A new study shows that an iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.) app yields results on a dichotic listening test that are as reliable as laboratory tests.
Two years ago, psychology researcher Josef Bless was listening to music on his phone when he suddenly had an idea. “In dichotic listening, each ear is presented with a different syllable at the same time (one to the left and one to the right ear) and the listener has to say which syllable seems clearest.
The test indicates which side of the brain is most active during language processing,” Bless explains.
The free app for dichotic listening is called iDichotic; it was launched on the App Store in 2011. Now, more than one year later, more than 1,000 people have downloaded the app, and roughly half have sent their test results to the researchers’ database.
via How to lab-test your brain with an iPhone | KurzweilAI.
Nanoscribe GmbH, a spin-off of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has developed the world’s fastest 3D printer of micro- and nanostructures, the German company claims.
With this printer, three-dimensional objects, often smaller than the diameter of a human hair, can be manufactured with minimum time consumption and maximum resolution. The printer is based on a novel laser lithography method.
Nanoscribe systems are used to print polymer waveguides reaching data transfer rates of more than 5 terabits per second.
Using the new laser lithography method, printing speed is increased by factor of about 100. This increase in speed results from the use of a special “galvo” mirror system, a technology that is also applied in laser show devices or scanning units of CD and DVD drives.
Reflecting a laser beam off the rotating galvo mirrors facilitates rapid and precise laser focus positioning. “We are revolutionizing 3D printing on the micrometer scale. Precision and speed are achieved by the industrially established galvo technology,” says Martin Hermatschweiler, the managing director of Nanoscribe GmbH.
via Microscopic 3D printing | KurzweilAI.
Will auto insurance disappear?
That’s a ”provocative but plausible” scenario according to a recent Celent report, “A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance. What Happens When There Are Almost No Accidents.”
Technologies such as telematics, collision avoidance, automated traffic law enforcement, and robot cars have the potential to radically reduce accident rates. The convergence of these technologies has the potential to eliminate them altogether.
via The End of Auto Insurance?.
Can you program a 3D printer to build an entire building? Architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars wants to try.
The Dutch architect has laid out plans for Landscape House – a structure that looks like a Mobius strip or "one surface folded over into an endless band", as he describes it.
To build it, he plans to use a 3D printer called D-Shape that will lay down thin layers of sand that combine with a bonding agent to create a material that is reportedly akin to marble.
via Architect plans world’s first 3D-printed building.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, is quickly becoming mainstream and we’re are rubbing our hands with glee at the prospect. But what’s so exciting about a technology, which some say has the potential to be as important as the Internet?
1. Well, for a start, it can print cars! The makers of the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, got German 3D printing company, Voxeljet, to knock up three 1:3 scale models of 007′s precious Aston Martin DB5 for (gulp) destruction during filming. Never mind, though—one survived, and was later sold by Christie’s for almost £100,000.
2. Smaller but equally as suave, the world’s very first Nokia Lumia 820 shell was printed by 3D printing wizards, Makerbot just last week. The specs had been available for less than a day when the guys did what they do best, 3D magic.
via 10 fascinating facts about 3D printing – Nokia Conversations : the official Nokia blog.
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At CES 2013 I saw 3D-printed skateboards, flowers, and gear assemblies, and meanwhile there are now plans to print everything from body parts to buildings. So printing robots was only a matter of time.
InMoov is a full-size humanoid robot made from 3D-printed parts. Designed and built by Gael Langevin of Factices Ateliers in France, InMoov began last year as a hand, then an arm. It’s now two arms and a head.
via Is this 3D-printed robot the first of thousands? | Crave – CNET.
As technology advances and we incorporate digital activities into our daily routine more frequently, we require an ever-increasing amount of storage space to host the data we collect. Storage is evolving at a reasonable pace, but conventional technologies have their limits and researchers are constantly looking for more powerful alternatives. One such storage medium involves holding enormous amounts of data on DNA. Now researchers have pioneered a new technique to store data on, and access data from, DNA molecules.
New technique stores terabytes of data on DNA with 100% accuracy – StumbleUpon.
The naming of Ray Kurzweil as Google’s new director of engineering in late 2012 may not have registered as even a blip on the radar of many digital content companies (DCCs). But this simple hiring announcement concerning the famous futurist, author, and inventor may, in fact, represent a symbolic milestone in the rapidly changing information age. Because it’s yet another sign that smart DCCs-including Google-value the promise and potential of artificial intelligence (AI), which Kurzweil has long preached has the capacity to greatly enhance our lives.
Only a few years ago, the concept of "artificial intelligence"-which computer science pioneer John McCarthy defined as "the science and engineering of making intelligent machines"-was thought of as elusive, fantastically futuristic and relegated to the realm of science fiction. But AI is ubiquitous today across many levels of technology, including electronic content. It’s in the ingredients behind voice recognition and language translation software, search engine aggregation, turn-by-turn instructions on GPS devices, and product recommendations generated from online purchases. And it has the ability to transform the way DCCs do business in the near- and long-term future, say the experts.
via How Artificial Intelligence is Impacting the Digital Content Business – EContent Magazine.
It is an early morning of the just-arrived winter. People I can see on the street from my window wear heavy coats, but it’s unclear how cold it is. I can open the window and let my natural skin sensors grab an approximate measurement, but I realize a much more accurate value can be obtained by pressing a button. “Siri, what’s the temperature outside?” I ask, with a Brazilian accent that most Americans think is Russian. “Brr! It is 32 degrees outside,” answers the piece of rectangular glass I hold. It is a female voice, with an accent of her own. Artificial. That’s probably how I would describe it.
