DeepMind: un paso más hacia el desarrollo de computadores que piensan – El Mostrador

Los científicos que trabajan en esta unidad de inteligencia artificial que fue adquirida hace dos años por Google, consiguieron desarrollar un DNC, que consiste en un computador neuronal diferenciable (DNC) capaz de resolver problemas a pequeña escala sin conocimientos previos.

Fuente: DeepMind: un paso más hacia el desarrollo de computadores que piensan – El Mostrador


El pionero satélite cuántico chino que puede revolucionar las comunicaciones del mundo – El Mostrador

Se trata de un millonario y ambicioso proyecto apodado QUESS, que pone al gigante asiático a la cabeza de una revolución tecnológica: crear nuevas redes de comunicación globales a prueba de hackeos.

Fuente: El pionero satélite cuántico chino que puede revolucionar las comunicaciones del mundo – El Mostrador


Europe’s leap into the quantum computing arms race — FT.com

It is a dizzying gamble and there are billions of euros riding on the outcome. If the wager pays off, Europe will hold its own against mighty China and the US; if not, the entire project will be regarded in hindsight as a breathtakingly indulgent folly. I refer, of course, not to the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s EU membership but to the European Commission’s announcement last week that it would be launching a €1bn plan to explore “quantum technologies”. It is the third of the commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies Flagship projects — visionary megaprojects lasting a decade or more. These are challenges too grand — and bets too risky — for a single nation to square up to on its own.

Fuente: Europe’s leap into the quantum computing arms race — FT.com


Gadgets have their place in education, but they’re no substitute for knowledge | Daisy Christodoulou | theguardian.com

Gadgets have their place in education, but they’re no substitute for knowledge | Daisy Christodoulou | theguardian.com.

The immense computing power we possess will only make learning easier if we acknowledge it will never make it effortless
Tetris
‘The striking thing about many computer games is that while they often involve quite monotonous tasks, they still prove incredibly addictive. People playing Tetris don’t seem to struggle to ignore distractions.’ Photograph: Scott Kingsley/AP

The children returning to school this week with their new Christmas gadgets don’t remember a world without smartphones, tablets, e-readers and laptops. For some, this generation of digital natives are using technology in collaborative and social ways that will revolutionise learning.Others worry about the damage these devices are doing to their concentration spans and their ability to think deeply.

So what is the truth about technology and education? Is it better to read War and Peace on a Kindle or on paper? Or should we forgo 19th-century novels completely in favour of co-creating our own stories on Facebook? As a recent New Scientist article acknowledged, the rapid pace of technological change means large-scale studies of many of these issues are lacking. However, there is some reliable research.

 


One big problem with open access and why the best way to fix it isn't going to work – Curt Rice

One big problem with open access and why the best way to fix it isn’t going to work – Curt Rice.

There’s a conflict, a tension, an inherent contradiction in the open access movement, and while it could be resolved, that seems increasingly unlikely.

The inconsistency goes like this: the shift to open access publishing started idealistically, with enthusiasm and pressure from the grassroots. The business model for disseminating scientific results would be changed. Instead of putting research into journals that were expensive and exclusive, we would make articles available for free. No charge at all. Ready to be downloaded by anyone with an internet connection.

Shaking in their boots

We developed more and more arguments for open access — not just solidarity with colleagues in poorer countries, but also the (im)morality of paying first for research to be done (through salaries) and then for the articles to be reviewed and edited (through volunteer work for journals) and then paying once again to be able to read them (through subscriptions). Add to this the monopolistic price gouging of the biggest publishers, whose profit rates exceed those of oil companies, and change seemed inevitable.

Wall Street analysts say open access has failed, but their analysis might help us succeed. If we dare.

Some of these arguments worked. Gradually, research councils pulled themselves over the gunwales and got onboard. Governments articulated policies. Universities gave their researchers a nudge.

The publishers started to shake in their boots. They really did. They got worried.

But then they got over it.

And this is where the other side of the inconsistency comes into play. The tension in the movement is that its idealistic and anarchistic origins are in conflict with what is needed for success, namely a clear message articulated by visible and visionary leadership.


I know students who buy essays online being ripped off – I used to write them | Education | The Guardian

I know students who buy essays online being ripped off – I used to write them | Education | The Guardian.

A report this week has exposed online businesses who supply ‘research guides’ for students. Here, a writer explains what it’s like to churn out essays on demand

 

Companies claim that they are providing customers only with 'research guides'.
Companies claim that they are providing students only with ‘research guides’. Photograph: Alamy

 

Students who buy essays online are being ripped off, according to a report published this week by exam regulator Ofqual. The work they purchase is written by “relatively competent writers”, but who have an “almost universal ignorance of the scope of the work” and an “utter lack of in-depth analysis”. This is completely true. I worked for two of these companies, both from home and “in-house”, which at one point saw 15 of us crammed into the boss’s attic.

 

Ofqual’s researchers paid up to £220 for essays, but only a fraction of that money goes to the actual writer, who can earn as little as £24 for every 1,000 words. To earn a reasonable rate, a writer needs to finish at least an essay a day. Writers quickly learn the first rule of paid essays: abandon all aspirations to quality, right now.

