Friday, June 30, 2023

Frozen Pre-Embryo Law

Eugene Volokh: "When Couple Is Divorcing, What Should Happen to Their Fertilized Pre-Embryos?"

tldr; Mom gets to keep them, even if dad wants them destroyed. Lower court to determine father's parental rights and child support obligations.

Consciousness Bet

"Decades-long bet on consciousness ends -- and it's philosopher 1, neuroscientist 0"

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Hsieh Forbes Column: "When The AI Is More Compassionate Than The Doctor"

My latest Forbes column is out: "When The AI Is More Compassionate Than The Doctor". I cover some novel uses of AI in medicine to help physicians better communicate with their patients with compassion.

Clever Drone Art

"Watch: Drones Light Up Night Sky With Stunning Formation To Mark Wine Festival". (Via G.F.)

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Ninth Dedekind Number

"Ninth Dedekind number discovered: Scientists solve long-known problem in mathematics".

tldr; It is 286386577668298411128469151667598498812366.

Graph Theory Update

"Mathematicians Discover Novel Way to Predict Structure in Graphs". (Via J.K.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

AI In Political Ads

NYT: "A.I.'s Use in Elections Sets Off a Scramble for Guardrails". One noteworthy quote:

The Democratic Party experimented with fund-raising messages drafted by artificial intelligence in the spring — and found that they were often more effective at encouraging engagement and donations than copy written entirely by humans.

Natural Language Programming AIs

"Natural Language Programming AIs are taking the drudgery out of coding". (Via J.M.)

Monday, June 26, 2023

Bullet-Matching Science Update

"Maryland Supreme Court Limits Testimony on Bullet-Matching Evidence"

In the majority opinion, Maryland Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew J. Fader wrote that "firearms identification has not been shown to reach reliable results linking a particular unknown bullet to a particular known firearm."

The ruling is a major victory for defense groups like the Innocence Project, which works to overturn wrongful convictions and limit what it calls faulty forensic science in courtrooms.


Snoozing At Lectures

CMAJ: "Incidence of and risk factors for nodding off at scientific sessions"

Beware the TWEED JACKET!


Friday, June 23, 2023

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Linguistic Mystery

"The unsolved mystery of Europe's oldest language"

Google Lens

"Google Lens can now identify rashes and other skin conditions"

This new Google Lens capability will “search skin conditions that are visually similar to what you see on your skin.” You can crop into the affected portion, while results will appear in a carousel above “Visual matches.” The company notes, “Search results are informational only and not a diagnosis. Consult your medical authority for advice.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Defending Kirk

"In Defense of Captain James T. Kirk"

Perfect Steganography

Quanta: "Secret Messages Can Hide in AI-Generated Media 
While it might be impossible to guarantee security for text created by humans, a new proof lays out for the first time how to achieve perfect security for steganography in machine-generated messages — whether they’re text, images, video or any other media. The authors also include a set of algorithms to produce secure messages, and they are working on ways to combine them with popular apps.

Direct link to academic paper: "Perfectly Secure Steganography Using Minimum Entropy Coupling

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Monday, June 19, 2023

Bad Family Prank

"Man 'fakes his death' before 'arriving at his own funeral' in a helicopter to teach family a lesson". 

Maybe I'm just unimaginative. But it seems to me that if you want to teach your family about the importance of staying in contact, there are a lot better ways to do so than FAKING YOUR OWN DEATH!!!

New Patent King

"For the first time in almost 30 years, a company other than IBM received the most US patents"
From 1993 to 2021, no other company received more US patents than the Armonk, New York–based tech giant. But in 2022, Samsung surpassed it, winning 6,248 patents. IBM, which placed second, received 4,398, according a ranking compiled by patent data platform IFI.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Creating Safer Passwords

"Here's How Hackers Steal Your Password and How You Can Create a Safer One"

Cool Infrastructure

"Real-Life Infrastructure That Looks Like Sci-Fi"

I especially liked these:

More here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

AI In Surgery

American College of Surgeons: "AI Is Poised to 'Revolutionize' Surgery"

One excerpt:

AI also can guide surgeons if they get lost during an operation. Or it might offer suggestions such as “put in a drain” or “do a bubble test.”

