super-science breakthrough compendium thread

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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby backtoiam » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:44 pm

Shtroll's (mixture of shill and troll)


My mental atmosphere is already complicated enough. And you had to go and do that...Now I have something else to figure out. :wallhead:
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby slomo » Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:12 pm

Google Wants to Patent a Blood-Sucking Smartwatch

Just when you thought our data-driven lifestyles were getting a little weird, Google wants to make it creepy. The company just filed a patent application for a “needle-free blood draw” device that can be implanted in a wearable. It’s the vampiric smartwatch you never asked for.

All jokes aside, the invention looks pretty interesting and possibly deeply helpful for diabetics. As with the embattled startup Theranos, the new Google design isn’t exactly needle-free. It’s basically a really slick finger-pricking gadget that works by blasting a gas-powered microparticle into the skin and then draws a small vial of blood into a pressurized container. The device comes in a few different configurations, including the aforementioned blood-sucking wearable, and can be used to measure glucose levels.

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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby zangtang » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:03 pm

Borg.
chapter 1:
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby Elvis » Sun Dec 06, 2015 2:58 pm

slomo » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:12 pm wrote:Google Wants to Patent a Blood-Sucking Smartwatch

Just when you thought our data-driven lifestyles were getting a little weird, Google wants to make it creepy. The company just filed a patent application for a “needle-free blood draw” device that can be implanted in a wearable. It’s the vampiric smartwatch you never asked for.

All jokes aside, the invention looks pretty interesting and possibly deeply helpful for diabetics. As with the embattled startup Theranos, the new Google design isn’t exactly needle-free. It’s basically a really slick finger-pricking gadget that works by blasting a gas-powered microparticle into the skin and then draws a small vial of blood into a pressurized container. The device comes in a few different configurations, including the aforementioned blood-sucking wearable, and can be used to measure glucose levels.

Image



My mother uses a recently-developed, body-attached device to monitor her blood sugar. It's saved her life once or twice. It's a bit clumsy, taped to her stomach, she'd love the wristband!
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:17 pm

Yeah, it might be good for diabetics. However, I'm certain that there will be "mission creep".

FWIW, I wear a FitBit. I hate providing a continuous feed of biometric data to the internet, but on the other hand it keeps me honest, especially on the level of physical effort on my runs. I'm a hypocrite, sue me.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby Elvis » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:57 pm

slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:17 pm wrote: I'm certain that there will be "mission creep".


Inevitably.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby DrEvil » Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:59 pm

slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:17 pm wrote:Yeah, it might be good for diabetics. However, I'm certain that there will be "mission creep".

FWIW, I wear a FitBit. I hate providing a continuous feed of biometric data to the internet, but on the other hand it keeps me honest, especially on the level of physical effort on my runs. I'm a hypocrite, sue me.


The best thing about stuff like Fitbit is that you can "gameify" them. Nothing brings out the competitive spirit in people like seeing their friends and family be better at something.

Imagine if you could do that to people's carbon footprint or recycling, or any number of beneficial things.
Something like Google Now is approaching the level of awareness about you that it could probably be implemented. Tie it in with tax credits and we could strip the planet of CO2 in a few years. :)
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:10 pm

DrEvil » 06 Dec 2015 12:59 wrote:
slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:17 pm wrote:Yeah, it might be good for diabetics. However, I'm certain that there will be "mission creep".

FWIW, I wear a FitBit. I hate providing a continuous feed of biometric data to the internet, but on the other hand it keeps me honest, especially on the level of physical effort on my runs. I'm a hypocrite, sue me.


The best thing about stuff like Fitbit is that you can "gameify" them. Nothing brings out the competitive spirit in people like seeing their friends and family be better at something.

Imagine if you could do that to people's carbon footprint or recycling, or any number of beneficial things.
Something like Google Now is approaching the level of awareness about you that it could probably be implemented. Tie it in with tax credits and we could strip the planet of CO2 in a few years. :)

Indeed, over the summer my partner and I had great fun competing with friends and family members, and it helped to make all of us more fit. Unfortunately, we've now been abandoned for the Apple Watch (fickle bitches, our friends and family). Now it's just the two of us, and isn't nearly as much fun. But I refuse to buy an Apple Watch.

