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Sci-Tech watch

Why is it that there is discussion of superionic water as being both solid and liquid?

One of the things that struck me in looking at superionic water is how it is so often spoken of as though it were partly liquid and partly solid. I did a spot of reflection, which I am thinking it may help to headline. Where, some of the ideas being brought up will help us on the onward subject of looking at how memristors work. So, following up on the new form of water post: KF, 4: >>One of the interesting things about the coverage [on superionic water]  is how they phrased the properties of superionic ice in terms of being both a solid and a liquid. This may suggest to the public the notion of a contradictory state, which Read More ›

Water forms superionic ice, a “new” metal-like state with H+ ions as charge carriers

Water is of central interest to ID and to many other fields of study relevant to the cosmos and in the world of life. Accordingly, the recent experimental discovery of a predicted metal-like state with a grid of O atoms and with H+ ions flowing through, is significant news.  As NY Times reports: >>This new form, called superionic water, consists of a rigid lattice of oxygen atoms through which positively charged hydrogen nuclei move. It is not known to exist naturally anywhere on Earth, but it may be bountiful farther out in the solar system, including in the mantles of Uranus and Neptune . . . . [S]cientists at Lawrence Livermore first squeezed water between two pieces of diamond with Read More ›

Why look at AI-linked themes — what is the relevance to ID as a scientific enterprise?

One of the key ideas and driving assumptions of modern evolutionary materialistic scientism is that mind can be explained on brain without residue. In an extreme form, we can see it in Crick’s the Astonishing Hypothesis (1994): . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing. Philip Johnson, of course, replied the next year, Read More ›

Robo-Doctor? In China, it seems Robot Xiao-Yi has passed the written medical licensing exams

Robo-Doc will see you? Maybe, but not just now. This item popped up from the usual suspect tabloid paper sites while searching on AI and memristors. I have tracked down a couple of more reputable sources so, here goes from China Daily (which is also on the spot): >>A robot has passed the written test of China’s national medical licensing examination, an essential entrance exam for doctors, making it the first robot in the world to pass such an exam. Its developer iFlytek Co Ltd, a leading Chinese artificial intelligence company, said on Thursday that the robot scored 456 points, 96 points higher than the required marks. The artificial-intelligence-enabled robot can automatically capture and analyze patient information and make initial Read More ›

More on memristors in action — including, crossbar networks and solving linear equation arrays

Memristors [= memory + resistors] are a promising memory-based information storage technology that can work as non-volatile memory and in neural networks.  They were suggested c. 1971 by Leon Chua, and since HP created a TiO2-based multilayer architecture device exhibiting memristor capabilites in 2007, they have been a focus for research, given their potential. Here, we may ponder a crossbar array of memristor elements forming a signal-processing matrix: Memristors are of interest to AI as a means to effect neural networks. For instance, a crossbar network (as is illustrated just above) has been used to demonstrate powerful image processing. As Sheridan et al reported in Nature, May 22, 2017 (details pay-walled, of course . . . ): >>Sparse representation of Read More ›

A note on state space search challenge

As was recently discussed, contrary to objections being made, the concept of blind search and linked search challenge in a configuration or state space is a reasonable and even recognised concept. As we explore this concept a little more, an illustration may be helpful: With this in mind, we may again look at Dembski’s arrow and target illustration from NFL, p. 11: Now, let us ponder again Wiki on state space search: >>State space search is a process used in the field of computer science, including artificial intelligence (AI), in which successive configurations or states of an instance are considered, with the intention of finding a goal state with a desired property. Problems are often modelled as a state space, Read More ›

AI, intelligent agency and the intersection with ID

This is a theme of increasing significance for the ID debate, but also it has overtones for an era where AI technologies may be driving the next economic long wave. Which is of instant, global importance, hence the Perez idealised Long wave illustration: However, this is not about economics (save, as a context for major trends) but about AI, Intelligent Agents as conceived under AI and the intersection with ID. Intelligent Design. Where, it is important to recognise that the concept of intelligence and of agency we will increasingly encounter will be shaped by the dogmas of what is often termed, Strong AI. Techopedia summarises: >>Strong artificial intelligence (strong AI) is an artificial intelligence construct that has mental capabilities and Read More ›

AI and the Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich manuscript has long been a mysterious object, seemingly a medicinal or magical survey of plants, or someone’s play on such documents, but written in an unknown alphabetic script: AI is now being brought to bear on the matter.  According to phys dot org: >>U of A computing science professor Greg Kondrak, an expert in natural language processing, and graduate student Bradley Hauer used artificial intelligence to decode the ambiguities in human language using the Voynich manuscript as a case study. Their first step was to address the language of origin, which is enciphered on hundreds of delicate vellum pages with accompanying illustrations. Kondrak and Hauer used samples of 400 different languages from the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” Read More ›

AI, Memristors and the future (could “conscious” machines lie ahead?)

