Science X Newsletter Friday, Nov 22

Dear ymilog,

Here is your customized Science X Newsletter for November 22, 2019:

Spotlight Stories Headlines

A model to classify cyberattacks using swarm intelligence

A deep learning-based model DeepSpCas9 to predict SpCas9 activity

Clear, conductive coating could protect advanced solar cells, touch screens

Clean air research converts toxic air pollutant into industrial chemical

Scientists discover surprising quantum effect in an exotic superconductor

Climate change reassessment prompts call for a 'more sober' discourse

Cancer linked with a more than doubled risk of dying from stroke

Scientists identify underlying molecular mechanisms of Alexander disease

Stainless steel, broken glass and buzz, Tesla makes a pickup (Update)

Get moving! Four in five adolescents don't exercise enough: WHO

Tunnel vision for delivery vehicles could cut pollution

Niobium used as catalyst in fuel cell

Efficient bottom-up synthesis of new perovskite material for the production of ammonia

Groundbreaking cohesin study describes the molecular motor that folds the genome

Motherly poison frogs shed light on maternal brain

Physics news

Scientists discover surprising quantum effect in an exotic superconductor

An international team led by researchers at Princeton University has directly observed a surprising quantum effect in a high-temperature iron-containing superconductor.

Physicists determine dripline for fluorine and neon isotopes

An international team of physicists with the BigRIPS experiment taking place at the RIKEN Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory in Japan has determined the dripline for fluorine and neon isotopes. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how they found the driplines and where their research is headed next.

New method for using spin waves in magnetic materials

Smaller, faster, more energy-efficient—this is the goal that developers of electronic devices have been working towards for years. In order to be able to miniaturize individual components of mobile phones or computers for example, magnetic waves are currently regarded as promising alternatives to conventional data transmission functioning by means of electric currents. The reason: As chips become smaller and smaller, electrical data transmission at some point reaches its limits, because electrons that are very close to each other give off a lot of heat—which can lead to a disruption of physical processes.

Astronomy & Space news

Spacewalking astronauts slice into cosmic ray detector (Update)

Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Friday for the second week in a row to repair a cosmic ray detector, this time actually cutting into the $2 billion instrument.

Chemistry in the turbulent interstellar medium

Over 200 molecules have been discovered in space, some (like Buckminsterfullerene) very complex with carbon atoms. Besides being intrinsically interesting, these molecules radiate away heat, helping giant clouds of interstellar material cool and contract to form new stars. Moreover, astronomers use the radiation from these molecules to study the local conditions, for example, as planets form in disks around young stars.

Boeing names space test dummy Rosie after WWII riveter

SpaceX had Ripley. Now Boeing has Rosie.

Image: Shimmering skies signal space weather

The Aurora, seen here dancing above Svalbard in Norway, is the most beautiful result of space weather on Earth.

Starship Mk1 blows its top during testing

SpaceX has been on a roll lately. With the completion of tethered and untethered flight tests with the Starship Hopper, SpaceX founder Elon Musk unveiled the newly completed Starship Mk1 prototype and announced that orbital test flights would commence in a few months. Meanwhile, the Starlink constellation got started with the launch of its first 60 satellites followed by 60 more upgraded versions.

Spacewalk excursion to extend the life of a powerful spectrometer

One of the largest human-made permanent magnets in space resides on the International Space Station (ISS), and it's helping scientists better understand the origins of our universe. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) is an observatory that is collecting data from measurements of cosmic rays, nuclei from hydrogen up to iron, as well as electrons and positrons that pervade all of our universe.

New model will help predict several solar phenomena

An international group of scientists, in cooperation with a research scientist from Skoltech, has developed a model to describe changes in solar plasma. This will help comprehend solar dynamics and gives clues to understanding how to predict space weather events. The results have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

Image: Hubble eyes an emitting galaxy

For this image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope turned its powerful eye toward an emission-line galaxy called NGC 3749.

Ethiopia says its 1st satellite will launch next month

Ethiopian officials say the country will launch its first ever satellite next month.

