Light sent through a 2D crystal is a leap in quantum computing
From journal Nature Nanotechnology, European scientists are just a bit closer to elusive quantum computing. They used light sent through a 2-dimensional crystal layer in order to optically detect the system’s quantum states. A one-atom thick layer of molybdenum diselenide, the world’s thinnest crystal semi-conductor was used in the tests. The scientists were able to detect that the spin direction of the beam of photons going into the material depended on the direction of the light traveling through the crystal layer. Essentially, they shine light of one color through the material, and get another color as an output, and that’s a signal that can be used to detect the state of a qubit. This is an important discovery for quantum computing as isolating qubits to detect their spin is very difficult to do at room temperature – often needing to cool the system to absolute zero during tests.
Read More at United Press International
Microsoft pledges $1B to OpenAI technologies
On Monday, Microsoft pledged $1B to fund OpenAI’s work. When Elon Musk founded Open AI in 2015, his goal was to get Artificial General Intelligence right, and to increase transparency in its development. This partnership is a hallmark that AGI research is being taken very seriously, and an acknowledgement that getting it incorrect could be disastrous for humankind. This is not an entirely altruistic gesture by Microsoft, however, as part of the company’s goal is to bring AI and supercomputing technologies to its Azure platform, and OpenAI will run its services entirely within Microsoft’s Cloud.
Read More at Engadget
3D printing heart valves that are a perfect fit
Science Journal, Matter, just published a study by German scientists who have been printing 3D heart valves that are a perfect fit for individual patients. Traditional replacements consisted of hard polymers or animal tissues, from cow or pigs, combined with metal frames. These solutions are often rigid and do not fit perfectly in patients, making it difficult to get a tight seal between the new valves and the cardiac tissue. The new, silicone solutions, however, circumvent these problems as they use the actual valves to create a mold for printing. The process only takes around an hour and a half, as opposed to several working days for animal material. It’s estimated that in the year 2050, around 850,000 patients will be in need of heart valve replacements.
Read More at futurity.org
Bonding with robots boosts robot-human team productivity
A recent study out of the University of Michigan, shows that humans perform better with robotic teammates when they have a strong emotional attachment to them. In the study 114 participants were split into pairs and each pair was given a pair of robots. Some teams were identified by robot, some by team, some by robot and team, and some by neither. The pairs that were identified by robot AND team developed the strongest emotional bond with their robot, as confirmed by surveys that were given to participants after the task. Teams with a stronger robot-human bond performed, on average, better than those that didn’t.
In related news that came out this week, the University of Trento in Italy has been experimenting with robot-human bonding by having people adopt the robot’s perspective. The people are “beamed” into the robot by being given the illusion that they are seeing through the robots eyes. The participants reported that they empathized more with the robots after the experience. While bonding with robots can be a very good and useful thing, don’t forget that Alexa is listening to everything you say…
Read More at futurity.org“