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Wayne Radinsky
17,676 followers -
Software Design Engineer
Software Design Engineer

17,676 followers
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A new mathematical model of evolution says aging is not inherent, it's genetic, and the prospect of extending lifespans dramatically is a reasonable conclusion. "Spatial heterogeneity of limiting resources and self-organizing population structures result in robust selection for lifespan limitation,' they write in the paper. In other words: combine limited resources and fierce competition in a given region with a population fighting for survival, and it results in shorter lifespans. 'In our model, intrinsic mortality leaves resources for descendants, which are more likely to be found in the same local region, increasing long-term strain success.'"

"That means, in other words, that when resources are scarce, a species as a whole has a better shot at surviving if its populations are organizing themselves to promote long term survival with shorter individual lifespans. They are evolving to combat overpopulation and overconsumption, basically."

"That of course includes humans." "We have, after all, inherited a lifespan from times when our forebears were eking out an existence as scrappy hunter gatherers."

"There is no reason that the scale of lifespan we see is the same as any fundamental limit. We already have examples of mutations that extend life by 5 or 10 fold in nematodes, and there are animals that have no apparent aging."

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Drones vs chubby Siberian tigers. Chasing the drone was supposed to give them exercise but they knocked it out of the sky and tore it up instead. This was in a protective tiger park in Heilongjiang Province, northeast China.

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MIT grad student Evan Ward casually remarked, "What if we try this?" before making a small change to a robotic device that will result in nearly 50 million jobs being made expendable over the next two decades, according to The Onion.

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A machine learning algorithm that writes software. "DeepCoder starts small. It uses small snippets of code, only a few lines each, written in a custom, DSL (domain-specific language) to make it easier to analyze the input and output of each snippet. The better a match each snippet is to solving a particular problem, the more likely it'll end up as part of the solution. Over time, and with training on new code snippets, DeepCoder's speed and accuracy improves."

"The paper describes this approach as 'recasting the problem [of building systems that can write computer programs] as a big data problem.' It's reminiscent of how machine learning experts have tackled problems like language translation: Give a computer a big enough body of the same text in two languages, and you can generate statistical models for how each language maps to the other in order to translate between the two. Likewise, if you provide a large enough body of data about how software behaves, it's theoretically possible to make inferences about what pieces would be needed to make data behave a certain way. Promising as all this sounds, it's currently very limited."

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A neural network can age faces and make them look younger, too. "A couple of recent developments have made their task easier. In recent years, computer scientists have built deep-learning machines that are able to modify faces in various different but realistic ways. This approach can create realistic synthetic faces that look older. However, there is a problem. In making faces look older, these deep-learning machines often lose the person's identity in the process. So the individual looks older but can no longer be identified."

This was solved with a generative adversarial network, which is actually two neural networks working in opposition -- one generates faces, and the other discards images where the original identity can still be picked out.

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edges2cats turns line drawings into nightmarish catlike images.

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"China's National Development and Reform Commission, a government agency tasked with planning economic and social strategies, will fund search giant Baidu's development of a national deep-learning research lab, according to a post on Baidu's Chinese WeChat account. The amount of funding was not disclosed, but Beijing-based Baidu will work with Tsinghua and Beihang universities, as well as other research Chinese institutions."

"The laboratory won't be a physical structure, but instead a digital network of researchers working on problems from their respective locations, according to the South Morning China Post. The research will focus on computer vision, biometric identification, intellectual property rights, and human-computer interaction."

"Although America is not mentioned in the company's post, Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng has been vocal about China's accelerated AI growth compared to the US."

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Seven Earth-size planets have been found around a single star. "Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water."

The planets are orbiting a tiny, cold dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1 about 40 light-years from here, and were found by the Spitzer space telescope.

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The geographic location of a quarter billion images from news articles have been determined from the images alone (no geotags) using machine learning. It's part of the Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) project. "One might naturally ask why visual geocoding is required when modern images typically contain a wealth of embedded information via hidden metadata fields like EXIF. The answer is that when looking globally, just 0.26% of contemporary news images contain GPS coordinates and when processing historical images, such as from library archives, none of the imagery contains such enrichments. Image captions are also far less useful than one might expect when it comes to identifying location. Photographs appearing in news coverage may not contain a caption at all (and those appearing in library archives typically do not), while for those images that do have captions, often the captions describe the contents of the image but do not offer insights as to its location."

"Over the course of 2016 the GDELT Project processed more than 234 million images from online news outlets throughout the world through the Google Cloud Vision API, generating more than 1.8TB of JSON data describing them in detail. Of those quarter billion images, the Vision API flagged 3,468,424 of them (1.5%) as depicting a precise geographic location it was able to confidently identify, featuring 101,090 distinct locations on earth."

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Google Cloud Platform has just made GPUs, specifically Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs, available for machine learning. "You can now spin up NVIDIA GPU-based VMs in three GCP regions: us-east1, asia-east1 and europe-west1, using the gcloud command-line tool. Support for creating GPU VMs using the Cloud Console appears next week. If you need extra computational power for deep learning, you can attach up to eight GPUs (4 K80 boards) to any custom Google Compute Engine virtual machine."
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