Tag: intelligence

Changing Lanes Is Simple For Human Drivers. Not So For Autonomous Cars.

A driver sits engrossed in her laptop screen, catching up on emails as the car barrels down the highway. In the next lane, a father helps his kids finish homework while their vehicle swiftly changes lanes.

Nearby, an empty car returns home after dropping off its owner.—

These are the self-driving cars in which humans can be mindlessly commuting in as few as five years, some ambitious estimates claim.

It’s a highly disruptive technology that’s coming on a lot faster than people expect,” says Barrie Kirk, executive director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence.

He helps governments and companies prepare for the advent of automated vehicles.

Many automakers and tech firms have already entered the driverless car manufacturing game. Now it’s a race to perfect the technology and start selling these Knight Rider-style vehicles.




Companies hype the cars as the best safety feature since seatbelts and airbags, but there’s a sense that phasing driverless cars onto public roads may be anything but a smooth transition.

Self-driving car advocates, like Kirk, believe in the technology’s potential to save thousands of lives.

Humans, generally, are poor drivers,” he says. He would like to see human drivers banned from roads to make room for an all-automated-vehicle world.

Drivers’ mistakes are responsible for more than 90 per cent of crashes, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found.

Kirk hopes automated vehicles can eliminate 80 per cent of such collisions — a number often cited by advocates.

In 2012, 2,077 people died in car crashes on Canadian roads, according to Transport Canada. If Kirk’s estimate holds, about 1,500 of those victims could have avoided an accident.

If you’re got a whole bunch of sensors that give you a 360-degree scan, 30 times a second,” he says, “humans can not come anywhere close to that.

There will be time to adjust before the new fleet of robot cars takes over roads.

We’re not going to be in a situation where we go from no automation to fully autonomous or self-driving vehicles,” says David Adams, president of the Global Automakers of Canada.

Some people already own low-level autonomous vehicles, like ones that parallel park once the driver has properly aligned it. Some U.K. cities have started experimenting with low-speed self-driving shuttles on closed streets.

Even if safety is somewhat disputed, there are other potential benefits that can make the pursuit of these cars worth it.

Seniors, disabled people and others unable to drive will gain mobility. Families may need to own fewer cars if vehicles can travel empty to pick up and drop off family members.

Cities may require fewer parking spaces if cars can return home after dropping off owners.

But to see all those benefits and ensure safety isn’t compromised, these cars must be carefully brought into the public realm, says Shladover.

It has to be done in a sensible way.

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IBM Reveals Record-Breaking ‘Quantum Chandelier’ In Race To Revolutionize Computing

Inside the machine: Superconducting Coaxial Lines inside the Q machine unveiled by IBM.

IBM has announced a milestone in its race against Google and other big tech firms to build a powerful quantum computer.

Dario Gil, who leads IBM’s quantum computing and artificial intelligence research division, said Friday that the company’s scientists have successfully built and measured a processor prototype with 50 quantum bits, known as qubits.

Gil says it’s the first time any company has built a quantum computer at this scale.

Quantum computing, a technology that’s still in its early phases, uses the quirks of quantum physics to perform calculations at far higher speeds than current computers.

Quantum computing promises to be able to solve certain problems – such as chemical simulations and types of optimization – that will forever be beyond the practical reach of classical machines,’ IBM said.




In a recent Nature paper, the IBM Q team pioneered a new way to look at chemistry problems using quantum hardware that could one day transform the way new drugs and materials are discovered, for instance.

IBM also announced it will allow customer to access a slightly slower version of the system online for the first time.

We are, and always have been, focused on building technology with the potential to create value for our clients and the world,’ said Dario Gil, vice president of AI and IBM Q, IBM Research.

The ability to reliably operate several working quantum systems and putting them online was not possible just a few years ago.

‘Now, we can scale IBM processors up to 50 qubits due to tremendous feats of science and engineering.

IBM scientists have successfully built and measured a processor prototype with 50 quantum bits, known as qubits, the first time any company has built a quantum computer at this scale. Pictured, part of the machine.

‘These latest advances show that we are quickly making quantum systems and tools available that could offer an advantage for tackling problems outside the realm of classical machines.’

Seth Lloyd, an MIT mechanical engineering professor not involved in IBM’s research, says it’s likely that IBM still has glitches to work out but the 50-qubit announcement is a sign of significant progress.

The first IBM systems available online to clients will have a 20 qubit processor,

Over 60,000 users have run over 1.7M quantum experiments and generated over 35 third-party research publications using IBM’s system, the firm said.

Users have registered from over 1500 universities, 300 high schools, and 300 private institutions worldwide, many of whom are accessing the IBM Q experience as part of their formal education.