Image: Hera scans Didymoon

Hera is a candidate ESA mission be presented to ESA's Space19+ meeting next week as part of the Agency's Space Safety programme, where Europe's space ministers will take a final decision on flying it.

Technology news

A model to classify cyberattacks using swarm intelligence

In recent years, new technological advances have led to a growing number of devices, ranging from more conventional computers to other gadgets and smart home appliances, communicating and sharing data with one another. Despite its advantages, this growing interconnection between devices, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), poses serious security threats.

Stainless steel, broken glass and buzz, Tesla makes a pickup (Update)

The much-hyped unveiling of Tesla's electric pickup truck went off script Thursday night when supposedly unbreakable window glass shattered twice when hit with a large metal ball.

Tunnel vision for delivery vehicles could cut pollution

Decarbonizing vans that carry Internet-ordered deliveries: if it is a good idea then why not? A company's effort in the UK to do so might show the rest of the world that this is the way to go as we try to find solutions for a greener planet.

Scientists help soldiers figure out what robots know

An Army-led research team developed new algorithms and filled in knowledge gaps about how robots contribute to teams and what robots know about their environment and teammates.

Autonomous car tester offers guide for first responders

Google spinoff Waymo is trying to educate emergency responders on how to deal with its autonomous vehicles.

Google shifts rules for political ads, pressuring Facebook

Google's tightening of its political ad policy could help reduce the spread of misinformation on election campaigns, but at a cost for lesser-known candidates.

Isolated Iceland newly vulnerable to computer scams

"Hi, I hope you are not busy?"

On TV, political ads are regulated—but online, anything goes

With the 2020 election just a year away, Facebook is under fire from presidential candidates, lawmakers, civil rights groups and even its own employees to provide more transparency on political ads and potentially stop running them altogether.

Clothing development software: Computer model calculates heat dissipation beneath clothing

Whether for sports, at work or in the living room—depending on activity and environment, our clothing has to meet different demands. Empa scientists have developed a model that predicts how well a given garment will keep us warm. The crucial factor is the air gap between our body and the outermost layer of clothing.

UK households support a return to hydrogen as a domestic fuel

Households in the U.K. would support a return to the use of hydrogen as a domestic fuel and believe it would have a positive environmental impact, research shows.

Snapchat Time Machine is a selfie-altering feature that lets you 'age' before your eyes

Snapchat is picking up where Face App left off by rolling out a new tool that tries to show you what you look like at every phase of life.

Google admits its 'dark skin' face scan project violated internal policy, leading to overhaul

Google is working to save face.

US FCC blocks China's Huawei, ZTE from subsidy program

American regulators on Friday unanimously branded Chinese telecoms firms ZTE and Huawei as threats to national security and blocked them from accessing $8.5 billion in federal funds for services and equipment.

Bombshell GM lawsuit has bribes, backdoor schemes

General Motors' bombshell lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler reads like a crime novel, with jaw-dropping bribes, a custom-made Italian watch, and splurges on a luxury wedding and $7,000 feasts at upscale restaurants.

German robotics set to shrink for first time in decade

Germany's prized industrial robotics and automation sector is expecting a drop in sales this year for the first time since the global financial crisis, an industry body said on Friday.

Ant-based troll detection

Uncovering trolls and malicious or spammy accounts on social media is increasingly difficult as the miscreants find more and more ways to camouflage themselves as seemingly legitimate. Writing in the International Journal of Intelligent Engineering Informatics, researchers in India have developed an algorithm based on ant-colony optimization that can effectively detect accounts that represent a threat to normal users.

Are you a Tinder or a Bumble type of person? The clich├ęs of 'big dating'

From the way we count our steps to the measures we take to get noticed online, Silicon Valley has transformed the everyday life of the average American. How and what platform we choose to date hasn't escaped this reality.

British Airways 'welcomes' breakthrough in pilot pay dispute

Flagship carrier British Airways on Friday welcomed as a "positive step" a media report that it had reached a pay agreement with its pilots' union following damaging strikes.