AI — artificial intelligence — is emerging as a future-driver. For example, we have been hearing of driver-less cars, and now we have helmsman-less barges: As The Guardian reports: >>The world’s first fully electric, emission-free and potentially crewless container barges are to operate from the ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam from this summer. The vessels, designed to fit beneath bridges as they transport their goods around the inland waterways of Belgium and the Netherlands, are expected to vastly reduce the use of diesel-powered trucks for moving freight. Dubbed the “Tesla of the canals”, their electric motors will be driven by 20-foot batteries, charged on shore by the carbon-free energy provider Eneco. The barges are designed to operate without any Read More ›

Sci-Tech: Meltdown patches patched as a first wave of lawsuits hits Intel over Meltdown and Spectre [u/d, AMD sued over Spectre too]

The Meltdown-Spectre processor architectural flaw crisis we have been monitoring has deepened as Intel has to patch its initial patch: . . . and as a first wave of the inevitable lawsuits hits. Here, we clip one in San Francisco:   NB: Comment 3 below links and clips documentation AMD has been sued over its response to Spectre. Where also, The Register further reports that there are problems with embedded systems using microprocessors and microcontrollers: >>Patches for the Meltdown vulnerability are causing stability issues in industrial control systems. SCADA vendor Wonderware admitted that Redmond’s Meltdown patch made its Historian product wobble. “Microsoft update KB4056896 (or parallel patches for other Operating System) causes instability for Wonderware Historian and the inability to Read More ›

A Maxwell Demon engine in action beyond the Carnot/ “standard” Second law limit

Maxwell’s Demon (sometimes, “Max”) has long been a fictional device for discussing how if we have access to information we can manipulate molecular scale particles to extract work. Now, physics dot org is discussing a case: >>Physicists have experimentally demonstrated an information engine—a device that converts information into work—with an efficiency that exceeds the conventional second law of thermodynamics. Instead, the engine’s efficiency is bounded by a recently proposed generalized second law of thermodynamics, and it is the first information engine to approach this new bound . . . . [R]ecent experimental demonstrations of information engines have raised the question of whether there is an upper bound on the efficiency with which an information engine can convert information into work. Read More ›

The Meltdown microprocessor architecture flaw vs control systems in industry

Let’s follow up our earlier Sci-Tech Newswatch on the Meltdown-Spectre MPU architecture flaw issue. (We see here just how hard it is to create a robust, complex design that can readily be adapted to changes in the environment. Besides, a heads up on a big but under-reported story is helpful.) In a new Jan 15, 2018 report on Meltdown in The UK’s The Register, we may read: >>Patches for the Meltdown vulnerability are causing stability issues in industrial control systems. SCADA vendor Wonderware admitted that Redmond’s Meltdown patch made its Historian product wobble. “Microsoft update KB4056896 (or parallel patches for other Operating System) causes instability for Wonderware Historian and the inability to access DA/OI Servers through the SMC,” an advisory Read More ›

“Alien Megastructure Is Not The Cause Of The Dimming Of Tabby’s Star ” (Design Inference filter in action; Sci Fi Fans disappointed)

According to SciTech Daily in a January 3, 2018 article, Tabby’s star, aka KIC 8462852, has had a mysterious brightening and dimming cycle.  (Such a cycle, of course raises the interesting thought of the erection of a Dyson Sphere or a similar megastructure.) As the article reports: >>A team of more than 200 researchers, including Penn State Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Assistant Professor Jason Wright and led by Louisiana State University’s Tabetha Boyajian, is one step closer to solving the mystery behind the “most mysterious star in the universe.” KIC 8462852, or “Tabby’s Star,” nicknamed after Boyajian, is otherwise an ordinary star, about 50 percent bigger and 1,000 degrees hotter than the Sun, and about than 1,000 light years Read More ›

Is Technology a new religion? (And if so, what is happening at Temple Google?)

AFP tells us regarding the current Consumer Electronics Show (CES): >>Tech is the new religion, offering hope of salvation in a troubled world as industry leaders converge in Las Vegas this week. Technology will not just help us communicate better and give us bolder and brighter screens. It is promising to end urban congestion, treat cancer and depression, and help us live fitter and more productive lives. As tech industry players large and small converge for the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, an overriding theme is that gizmos, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and super-fast internet connections hold answers to many if not all ills, the new religion.>> Now, let us cross that with some concerns UD President, BA, has just drawn Read More ›

Uncommon Descent ranked well within the top 1% of web sites

A few days ago, frequent commenter Dionisio noted: >>http://www.ranking.com/ Web Rank Biblegateway.com 168 MIT.edu 7,280 HARVARD.edu 7,246 Nature.com 7,449 Desiringgod.org 10,105 Answersingenesis.org 11,865 Gty.org 15,018 Icr.org 19,037 Religionnews.com 22,188 Rzim.org 35,858 Samaritanspurse.org 40,274 Truthforlife.org 49,862 Royalsociety.org 53,686 Evolutionnews.org 58,755 Jamesmacdonald.com 60,164 Reasons.org 65,259 Uncommondescent.com 80,763 Pandasthumb.org 106,377 Kodugamelab.com 668,032>> I took a look, especially at the question of how many web sites are out there. That is a hard question, but the reasonable and somewhat conservative number looks like about the billion, with 75% inactive in one way or another, i.e. the active web overall is 250 million sites or so, maybe up to several times more depending on how you count and when. I then responded: “[T]here are over Read More ›