Do You Have a Multiverse Avatar?


Any creatures witnessing the sun’s demise won’t be human—they’ll be as different from us as we are from a bug.

Posthuman evolution—here on Earth and far beyond—could be as prolonged as the Darwinian evolution that has led to us—and even more wonderful.

And evolution will speed up; it can happen via “intelligent design” on a technological timescale, operating far faster than natural selection and driven by advances in genetics and in artificial intelligence (AI).

The long-term future probably lies with electronic rather than organic “life.”

Source: Do You Have a Multiverse Avatar?

AI Chips: Challenges and Opportunities | Chip Design


Dr. John E. Kelly, III, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Solutions and IBM Research, talked about how AI will dramatically change the world.

“This is an era of computing which is at a scale that will dwarf the previous era, in ways that will change all of our businesses and all of our industries, and all of our lives,” he said. “This is the era that’s going to power our semiconductor industry forward. The number of opportunities is enormous.”

Also speaking at the event, Gary Dickerson, CEO of Applied Materials, said AI “needs innovation in the edge and in the cloud, in generating data on the edge, storing the data, and processing that data to unlock the value. At the same time Moore’s Law is slowing.” This creates the “perfect opportunity,” he said.

Source: AI Chips: Challenges and Opportunities | Chip Design

NIST’s Electro-Optic Laser Pulses 100 Times Faster Than Usual Ultrafast Light | NIST


Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used common electronics to build a laser that pulses 100 times more often than conventional ultrafast lasers. The advance could extend the benefits of ultrafast science to new applications such as imaging of biological materials in real time.

The technology for making electro-optic lasers has been around for five decades, and the idea seems alluringly simple. But until now researchers have been unable to electronically switch light to make ultrafast pulses and eliminate electronic noise, or interference.

Source: NIST’s Electro-Optic Laser Pulses 100 Times Faster Than Usual Ultrafast Light | NIST

Decoding Multiple Frames from a Single, Scattered Exposure


Engineers at Duke University have developed a way to extract a sequence of images from light scattered through a mostly opaque material — or even off a wall — from one long photographic exposure. The technique has applications in a wide range of fields from security to healthcare to astronomy.

The study appeared online on September 10 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“When I explain to people what this algorithm can do, it sounds like magic,” said Michael Gehm, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke.

“But it’s really just statistics and a ton of data.”

Source: Decoding Multiple Frames from a Single, Scattered Exposure

Polymer Coating Reduces the Temperature of Building Surfaces


A new polymer coating could help cool down buildings and other surfaces.

Researchers from Columbia University have created a high-performance, passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) polymer coating with nano-to-microscale air voids that act as a spontaneous air cooler and can be fabricated, dyed or painted on rooftops, buildings, water tanks and vehicles to cool them down.

Source: Polymer Coating Reduces the Temperature of Building Surfaces

The Day When the Industrial IoT Gets Hacked | EE Times

The more devices that get connected to the industrial internet of things (IIoT) networks, the more that those networks get hacked and attacked.

Cyberattacks of all kinds used to be directed mostly at IT networks but not anymore.

Many of today’s attackers are going after the industrial control system (ICS) and operational technology (OT) side of the IIoT.

Source: The Day When the Industrial IoT Gets Hacked | EE Times

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Nvidia Going All Robot, All the Time | EE Times


Most AI platform suppliers have been obsessed lately with autonomous vehicles. This week, Nvidia escalated the obsession by spreading the epidemic to “autonomous machines.”

At Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference held here, CEO Jensen Huang wound up and pitched Nvidia AGX, a series of embedded AI high-performance computers built around Nvidia’s new Xavier processors, for a host of robotic and autonomous machines.

Phil Magney, founder and principal advisor at VSI Labs, called Nvidia “shrewd” to extend the reach of the architecture, since most competitors are focusing exclusively on automated cars. “As we know, there are lots of human driven machines out there where removing the operator is the goal. Nvidia’s new partners in Japan have their bases covered with these announcements.”

Source: Nvidia Going All Robot, All the Time | EE Times

New China Tariffs Hit Chip Industry Again | EE Times

At the heart of the trade war is the two sides’ failure to come to terms on a comprehensive trade agreement that Trump wants to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China — estimated to be about $375 billion last year. The administration has also sought protection from what it considers  theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology.

Chinese products on Monday’s list include raw silicon and other products used in chip making, including items such as quartz reactor tubes and holders designed for insertion into diffusion and oxidation furnaces for semiconductor wafer production. The list also includes smart cards, as well as technology products used in data centers and networking gear.

Source: New China Tariffs Hit Chip Industry Again | EE Times

Flash File Fragmentation Needs A Fix for Automotive | EE Times


“Any flash vendor will tell you the controller is totally fine with it,” he said. But there’s many more read calls to different areas of the flash drive that leads to fragmented data, said Joel Catala, director of Embedded Solutions at Tuxera.

“That’s where we have seen that performance gets a big drop.”

Much of the research on flash fragmentation is based on smartphone use cases. But Tuxera’s position is that it becomes more than just an inconvenience as flash gets integrated into mission critical systems for automotive.

Source: Flash File Fragmentation Needs A Fix for Automotive | EE Times

Teaching Machines ‘Fairness’ | EE Times


Teaching anyone about “fairness” is a laudable goal.

As humans, we may not necessarily agree on what’s fair. It sometimes depends on the context. Teaching kids to be fair — both at home and in school — is fundamental, but it’s easier said than done. With this in mind, how can we, as a society, communicate the nuances of “being fair” to artificial intelligence (AI) systems?

A team of researchers at IBM Research is taking the first crack at this conundrum. IBM is rolling out a tool kit for developers called “AI Fairness 360.”

As part of this effort, IBM is offering businesses a new “cloud-based, bias-detection, and mitigation service” that corporations can use to test and verify how AI-driven systems are behaving.

Source: Teaching Machines ‘Fairness’ | EE Times