Explore further A Perfect Female Companion: Project Aiko Aiko has the ability to identify objects, learn what new objects are, understand more than 13,000 sentences, and more. Image credit: Le Trung. Le Trung, whose background is in microbiology and chemistry, was originally inspired to build Aiko after watching “Chobits,” a Japanese manga that explores the relationships between humans and personal computers. While he hopes to continue to improve Aiko’s software, he currently faces a hardware limitation, as the CPU is currently at 99% capacity. Le Trung hopes to raise funds to upgrade the CPU. In the future, Le Trung hopes to enable Aiko to achieve further skills, such as making tea, coffee, and a breakfast of eggs and bacon; cleaning a human’s ears with a Q-tip; giving a neck massage; writing; and cleaning windows, shelves, and bathrooms. He also hopes that, one day, he will be able to mass produce sister copies of Aiko for an estimated cost of about $17,000 – $20,000. “Future improvements include making the voice with more emotions and feelings when speaking, improving the silicone material on her face so that she can do facial expressions like humans, and redesigning the body and arm system to move more naturally and carry heavier things,” Le Trung said.More information: • www.projectaiko.com• A Perfect Female Companion: Project Aiko© 2009 PhysOrg.com In the video below, Le Trung demonstrates Aiko’s internal operating system, which gives the robot many abilities, including the ability to speak two languages (English and Japanese), solve high school math problems, communicate the weather forecast, understand more than 13,000 sentences, sing songs, identify objects, focus on objects or people of importance, read newspapers and other materials, and mimic human physical touch. Citation: Inventor Demonstrates Humanoid Robot’s Latest AI Abilities (w/ Video) (2009, August 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-08-inventor-humanoid-robot-latest-ai.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — In August 2007, Le Trung invented Aiko, a Yumecom, or “Dream Computer Robot.” Although it took only a month and a half to build Aiko’s exterior, the artificial intelligence software has been a work in progress ever since. Recently, Le Trung has demonstrated his most recent improvements to the software, called BRAINS (Bio Robot Artificial Intelligence Neural System). As Le Trung explains, in some ways the BRAINS software is even more powerful than a human brain because it can link to infinite sources of data. Similar to a human brain, the software is designed to interact with the surrounding environment, process it, and record the information in its internal memory. Once the internal memory is at full capacity, the information can be transferred into a server database. The information can then be shared with current and future robots.With the BRAINS software, Aiko (whose name means “beloved one”) has the potential for many applications. For example, in the home, Aiko could help elderly people by reminding them when to take their medicine and helping them read the newspaper. It could also help kids with their math homework. In work and public environments, the robot could be used at information desks, where it could give directions and inform people when and where events take place. Le Trung also suggests that, with Aiko’s ability to detect 250 faces per second, it could be useful in airports to quickly scan and filter faces, as well as answer questions regarding flight times and gate locations. In addition, Aiko’s sensitivity sensors and humanlike appearance offer the potential for its use as a companion robot.”The most recent improvement with Aiko is the BRAINS software,” Le Trung said. “I have just finished re-architecting the BRAINS software to have triple threads, which will make the software run a bit smoother and process about 15% faster for 3D recognition. As a result, Aiko can distinguish the difference between a $20 Canadian bill and $20 American bill. Aiko also has new improved facial expressions with 21 recognition points. Aiko will know when you are angry, happy, etc. Finally, the BRAINS can now process newspaper reading much faster and more accurate.”
