Month: December 2016

Artificial Intelligence Is More Artificial Than Intelligent

(WIRED) – DEEPMIND HAS SURPASSED the human mind on the Go board. Watson has crushed America’s trivia gods on Jeopardy. But ask DeepMind to play Monopoly or Watson to play Family Feud, and they won’t even know where to start. Because these artificial intelligence engines weren’t specifically designed to play these games and aren’t smart enough to figure them out by themselves, they’ll give nonsensical answers. They’ll struggle greatly, and humans will outperform them—by a lot. If these machines are so smart, why do they fail at things that everyday people, let alone genius-level strategists, take for granted? Why...

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American Space Legend John Glenn Has Died at 95

(GIZMODO) – John Glenn, an aviation legend and the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, died this afternoon at the age of 95. Glenn passed away at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, having been admitted more than a week ago, although the cause of his hospitalization is not yet apparent and was only reported yesterday. He lived a long life of remarkably good health, and died surrounded by his family. Glenn was a highly-decorated marine who piloted nearly nearly 60 combat missions in the South Pacific during World War II, followed by another 90 during the Korean War....

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Caesarean Births ‘Affecting Human Evolution’

(BBC) – The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution, say scientists. More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size, according to a study. Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in 1,000 in the 1960s to 36 in 1,000 births today. Historically, these genes would not have been passed from mother to child as both would have died in labour. Researchers in Austria say the trend is likely to continue, but not to the extent that non-surgical...

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CRISPR Gene-Editing Tested in a Person for the First Time

(NATURE) – A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique. On 28 October, a team led by oncologist Lu You at Sichuan University in Chengdu delivered the modified cells into a patient with aggressive lung cancer as part of a clinical trial at the West China Hospital, also in Chengdu. Earlier clinical trials using cells edited with a different technique have excited clinicians. The introduction of CRISPR, which is simpler and more efficient than other techniques, will probably accelerate the race to get gene-edited cells...

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