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Researchers Foresee Linguistic Issues During Space Travel

It lacks the drama of a shape-shifting alien creature, but another threat looms over the prospect of generations-long, interstellar space travel: Explorers arriving on Xanadu could face problems communicating with previous and subsequent arrivals, their spoken language having changed in isolation along the way. Therefore, a new paper co-authored by a University of Kansas professor of linguistics...

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What Ethical Models for Autonomous Vehicles Don’t Address – and How They Could Be Better

There’s a fairly large flaw in the way that programmers are currently addressing ethical concerns related to artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). Namely, existing approaches don’t account for the fact that people might try to use the AVs to do something bad. For example, let’s say that there is an autonomous vehicle with...

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Online Trackers Follow Health Site Visitors, Use Sensitive Information

Internet trackers are more likely to follow people who visit popular health sites, such as WebMD.com and mayoclinic.org, to other types of sites, a Cornell Tech study has found – suggesting that advertisers might be more likely to target people based on sensitive health information than previously understood. The study examined how the order in...

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Expanding Access to Cyber Research Tools

Faculty and students at Purdue University now have access to cybersecurity research software developed at Sandia National Laboratories. This marks the first time Sandia has collaborated with an academic community to make its cyber software widely available. Sandia has previously invited academic collaborators to use cyber research software at the labs or by connecting to...

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Turning Faces into Thermostats: Autonomous HVAC System Could Provide More Comfort with Less Energy

As lockdown requirements ease, COVID-19 is changing the way we use indoor spaces. That presents challenges for those who manage those spaces, from homes to offices and factories. Not least among these challenges is heating and cooling, which is the largest consumer of energy in American homes and commercial buildings. There’s a need for smarter,...

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Climate Change’s Toll on Freshwater Fish: A New Database for Science

Scientists have created a new database to help track the impacts of climate change on fish living in rivers, lakes and other inland waters throughout the world. The Fish and Climate Change Database — or FiCli (pronounced “fick-lee”) — is a searchable directory of peer-reviewed journal publications that describe projected or documented effects of climate change on...

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Crises Are No Excuse for Lowering Scientific Standards, Say Ethicists

Ethicists from Carnegie Mellon and McGill universities are calling on the global research community to resist treating the urgency of the current COVID-19 outbreak as grounds for making exceptions to rigorous research standards in pursuit of treatments and vaccines. With hundreds of clinical studies registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, Alex John London, Professor of Ethics and Philosophy and...

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How Birds Evolved Big Brains

An international team of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists have reconstructed the evolution of the avian brain using a massive dataset of brain volumes from dinosaurs, extinct birds like Archaeopteryx and the Great Auk, and modern birds. The study, published online today in the journal Current Biology, reveals that prior to the mass extinction at the...

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Researchers Rebuild the Bridge Between Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence

The origin of machine and deep learning algorithms, which increasingly affect almost all aspects of our life, is the learning mechanism of synaptic (weight) strengths connecting neurons in our brain. Attempting to imitate these brain functions, researchers bridged between neuroscience and artificial intelligence over half a century ago. However, since then experimental neuroscience has not...