(Phys.org) —A team of physicists in Israel has used the scattering of a photon when it strikes an atom to better understand the process of decoherence. In a paper the team has published in the journal Science, the group describe how, as part of their research, they found that the spin of an atom prior to being shot with a single photon determined whether decoherence took place or not. Quantum cats are hard to see Journal information: Science More information: Emergence of a Measurement Basis in Atom-Photon Scattering, Science 8 March 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6124 pp. 1187-1191 DOI: 10.1126/science.1229650 (on ArXiv)ABSTRACTAfter measurement, a wave-function is postulated to collapse on a predetermined set of states—the measurement basis. Using quantum process tomography, we show how a measurement basis emerges in the evolution of the electronic spin of a single trapped atomic ion after spontaneous photon scattering and detection. This basis is determined by the excitation laser polarization and the direction along which the photon was detected. Quantum tomography of the combined spin-photon state reveals that although photon scattering entangles all superpositions of the measurement-basis states with the scattered photon polarization, the measurement-basis states themselves remain classically correlated with it. Our findings shed light on the process of quantum measurement in atom-photon interactions. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Researchers discover a way to avoid decoherence in a quantum system (2013, March 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-decoherence-quantum.html Decoherence is the process that comes about when a quantum state transitions to a classical world state. Scientists are studying the way it comes about (and ways to prevent it from happening) to help in designing atomic clocks and hopefully one day, a quantum computer.In this new effort, the researchers fired single photons at atoms and then studied the results using a detector. When the photons struck the atoms, they were deflected, a process called scattering. In so doing, they discovered that if the photon struck an atom whose spin was not aligned in the same direction as its path, than the photon and atom became entangled—where two particles behave as if one, even at a distance. If the photon and atom’s spin were aligned, however, entanglement did not occur.This experiment suggests a way to prevent decoherence—if the photon and atom became entangled, they experienced decoherence the moment the photon struck the detector and was measured—one of the basic rules of quantum mechanics. If the two didn’t become entangled though, then decoherence never occurred because there never was a superposition state (a scenario defined by quantum mechanics whereby systems can exist simultaneously in more than one state) in the first place. It also shows that decoherence can perhaps be controlled in a quantum system by taking advantage of an atom’s spin state.These findings could help researchers develop better atomic clocks or lead to new ideas on ways to build a real true functional quantum computer, which would of course revolutionize the field by allowing for systems that operate at orders of magnitude faster processing speeds. One of the major hold-ups at this point is preventing decoherence as data is manipulated and measured. This new research might just be one step towards solving that problem.
Quantum thermodynamics: A better understanding of how atoms soak up their surroundings Explore further The scientists, M. Sonnleitner at the University of Innsbruck and Innsbruck Medical University in Austria, M. Ritsch-Marte at Innsbruck Medical University, and H. Ritsch at the University of Innsbruck, have published their paper on the attractive blackbody force stemming from blackbody radiation in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.The underlying basis of the new force has actually been known for at least half a century: blackbody radiation shifts the atomic energy levels of nearby atoms and molecules. In these “Stark shifts,” the ground state of the atom or molecule is shifted to a lower energy by an amount that is roughly proportional to the fourth power of the blackbody’s temperature. That is, the hotter the blackbody, the larger the shift. While this much has been known, however, the potential repercussions of these energy shifts have been overlooked until now. In the new study, the scientists have for the first time shown that the Stark shifts induced by blackbody radiation can combine to generate an attractive optical force that dominates the blackbody’s own repulsive radiation pressure. This means that, despite its outgoing radiative energy flow, a hot finite-sized sphere actually attracts rather than repels neutral atoms and molecules, under most conditions.”The most important result is that we point out that radiation forces typically associated with lasers in the lab also exist for every source of thermal radiation,” Sonnleitner told Phys.org. “The interplay between these two forces—a typically attractive gradient force versus repulsive radiation pressure—is routinely considered in quantum optics laboratories, but it was overlooked that this also shows up with thermal light sources.”As the scientists explain, this attraction occurs because atoms and molecules whose ground states are shifted to lower energy levels are drawn toward regions of higher radiation intensity—in this case, blackbodies. The scientists calculated the strength of the attractive force, and discovered some interesting things. First, the force decays with the third power of the distance from the blackbody. Second, the force is stronger for smaller objects. Third, the force is stronger for hotter objects, up to a point. At above a few thousand degrees Kelvin, the force changes from attraction to repulsion. In their study, the scientists showed that the blackbody force of a dust grain at a temperature of 100 K is much stronger than the dust grain’s gravitational attraction. However, for a massive star at a temperature of 6000 K, the blackbody force is much weaker than the gravitational force. The discovery that blackbody radiation can impart an overall attractive force on nearby objects could have great significance for many astrophysical scenarios, in particular the interaction between interstellar gas and dust grains. The findings could also have applications in experimental set-ups, such as the effects of hot microstructured surfaces in vacuum chambers. However, the scientists note that the attractive blackbody force will be difficult to measure in the lab because it will be