Inside an IBM Dilution Refrigerator: The gold colored coaxial cables are used to send inputs and outputs from inside the fridge to the external parts of the machine.

I use the IBM Q experience and QISKit as an integral part of my classroom teaching on quantum computing, and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is.

In prior years, the course was interesting theoretically, but felt like it described some far off future,’ said Andrew Houck, professor of electrical engineering, Princeton University.

‘Thanks to this incredible resource that IBM offers, I have students run actual quantum algorithms on a real quantum computer as part of their assignments!’

‘Being able to work on IBM’s quantum hardware and have access through an open source platform like QISKit has been crucial in helping us to understand what algorithms–and real-world use cases–might be viable to run on near-term processors,’ said Matt Johnson, CEO, QC Ware.

‘Simulators don’t currently capture the nuances of the actual quantum hardware platforms, and nothing is more convincing for a proof-of-concept than results obtained from an actual quantum processor.’

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This Are The Top 10 Most Intelligent Animals On The Earth

In case you hadn’t heard, humans aren’t the only intelligent beings on planet Earth. In fact, we have plenty of company, and you may be surprised to learn who else is on the list.

1. Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees and humans are remarkably similar, sharing about 99 percent of our DNA. Chimps are our closest living relatives, and like humans, live in social communities and can adapt to different environments.

They can also learn sign language.

Chimpanzees can walk upright on two legs if they choose, and while they are primarily vegetarians they consume meat on occasion.

Chimps make and use tools, such as stones to open nuts and leaves to soak up drinking water. They reach reproductive age at around the same time humans do – 13 for females and 16 for males.




2. Bottlenose Dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins are one of just a handful of species in the animal kingdom that are able to use vocal learning to develop their own vocal signature.

Early in life, each dolphin creates its own unique vocal whistle that gives it an individual identity.

Because each whistle is unique, dolphins are able to call to each other by mimicking the whistle of a dolphin they want to communicate with. It’s the equivalent of calling each other by name.

Many dolphins establish strong social attachments and will stay with injured or ill members of the group, helping them to the surface of the water so they can breathe if necessary.

There are also reports of dolphins protecting human swimmers from sharks by swimming in circles around them, or rushing the sharks to shoo them away.

3. Elephants

Elephants’ brains are bigger than the brains of any other land animal, and the cortex has as many neurons as a human brain.

The ability of elephants to learn is impressive, and they are also self-aware – they can actually recognize themselves in mirrors!

In the wild, these highly social animals demonstrate helpfulness, compassion, and empathy. Their trunks and feet generate seismic activity that allows them to communicate with one another on a wide variety of subjects.

Elephants are likely the only large land-dwelling mammals that communicate using seismic signals.

4. African Grey Parrots

Known as the Einsteins of the parrot world, African Greys are highly intelligent. Studies have shown that the birds possess abstract, inferential reasoning abilities.

They appear to have some understanding of causality and use it to reason about the world.African Greys also show their smarts with their counting abilities and vocalization skills.

5. Rats

The ability to think about thinking is called metacognition, and a few years ago scientists discovered that rats, like humans, can make decisions based on what they do or do not know.

Studies also show that rats are surprisingly self-aware, they’re ticklish, and they dream just as we do. Pet rats are extremely social and form strong bonds with their owners.

They learn their names and come when they’re called, and they beg for time out of their cage to play and interact with their owners.

6. Crows

A crow’s brain is about the size of a human thumb, which is huge relative to its body size. This puts their intelligence on a level with primates, and gives them the ability to solve complex problems.

Scientists have discovered that crows recognize and remember individual human faces. Different areas of a crow’s brain light up when it sees a person it perceives as friendly or threatening.

7. Dogs

 

When it comes to canine companions, “smart” means different things to different people. Some people feel an obedient dog is smart, while others believe a dog with a mind of her own is more intelligent.

Very agreeable dogs are considered smart by most human standards.

Humans judge the intelligence of dogs based primarily on how quickly they learn to obey our commands, how well they perform, and whether they are able to learn human-type stuff like identifying objects.

8. Pigeons

Studies show that pigeons are able to learn abstract mathematical rules, and in fact are the only non-humans other than rhesus monkeys with the ability.

These much-maligned birds also have the ability to make extremely intelligent choices, and have highly evolved pigeon problem-solving skills.

Pigeons are also able to recognize individual people, most likely by their facial characteristics.

9. Pigs

According to some experts, pigs are among the smartest, cleanest domestic animals around – more so than cats and dogs.

Researchers who have studied pigs have learned they have excellent long-term memories, solve mazes easily, can comprehend a simple symbolic language.