...brb, going to the Apple Store.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby DrEvil » Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:42 pm

slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:10 pm wrote:
DrEvil » 06 Dec 2015 12:59 wrote:
slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:17 pm wrote:Yeah, it might be good for diabetics. However, I'm certain that there will be "mission creep".

FWIW, I wear a FitBit. I hate providing a continuous feed of biometric data to the internet, but on the other hand it keeps me honest, especially on the level of physical effort on my runs. I'm a hypocrite, sue me.


The best thing about stuff like Fitbit is that you can "gameify" them. Nothing brings out the competitive spirit in people like seeing their friends and family be better at something.

Imagine if you could do that to people's carbon footprint or recycling, or any number of beneficial things.
Something like Google Now is approaching the level of awareness about you that it could probably be implemented. Tie it in with tax credits and we could strip the planet of CO2 in a few years. :)

Indeed, over the summer my partner and I had great fun competing with friends and family members, and it helped to make all of us more fit. Unfortunately, we've now been abandoned for the Apple Watch (fickle bitches, our friends and family). Now it's just the two of us, and isn't nearly as much fun. But I refuse to buy an Apple Watch.

...brb, going to the Apple Store.


DON'T! It's a cult! (He said as he plugged in his iPad)

Another good use of gameification I've seen is an app you use to take pictures of plants and animals, and it will identify it for you, and also upload the picture, position and time to a database that scientists use. You get points for each photo and extra points for rare species, and the scientists get lots of useful data.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby slomo » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:19 pm

DrEvil » 06 Dec 2015 16:42 wrote:Another good use of gameification I've seen is an app you use to take pictures of plants and animals, and it will identify it for you, and also upload the picture, position and time to a database that scientists use. You get points for each photo and extra points for rare species, and the scientists get lots of useful data.

That's a good use. Another one is Waze, which helps with traffic. I have mixed feelings about the Waze point system, because on the one hand it incentivizes people to provide useful data, but on the other hand, it discourages people from, you know, keeping their eyes on the fucking road!
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby Luther Blissett » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:40 pm

Google Says It Has Proved Its Controversial Quantum Computer Really Works
Researchers from Google’s AI Lab say a controversial quantum machine that it and NASA have been testing since 2013 resoundingly beat a conventional computer in a series of tests.

Google says it has proof that a controversial machine it bought in 2013 really can use quantum physics to work through a type of math that’s crucial to artificial intelligence much faster than a conventional computer.

Governments and leading computing companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google are trying to develop what are called quantum computers because using the weirdness of quantum mechanics to represent data should unlock immense data-crunching powers. Computing giants believe quantum computers could make their artificial-intelligence software much more powerful and unlock scientific leaps in areas like materials science. NASA hopes quantum computers could help schedule rocket launches and simulate future missions and spacecraft. “It is a truly disruptive technology that could change how we do everything,” said Rupak Biswas, director of exploration technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.

Biswas spoke at a media briefing at the research center about the agency’s work with Google on a machine the search giant bought in 2013 from Canadian startup D-Wave systems, which is marketed as “the world’s first commercial quantum computer.” The computer is installed at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and operates on data using a superconducting chip called a quantum annealer. A quantum annealer is hard-coded with an algorithm suited to what are called “optimization problems,” which are common in machine-learning and artificial-intelligence software.

However, D-Wave’s chips are controversial among quantum physicists. Researchers inside and outside the company have been unable to conclusively prove that the devices can tap into quantum physics to beat out conventional computers.

Hartmut Neven, leader of Google’s Quantum AI Lab in Los Angeles, said today that his researchers have delivered some firm proof of that. They set up a series of races between the D-Wave computer installed at NASA against a conventional computer with a single processor. “For a specific, carefully crafted proof-of-concept problem we achieve a 100-million-fold speed-up,” said Neven.

Google posted a research paper describing its results online last night, but it has not been formally peer-reviewed. Neven said that journal publications would be forthcoming.

