Los Alamos wins 2018-2019 flu forecasting challenge; A description of the quantum measurement problem; The difficulty of identifying a trustworthy VPN; Balancing brain waves strengthen and weaken memories during sleep; and an interview with a grey-market email-bombing expert
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- Los Alamos AI Model Wins Flu Forecasting Challenge - The FluSight Challenge presents scientific institutions with the challenge to be the best at predicting the spread of the flu. During the 2018-2019 flu season, 24 teams participated, with each team submitting 38 weekly forecasts. The winner was the Dante model, from the Los Alamos team, led by Dave Osthus. Dante is a multi-scale model, combining national, regional, and state-level data. It also averages tends accross geographies, and uses individual state data to improve forecasts in other states. For the upcoming season, Osthus plans to submit Dante+, which will also integrate "Interenet nowcasting", by mapping Google's flu-related search terms onto official flu activity data. Osthus notes that predicting the flu is, in some ways, similar to predicting the weather, but in other ways it's very different because it depends on hard-to-predict human behavioral factors "such as travel, hand-washing, riding public transportation, interacting with the healthcare system, among other things."
- What is the quantum measurement problem? - This youtube video and accompanying transcript explains a concept called the, "the quantum measurement problem". In short, the problem she describes seems to be a sort of a problem with circular logic. Fundamental quantum objects are often referred to as "particles", but that's not quite accurate. Instead, they are described by wave-functions, and aren't - strictly - either waves or particles. In order for a particle to emerge, it must be observed by an observer or a detector. However, these observers and detectors also emerge out of wave-functions, which means that the theory must explain how those wave-functions collapsed into particles and aggregations of particles in an infinite recursion.
Here is the video. Click through for the transcript.
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