science, how should we modify the scientific method and the algorithms that for centuries have allowed us to identify errors and correct them?

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IBI: A Global Partnership to Decode the Brain

Posted by Peter Rudin on 28. February 2020 in News No Comments

First envisioned through a series of discussions on the “grand challenges” in neuroscience, the International Brain Initiative (IBI) has now been established to coordinate efforts across existing and emerging national and regional brain initiatives.

Next to brain-health issues, the IBI seeks to promote understanding the human brain and its massive computational and information storage capacities with the goal of unlocking the mechanisms underlying cognition, emotion, and creativity.

The IBI provides a platform for exploring new models of international collaboration between scientists, private and public funding bodies, industry partners, and government-related agencies.

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Can AI match Human Creativity?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 21. February 2020 in Essay 2 Comments

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangible (such as an idea, a scientific theory or a musical composition) or a physical object (such as a robot or a painting).

Most of the things we use every day are inventions that no single human being could ever design within her lifetime. Rather than the product of individual innovators, these inventions can be thought of as the product of our societies.

Ceding social authority to machines, we will be treating the achievements of mathematics as if they required no human understanding at all. We will be taking one of our highest forms of creativity and intelligence and reducing it to a single bit of information: yes or no.

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Predict Depression Using Your Phone

Posted by Peter Rudin on 14. February 2020 in News No Comments

Although the first anti-depressants were developed more than 70 years ago based on brain chemistry, we still don’t really understand the disease. Some people get better; many don’t.

To Silicon Valley, the answer to solving depression is data. After all, most anti-depressant trials only recruit up to thousands of people. With digital health, anyone with a wrist wearable or smartphone could potentially contribute in the largest studies ever attempted by mankind.

Will the data one day be used in a dystopian-like society, where insurance companies track their customers’ mental health status or people receive unwanted ads tailored to mood downswings?

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From Gutenberg to Machine Intelligence and Beyond

Posted by Peter Rudin on 7. February 2020 in Essay 1 Comment

What happens when machines with human-level AI become reality? To answer this question, it becomes obvious that our values must be implemented in AI-technology to reach the objective of advancing humanity beyond the prevailing knowledge and communication culture.

Humanity has gone through cultural shifts before. Considering the timeline documented by this essay, it is obvious that the cultural shift towards human-level AI happens exponentially, raising many issues as to how individuals can be motivated to adapt.

Mastering this challenge will set free human creativity, drawing on the fact that humans are more than just containers of intelligence.

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Why startups are raising millions to build AI avatars!

Posted by Peter Rudin on 31. January 2020 in News No Comments

The race to build lifelike digital avatars has become serious business. Earlier this month, Soul Machines raised $40 million in a Series B round.

At stake is the ability to replace (or at least replicate) the work of actual people on a grand scale. If you believe this future is inevitable as many of these companies do, now’s the time to start showing off what it might look like, even if the results are far from perfect.

The human face, with all of its many complexities, remains the ideal surface on which to flex one’s AI animation muscle, which may explain why so many digital humans are now emerging.

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