The application, whose name is an acronym for Speech Integration and Recognition Interface, has encountered a wave of sarcastic, philosophical, flirtatious and mundane questions, since it was made available to certain Apple iOS devices in October 2011. Countless jokes featuring Siri made their way through the nodes of the social-media graph, and books about her witty personality have been printed. But if you could take Siri in a trip through time to when your grandmother was 10 (fear not, the time travel paradox involves your grandfather), she would definitely qualify your talking device as “magic.” Perhaps she would even call Siri intelligent.
via From sci-fi to real life — the advances of artificial intelligence, part I.
Now you know this is worth visiting. His comments do not disappoint. In an interview with Singularity Hub, which was posted on January 10, he said he wants to build a search engine that would be more sophisticated than ever, that can behave as an all-knowing, learned friend. He said there well could be a time, some years from today, where the majority of search queries will be answered without you actually asking. His thoughts, in brief, are about the deliverance of a cybernetic friend.
Now that inventor Kurzweil is at Google, he is focused on helping his search giant employer to develop the type of artificial intelligence-powered search assistant that could be better than ever. One can easily say that Kurzweil came to the right place to work out his AI dreams. He told his interviewer, "We hope to combine my fifty years of experience in thinking about thinking with Google scale resources (in everything—engineering, computing, communications, data, users) to create truly useful AI that will make all of us smarter." Enormous stores of information from Google’s database can be drawn upon for his research.
via Google’s Ray Kurzweil revs up search focus with AI vision.
Here’s a scene that will be familiar to anyone who’s ever taken an introductory economics course. The professor has just finished explaining that in economics, "efficiency" means that there are no possible gains from trade. Then some loudmouth kid in the back raises his hand and asks: "Wait, so if one person has everything, and everyone else has nothing and just dies, is that an ‘efficient’ outcome?" The professor, looking a little chagrined, responds: "Well, yes, it is." And the whole class rolls their eyes and thinks: Economists.
For most of modern history, inequality has been a manageable problem. The reason is that no matter how unequal things get, most people are born with something valuable: the ability to work, to learn, and to earn money. In economist-ese, people are born with an "endowment of human capital." It’s just not possible for one person to have everything, as in the nightmare example in Econ 101.
For most of modern history, two-thirds of the income of most rich nations has gone to pay salaries and wages for people who work, while one-third has gone to pay dividends, capital gains, interest, rent, etc. to the people who own capital. This two-thirds/one-third division was so stable that people began to believe it would last forever. But in the past ten years, something has changed. Labor’s share of income has steadily declined, falling by several percentage points since 2000. It now sits at around 60% or lower. The fall of labor income, and the rise of capital income, has contributed to America’s growing inequality.
via The End of Labor: How to Protect Workers From the Rise of Robots – Noah Smith – The Atlantic.
Robotic technology has taken historic strides in the past decade. Nanorobotics is changing how scientists, doctors and surgeons think about the future of medicine. UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have altered how states engage in conflict. And automotive technology now allows cars to parallel park themselves.
Robots are here to stay, and Americans might want to get used to them says President and CEO of ReconRobotics, Alan Bignall.
via How Robots Will Change Society In The Next Decade – Business Insider.
Almost everyone can remember a time when they received bad service at a restaurant. Usually, human error plays a major role in the experience. But what would happen if humans were taken out of the equation? How about making the entire situation a bit more robotic? Well, look no further — a restaurant known for its service and its food is run almost entirely by a staff of robots.
Robot Restaurant, located in the Heilongjiang province in China, has been open since last June, and it has been successful. When patrons enter, a robot greets them by extending its mechanical arm and saying, "Earth person, hello. Welcome to the Robot Restaurant." However, welcoming guests to the restaurant is not all the robots do. Robots wait the tables, cook the noodles, and even entertain the patrons by singing to them. As meals are prepared, they are brought out on a conveyor belt, and the waiterbots take it from there.
via Restaurant run by robots becomes internationally renowned | Trending Now – Yahoo! News.
Scientists at the CSIRO and RMIT University have discovered a new two-dimensional nano-material that could pave the way for the creation of even smaller computing devices that offer big improvements in processing speed.
The material is made up of layers of crystal known as ‘molybdenum oxides’, which have unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.
Speaking to CIO Dr Serge Zhuiykov, a scientist at the CSIRO, said the team had created layers of material as thin as 10 nanometres, significantly thinner than the current electronic industry benchmark of between 20 and 30 nanometres for silicon-based chips.
Researchers created this new conductive nano-material using ‘graphene’, which was developed in 2004 by scientists in the UK and won its investors a Nobel Prize in 2010. Although graphene supports high speed electrons, its physical properties have prevent it from being used for high-speed electronics.
via Australian scientists in nanotechnology breakthrough – CSIRO, RMIT University, Dr Serge Zhuiykov, molybdenum oxide, nanotechnology – CIO.
The nanotechnology patent filing boom continues. In 2012, the USPTO published 4,098 nanotechnology class 977 applications, which represents a 19.2% increase over last year. By way of comparison, in 2008, the USPTO published only 827 nanotechnology applications, and in 2009, only 1,499. Hence, the number has almost tripled in three years.This patenting trend is consistent, as we have previously commented in our November 25, September 4, and July 8, 2012 posts. Hopefully, federal policy makers are noticing this important trend and managing well the implications including licensing and litigation. At least 12.4% of the filings report a federal funding statement as required under the Bayh-Dole act.
via U.S. Nanotechnology Patenting – Over 4,000 Nanotechnology Applications Published – Food, Drugs, Healthcare and Life Sciences – United States.