The Curious Case of the Quantum Theory of Humor

The Curious Case of the Quantum Theory of Humor

The Curious Case of the Quantum Theory of Humor

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

For psychologists who study humor, this statement is a classic. It embodies the ambiguity of language that much humor exploits. In this case, the words “flies” and “like” have different meanings that come into conflict in the reader’s mind. The way our cognitive processes resolve this conflict lies at the heart of the nature of humor, say theorists.

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Holograms and Alexa are Coming to a Car Near You

Holograms and Alexa are Coming to a Car Near You

Holograms and Alexa are Coming to a Car Near You

While the world waits for self-driving cars to come of age, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is showcasing several emerging technologies meant to benefit human drivers.

BMW, for instance, plans to use holographic technology to create a free-floating screen next to the steering wheel. The full-color display will show controls for, say, air conditioning or in-car entertainment, while a camera detects the position of the driver’s finger relative to the display, allowing them to adjust controls by poking at a screen made of light. It’s not clear when the technology will arrive in cars, but a gesture control system shown off by the automaker in 2015 is already available in production models.

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Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

The computers that control self-driving cars are gaining valuable knowledge about the real world in some surprising ways—including browsing online maps and playing video games.

Researchers at Princeton University recently developed a computer vision and mapping system that gathered useful information about the physical properties of roads by studying Google Street View and comparing the scenes to the information provided in open-source mapping data. This allowed it to, for example, learn where the edges of an intersection should be based on images captured by Google’s mapping cars.

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Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

Robot Cars Can Learn to Drive without Leaving the Garage

The computers that control self-driving cars are gaining valuable knowledge about the real world in some surprising ways—including browsing online maps and playing video games.

Researchers at Princeton University recently developed a computer vision and mapping system that gathered useful information about the physical properties of roads by studying Google Street View and comparing the scenes to the information provided in open-source mapping data. This allowed it to, for example, learn where the edges of an intersection should be based on images captured by Google’s mapping cars.

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Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

The Kalahari is a semi-arid sandy savanna that stretches across huge areas of Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. It is home to a wide variety of large mammals including giraffes, ostriches, gnus, and various species of gazelle.

Food resources constantly change in the savanna as rainfall changes, from grazing pressure and as bush fires spread across the land. To avoid overgrazing, land managers must ensure that the number of grazers is matched to the availability of food.

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Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

Machine-Vision Drones Monitor Animals in the African Savanna

The Kalahari is a semi-arid sandy savanna that stretches across huge areas of Botswana, South Africa, and Namibia. It is home to a wide variety of large mammals including giraffes, ostriches, gnus, and various species of gazelle.

Food resources constantly change in the savanna as rainfall changes, from grazing pressure and as bush fires spread across the land. To avoid overgrazing, land managers must ensure that the number of grazers is matched to the availability of food.

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Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches Dance Dance Revolution, Then Creates Dances of Its Own

Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches Dance Dance Revolution, Then Creates Dances of Its Own

Machine-Learning Algorithm Watches Dance Dance Revolution, Then Creates Dances of Its Own

Dance Dance Revolution is one of the classic video games of the late 20th century. A testament to its success, novelty, and longevity is that it is still popular today, almost 20 years since its launch.

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Intel’s New Chips Are More Brain-Like Than Ever

Intel’s New Chips Are More Brain-Like Than Ever

Intel’s New Chips Are More Brain-Like Than Ever

This week, Intel will show off a chip that learns to recognize objects in pictures captured by a webcam. Nothing fancy about that, except that the chip uses about a thousandth as much power as a conventional processor.

The device, called Loihi, which Intel is putting through its paces at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, is a neuromorphic chip—one that mimics, in a simplified way, the functioning of neurons and synapses in the brain. 

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