“It might say to you, ‘Warning, you’re about to cut the common bile duct. Do you really want to do that?’” Dr. Walsh said. 

In robotic surgery, AI also will be able to perform simple tasks through the robot, including closing a port site and tying a suture or a knot. 

“You get it ready, click the button, and then the robot does that step for you,” Dr. Tignanelli said. Last year, the first laparoscopic surgery without human help, which involved reconnecting two ends of a pig intestine, was performed at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland...

Physical Encyclopedia

"I just bought the only physical encyclopedia still in print, and I regret nothing". (Via H.R.)

Monday, June 12, 2023

Friday, June 09, 2023

Free Math Book

"Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Mathematics (But didn’t even know to ask)". (Via Ari Armstrong.)

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Andreesen On AI Optimism

Marc Andreessen: "Why AI Will Save the World".

His essay concludes with some free-market proposals:
I propose a simple plan: 

* Big AI companies should be allowed to build AI as fast and aggressively as they can – but not allowed to achieve regulatory capture, not allowed to establish a government-protect cartel that is insulated from market competition due to incorrect claims of AI risk. This will maximize the technological and societal payoff from the amazing capabilities of these companies, which are jewels of modern capitalism. 

* Startup AI companies should be allowed to build AI as fast and aggressively as they can. They should neither confront government-granted protection of big companies, nor should they receive government assistance. They should simply be allowed to compete. If and as startups don’t succeed, their presence in the market will also continuously motivate big companies to be their best – our economies and societies win either way. 

* Open source AI should be allowed to freely proliferate and compete with both big AI companies and startups. There should be no regulatory barriers to open source whatsoever. Even when open source does not beat companies, its widespread availability is a boon to students all over the world who want to learn how to build and use AI to become part of the technological future, and will ensure that AI is available to everyone who can benefit from it no matter who they are or how much money they have. 

* To offset the risk of bad people doing bad things with AI, governments working in partnership with the private sector should vigorously engage in each area of potential risk to use AI to maximize society’s defensive capabilities. This shouldn’t be limited to AI-enabled risks but also more general problems such as malnutrition, disease, and climate. AI can be an incredibly powerful tool for solving problems, and we should embrace it as such. 

* To prevent the risk of China achieving global AI dominance, we should use the full power of our private sector, our scientific establishment, and our governments in concert to drive American and Western AI to absolute global dominance, including ultimately inside China itself. We win, they lose.

Robotic Bee

"Researchers create new robotic bee with full freedom of movement". (Via H.R.)

Technical paper: "High-Performance Six-DOF Flight Control of the Bee++: An Inclined-Stroke-Plane Approach"

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

De-Aging Fail

"Attention, Hollywood: De-Aging Isn't Working, So Please Stop Using It"

The harsh truth is there is a fundamental difference, which can be recognized by the naked eye, between how someone in their 20s and 30s navigates the world versus someone in their 70s and 80s.

Windows 11 AI

"Built-in ChatGPT-driven Copilot will transform Windows 11 starting in June"

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Clever Optical Illusions

I liked "Platform 9 34s", inspired by Harry Potter. "The illusion is of a LEGO car driving through a solid wall.". (Click through to see the illusion and the explanation.)

For more, see "The Best Illusions of 2023 Contest"

AI Antibiotic

"A new antibiotic, discovered with artificial intelligence, may defeat a dangerous superbug":

The researchers also tested the antibiotic against 41 different strains of antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. The drug worked on all of them, though it would need to be further refined and tested in human clinical trials before it could be used in patients.  

What’s more, the compound identified by AI worked in a way that stymied only the problem pathogen. It didn’t seem to kill the many other species of beneficial bacteria that live in the gut or on the skin, making it a rare narrowly targeted agent...

Monday, June 05, 2023

Friday, June 02, 2023

AI Gold Rush

"Nvidia is not the only firm cashing in on the AI gold rush"

Ditching Phone Cases

"Ditching a Phone Case Is the Latest Symbol of Stealth Wealth"

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Fast Robotic Mice

Video: "The Fastest Maze-Solving Competition On Earth"

Chatbot Replaces Human Workers

Telephone helpline staffers at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) were feeling overworked and voted to unionize. Management then fired them all and replaced them with an AI Chatbot named Tessa.