Scientists Put a Worm Brain in a Lego Robot Body – And It Worked

Posted Posted in AI, NEWS


The brainwaves of a parasitic roundworm drove a Lego robot.

The brain is really little more than a collection of electrical signals. If we can learn to catalogue those then, in theory, you could upload someone’s mind into a computer, allowing them to live forever as a digital form of consciousness, just like in the Johnny Depp film Transcendence.

But it’s not just science fiction. Sure, scientists aren’t anywhere near close to achieving such a feat with humans (and even if they could, the ethics would be pretty fraught), but there’s few better examples than the time an international team of researchers managed to do just that with the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans.

C. elegans is a little nematodes that have been extensively studied by scientists – we know all their genes and their nervous system has been analysed many times.

Russia a ‘risk’ to undersea cables, defence chief warns

Posted Posted in NEWS, Security


The UK’s most senior military officer has warned of a new threat posed by Russia to communications and internet cables that run under the sea.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, the chief of the defence staff, said Britain and Nato needed to prioritise protecting the lines of communication.

He said it would “immediately and potentially catastrophically” hit the economy if they were cut or disrupted.

The cables criss-cross the seabed, connecting up countries and continents.

The world’s submarine network comprises an estimated 213 independent cable systems and 545,018 miles (877,121 km) of fibre, according to a recent report for the Policy Exchange think tank.

NASA planning interstellar mission for 2069

Posted Posted in NEWS


Mankind hasn’t yet explored some of the most interesting objects in our own solar system — heck, we still don’t even know all that much about Earth itself — but that isn’t stopping NASA from setting its sights at a destination so distant that it would take decades for a spacecraft to even get there. A tentative mission is currently being outlined that would see NASA send a spacecraft on an interstellar mission to explore the Alpha Centauri system.

The proposed journey, which was revealed by scientists with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the 2017 Geophysical Union Conference and reported by New Scientist, was born out of a budget mandate to make progress on interstellar travel. Now, NASA is working on technology that, if all goes as planned, could allow a spacecraft to reach ten percent of light speed and the goal is to have it ready by 2069 with Alpha Centauri in its sights.

アマゾンジャパンに措置命令=二重価格で割安見せ掛け-消費者庁

Posted Posted in NEWS


 不当な二重価格表示をしたとして、消費者庁は27日、ネット通販大手「アマゾンジャパン」(東京都目黒区)に対して、景品表示法違反(有利誤認)で再発防止を求める措置命令を出した。

 消費者庁によると、同社はウェブサイトの商品ページで、メーカー小売価格より高かったり根拠がなかったりする金額を「参考価格」として掲載。実際の販売価格との差を大きくすることで、割引率が高いように見せ掛けていた。
違反認定したのは、2014年10月~17年7月にかけて参考価格を表示していたクリアホルダーや甘酒など5商品。販売価格が600円程度の甘酒の参考価格を3780円と表示するなどしていた。
アマゾンのウェブサイトでは、一つの商品に対し同社を含めた複数の業者が出品していることがある。参考価格はそれぞれの出品者が入力しているが、アマゾンはこれが正確かどうかのチェックを怠っていたという。

iQOS、臨床試験に科学者が問題点を指摘

Posted Posted in Medical Care, NEWS

米食品医薬品局(FDA)は、フィリップモリスインターナショナル(PMI)(PM.N)が開発し先駆的な商品となる可能性のある加熱式たばこ製品の発売を承認するかどうか検討を行っている。結論は来年にも出るとみられるが、同社の元社員や契約者など関係者はロイターの取材に対し、FDAへの申請の根拠となっている臨床試験にいくつかの不備があったと指摘している。

「iQOS(アイコス)」というこの製品は、たばこを燃焼させず加熱することによって、従来のたばこと比べ発がん性物質のレベルや有害物質を低減することができるとしている。同社はiQOSなどの新たなたばこ製品の開発に、すでに30億ドル以上を投じてきた。その一環として、臨床試験に基づくものなど科学的な検証結果を公表している。

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Artificial intelligence will detect child abuse images to save police from trauma

Posted Posted in AI, Development, NEWS


Artificial intelligence will take on the gruelling task of scanning for images of child abuse on suspects’ phones and computers so that police officers are no longer subjected to psychological trauma within “two to three years”.

The Metropolitan Police’s digital forensics department, which last year trawled through 53,000 different devices for incriminating evidence, already uses image recognition software but it is not sophisticated enough to spot indecent images and video, Mark Stokes, the Met’s head of digital and electronics forensics, told the Telegraph.

“We have to grade indecent images for different sentencing, and that has to be done by human beings right now, but machine learning takes that away from humans,” he said.

Kaspersky sues DHS over federal blacklist

Posted Posted in NEWS, Security


“It failed to satisfy even the minimum standards of due process.”

Kaspersky Labs, the embattled security vendor, has sued the Department of Homeland Security on Monday. The company alleges that, because the agency essentially blacklisted Kaspersky in September over its alleged links to the Russian government, it has unduly suffered as a result.
Specifically, Kaspersky says that, due to the way DHS’ Binding Operational Directive (BOD) was issued, the company didn’t have adequate time to respond to the government’s concerns, which immediately had a deleterious effect on its business.

Ubuntu 17.10 Temporarily Pulled Due To A BIOS Corrupting Problem

Posted Posted in Development, NEWS


Canonical has temporarily pulled the download links for Ubuntu 17.10 “Artful Aardvark” from the Ubuntu website due to ongoing reports of some laptops finding their BIOS corrupted after installing this latest Ubuntu release. The issue is appearing most frequently with Lenovo laptops but there are also reports of issues with other laptop vendors as well.

This issue appears to stem from the Intel SPI driver in the 17.10’s Linux 4.13 kernel corrupting the BIOS for a select number of laptop motherboards. Canonical is aware of this issue and is planning to disable the Intel SPI drivers in their kernel builds. Canonical’s hardware enablement team has already verified this works around the problem, but doesn’t provide any benefit if your BIOS is already corrupted.

A respun Ubuntu 17.10 release with the updated kernel is expected, but as of writing the download page is still discouraging the use of 17.10.

AIのビジネス活用を日本の“お家芸”に――AI分野11社が結集した企業連合の野望とは

Posted Posted in AI, NEWS


AI技術のビジネス活用を推進する企業連合が発足した。「AIビジネス推進コンソーシアム」は自らの活動を日本の“お家芸”にしようという狙いもある。果たして奏効するか。

 「AI(人工知能)技術を実際にビジネスで使っていけるようにしたい」――。12月13日に発足したAI関連の企業連合の設立発表会見で、この動きの仕掛け人であるグリッドの曽我部完 代表取締役はこう強調した。

新設された企業連合は「AIビジネス推進コンソーシアム」。「AI を社会に役立て、ビジネスや研究活動を活性化・推進すること」が目的だ。曽我部氏は「国内のAIサービスの開発力強化と産業界へのAI適用の加速を目指す」とも強調。設立の趣旨について次のように述べた。