“The advantage of using FPGAs is that the celerity and volume of calculations is greatly enhanced due to the application specific nature of the hardware, and the parallelism in calculation that occurs when allowed. This yields significant advantages for highly iterative, calculation intensive models that take significant calculation time for a serial processor, but happen almost instantly with an FPGA as a result of the specific parallelized structure of the design.”
“Researchers from Japan’s ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories have developed new brain analysis technology that can reconstruct the images inside a person’s mind and display them on a computer monitor, it was announced on December 11. According to the researchers, further development of the technology may soon make it possible to view other people’s dreams while they sleep.” - via Seed Magazine.
“In the age of ubiquitous digital media, synesthesia is everywhere. In human, neurological form, it is rare: for perhaps three in a hundred people, a stimulus in one sensory modality automatically induces a sensation in another. Auditory-to-visual synesthesia, or “colored hearing” is much rarer still. Yet now this phenomenon is realised, apparently, inside every digital music player, on VJ screens in every club, in robot lightshows. On these screens sound is transformed into visual pattern and form instantly and automatically; an exotic perceptual phenomenon becomes a technically mediated commonplace.”
“Dynamical systems are mathematical models in which each point’s movement over time is set by a fixed rule. While these systems have some practical uses, such as tracking wildlife migration patterns or measuring the flow of water through a pipe, they can also create stunningly beautiful images.” - via io9
“Found in Brazil, the ant has a pale body and no eyes. Its mouthparts stick out like sharp forceps and are longer than the rest of its head.”
“The fact that a single ant ‘rediscovered’ in the rainforests of Brazil can tell us so much about the evolution of the ants highlights how little we know about the diversity of life on the planet.” - via Boing Boing.
“Whether (or when) AI is possible will ultimately depend on whether we are smart enough to make something smarter than ourselves. We assume that ants have not achieved this level. We also assume that as smart as chimpanzees are, chimps are not smart enough to make a mind smarter than a chimp, and so have not reached this threshold either. While some people assume humans can create a mind smarter than a human mind, humans may be at a level of intelligence that is below that threshold also. We simply don’t know where the threshold of bootstrapping intelligence is, nor where we are on this metric.”