They love to play and play-fight with each other, can learn to operate a joystick to move an on-screen cursor, and use a mirror to find hidden food.

10. Octopuses

Octopuses have the largest brains of any invertebrate. The common octopus has about 130 million neurons in its brain. A human has 100 billion.

However, three-fifths of an octopus’ neurons are not in the brain; they’re in its arms. Each arm has a mind of its own, so to speak, and if cut off, will wander away and even grab at food as it did while still attached.

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How Sidewinder Missiles Work?

The Sidewinder AIM-9 (air intercept missile 9) is classified as a short-range, air-to-air missile. Simply put, its job is to launch from an airborne aircraft and “kill” an enemy aircraft (damage it to the point that it goes down).

Missiles like the Sidewinder are called smart weapons because they have built-in seeking systems that let them home in on a target.




The technology of smart weapons really got going in the decade following World War II. Most early guided weapon prototypes were built around radar technology, which proved to be expensive and problematic.

These missiles had their own radar sensors, but obviously could not carry their own radar transmitters.

For the guidance system to lock on an enemy plane, some remote radar system had to “illuminate” the target by bouncing radar beams off of it.

In most cases, this meant the pilot had to keep the aircraft in a vulnerable position after firing in order to keep a radar lock on the enemy until the missile could find it.

Additionally, the radar equipment in the missile was large and expensive, which made for a high-cost, bulky weapon. Most of these missiles had something around a 90 percent failure rate (nine shots out of 10 missed their targets).

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Why ‘Intelligence’ Is A Stupid Concept

Have you ever thought that you’re not intelligent enough to do something? That you’re not as smart as another person so you can’t succeed like they have?

Research is showing us that our attitude towards intelligence is an important factor in being able to achieve our goals.

One of the greatest myths is that the most successful people are the most intelligent.

I believe this is one of the most damaging myths people have.

It’s a myth that many people fall back on when they encounter a failure of some sort — i.e. that this failure is evidence that we aren’t the smartest person in the room.




For some reason we forget that the stereotypical image of an ‘intelligent person’ — perhaps a physicist or a surgeon, are in reality defined by pushing past constant failures as they slave away trying to solve a problem.

These people choose to learn from their failures until they find the solution they were seeking for.

Perhaps an argument can be made that true intelligence requires a particular attitude toward failure — namely that failure is a useful opportunity to pause, reflect, learn and re-tackle a problem.

One of my biggest issues with the modern day education system is the arbitrary delineation it creates between ‘intelligent’ and ‘non-intelligent’ students.

From an early age, we’re told that the students who perform the best are the ones who are ‘naturally gifted’ — that they are simply born more intelligent than the rest of us.

In reality, top performers either put in more work (i.e. hours of study) or have more efficient ways of studying (i.e. are more productive).

A 2013 study of 3,520 students found that the two biggest factors in achieving long-term academic success were motivation and study strategies — not ‘intelligence’.

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NASA Scientists Believe We Will Find Alien Life Within The Next 20 Years

It’s not exactly the Hollywood fantasy of flying saucers beaming down big-headed, wide-eyed aliens to Earth, but top NASA scientists have announced that they think we are tantalizingly close to discovering some form of extraterrestrial life.

In fact, our search tools have become so sophisticated that space researchers believe we will have gathered convincing data for the presence of alien life, most likely microbial, by 2025.

I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years,” NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said this week at a public panel discussion in Washington.

We know where to look. We know how to look. In most cases, we have the technology, and we’re on a path to implementing it.”

This optimism was promoted by recent discoveries that suggest that potentially habitable worlds are much more common than once believed.




Almost every star is now thought to host planets, and one study even suggested that those within our galaxy possess an average of two planets within the habitable range, or “Goldilocks zone,” which is the area where liquid water can exist.

But it’s not just stars that can host these regions; discoveries much closer to home suggest that even giant planets could have habitable zones, which could greatly expand scientists’ search for life.

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, for example, has a vast and deep subsurface ocean despite residing some 400 million miles away from the sun.

The water within this ocean resists completely freezing over due to strong tidal forces resulting from Jupiter’s gravitational pull.

Jupiter is also home to another interesting satellite, Ganymede, which is also thought to possess a subsurface saltwater ocean.

Although Europa has received the most attention, Saturn’s moon Enceladus also recently became a top candidate for extraterrestrial life following the discovery of a liquid water ocean below its icy surface.

Furthermore, this satellite was also found to possess geysers that spurt out sandy plumes of water and ice, suggesting the presence of hydrothermal activity within the subsurface ocean.

And let’s not forget about Mars; this now parched and barren planet was once a watery world complete with enduring lakes, oceans and flowing rivers, some of which could have lingered long enough for life to have had a chance to evolve.