very weak under typical laboratory conditions.”Since the forces are very weak, they beat gravity only for small particles such as cosmic dust,” Sonnleitner said. “These sub-micron-sized grains play an important role in the formation of planets and stars or in astro-chemistry. Apparently there are some open questions on how they interact with surrounding hydrogen gas or with each other. Right now we are exploring how this additional attractive force affects the dynamics of atoms and dust.” Journal information: Physical Review Letters Citation: Blackbody radiation induces attractive force stronger than gravity (2013, July 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-blackbody-stronger-gravity.html © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. More information: M. Sonnleitner, et al. “Attractive Optical Forces from Blackbody Radiation.” PRL 111, 023601 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.023601 An artist’s view of the interaction between an atom and a hot blackbody. Due to the attractive blackbody force, the atom is pulled toward the blackbody. Credit: M. Sonnleitner, et al. ©2013 American Physical Society Perfectly non-reflective objects, called blackbodies, produce blackbody radiation when at a uniform temperature. Although the properties of blackbody radiation depend on the blackbody’s temperature, this radiation has always been thought to have a net repulsive effect. Now in a new study, scientists have theoretically shown that blackbody radiation induces a second force on nearby atoms and molecules that is usually attractive and, quite surprisingly, even stronger than the repulsive radiation pressure. Consequently, the atoms and molecules are pulled toward the blackbody surface by a net attractive force that can be even stronger than gravity. The new attractive force—which the scientists call the “blackbody force”—suggests that a variety of astrophysical scenarios should be revisited. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Explore further Citation: Study suggests costs of building flood protection from global warming far less than flood repair (2014, February 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-global.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Global warming, it appears, is here to stay, thus, it’s time, the researchers suggest, to start making plans for dealing with the inevitable flooding that will occur as ocean levels rise due to warmer water and melting snow and ice. They note that approximately a billion people currently live in areas that are likely to be at risk—low-lying coastal areas. And since it’s not likely that towns and cities will be moved farther inland, other measures need to be taken. They note that flood prevention strategies are well established, e.g. building levees, barrier islands, etc., thus it’s not difficult to draw up estimates for such schemes for individual areas. What is difficult is convincing municipalities to spend billions of dollars on preventing floods that won’t occur for many years.To make their point, the researchers highlight the high financial toll that floods take, compared to the relatively small investment costs for flood prevention. As one example, they note that one highly developed coastal urban area could see damages reaching to nearly $20 trillion annually—as in every single year. To offer a comparison, they note that the GDP for the United States as a whole is roughly $17 trillion a year. Clearly it would be cheaper to prevent the flooding in the first place.The researchers acknowledge that costs for putting in flood control measures in different parts of the world could vary dramatically, but suggest that regardless, it would almost certainly be cheaper than enduring endless flooding. The key is in recognizing what the future holds and making plans for it, rather than taking a wait-and-see approach.As one additional note of caution, the researchers also remind urban planners that history has shown that not all flood prevention efforts succeed as envisioned, and when they fail, catastrophic events can occur as a result—quite often due to building in a flood plain out of an exaggerated sense of security. More information: Coastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise, Jochen Hinkel, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222469111AbstractCoastal flood damage and adaptation costs under 21st century sea-level rise are assessed on a global scale taking into account a wide range of uncertainties in continental topography data, population data, protection strategies, socioeconomic development and sea-level rise. Uncertainty in global mean and regional sea level was derived from four different climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, each combined with three land-ice scenarios based on the published range of contributions from ice sheets and glaciers. Without adaptation, 0.2–4.6% of global population is expected to be flooded annually in 2100 under 25–123 cm of global mean sea-level rise, with expected annual losses of 0.3–9.3% of global gross domestic product. Damages of this magnitude are very unlikely to be tolerated by society and adaptation will be widespread. The global costs of protecting the coast with dikes are significant with annual investment and maintenance costs of US$ 12–71 billion in 2100, but much smaller than the global cost of avoided damages even without accounting for indirect costs of damage to regional production supply. Flood damages by the end of this century are much more sensitive to the applied protection strategy than to variations in climate and socioeconomic scenarios as well as in physical data sources (topography and climate model). Our results emphasize the central role of long-term coastal adaptation strategies. These should also take into account that protecting large parts of the developed coast increases the risk of catastrophic consequences in the case of defense failure. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2014 Phys.org Changing landscapes, not global warming, to blame for increased flood risk Flooding in Key Haven caused by hurricane Wilma on 10/24/2005. Credit: Marc Averette/Wikipedia (Phys.org) —A team of researches with members from several European countries has concluded that it would be far more cost effective for most coastal area economies to employ flood prevention strategies rather than simply pay to clean up after flooding that occurs due to global warming. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe likely flooding scenarios in the future as ocean levels rise due to global warming and the possible costs of building structures to prevent flood damage.
