Science

Google’s DeepMind aims to teach AI to master StarCraft II

Google’s DeepMind aims to teach AI to master StarCraft II

DeepMind, Google's artificial intelligence startup, already developed a bot that could beat humans at the ancient Chinese game of Go, but now it's looking to master a much more modern game. The researchers have just announced a new partnership with game developer Blizzard that will see the pair develop a platform to teach AI how to play StarCraft II, the immensely popular real-time strategy (RTS) title.

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Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Canadian military investigates strange Arctic ‘pinging,’ only finds walruses

Locals have been reporting an unusual ‘pinging’ sound in the Arctic that reportedly scares animals and is strong enough to be heard through boat hulls. In light of these reports, Canada’s military has set out to investigate and, hopefully, find an explanation for the pings. According to military officials, aircraft-based searches were carried out over the region in which the noise has been reported, but thus far no sources have been identified.

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NASA Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument could sniff out life on Mars

NASA Bio-Indicator Lidar Instrument could sniff out life on Mars

NASA has a new prototype instrument that takes advantage of a sensing technique that is currently used by the military to monitor air remotely in an effort to detect chemicals, toxins, and pathogens that could threaten the lives of servicemen and women. The NASA instrument is called the Bio-indicator Lidar instrument or BILI and rather than sniffing out hazards, it would be used to sniff out life on Mars.

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MIT morphing wing changes shape for more efficient flight

MIT morphing wing changes shape for more efficient flight

A new project at MIT for a wing that is able to change shape during flight is a bit of a throwback to the aircraft that the Wright Brothers first flew over a hundred years ago. The Wright Brothers used a system of pulleys and cables that twisted the wings of their aircraft to control flight. A new wing that is being developed by MIT uses a similar approach to allow the wing to morph and change shape for more efficient flight and manufacturing.

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Robots “skin” uses warmth to identify objects

Robots “skin” uses warmth to identify objects

It’s unavoidable that, for the foreseeable future, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will remain the butt of jokes when it comes to literally hot electronics. After all, heat and electronics don’t make for a good combination. Heat and organics, however, is important, from sustaining life to making sense of the world around us. Roboticists from Georgia Tech are trying to take advantage of the latter to give robots the ability to better identify objects. And they are doing so by giving these robots a “warm skin”.

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Millennials are coffee junkies: consumption outpaces production (again)

Millennials are coffee junkies: consumption outpaces production (again)

Millennials are coffee junkies, and their boundless love for the brewed beverage has resulted in consumption outpacing production for a second time. Is the coffee apocalypse upon us? Probably not, though prices are already high and it's likely they'll continue to climb in coming months. This latest coffee season ended on September 30, and saw coffee drinkers around the world consuming more beans than crops produced, that itself partly being due to droughts affecting farmland where coffee is grown.

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MIT Nightmare Machine uses deep learning AI to create horror

MIT Nightmare Machine uses deep learning AI to create horror

Google used algorithms to create trippy, dreamy images, and now MIT has done something similar...only with a horror slant to keep in theme with Halloween. Called the Nightmare Machine, this deep learning algorithm takes an image and rewrites it to look as if it were plucked from a horror movie. The resulting images are dark, creepy, and in some cases somewhat gory looking and certainly disturbing.

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NASA has a new asteroid ‘Intruder Alert’ for risky NEOs

NASA has a new asteroid ‘Intruder Alert’ for risky NEOs

NASA has a new 'Intruder Alert' system that warns researchers when a near-Earth-object (NEO) is risky. Called Scout, this alert is the brainchild of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers, and it works by constantly watching sky data for signs of an NEO. When one is spotted, Scout does some quick math to figure out if the celestial object is potentially dangerous or no big deal.

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Scientists discover first known fossil of dinosaur brain tissue

Scientists discover first known fossil of dinosaur brain tissue

What you see above might not look like much more than a small rock, but it marks a huge first in the field of paleontology: it's the first known example of a dinosaur brain tissue fossil. Originally discovered in Sussex, UK, it's believed to have come from a species similar to the Iguanodon, a large herbivore, roughly 133 million years ago.

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This patch could save the life of a person with a peanut allergy

This patch could save the life of a person with a peanut allergy

This tiny patch is something that could mean the difference between life and death for people who suffer from a peanut allergy. The wearable patch has shown great promise and recently completed a clinical trial and has performed very well for young children. The patch is the Viaskin Peanut Patch and it gives small amounts of peanut protein through skin of the wearer.

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Google Neural Network rolled its own encryption to protect data

Google Neural Network rolled its own encryption to protect data

Google has a trio of neural networks called Alice, Bob, and Eve. These neural networks were trained to optimize and perfect their parts of a communication process. Alice was to send a message to Bob and Bob was to decode that message. Eve was only there to throw a wrench in the works and read the message Alice sent without permission. To keep the message secret Alice and Bob did something that is more than a bit disturbing if you have ever seen Terminator.

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NASA finds prolonged space travel can affect the spine

NASA finds prolonged space travel can affect the spine

With a manned mission to Mars in the cards for NASA, the space agency is spending lots of money and time researching the effects of prolonged space travel on the human body. A new study has been published that has found that space travel will affect the spine of astronauts. Specifically the study has proven that atrophy of the muscles supporting the spine occurs after long travel in space.

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