Category Archives: Technology

Soon, the ISS Will Be the Coldest Known Place in the Universe

Where is the coldest known place in the Universe? It may sound strange, but today, it is here on Earth: in 1995, in a laboratory in M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the German physicist Wolfgang Ketterle and his colleagues have cooled a sodium gas to the lowest temperature ever recorded, only half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.

But, soon, this record will be broken. NASA is going to launch a facility to the International Space Station (ISS) that will contain a spot 10 billion times colder than the outer space. The new Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) facility, which will operate in microgravity, could help answer some big questions in modern physics, allowing researchers to dive deep into the quantum realm in a way that would never be possible here on Earth.

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What a fossil revolution reveals about the history of ‘big data’

In 1981, when I was nine years old, my father took me to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. Although I had to squint my eyes during some of the scary scenes, I loved it – in particular because I was fairly sure that Harrison Ford’s character was based on my dad. My father was a palaeontologist at the University of Chicago, and I’d gone on several field trips with him to the Rocky Mountains, where he seemed to transform into a rock-hammer-wielding superhero.

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“Wrong” by Freethink Media

Today, I stumbled upon a Facebook page, titled “Wrong” by Freethink. Then I searched them on YouTube and saw that they also have a YouTube channel. They published great videos on interesting subjects. I would strongly recommend you to take a look at their very underrated YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Here some of their great videos below:

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Now it’s time to prepare for the Machinocene

Human-level intelligence is familiar in biological hardware – you’re using it now. Science and technology seem to be converging, from several directions, on the possibility of similar intelligence in non-biological systems. It is difficult to predict when this might happen, but most artificial intelligence (AI) specialists estimate that it is more likely than not within this century.

Freed of biological constraints, such as a brain that needs to fit through a human birth canal (and that runs on the power of a mere 20W lightbulb), non-biological machines might be much more intelligent than we are. What would this mean for us? The leading AI researcher Stuart Russell suggests that, for better or worse, it would be ‘the biggest event in human history’. Indeed, our choices in this century might have long-term consequences not only for our own planet, but for the galaxy at large, as the British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees has observed. The future of intelligence in the cosmos might depend on what we do right now, down here on Earth.

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Want faster data and a cleaner planet? Start mining asteroids

Mining asteroids might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but there are companies and a few governments already working hard to make it real. This should not be surprising: compared with the breathtaking bridges that engineers build on Earth, asteroid-mining is a simple, small-scale operation requiring only modest technological advances. If anything is lacking, it is the imagination to see how plausible it has become. I am afraid only that it might not arrive soon enough to address the urgent resource challenges that the world is facing right now.

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Watch: An 8th Planet Orbiting a Distant Star was Discovered using Artificial Intelligence and Kepler data

Using data from exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and machine learning algorithm from Google, researchers discovered an 8th planet orbiting a distant star. The newly discovered planet is circling Kepler-90, a G-type main sequence star (Sun-like star), 2,545 light years from Earth. It is named Kepler-90i.

According to the press release from NASA, Kepler-90i is “a sizzling hot, rocky planet that orbits its star once every 14.4 day. In this case, computers using Google’s machine learning algorithm, “learned” to identify planets by finding in Kepler data instances where the telescope recorded signals from planets beyond our solar system, known as exoplanets.

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