More information: Contrasting evolutionary history, anthropogenic declines and genetic contact in the northern and southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2018). rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … .1098/rspb.2018.1567Press release © 2018 Science X Network Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Siliguri: A forensic expert team is due to arrive at the Kushwa residence at Shukantanagar in Bagdogra by Tuesday to collect samples and start with the investigation.On Sunday, Siliguri woke up to double murders. 40-year-old Ajay Kushwa and his 35-year-old wife Mina Kushwa were found brutally murdered at their residence, while their 4-year-old son and 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter were found unhurt.Siliguri Metropolitan Police have started a probe and suspect that the couple was murdered by people known to them. They have got hold of definite leads by investigating details of Ajay’s business transactions. The investigation started with the interrogation of around 40 people, including his employees. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeKushwa used to run a manpower agency providing both male and female workers to catering agencies.On Saturday, Kushwa had a contract to provide workers in a hotel in Siliguri. At around 1:40 am on Sunday after his job was over, Uday Pradhan, a staff had gone to Kushwa’s residence to hand over the keys and drop the female workersback home.”The principal entrance of the building was wide open. On entering their apartment, I found the bodies lying in pool of blood in two separate rooms and I immediately reported the matter to the police,” said Pradhan. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSources say that the investigators are looking into several angles. Firstly, there was a female staff present on the third floor of the building but she seemed to have no clue about the crime on the first floor.Secondly, Ajay had altercations with a tenant of the building, which he had taken on rent for the male staff in Pradhananagar.The three-storied Kushwa residence had a floor allotted to the female staff and for the male employees, Ajay had hired an accommodation in Pradhan Nagar, a nearby locality. Though the murder weapon has not been recovered yet, police suspect that the couple was bludgeoned to death with bore marks on Ajay’s head and Meena’s face being disfigured.As the children were spared, it is suspected that the assailants are known to the couple.Later on Sunday, sniffer dogs were brought in by the policemen, which took rounds of the entire house and also to the adjacent areas outside the house.”Though we have proceeded a lot in the investigation into the murder case, we cannot disclose details as it may alert the criminals involved,” stated Tarun Halder, DCP (zone 2), SMP.Ajay and Meena were together since their early school days and got married in 2006.”He was a reputed businessman of the area and did not have any kind of problems with anyone as per my knowledge,” said one of the neighbours.”The motive behind the murder is not very clear but we hope to come to a conclusion soon,” added Halder.The forensic investigation will throw significant lighton the case.
Kolkata: The West Bengal CID today said it is probing the cases of alleged suicide blamed on online game ‘Momo Challenge’ and most of the messages received by people inviting them to play it were “fake”. There is no reason to panic or to connect the recently reported suicide cases in West Bengal to ‘Momo Challenge’, state CID DIG (Operations) Nishat Pervez told newsmen here. All the numbers from where the messages were sent to the people in the state to play the Momo Challenge were based abroad and an investigation has been initiated into it, he said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life “Almost all of the messages received by the people so far asking them to play the Momo Challenge are fake because there is no link leading to the game. There must be a link which will take the person receiving the message to the game. Fake messages can be created and that is what has happened,” Pervez said. Nobody in the state has so far reported anything about receiving links leading them to play the Momo Challenge, he said. “We have not received any single report of anybody getting a message that has taken him to a page on the Internet to play the game. And there was no complaint from family members of those who have committed suicide saying that they have died playing the game,” the CID DIG said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Investigation is at a very early stage, he said adding catching those creating fake messages will take time. The Momo Challenge has reportedly claimed two lives so far. Eighteen-year-old Manish Sarki of Kurseong had hanged himself on August 20 and 26-year-old Aditi Goyal, also from the same area, committed suicide the next day reportedly after playing the Momo game on Whatsapp. “We do not have any proof that they committed suicide after playing the Momo Challenge,” Pervez said. On August 21 Jalpaiguri resident Kabita Rai had received an invitation over her mobile phone inviting her to play the Momo Challenge following which she had lodged a police complaint. A college student from the district was detained in connection with her complaint. A woman IT professional in the city had received a similar invitation last week and had approached to the Kolkata Police cyber cell. The CID DIG said that parents should keep a tab on their wards and counsel them in case they spot any change in their behaviour. The state administration has taken steps to combat the alleged threat. It has asked educational institutes to keep a tab on the behaviour of students and have alerted police stations in the districts to deal with it, officials said. The ‘Momo Challenge’ apparently introduced by social networking site after last year’s killer ‘Blue Whale Challenge’, has made headway in several countries. The Game features a grotesque image of a girl with her face distorted and eyes bulging.
