Interesting Links: June 13, 2019

in #rsslog3 years ago

The brain as a collection of map data structures; A rock-paper-scissors robot that wins 100% of games (by cheating); Exploring the link between creativity and ADHD; People can learn to program an inexpensive robotic arm in 15 minutes; A tribute to Venezuelan composer, Augusto Brandt


Business, News, Science, Technology, or whatever gets my attention.

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Links and micro-summaries from my 1000+ daily headlines. I filter them so you don't have to.


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  1. The Brain Is Full of Maps - In this talk for the edge.org Possible Minds series, Freeman Dyson focuses on the contrast between analog and digital calculations. He elaborates on the 1988 idea from W. Daniel Hillis' Intelligence as an Emergent Behavior; or, the Songs of Eden which suggested that the song is the evolutionary target, and the animals are just the phenotypes. Dyson also suggests that the brain is fundamentally an analog device with specialized components or structures that use digital mechanisms. This suggestion is probably not a surprise for anyone who has read Dyson's, Infinite in All Directions. Dyson's short talk is followed by a discussion that involves a number of edge thinkers (including Stephen Wolfram, David Chalmers, and W. Daniel Hillis, among others). In addition to this article, I highly recommend the Hillis essay.

  2. Rock Paper Scissors robot wins 100% of the time - 3 years ago, Japanese researchers introduced their robot that always wins at "rock-paper-scissors". It wins through a form of high-tech cheating, by watching the human's hand curvature to learn what the human will do, then moving faster to present the winning choice. h/t Bruce Schneier.

    Here is a video (you may want to watch at reduced speed):


  • Are People with ADHD More Creative? - Some studies have offered hints that people with ADHD are more creative and more willing to take risks, but when the entire body of evidence is considered, no clear link is found. This ambiguity is consistent with the coverage of the link between creativity and mental illness in Interesting Links: May 30, 2019.

  • Anyone can program this cheap robot arm in just 15 minutes - Unlike most industrial robots that are hard to program and cost upwards from $100,000, Automata's $7,500 robot, Eva, comes with drag and drop software that anyone can learn to use in 15 minutes. In case you're curious, Eva was named after the robot in WALL-E.

  • STEEM Tribute to Venezuelan musicians, today: Augusto Brandt - I can't read what the post says, since it's written in Spanish, but it contains an embedded youtube of @edmundocentenor performing Besos en mis sueños in a tribute to Venezuelan composer, Augusto Brandt. Brandt was the son of German immigrants to Venezuela, and he lived from 1892-1942. (@edmundocentenor will receive 5% of the rewards from this post.)

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