Cats toying with artificial intelligence

The creature stalked around the edge of the metal cylinder protruding from the ground.  The cylinder had a smooth black sheen that seemed to absorb the light.  As it completed a second circuit the creature had a sudden memory – the memory of a story it had been told when it was growing up.  The story had described the descent of their species to this land many thousands of years ago – the creature had assumed it to be a fairy tale.  As it paused next to a thin crack in the cylinder a flash of light played across its face.  A second later a voice came from the cylinder.  “Recognised.”  The thin crack started to open.

Researchers at Google have created a large-scale free-form neural network that they have trained using still images from YouTube content.  The training was not directed, yet the system still managed to adapt itself to respond strongly to the image of a cat.  Suggesting that a lot of the training data had cats in it.  Nice to see this kind of raw AI research taking place not just in academia.  Read the blog post here: http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/using-large-scale-brain-simulations-for.html

James.

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Harvesting the richness of space

The dim solar light flickered as the cloud of dust rose from the surface of the asteroid.  Three suited figure stood gripping tethers to hold them down against the gentle spin.  Gravity was weak.  As the dust cleared one of the figures crouched next to the excavation.  A suited hand brushed aside the dust that had settled and revealed metallic crystals that glinted in the light.  Glints that meant riches beyond imagine.

A group of technology innovators and NASA experts have teamed up to found and fund a company, Planetary Resources, to explore and commercialise the resources available on asteroids and other non-Earth territories.  An announcement and update to the website is scheduled for tomorrow, 24 April.  Visit the website here: http://www.planetaryresources.com/ See the wiki page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Resources

James.

Reality fading into view

A pulse of light flashed in her peripheral vision drawing her attention away from the ghost image of the book she was reading.  As she turned her head to follow the pulse the text floating before her faded from sight.  Behind it was revealed the real-world departure board.  She examined the line her reality tracker had picked out – her plane was boarding.  It was time to leave.  She nodded her tracker to idle, picked up her case and headed for the gate.

Google has announced a prototype wearable computer system, Project Glass.  It provides an interactive augmented reality that is delivered by lightweight glasses. See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c6W4CCU9M4

James.