Kolkata: A youth was lynched to death over property related disputes. The incident took place in Dhaniakhali area of Hooghly on Sunday morning.The deceased has been identified as Kartik Haldar (21). According to the police, the victim had a quarrel with his neigbhour over property related matter.The family members of the victim alleged that the accused, identified as Kartik Roy, along with few others, dragged Haldar out of his house and took him to a nearby area. The accused youths hit the victim on his head with a bamboo stick. The victim fell on the ground after receiving injuries on head. The accused fled the spot immediately after the incident. Some locals found the victim lying unconscious state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey rushed the victim to Dhaniakhali Gramin Hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe. The body has been sent for an autopsy. The incident triggered tension in the area.The family members of the victim told police that a property dispute was going on between the two families for a long time. The accused also threatened the victim of dire consequences on a number of occasions but the family members never thought this could led to his death. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe victim’s family members lodged a complaint at a local police station and a probe has been initiated. The accused youths have been absconding.According to the police, the victim had several injury marks on his body. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits.Police are investigating if the property related dispute between the two families actually led to the murder or is there any other angle intothe incident.
Over 800 people of different ages, nationalities and walks of life participated in a ‘Gandhi March’ held in The Hague, Netherlands on October 1, as part of a ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign organised to mark the International Day of Non-Violence. The day’s proceedings began with the Netherlands Marathi Mandal entertaining participants with traditional dhol and dances inside the compound of the iconic Peace Palace, home to the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Deputy Mayors of The Hague, Rabin Baldewsingh and Karsten Klein, as well as Ambassador of India to the Netherlands, Venu Rajamony, made brief speeches flagging off the march. A spark taken from the eternal ‘World Peace flame’ that burns outside the Peace Palace, (created using a flame from the Mahatma Gandhi memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi) was handed over to the Deputy Mayors and Ambassador Venu Rajamony, who led the march along with Ambassadors of many countries, Chan Santokhi, MP and leader of Opposition from Suriname and leaders of the Indian community.The colourful march guided by motorcycle outriders in front and with mounted police on horses at the back, wound through the streets of the city for about an hour before concluding at the historic Grote Kerk or Big Church of The Hague. The marchers wore t-shirts, specially designed for the occasion with the ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign logo of Gandhiji, walking with a stick in one hand and a cycle in the other. They also carried posters and shouted slogans advocating non-violence and peace as well as the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Other dignitaries who took part in the activities included the Ambassadors of South Africa, United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Political leader of Indian origin and celebrity fitness advocate and inspirational speaker. On reaching the Grote Kerk, the marchers paid respects to a bicycle personally used by Mahatma Gandhi and sent to the Netherlands by the Gandhi Memorial Trust of India as a special gesture, in view of the popularity of cycling in the Netherlands. An excerpt of Philp Glass’s masterpiece opera titled ‘Satyagraha’ inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance was performed by artists from the Korzo theatre and Kwekers in de Kunst. The excerpt which portrayed the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna in the Mahabharata, was performed in a new adaptation with modern Indian dance. A new book in Dutch titled “Gandhi –An illustrated biography” by Indian author Pramod Kapoor was released during the event. The celebrations ended with a performance of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite songs ‘Lead, kindly light’,and ‘Abide with me’ as well as the famous civil rights song ‘We shall overcome’ by a group from the American Protestant Church of The Hague.The ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign continued on October 2, 2017 with volunteers fanning out to 22 schools of Netherlands and conducting classes on Mahatma Gandhi and the Importance of non-violence. Events are also being organised by the Indian community around the statues of Mahatma Gandhi in The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam while Indian students are taking the lead to organise a Cleanliness drive in Maastricht University and a discussion in Technical University, Delft.