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AI with AI

Episode 2.25: AstroBees in Your BonNAT

Andy and Dave discuss the Department of Energy’s attempt to create the world’s longest acronym, with DIFFERENTIATE (Design Intelligence for Formidable Energy Reduction Engendering Numerous Totally Impactful Advanced Technology Enhancements), and to accelerate the incorporation of ML into energy technology and product design. Google cancels its AI ethics board after thousands of employees sign a petition calling for the removal of one member with anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant views. NASA unveils the Astrobees, one-foot cube robots that will work autonomously on the International Space Station to check inventory and monitor noise levels, among other things. And Microsoft partners with the French online education platform OpenClasrooms to train and recruit promising students in AI. Research from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the University of Trento takes a biologically “inspired” approach to neural net learning, through Neuron Elevation Traces (NATs), that allow additional data storage in each synapse; the result appears to increase the plasticity of the synapses. A mathematical reasoning model from DeepMind can solve some arithmetic, algebra, and probability problems, though sometimes gets simple calculations incorrect (such as 1 + 1 + … + 1, for n>=7). And research creates a musculoskeletal system that can use muscle activation to simulate movement and control. A report from Element AI examines the Global AI Talent distributions in 2019, to include (perhaps not surprisingly) the observation that the supply of top-tier AI talent does not meet the demand. A paper in Nature Reviews Physics surveys the physics of brain network structure, function, and control. A short sci-fi story from Jeffrey Ford describes The Seventh Expression of the Robot General. And Andy highlights a video from 1961 on The Thinking Machine.

CNA Office of Communications

John Stimpson, Communications Associate