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Posts from the ‘Tech’ Category

A Unified Theory of Artificial Intelligence

April 2nd, 2010


Skynet can't be far behind...

As a research tool, Goodman has developed a computer programming language called Church — after the great American logician Alonzo Church — that, like the early AI languages, includes rules of inference. But those rules are probabilistic. Told that the cassowary is a bird, a program written in Church might conclude that cassowaries can probably fly. But if the program was then told that cassowaries can weigh almost 200 pounds, it might revise its initial probability estimate, concluding that, actually, cassowaries probably can’t fly.

“With probabilistic reasoning, you get all that structure for free,” Goodman says. A Church program that has never encountered a flightless bird might, initially, set the probability that any bird can fly at 99.99 percent. But as it learns more about cassowaries — and penguins, and caged and broken-winged robins — it revises its probabilities accordingly. Ultimately, the probabilities represent all the conceptual distinctions that early AI researchers would have had to code by hand. But the system learns those distinctions itself, over time — much the way humans learn new concepts and revise old ones.

“What’s brilliant about this is that it allows you to build a cognitive model in a fantastically much more straightforward and transparent way than you could do before,” says Nick Chater, a professor of cognitive and decision sciences at University College London. “You can imagine all the things that a human knows, and trying to list those would just be an endless task, and it might even be an infinite task. But the magic trick is saying, ‘No, no, just tell me a few things,’ and then the brain — or in this case the Church system, hopefully somewhat analogous to the way the mind does it — can churn out, using its probabilistic calculation, all the consequences and inferences. And also, when you give the system new information, it can figure out the consequences of that.”

Full Story Here

Licensed To Surf

March 29th, 2010

Peter John Glynn

Reports have already surfaced of Feds in the USA invading the Social Networking Sites in order to track terrorists, money laundering mafia bosses and (they have had some success with this one) teens who post photographs of themselves drinking underage.

The UK is following in these footsteps by retiring non-tech savvy operatives and hiring bright young things to sit on Facebook all day in order to monitor peoples communications, ideas, thoughts, dreams and other important traffic.

MI5 employment is rising by 40 percent, despite the older generation being booted, Harry Palmer style, through the door.

" Some of the staff aren't quite perhaps the ones we will want for the future ", said Jonathan Evans, Head of the Security Services in the UK.

Full Report HERE

Marine Centre To Combat Nuclear Attacks and Other Crimes.

March 23rd, 2010

Peter John Glynn

" Sarge? We got a problem."

The UK Government has announced that they are to set up a National Maritime Information Centre to enhance nuclear security measures.  Government spokesman Lord West said that following acts of piracy off the African coast and the sea borne attack on Mumbai,  Britain had 'a crying need' for such a centre.

The £350,000 budget ( some might say a drop in the ocean) would allow government agencies and departments to share information about activity at sea more efficiently.  Interestingly, the NMIC, based at Northwood, Middlesex, will not only target terrorism but also other crimes.

Also interesting is that the UK Goverment are encouraging other nations to set up their own centres.  The USA already has its own monitoring centre , co-incidentally called The National Maritime Intelligence Center (NMIC).

Full Story HERE

Telepathic computer can read your mind

March 12th, 2010


The system is able to decipher thought patterns and tell what people are thinking simply by scanning the brain.  The breakthrough is a step forward because it can delve into people's memories and differentiate between different recollections.

"What is more interesting is to look at 'episodic' memories – the complex, everyday memories that include much more information on where we are, what we are doing and how we feel.

"We've been able to look at brain activity for a specific episodic memory — to look at actual memory traces. We found our memories are definitely represented in the hippocampus.

"Now that we've seen where they are, we have an opportunity to understand how memories are stored and how they may change through time."

Full Story Here

Extreme Makeover For Window Shoppers In The UK

March 8th, 2010

Peter John Glynn

The latest tool to counter the ongoing devastation of the UK High Street is to provide fake shop fronts to make it look as if the town centres are vibrant and performing well.

Ostriches in Whitley Bay are countering the recession by accepting Government grants of £1500 per unit to add a computer generated images to empty premises.

It is hoped this will stimulate business investors to buy or rent stores on the back of previously failed ventures.

Full Report HERE

Cell phones show human movement predictable 93% of the time

February 25th, 2010


We all know that Cell (Mobile) phones can be used to track us with ease, using triangulation of the constant signal from the phone to the cell tower, but did you know this...

It's not currently possible to know exactly where everyone is all the time, but cell phones can provide a pretty good approximation. Cell phone companies store records of customers' locations based on when the customers' phones connect to towers during calls. Researchers realized that taking this data and paring it down to users who place calls more frequently might allow them to see if they could develop any measure of how predictable human movements and locations are. The users they worked with placed calls an average of once every two hours, connecting to towers that cover an area of about two square miles.

So, it seems that people in general are very predictable in their daily movements and habits.

Customers that stuck to the same six-mile radius had predictability rates of 97 to 93 percent, and this fell off as the typical area of travel grew. But the predictability eventually stabilized, and remained at 93 percent even as the radius of travel rose to thousands of miles. Regardless of how widely they traveled, the researchers could adequately predict their locations, down to the specific tower, 93 percent of the time.

Full Story Here