 

Despite the fees, the companies contend that they don’t produce “essays” to be handed in at all. Clients buy “research guides” to inspire their own work, in the same way that your Amsterdam souvenirs say “For Tobacco Use Only” on them. But it covers the company: if you hand in your “2:1 Guaranteed” essay and it gets a 2:2, you have already breached your contract by submitting it. There is nothing you can do.

 

That means for the writer, the game is to hit the word count as quickly as possible. As long as it looks like an essay, the actual words matter very little. Take every shortcut. Rephrase Wikipedia. Always give the counterpoint, no matter how weak: the words “on the other hand” are your new best friend. If you don’t have time to check citations, make them up! If the client can’t be bothered to read a book, he’s not going to check your page numbers.

 

Quality-checking would vary. One company hired full-time quality staff, but it’s hard to cover every subject area in every discipline, so “quality checks” were rarely more than proofreads. At another company, if you could write on one subject, this qualified you to write on anything. A law graduate would end up doing revision notes on Chinese political history, eventually writing a PhD proposal for an economics student and wondering how they got there. I once wrote a Market Research BA dissertation in two days and heard nothing more of it.


Google hires leading quantum computing expert – FT.com

Google hires leading quantum computing expert – FT.com.

Google today announced that it is expanding its research around quantum computing and that it has hired UC Santa Barbara’s (UCSB) John Martinis and his team – one of the most prolific research groups in this area — to work on new quantum processors based on superconducting electronics.

Google has hired one of the world’s leading quantum computing researchers as it ramps up efforts to develop artificial intelligence and vastly increase the processing power of computers.

Physicist John Martinis and his team at the University of California Santa Barbara will join Google’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, a collaborative project between the technology group, Nasa and the Universities Space Research Association, a non-profit organisation that studies space. The team will form part of an effort “to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics”, said Hartmut Neven, Google’s director of engineering, in a blog post.

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It is the latest sign of Google’s bet on the rise of “smart machines”, which it is developing along with a host of experimental projects from drones to self-driving cars.

In January, Google paid £400m for UK start-up DeepMind, whose brain-like “neural network” algorithms can be set loose on huge data-sets and learn in a similar way to the human mind. Its technology is particularly good at calculations based on pattern recognition, such as image searching or looking for the cheapest or best route to a destination.

Google is already working with Nasa to develop applications on a D-Wave quantum computer, the only quantum device that is commercially available, although there is dispute as to the extent to which it is a genuinely “quantum” device.

Developing such technology could help run the sophisticated algorithms that would be required to develop “intelligent” machines, experts say.

Mr Martinis explained the potential reach of quantum technology in a presentation to Google last October. “It’s a physics nightmare . . . We’ve been going at it for 20 years,” he admitted.

Although his team has not yet built a full computer, they have shown how it is theoretically possible to use electrons’ unique ability to exist in two atomic states to vastly increase computing power, because it allows multiple calculations to be run through the system at the same time.

Anders Sandberg, a computational neuroscientist at Oxford university’s Future of Humanity Institute, said quantum technology is likely to be useful for running sophisticated search algorithms for unordered data. Much of what is on the web falls into this category and more is likely to be produced by the rise of connected devices and the “internet of things”.

In depth

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Google is showing results from heavy investments in areas beyond search, with notable inroads in the mobile, video and display markets

“The interesting thing about quantum superpositions is that you cannot just do several things at once, but you can tease out patterns in clever ways,” he said. “[Quantum computing] is very cutting edge and we don’t know if it’s going to work out – but there are tantalising hints that it could.

“A lot of artificial intelligence is about searching for patterns and connecting stuff,” he added. “Our brains are using really slow neurons, but using them really well because they’re running in parallel.”

For example, Prof Martinis has said it would take a bank of computers the size of North America running for 10 years and consuming the earth’s entire store of energy every day to figure out all the prime numbers contained in a 2,000-long sequence of binary code. A quantum computer the size of a lecture theatre could do the same calculation in a day.

Mr Sandberg said factoring numbers can be useful for encryption and code-breaking by governments.

But while versions of quantum computers appear to be capable of doing specific, focused applications fast, making them versatile has been a challenge.

“The fact you can have big arguments about whether [the D-Wave] is a quantum computer shows it’s early days,” Mr Sandberg said.

 


Richard Stallman en Chile (Valpo., Miércoles 20/Ago/2014; Stgo., Viernes 22 y Jueves 28/Ago/2014) | Manzana Mecánica

Richard Stallman en Chile (Valpo., Miércoles 20/Ago/2014; Stgo., Viernes 22 y Jueves 28/Ago/2014) | Manzana Mecánica.

Carolina Gainza »

Richard Stallman estará en Valparaíso esta semana y en Santiago esta semana y la próxima, en cuatro actividades a realizarse en la Universidad de Playa Ancha, la Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional, Universidad de Chile y en el marco del Congreso InnovaTics.