Summary of “China’s Plan for World Domination in AI Isn’t So Crazy After All”

Most Chinese mega-cities have set up institutes for AI that include some data-sharing arrangements, according to Xu. “In China, the population is huge, so it’s much easier to collect the data for whatever use-scenarios you need,” he said.
China just enshrined the pursuit of AI into a kind of national technology constitution.
“Data access has always been easier in China, but now people in government, organizations and companies have recognized the value of data,” said Jiebo Luo, a computer science professor at the University of Rochester who has researched China.
Advanced AI operations, like DeepMind, often rely on “Simulated” data, co-founder Demis Hassabis explained during a trip to China in May. DeepMind has used Atari video games to train its systems.
“Sure, there might be data sets you could get access to in China that you couldn’t in the U.S.,” said Oren Etzioni, director of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
“China currently has a talent shortage when it comes to top tier AI experts,” said Connie Chan, a partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
The firm recruited Qi Lu, one of Microsoft’s top executives, to return to China to lead the search giant’s push into AI. He touted the technology’s potential for enhancing China’s “National strength” and cited a figure that nearly half of the bountiful academic research on the subject globally has ethnically Chinese authors, using the Mandarin term “Huaren” 华人- a term for ethnic Chinese that echoes government rhetoric.
“China has structural advantages, because China can acquire more and better data to power AI development,” Lu told the cheering crowd of Chinese developers.

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Summary of “This simple memory trick will stop you ever forgetting your keys or umbrella again”

“Previous research has shown that imagining two objects fusing into one will help people work around these memory deficits; but our work demonstrated that understanding the relationship between the two items is also important,” says Dr Jennifer Ryan, who is also a psychology and psychiatry professor at the University of Toronto.
“We know that cognitive function is impaired during aging and this strategy could be one workaround for minor memory problems, depending on what you need to achieve.”
“We are trying to understand what’s important to unitization and what people need to learn in order to benefit. There is no single strategy that will fix your memory, but one method may be more be suitable than another.”
Previous studies have shown that memory can be boosted by exercising, breathing deeply, tackling crosswords and eating healthily.
Writing down an important task or object to remember, and then saying out loud also boosts the chance of it happening by 50 per cent.
Some research has even suggested singing the memory can help, as it stores it in a different part of the brain.
Concentrating while trying to create a memory, rather than vaguely thinking about it during multitasking can also help to imprint it in neurons.
Notice boards in the home can also act as reinforcement aids as you see the memorable wish every time you walk past, helping to write it into the memory.

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Summary of “How long to do cardio exercise to get benefits”

Aerobic exercise, or “Cardio,” might be the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have.
“Aerobic exercise … has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress,” the authors of an article in the Harvard Medical School blog “Mind and Mood” wrote.
Aa recent paper looked at the exercise habits of hundreds of breast cancer survivors who were experiencing symptoms like “Chemo brain,” which involves memory loss and trouble focusing.
The researchers found that as little as 30 minutes of an aerobic exercise like walking was linked with significantly better performance on cognitive quizzes.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that in adults over 50, the best results for the brain appeared to come from a routine that combined aerobic exercises with resistance training and lasted at least 45 minutes.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but some studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia also found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

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Summary of “China and the US are battling to become the world’s first AI superpower”

“Right now, AI is a two-horse race between China and the US.” And, says Mullen, China has all the ingredients it needs to move into first.
It all invites the trillion-dollar question: in the coming AI Race, can China really beat the US? Strength in numbers To build great AI, you need data, and nothing produces data quite like humans.
“If you’re using technology that’s one year old, you’re outdated. And I definitely find that in China – at least, my community in China – is very adept at taking on these risks.”
A report from the White House in October 2016 noted that China now publishes more journal articles on deep learning than the US, while AI-related patent submissions from Chinese researchers have increased 200 percent in recent years.
Scott, who started working in machine learning 10 years ago with Microsoft, suggests that China has a particularly open AI community.
In some ways, China’s July policy paper on AI mirrors this one, but China didn’t just go through a dramatic political upheaval that threatens to change its course.
The Chinese policy paper says that by 2020 it wants to be on par with the world’s finest; by 2025 AI should be the primary driver for Chinese industry; and by 2030, it should “Occupy the commanding heights of AI technology.” According to a recent report from The Economist, having the high ground will pay off, with consultancy firm PwC predicting that AI-related growth will lift the global economy by $16 trillion by 2030 – with half of that benefit landing in China.
Scott, who has worked in the field in both the US and China, says the countries have more in common than they think.

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Summary of “In Breakthrough, Scientists Edit a Dangerous Mutation From Genes in Human Embryos”

Scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, with colleagues in California, China and South Korea, reported that they repaired dozens of embryos, fixing a mutation that causes a common heart condition that can lead to sudden death later in life.
If embryos with the repaired mutation were allowed to develop into babies, they would not only be disease-free but also would not transmit the disease to descendants.
Some embryos had cells that did not get repaired – a phenomenon called mosaicism that could result in the mutation being passed on – as well as unplanned mutations that could cause other health problems.
For these parents, gene editing could help by repairing mutant embryos so that more disease-free embryos would be available for implantation.
The National Institutes of Health is prohibited from funding gene-editing research in human embryos.
Out of 54 embryos, 36 emerged mutation-free, a significant improvement over natural circumstances in which about half would not have the mutation.
Another 13 embryos also emerged without the mutation, but not in every cell.
The remaining 16 embryos had unwanted additions or deletions of DNA. Dr. Mitalipov said he believed fine-tuning the process would make at least 90 percent of embryos mutation-free.