Not only that, but scientists also recently found evidence of useful nitrogen compounds, which are a crucial source of this element for life on Earth.

While our present set of powerful observatories are obviously capable of churning out exciting data on the subject, things are only set to get more exciting as technology develops.

A mission to Europa is already on the cards, for example, which NASA hopes to launch by 2022.

And before that, the agency hopes to send up their James Webb Space Telescope, which will probe the atmospheres of nearby “super-Earths,” or exoplanets with masses higher than our own planet, with the hope of identifying gases that could have been created by life forms.

Certainly, we have got a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

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Top 3 Apps For Learning A Musical Instrument On iOS

You can do just about anything on an iPhone or iPad these days, huh? Why stop at adding snaps to your Snapchat story or solving puzzles in Candy Crush?

You can teach yourself pretty easily how to play various different musical instruments and even play some of them right from your phone. What a world we live in.

Believe it or not, all three of these apps can teach you how to play guitar or piano and all of them are free to download. Perhaps you’re interested in picking up a new hobby or want an easy way to help grow your child’s love of music. There’s no harm in starting off with an app.

1. GARAGEBAND

You might recognize Apple’s $4.99 GarageBand as the go-to app for music creation and edits. Many people use it to mix and match beats, record songs and covers, and add various effects and sound enhancements.

What you probably don’t know is that it actually includes a number of powerful education tools for learning how to play instruments.

The power is in the Touch (software) instruments that come built in, so you don’t have to hook up a piano or guitar, though you can. You can learn the individual keys or strings right through your touchscreen.

2. SIMPLYPIANO

SimplyPiano is an awesome app for learning to play piano on a real instrument. Using your iOS device’s microphone, the app will listen to you play and offer feedback as you go.

You can specify where you are with experience and your goals, whether you want to learn how to play your favorite songs or improve upon your already solid skills.




The app is like a combination of short video tutorials and interactivity as you play. It teaches you the basics of the piano if you’re brand new and over time you can complete lessons, take on challenges and learn along the way. It’s great for kids and adults alike, plus SimplyPiano is free.

3. YOUSICIAN GUITAR

Yousician Guitar works very similarly to SimplyPiano except it’s aptly suited for guitars instead. It too requires that you own a guitar to use with the app. You’ll run through helpful video tutorials and then have to try some training sessions on your own.

The app will listen and report back about proper notes, chords and timing.

It’s organized into missions, songs and challenges. Missions lays out everything you need to succeed in learning guitar from mastering strings and frets all the way to acing your test on chord riffs.

If you subscribe to Yousician Premium starting at $9.99 per month, you can unlock premium songs to play with the app in the Songs section. Lastly, you can participate in challenges to play songs and compare scores with friends and other guitarists around the world.

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GM Will Launch Robocars Without Steering Wheels Next Year

The future of driving doesn’t involve driving — at all.

That’s the big takeaway from a first peek inside General Motors new autonomous car, which lacks the steering wheel, pedals, manual controls and human drivers that have come to define the experience of riding inside an automobile for more than a century.

The means the Cruise AV — a fourth-generation autonomous vehicle based on the Chevy Bolt EV — is in total control.

GM submitted a petition Thursday to the Department of Transportation, asking for the government to let it roll out the new vehicle, which it says is safe.




GM plans to mass produce the vehicle as early as next year, the automotive giant announced Friday.

The manufacturer is touting the vehicle as the world’s “first production-ready vehicle” built with the sole purpose of operating “safely on its own with no driver,” a degree of independence known as “level 4 autonomy.”

GM is one of several companies testing level 4 vehicles. A California-based autonomous vehicle startup called Zoox and Alphabet’s Waymo have also tested level 4 cars.

GM is already testing second and third generation self-driving Cruise AVs on busy streets in San Francisco and Phoenix with a human engineer in the vehicle.

It relies on cameras, radar and high-precision laser sensors known as lidar for navigation.

Beginning in 2019, the fourth-generation of that vehicle will be used in a ride-sharing program in multiple American cities, where “the vehicles will travel on a fixed route controlled by their mapping system,” Bloomberg reported.

To improve safety, the vehicles will share information with one another and rely on two computer systems, which operate simultaneously so that if one computer encounters a problem, the second computer can serve as a backup, according to GM’s self-driving safety report.

The report says the Cruise AV was designed to operate in chaotic, fluid conditions, such as aggressive drivers, jaywalkers, bicyclists, delivery trucks and construction.

The company has access to vast dealership networks, nationwide influence and manufacturing prowess, potentially offering a GM-driven ride-hailing service the opportunity to supplant the Silicon Valley start-ups that have been seeking for years to disrupt the auto industry.

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