If a robot is conscious, is it OK to turn it off? The moral implications of building true AIs

Philosophers say now is the time to mull over what qualities should grant an artificially intelligent machine moral standing.

Anand Vaidya, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San José State University • conversation
yesterday ~10 min

Tags:  artificial-intelligence  robots  philosophy  consciousness  star-trek  peter-singer  turing-test  deep-blue  human-consciousness

Stressed on the job? An AI teammate may know how to help

Researchers are working toward intelligent machines that can sense cognitive fatigue and suggest interventions to help a human improve performance.

Kylie Foy | MIT Lincoln Laboratory • mit
Oct. 26, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: machine-learning health artificial-intelligence mental-health research lincoln-laboratory human-computer-interaction

Clovis only made stone tools for about 300 years

The Clovis, some of North America's oldest inhabitants, probably only made stone tools for about 300 years, new research shows.

Keith Randall-Texas A&M • futurity
Oct. 23, 2020 ~5 min

Tags: archaeology science-and-technology early-humans ancient-history stone-tools north-america

Aging chimps show social selectivity

Understanding why older chimps tend to favor small circles of meaningful, established friendships rather than seek new ones may help scientists gain a better picture of what healthy human aging should look like and what triggers this social change.

Juan Siliezar • harvard
Oct. 22, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: science-technology faculty-of-arts-and-sciences fas science juan-siliezar aging chimpanzees department-of-human-evolutionary-biology alexandra-rosati kibale-chimpanzee-project lindsey-hagberg martin-n-muller melissa-emery-thompson richard-w-wrangham zarin-machanda

Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago

A new environmental record for a prehistoric site in Kenya helped researchers figure out how external conditions influenced which of our ancient ancestors lived there, with what way of life.

Richard Potts, Director of the Human Origins Program, Smithsonian Institution • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: anthropology human-evolution archaeology fossils homo-sapiens paleoanthropology stone-tools human-origins middle-stone-age ancient-sediments human-fossils sediment sediment-cores


Research shows lullabies in any language relax babies

Researchers at Harvard’s Music Lab have determined that American infants relaxed when played lullabies that were unfamiliar and in a foreign language.

Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite • harvard
Oct. 19, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: science-technology psychology fas music-lab samuel-mehr connie-bainbridge mila-bertolo nature-human-behaviour

What are the odds your vote will not count?

MIT professor’s study quantifies how many mail-in ballots became “lost votes” in the 2016 U.S. federal election.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
Oct. 19, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: politics research government school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences political-science voting-and-elections

Will Colorado bring back wolves? It's up to voters

For the first time in the US, a ballot measure will ask voters whether to restore wolves to a place where they've been eradicated. Coloradans have strong views on both sides.

Kevin Crooks, Professor of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology , Colorado State University • conversation
Oct. 16, 2020 ~11 min

Tags: livestock ranchers endangered-species colorado human-wildlife-conflict hunting wolves carnivores apex-predators us-west us-elections-2020 referendum ecological-restoration

How many votes will be counted after election night?

Study measures the “blue shift” from absentee and provisional ballots, underscores uncertainties of 2020 vote.

Peter Dizikes | MIT News Office • mit
Oct. 15, 2020 ~10 min

Tags: politics research government school-of-humanities-arts-and-social-sciences political-science voting-and-elections

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