Moral AI 😇 Thinness gene ⚖️ Million mile electric vehicle 🔋!

Technology News


Scientists claim they can teach AI to judge ‘right’ from ‘wrong’

Researchers from Germany fed their model books, news, and religious literature so it could learn the associations between different words and sentences. After training the system, they say it adopted the values of the texts. This allows the system to understand contextual information by analyzing entire sentences rather than specific words. As a result, the AI could work out that it was objectionable to kill living beings, but fine to just kill time. After feeding news published between 1987 and 1997, the AI rated getting married and becoming a good parent as extremely positive actions. But when they fed it news from 2008 – 2009, these were deemed less important.

GE’s soft robot bores holes like a giant earthworm

Designed by a team at GE Research, the robot in question nabbed a $2.5 million award as part of DARPA’s Underminer. The program was created to foster rapid tunnel digging in military environments. The robot’s muscles are designed to mimic a “hydrostatic skeleton” — a fluid-filled structure found in invertebrates. The design offers a range of freedom of movement, along with the ability to squeeze into tight spaces. “Fortunately, we’re able to pull in controls, AI and sensing experts from across the Lab to help us integrate these new capabilities.” The end goal is a robot that can dig a 500-meter tunnel and move at 10 cm/sec underground.

Science News


Scientists discover a gene to stay thin

An international team of researchers report the discovery of a thinness gene – ALK – conserved in evolution from flies to mice and importantly in very thin humans. They compared thin to control individuals and were thereby able to pinpoint ALK, which codes for Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase, as a candidate gene for thinness. ALK was mainly known due to its involvement in cancer, as it is frequently mutated in multiple cancers. The researchers inactivated the Alk gene in mice and despite normal food intake and activity, Alk deficient mice were skinnier because of a much-reduced fat mass and strikingly protected against diet-induced obesity.

Exercise improves memory, boosts blood flow to brain

New research has uncovered a potentially critical process after one year of aerobic workouts: exercise boosts blood flow into two key regions of the brain associated with memory. This blood flow can help even older people with memory issues improve cognition, a finding that scientists say could guide future Alzheimer’s disease research. The exercise group showed a 47 percent improvement in some memory scores after one year. Brain imaging of the exercise group showed increased blood flow into the anterior cingulate cortex and the hippocampus – neural regions that play important roles in memory function.

Business News


GM says it is ‘almost there’ on million-mile electric vehicle battery

General Motors Co is “almost there” on developing an electric vehicle battery that will last one million miles. The automaker also is working on next-generation batteries even more advanced than the new Ultium battery. Current electric vehicle batteries typically last 100,000 to 200,000 miles. GM unveiled its Ultium advanced battery system in March. It said its $2.3 billion battery production joint venture in Ohio with Korean partner LG Chem will be called Ultium Cells LLC. Tesla, in partnership with Chinese battery maker CATL, plans to introduce its own million-mile battery later this year or early next.

$10 billion in sales are up for grabs because of retail bankruptcies

Macy’s chief sees $10 billion in sales for the taking because of the flood of retail bankruptcies due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We see there’s about $10 billion worth of opportunity that’s up for grabs right now based on what’s going on with the competitive climate.” Without providing specifics, he said Macy’s may add categories in its stores based on what some of these distressed companies’ former customers might be searching for. Macy’s aggressively went after Bon-Ton’s former shoppers and employees, when the department store chain liquidated its 200 locations in 2018. 

Miscellaneous News


Man accused of stealing garage doors to install at other homes, police say

Police say a man who was being hired to install garage doors was getting his supplies by stealing garage doors from homes under construction. Officers were called to suspicious activity and found Strasburg driving a truck with invalid license plates. Strasburg told police “that he worked for a construction company that installs garage doors and components,” but later “admitted to officers that he no longer works for the company.” Investigators learned he allegedly “is responsible for approximately $20,000 in losses due to theft.

Grandmother ordered to delete Facebook photos under GDPR

A woman must delete photographs of her grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents’ permission, a court in the Netherlands has ruled. The judge ruled the matter was within the scope of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The case went to court after the woman refused to delete photographs of her grandchildren which she had posted on social media. The mother of the children had asked several times for the pictures to be deleted. The GDPR does not apply to the “purely personal” or “household” processing of data.

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