One myth I’d like to dispel is that you have to split a pet crow’s tongue to make it talk. First off, birds do not use their tongue the same way we do to make sound, in fact birds don’t even use their...
In 1843, at the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, a machine called The Eureka was exhibited. While playing 'God Save the Queen' and projecting a unique view from a kaleidoscope, it composed, seemingly one letter at a time, a brand new Latin poem which was grammatically and metrically correct. It was just one of many machines which were built throughout history to invent new works of visual art, music, and poetry. Programs like 'DeepDream' and 'A Neural Algorithm of Artistic Style' are fascinating new methods for a kind of mechanical imagination, but in some ways they are carrying on a tradition that has been going on since prehistoric times. This talk explores several of these historical attempts and how they differ from human art. It then covers how combining distributional semantic vector spaces with symbolic reasoning allows a new approach to automate understanding and artificial creativity, combining analogical reasoning with deductive reasoning.
Thanks!!! I'm finally getting up the guts to tackle the Mathieu groups, the Monster, and other sporadic finite groups. I want to figure out how this jigsaw puzzle fits together - before I get too old.
British surgeons have taken a “big step forward” towards curing the most common form of blindness by developing and successfully performing a ground breaking operation. Surgeons at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital carried out the first operation on a female patient with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), characterised by leaking blood vessels. They now believe that the same procedure could apply to dry AMD, which accounts for nine out of...
The oldest species of snakes still extant are all blind burrowers. This has led some herpetologists to speculate that all snakes evolved from blind burrowers. There's some intriguing evidence for this idea, because the eyes of snakes differ from all other vertebrates in interesting ways:
For instance, lizards focus their eyes by changing the shape of the lens, snakes instead move the lens forward and backward. Lizards typically have three eyelids, upper, lower and nictitating membrane. Snakes lack eyelids but the eye is instead covered by a spectacle, a transparent derivative that is fixed in position. In the retinas of diurnal lizards, distinct rods and cones are present, but in snakes, the “cones” seem to be modified rods that serve in colour perception.
The oilbird lives in Trinidad and northern South America. It is the only nocturnal fruit eating bird that flies (the kakapo parrot of New Zealand is a nocturnal fruit eater, but flightless). Like bats, they live in caves and navigate using echolocation; instead of squeaking, they make clicking noises that are audible to humans.
Oilbirds are named for their ability to extract 80% of the lipids from the fruit they eat; the fledglings grow to be 1.5 times as heavy as the adults and carry a large store of oil. The natives of the region would take poles and knock fledglings off their ledges to get oil for torches.
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