I see something – Dananjaya Hettiarachchi

Biologically inspired: How neural networks are finally maturing

neural network

Joab Jackson@Joab_Jackson, Dec 17, 2013 3:45 PM, PC World

More than two decades ago, neural networks were widely seen as the next generation of computing, one that would finally allow computers to think for themselves.

Now, the ideas around the technology, loosely based on the biological knowledge of how the mammalian brain learns, are finally starting to seep into mainstream computing, thanks to improvements in hardware and refinements in software models.

Computers still can’t think for themselves, of course, but the latest innovations in neural networks allow computers to sift through vast realms of data and draw basic conclusions without the help of human operators.

“Neural networks allow you to solve problems you don’t know how to solve,” said Leon Reznik, a professor of computer science at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Slowly, neural networks are seeping into industry as well. Micron and IBM are building hardware that can be used to create more advanced neural networks.

On the software side, neural networks are slowly moving into production settings as well. Google has applied various neural network algorithms to improve its voice recognition application, Google Voice. For mobile devices, Google Voice translates human voice input to text, allowing users to dictate short messages, voice search queries and user commands even in the kind of noisy ambient conditions that would flummox traditional voice recognition software. Read more of this post

Essay-Grading Software Offers Professors a Break

EdX, a nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will release automated software that uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers.

By , Published: April 4, 2013, Source

Imagine taking a college exam, and, instead of handing in a blue book and getting a grade from a professor a few weeks later, clicking the “send” button when you are done and receiving a grade back instantly, your essay scored by a software program.

And then, instead of being done with that exam, imagine that the system would immediately let you rewrite the test to try to improve your grade.

EdX, the nonprofit enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer courses on the Internet, has just introduced such a system and will make its automated software available free on the Web to any institution that wants to use it. The software uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers, freeing professors for other tasks.

The new service will bring the educational consortium into a growing conflict over the role of automation in education. Although automated grading systems for multiple-choice and true-false tests are now widespread, the use of artificial intelligence technology to grade essay answers has not yet received widespread endorsement by educators and has many critics. Read more of this post

LinkedIn adds University Pages to help the college-bound

Jared Newman@onejarednewman

Not satisfied with providing a way for people to network, LinkedIn wants to tap into its user base to help people figure out where to go to college.

The newly launched University Pages lets users type in the name of the school they’re considering. LinkedIn will return a trove of data on the university in question. Much of this data is powered by LinkedIn’s user base of 200 million. Just below a cover image for the university, LinkedIn shows aggregate information on the school’s alumni, including where they live, where they work and what industries they’re employed in. Clicking on any of these sections shows a list of alumni from the school, with links to their profiles on LinkedIn. Read more of this post

Ancient Greeks Smarter Than Us

By  on February 22, 2013 in HistoryNews

genetistTurns out that Socrates and his like apparently were as intelligent as they’ve been made out to be, at least according to  Gerald Crabtree, Professor of Pathology and Developmental Biology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Crabtree says the ancient Greeks were likely more intelligent than a modern human. Crabtree has recently conducted research which he said indicates that the human, with the passage of time, becomes less intelligent.

According to Australian press reports, the American scientist argued that some inevitable changes in our genetic system, combined with the technological developments, led us to turn into a mutilated body of our former substance, much less intelligent than our ancestors.

Crabtree alleges that the human being was in his prime when he was forced to fight with all his strength to survive, as he was obliged to rely on his memory, in his practical esprit and psychological balance that allowed him to trust his instinct and adapt easily to different circumstances.

“I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 B.C. were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues and companions, with a good memory, a broad range of ideas, and a clear-sighted view of important issues,” he said.

He added that, “I would guess that he or she would be among the most emotionally stable of our friends and colleagues. I would also make this wager for the ancient inhabitants of Africa, Asia, India or the Americas, of perhaps 2000–6000 years ago. The basis for my wager comes from new developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology that make a clear prediction that our intellectual and emotional abilities are genetically surprisingly fragile.”

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