Tag: Wild-systems

Artificial Intelligence

Should We Fear Thinking Machines?

From drones in the sky taking pictures and dropping bombs, to smart houses equipped with security systems and automation, it seems thinking machines could put the human race in danger.

In the latest trend of Hollywood’s fascination with artificial intelligence, three new movies pose the conundrum of what happens when we make machines as smart as ourselves, and then try to interact with them. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, a league of superheroes have to put down a robot menace, in Ex Machina a software engineer must be our first contact with a female A.I., and in Chappie a robot cop wakes up to sentience.  How realistic these fears are?

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Manufactured Animals

A Swarm of Micro Drones

Researchers at GRASP Laboratory have developed agile micro drones able to act like a swarm. The drones are capable of complex motion behavior, either as individual units or as a group. Each unit contains several sensors, allowing the micro drone to stabilize itself in mid-air and recover from unexpected errors.

While the drones still require external localization, the results represent the first steps towards the development of advanced swarm behavior within drones. This could have a major impact on the future of automated unmanned aerial vehicles, commercial airlines or even flying cars.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence Able to Create Music

Emily Howell is an interactive interface that allows both musical and language communication, exploring how a software can be an artist, a musician in particular. A domain previously reserved to humans, is now slowly entered by computers and lines of code.

Programmed by David Cope, professor of music at UCSC, Emily Howell has released two albums. She composes and performs her own pieces of music and can adapt itself to the preferences of the listener.

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Wild Systems

Gameplay of the Crowds

Over a year ago an anonymous Australian programmer started a social experiment called “Twitch Plays Pokémon”. The experiment consisted of a video stream on Twitch of the video game Pokémon Red. Viewers could interact with the video game by sending commands through the chat room of the stream which controlled the avatar of the game in real time. After more than 16 days of continuous playing, the game was completed.

When the experiment started, a few hundred people were watching. However, soon enough the internet caught on and the stream became unexpectedly popular. Instead of a few hundred, tens of thousands of people were watching.
During the remainder of the experiment, an average of 80,000 concurrent viewers was achieved, with a peak of 121,000 simultaneous viewers.
Within days, the experiment spawned many in-jokes, memes and even its own mythology around a specific item that was obtained during the play through. It became a culture of its own.

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Green Blues

Solar Eclipse May Impact Power Supply Due to Increased Use of Solar Panels

For the first time in human history a solar eclipse is expected to impact our electrical power supply systems. Not because the forthcoming eclipse of 20th march 2015 is bigger or longer lasting than earlier solar eclipses, but rather due to the increased use of solar energy for power supply.

Back in 1999, around the time of the last large solar eclipse in Europe, solar power covered just 0.1 per cent of all the electricity produced in Europe from renewable energy sources. Since then solar power generation increased to at least 10.5 per cent as countries subsidize green power to meet EU renewable energy targets.

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