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AI Weekly | Nov. 22, 2019

Data sets are fundamental building blocks of AI systems, and this paradigm isn't likely to ever chang
AI Weekly
Presented by    Microsoft
Data sets are fundamental building blocks of AI systems, and this paradigm isn't likely to ever change. Without a corpus on which to draw, as human beings employ daily, models can't learn the relationships that inform their predictions.

But why stop at a single corpus? An intriguing report by ABI Research anticipates that while the total installed base of AI devices will grow from 2.69 billion in 2019 to 4.47 billion in 2024, comparatively few will be interoperable. Rather than combine the gigabytes to petabytes of data flowing through them into a single AI model or framework, they'll work independently and heterogeneously to make sense of the data they're fed.

That's unfortunate, argues ABI, because of the insights that might be gleaned if they played nicely together. That's why as an alternative to this unimodality, the research firm proposes multimodal learning, which consolidates data from various sensors and inputs into a single system.

Multimodal learning can carry complementary information or trends, which often only become evident when they're all included in the learning process. Plus, learning-based methods that leverage signals from different modalities can generate more robust inference than would be possible in a unimodal system.

Consider images and text captions. If different words are paired with similar images, these words are likely used to describe the same things or objects. Conversely, if some words appear next to different images, this implies these images represent the same object. Given this, it should be possible for an AI model to predict image objects from text descriptions, and indeed, a body of academic literature has proven this to be the case.

Despite the many advantages of multimodal approaches to machine learning, ABI's report notes that most platform companies – including IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google – continue to focus predominantly on unimodal systems. That's partly because it's challenging to mitigate the noise and conflicts in modalities, and to reconcile the differences in quantitative influence that modalities have over predictions.

Fortunately, there's hope yet for wide multimodal adoption. ABI Research anticipates the total number of devices shipped will grow from 3.94 million in 2017 to 514.12 million in 2023, spurred by adoption in the robotics, consumer, health care, and media and entertainment segments. Companies like Waymo are leveraging multimodal approaches to build hyper-aware self-driving vehicles, while teams like that led by Intel Labs principal engineer Omesh Tickoo are investigating techniques for sensor data collation in real-world environments.

"In a noisy scenario, you may not be able to get a lot of information out of your audio sensors, but if the lighting is good, maybe a camera can give you a little better information," Tickoo explained to VentureBeat in a phone interview. "What we did is, using techniques to figure out context such as the time of day, we built a system that tells you when a sensor's data is not of the highest quality. Given that confidence value, it weighs different sensors against each at different intervals and chooses the right mix to give us the answer we're looking for."

Multimodal learning won't supplant unimodal learning, necessarily – unimodal learning is highly effective in applications like image recognition and natural language processing. But as electronics become cheaper and compute more scalable, it'll likely only rise in prominence.
"Classification, decision-making, and HMI systems are going to play a significant role in driving adoption of multimodal learning, providing a catalyst to refine and standardize some of the technical approaches," said ABI Research chief research officer Stuart Carlaw in a statement. "There is impressive momentum driving multimodal applications into devices."

For AI coverage, send news tips to Khari Johnson and Kyle Wiggers — and be sure to subscribe to the AI Weekly newsletter and bookmark our AI Channel.

Thanks for reading,

Kyle Wiggers
AI Staff Writer

From VentureBeat
Ctrl-labs CEO: We'll have neural interfaces in less than 5 years
McKinsey survey: AI boosts revenue, but companies struggle to scale use
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DeepMind's MuZero teaches itself how to win at Atari, chess, shogi, and Go
Unlocking the potential of the citizen data scientist
Sonos acquires privacy-conscious AI startup Snips for $37.5 million
Google kicks off Assistant on the web with movie ticket purchases
Celonis raises $290 million for AI-powered process mining at $2.5 billion valuation
Automation Anywhere raises $290 million at a $6.8 billion valuation
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P.S. Please enjoy this video about Bill Gates discussing AI at Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Beijing, among other topics like climate change and nuclear power.
P.S. Please enjoy this video about Bill Gates discussing AI at Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Beijing, among other topics like climate change and nuclear power.
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