Google’s results are striking—but even if verified, they would only represent partial vindication for D-Wave. The computer that lost in the contest with the quantum machine was running code that had it solve the problem at hand using an algorithm similar to the one baked into the D-Wave chip. An alternative algorithm is known that could have let the conventional computer be more competitive, or even win, by exploiting what Neven called a “bug” in D-Wave’s design. Neven said the test his group staged is still important because that shortcut won’t be available to regular computers when they compete with future quantum annealers capable of working on larger amounts of data.

Matthias Troyer, a physics professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, said making that come true is crucial if chips like D-Wave’s are to become useful. “It will be important to explore if there are problems where quantum annealing has advantages over even the best classical algorithms, and to find if there are classes of application problems where such advantages can be realized,” he said, in a statement with two colleagues.

Last year Troyer’s group published a high-profile study of an earlier D-Wave chip that concluded it didn’t offer advantages over conventional machines. That question has now been partially resolved, they say. “Google’s results indeed show a huge advantage on these carefully chosen instances.”

Google is competing with D-Wave to make a quantum annealer that could do useful work. Last summer the Silicon Valley giant opened a new lab in Santa Barbara, headed by a leading academic researcher, John Martinis (see “Google Launches Effort to Build Its Own Quantum Computer”).

Martinis is also working on quantum hardware that would not be limited to optimization problems, as annealers are. A universal quantum computer, as such a machine would be called, could be programmed to take on any problem and would be much more useful but is expected to take longer to perfect. Government and university labs, Microsoft (see “Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics”), and IBM (see “IBM Shows Off a Quantum Computing Chip”) are also working on that technology.

John Giannandrea, a VP of engineering at Google who coördinates the company’s research, said that if quantum annealers could be made practical, they would find many uses powering up Google’s machine-learning software. “We’ve already encountered problems in the course of our products impractical to solve with existing computers, and we have a lot of computers,” he said. However, Giannandrea noted, “it may be several years before this research makes a difference to Google products.”

Update: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that NASA bought the quantum computer with Google. Google bought it and NASA hosts it. The story has also been updated to include comments from Matthias Troyer.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby Luther Blissett » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:49 pm

DrEvil » Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:59 pm wrote:Imagine if you could do that to people's carbon footprint or recycling, or any number of beneficial things.


Brilliant. Magic Leap your fresh food consumption / waste ratio or how much one composts.

Though really I wish there was a way to gamify the environmental harm from transoceanic shipping vessels or from factory meat farms.
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby DrEvil » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:08 pm

^^Maybe we could gameify resistance?

50 points for shutting down a heavy polluter
5000 points for landing a banker in jail
1000000000 points for landing the Koch brothers in jail
etc.

If you could somehow quantify the impact a group or movement has and assign a score it would let people join the causes that do the most good, and it would allow the less effective groups to learn from their "betters".
An optimization algorithm for resistance (which of course could be turned into an optimization algorithm for oppression, but never mind that).
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby zangtang » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:14 pm

Sachsa Gold,man board of directors wipeout?

extra points for boardroom 2/3rds inch deep in viscera.......
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Re: super-science breakthrough compendium thread

Postby Luther Blissett » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:52 pm

The Video Game that Made Elon Musk Question Whether Our Reality is a Simulation

In June, a team of programmers will release a ground-breaking new video game called No Man’s Sky, which uses artificial intelligence and procedural generation to self-create an entire cosmos full of planets. Running off 600,000 lines of code, the game creates an artificial galaxy populated by 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 unique planets that you can travel to and explore.

Though this artificial universe is realistic down to the dimensions of a blade of grass, faster than light-speed travel is available in order for players to bridge the unfathomable distances between stars.

Chief architect Sean Murray says No Man’s Sky is different than most games because the landscapes and distances aren’t faked. While most space-based games utilize a skybox that simply rotates between different modalities, No Man’s Sky is virtually limitless and employs real physics.

“With [our game],” Murray said in an interview with The Atlantic, “when you’re on a planet, you can see as far as the curvature of that planet. If you walked for years, you could walk all the way around it, arriving back exactly where you started. Our day to night cycle is happening because the planet is rotating on its axis as it spins around the sun. There is real physics to that. We have people that will fly down from a space station onto a planet and when they fly back up, the station isn’t there anymore; the planet has rotated. People have filed that as a bug.”