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Summary of “Best exercise for your brain and body”

A wealth of recent research, including a new study published this month, suggests that any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period of time – known as aerobic exercise – has a significant, overwhelmingly beneficial impact on the brain.
At the end of a week, people who’d done aerobic exercise every day were not only significantly less tired than those who did little to no exercise, but also did significantly better on the app’s quizzes.
“The message for cancer patients and survivors is, get active!” said Diane Ehlers, the lead author on the study and a professor of exercise psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in a statement.
Still, the evidence that aerobic workouts have a wide range of potential beneficial impacts on the brain – from reducing the symptoms of depression to strengthening connections in parts of the brain linked with memory – is robust and growing.
If you’re over 50, a study in the British Medical Journal suggests the best results come from combining aerobic and resistance exercise, which could include anything from high-intensity interval training, like the 7-minute workout, to dynamic flow yoga, which intersperses strength-building poses like planks and push-ups with heart-pumping dance-like moves.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

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Summary of “Artificial Intelligence Is Stuck. Here’s How to Move It Forward.”

To get computers to think like humans, we need a new A.I. paradigm, one that places “Top down” and “Bottom up” knowledge on equal footing.
Top-down knowledge comprises cognitive models of the world and how it works.
Deep learning is very good at bottom-up knowledge, like discerning which patterns of pixels correspond to golden retrievers as opposed to Labradors.
To a deep-learning system there is no difference between the reflection and the real thing, because the system lacks a theory of the world and how it works.
I say this as someone who has experience with both models, having worked on A.I. both as an academic researcher and as the founder of a start-up company, Geometric Intelligence, which was recently acquired by Uber.Academic labs are too small.
A full solution will incorporate advances in natural language processing, knowledge representation and inference.
Even the largest “Open” efforts at A.I., like OpenAI, which has about 50 staff members and is sponsored in part by Elon Musk, is tiny by comparison.
An international A.I. mission focused on teaching machines to read could genuinely change the world for the better – the more so if it made A.I. a public good, rather than the property of a privileged few.

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Summary of “Why there’s no such thing as a gifted child”

The child that takes maths GCSE while still in single figures, or a rarity such as Ruth Lawrence, who was admitted to Oxford while her contemporaries were still in primary school.
Mirzakhani, did go to a highly selective girls’ school but maths wasn’t her interest – reading was.
As for maths, she did rather poorly at it for the first couple of years in her middle school, but became interested when her elder brother told her about what he’d learned.
According to my colleague, Prof Deborah Eyre, with whom I’ve collaborated on the book Great Minds and How to Grow Them, the latest neuroscience and psychological research suggests most people, unless they are cognitively impaired, can reach standards of performance associated in school with the gifted and talented.
Is there even such a thing as a gifted child? It is a highly contested area.
Ericsson’s memory research is particularly interesting because random students, trained in memory techniques for the study, went on to outperform others thought to have innately superior memories – those you might call gifted.
While the jury is out on giftedness being innate and other factors potentially making the difference, what is certain is that the behaviours associated with high levels of performance are replicable and most can be taught – even traits such as curiosity.
Children talked about the need to work hard at school and to listen in class and keep trying.

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Summary of “Pittsburgh Gets a Tech Makeover”

Much has been made of the “Food boom” in Pittsburgh, and the city has long had a thriving arts scene.
Perhaps the secret, underlying driver for both the economy and the cool factor – the reason Pittsburgh now gets mentioned alongside Brooklyn and Portland, Ore., as an urban hot spot for millennials – isn’t chefs or artists but geeks.
In a 2014 article in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mayor Bill Peduto compared Carnegie Mellon, along with the University of Pittsburgh, to the iron ore factories that made this city an industrial power in the 19th century.
The big tech firms, along with their highly skilled, highly paid workers, have made Pittsburgh younger and more international and helped to transform once-derelict neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and East Liberty.
Google Pittsburgh, with its more than 500 employees, also has part of its offices in East Liberty, as does AlphaLab, a start-up accelerator.
Kamal Nigam, a Carnegie Mellon graduate who is the head of Google Pittsburgh, said that a decade ago, workers hired by the company had family or personal connections to the city.
Ms. Yang’s field of research is in computer programming languages, and, as she put it, “C.M.U. is the best place for the kind of work I want to do.” When she was offered an assistant professor position in the School of Computer Science and discovered a changed Pittsburgh on her visits back, Ms. Yang accepted the job and returned last August.
While young, cool Pittsburgh may be a recent development, the research at Carnegie Mellon in the field of artificial intelligence has a long history.

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Summary of “25 Habits of Successful and Extremely Happy People”

We do know that happy people have different habits and think differently than those who are miserable.
The good news is, if you’re trying to be one of those happy people, recognize that that desired emotion comes from within and that you have the power to literally turn that frown upside down by mastering some simple habits.
“We’ve shown in our research that giving money to others actually does make people happier,” said Michael Norton, an associate professor of marketing at Harvard Business School and author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.
“One of the reasons is that it creates social connections. If you have a nice car and a big house on an island by yourself, you’re not going to be happy, because we need people to be happy. But by giving to another person, you’re … creating a connection and a conversation with that person, and those things are really good for happiness.”
At the same time, people struggle with finding that happy medium of being just busy enough.
People who are happy focus their energy and efforts only on things that are truly important and within their control.
Happy people nurture and improve their relationships through “Active and constructive” responding, which includes celebrating the success of those around them.
Happy people actually work on maintaining these relationships by checking in on loved ones, being active and constructive listeners and not being conversational narcissists.

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