DARPA Funds Brain-Machine Interface Program

Posted by Peter Rudin on 31. May 2019 in News No Comments

DARPA’s Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program has awarded funding attempting to build brain-machine interfaces that match the performance of implanted electrodes but with no surgery whatsoever.

By simply popping on a helmet or headset, soldiers could conceivably command control centers without touching a keyboard and fly drones intuitively with a thought. While the tech sounds futuristic, DARPA wants to get it done in four years.

Though a DARPA spokesperson declined to comment on the amount of funding, two of the winning teams are reporting eye-popping grants of $19.48 million and $18 million.

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Neuroscience applied to test Customer Acceptance

Posted by Peter Rudin on 17. May 2019 in News No Comments

One big question is how businesses, willing to go ahead with new opportunities, can uncover greater insights into their initiatives and then use these insights to move forward confidently.

Applied neuroscience is best described as the use of neuroscience tools to measure and understand human behavior.

Using high-resolution EEG headsets and eye trackers, an IKEA team tested potential customers to understand their reactions to a new business model offering solar panels that would enable customers to generate their own renewable energy.

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Can We Stop AI from Outsmarting Humanity?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 3. May 2019 in News No Comments

The spectrum of super-intelligent machines doing us harm is not just science fiction, some technologists say.

Jaan Tallinn, an Estonian programmer and investor known for his participation in the development of Skype, strongly promotes the study of existential risk and financially supports a number of institutions engaged in this field. 

His main worries are related to artificial intelligence, unknowns coming from technological development, and biological risk. He believes humanity is not spending enough resources on long-term planning and mitigating threats that could wipe us out as a species.

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UK Businesses using AI to Monitor Staff Activity

Posted by Peter Rudin on 19. April 2019 in News No Comments

Dozens of UK business owners are using AI to scrutinize staff behavior minute-to-minute by harvesting data on who emails whom and when, who accesses and edits what files and who meets whom and when.

Critics say such systems risk to increase pressure on workers who fear the judgment of the algorithm, and that it could encourage people not to take breaks or spend time in creative thought that will not be logged.

“People are considered not to be working if they take their hands off the keyboard for five minutes. But they could be thinking, and that doesn’t get measured. What is this doing for innovation?”  says Ursula Huws, a professor at the University of Hertfordshire.

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What Would It Mean for AI to Become Conscious?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 5. April 2019 in News No Comments

Futurist Ray Kurzweil famously predicted that “By 2029, computers will have emotional intelligence and be convincing as people.”

To be clear, we’re nowhere near machines achieving artificial general intelligence or consciousness, and whether a “conscious machine” is possible—not to mention necessary or desirable—is still very much up for debate

Much of the brain’s inner workings remain a deep, dark mystery—one that will have to be further solved if we’re ever to get from narrow AI to artificial general intelligence, or systems that possess the same intelligence level and learning capabilities as humans.

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Free Will in an Algorithmic World

Posted by Peter Rudin on 22. March 2019 in News No Comments

Look around you and ask what drives your product, media, and people choices. Unless you are a tech Luddite, algorithms are silently rearranging your life.

The conventional narrative is that algorithms will make faster and better decisions for all of us, leaving us with more time for family and leisure. But the reality isn’t so simple.

In this brave new world, many of our choices are in fact predestined, and all the seemingly small effects that algorithms have on our decisions add up to a transformative impact on our lives. While we might feel as if we are making our own choices, we’re often nudged or even tricked into making them.

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Will AI Ever Be Smarter Than A Four-Year-Old?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 8. March 2019 in News No Comments

The most sophisticated AIs are still far from being able to solve problems that human four-year-olds accomplish with ease. Despite the impressive name, artificial intelligence largely consists of techniques to detect statistical patterns in large data sets. There is much more to human learning. Children are active learners; they don’t just passively soak up data like AIs do.

Four-year-olds can immediately recognize cats and understand words, but they can also make creative and surprising new inferences that go far beyond their experience. Looking at what children do, building curiosity into machines and allowing them to actively interact with the world might be a route to more realistic and wide-range learning to advance AI.

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Are Cyborg Warriors a Good Idea?

Posted by Peter Rudin on 22. February 2019 in News No Comments

Pentagon’s think tank, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is funding efforts to create technologies that result in “merging minds and machines.” The most dramatic are brain chips, arrays of electrodes that, when implanted in the brain, can receive electrical signals from and send them to neural tissue, aimed at creating neurally “enhanced” soldiers.

In principle, brain chips could boost soldiers’ cognitive and physical functions. Soldiers could control complex weapons systems with their thoughts, communicate telepathically with other soldiers and upload large databases instantly. In principle, minds containing brain chips can also be read and controlled by others.

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Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech

Posted by Peter Rudin on 8. February 2019 in News No Comments

Decades of research has shown that when people speak — or even imagine speaking — telltale patterns of activity appear in their brain. Experts, trying to record and decode these patterns, see a future in which thoughts need not remain hidden inside the brain — but instead could be translated into verbal speech at will.

In a scientific first, neuro-engineers at Columbia University, N.Y. have created a system that translates thought into intelligible, recognizable speech. This breakthrough, which harnesses the power of speech synthesizers and artificial intelligence, could lead to new ways for computers to communicate directly with the brain.

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The Rise of a New Generation of AI Avatars

Posted by Peter Rudin on 25. January 2019 in News No Comments

The intelligence of digital humans comes from the innovative process that uses neural networks to combine biologically inspired models of the human brain and key sensory networks. Together they create a virtual central nervous system called the Human Computing Engine™. The result is an emotionally responsive, artificial human with personality and character that allows machines to talk to humans face-to-face.

Digital DNA™, a new product of Soul Machines, allows to create a completely new digital human in minutes versus the months it previously took.

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