Even the animals on the game’s planets have unique behavioral profiles, created with a “procedural distortion of archetypes” that requires a sequence of algorithms categorized as a “computerized pseudo-randomness generator.”

The game’s Artificial Intelligence programmer, Charlie Tangora, says,

“Certain animals have an affinity for some objects over others which is part of giving them personality and individual style. They have friends and best friends too. It’s just a label on a bit of code—but another creature of the same type nearby is potentially their friend. They ask their friends telepathically where they’re going so they can coordinate.”

Playable characters include astronauts separated from each other by millions of light years. According to The Guardian:

“The overarching goal for players is to head toward the centre of the universe. This common destination will increase the chance that people will encounter one another on their journey (even if the game sells millions of copies, when your playground consists of 18 quintillion planets, a single encounter is statistically unlikely).”

This presents a degree of existentialism to the game, as it does not shy away from the mind-numbing vastness. Rather, it embodies and celebrates the wonders of the universe, even imitating fractal geometry in an homage to the repeating patterns found at every level of existence.

“If you look at a leaf very closely,” Murray explained, “there is a main stock running through the center with little tributaries radiating out. Farther away, you’ll see a similar pattern in the branches of the trees. You’ll see it if you look at the landscape, as streams feed into larger rivers. And, farther still—there are similar patterns in a galaxy.”

The similarities between the real cosmos and the game cosmos presented by No Man’s Sky have actually provoked philosophers and scientists to ask whether a simulation like this, or perhaps one even more vast, could also be a repeating pattern in the universe.

To discuss this as it relates to the game, writer Roc Morin interviewed philosopher Nick Bostrom, the Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and the author of the now legendary “Simulation Argument,” a controversial paper that has garnered a cult following in the last several decades. The Simulation Argument hypothesizes that since advanced civilizations throughout the universe are almost certain to have created vast numbers of cosmic simulations, statistically speaking it is quite possible that we are living in one — that in fact, our universe and our reality exist within a computer simulation created by an extraterrestrial or future humans (or posthuman AI).

Bostrom’s paper starts with the following abstract:

“This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.”

In other words, the Matrix.

Incredibly, in recent years, scientists have actually sought to prove the Simulation Argument, running experimental computer tests that look for anomalies in the laws of physics. In a piece for The Ghost Diaries, I wrote about a team of German physicists using lattice quantum thermodynamics to try to discover whether there is an underlying grid to the space/time continuum in our universe. Though they have only recreated a tiny corner of the known universe, a few femtometers across, they have simulated the hypothetical lattice and are now looking for matching physical limitations.

One well-known constraint involves high energy particles. It turns out our universe does in fact have a physical limitation that is not fully understood. It is known as the Greisen–Zatsepin–Kuzmin or GZK cut off. And this limitation is eerily similar to what physicists predict would exist in a simulated universe.

Additionally, in the last couple of years, theoretical physicist S. James Gate has discovered something rather extraordinary in his String Theory research. Essentially, deep inside the equations we use to describe our universe, Gate has found computer code. And not just any code, but extremely peculiar self-dual linear binary error-correcting block code. That’s right, error correcting 1’s and 0’s wound up tightly in the quantum core of our universe.

Remarking on the incredible verisimilitude of No Man’s Sky, Murray recalls a query by none other than the creator of Tesla and SpaceX.

“Elon Musk questioned me about this. He asked, ‘What are the chances that we’re living in a simulation?’ ”

Murray’s answer:

“Even if it is a simulation, it’s a good simulation, so we shouldn’t question it. I’m working on my dream game, for instance. I’m more happy than I am sad. Whoever is running the simulation must be smarter than I am, and since they’ve created a nice one, then presumably they are benevolent and want good things for me.”

Of course, the game isn’t 100% realistic, as Murray did take some creative liberties. For example, he defied Newtonian physics by allowing for closer moon orbits (presumably to facilitate more cinematic landscapes featuring giant skyward moons). He also had his programmers reconfigure the periodic table to allow for varying atmospheric and particle light diffraction. The purpose: so that some planets could have green skies.

Being the God of a simulated universe does have its perks.


Can anyone explain the bold?
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