[Popular STEM] Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for May 15, 2020

in Popular STEM2 months ago

A Steem essay suggests a way to simulate a survival instinct in AI systems; Researchers find that dogs obey commands from social robots; Amateur archaeologists extend map of Roman-era Britain; US agency provides tech-support to the UN for tracking an international locust outbreak; and University of Maryland researchers have 11 papers and two grant applications retracted after including faked data

[Popular STEM] Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for
May 15, 2020


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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt, SteemSTEM.

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  1. Steem @sm-silva:If we really want an artificial intelligence that thinks for itself, we have to give survival instinct! - In Steem's (relatively) new Popular STEM community, the author shares some thoughts abut the future of artificial intelligence (AI), including an idea that's inspired by biological hormones of awarding points for behaviors that impact health and survival so that the AI system can set priorities in ways that will promote health and survival.

  2. Dogs Obey Commands Given by Social Robots - Subtitle: As far as dogs are concerned, social robots have some human-like authority - A team of researchers from Yale's Social Robotics Lab presented a paper to the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2020) which examined the question of whether dogs see social robots more like humans - which they obey, or more like electronic speakers - which they don't. The effort was led by Brian Scassellati. Future research will examine the particular areas of distinction between the speakers and the social robots, which may give us knowledge about dog behavior, and even human behavior. The paper is here and the presentation was given virtually, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The presentation is here.

    Here is a video:

    This result will not surprise regular readers of this series, because we previously covered an automated dog-training system in Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 29, 2020 and Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for January 26, 2020.


  3. Amateur archaeologists redraw map of Roman Britain – from home - Subtitle: Volunteers find ‘astounding’ number of unknown sites in south-west from aerial surveys - In a post last week, we learned about a drone operator discovering ring forts in Ireland. Today's news brings news of amateur archaeologists discovering, "telltale signs of dozens of previously unknown settlements and miles of roads linking Roman forts", in the UK. It is believed that these COVID-inspired hobbyists have discovered at least 30 settlements and 20 miles of road from the time when the area was occupied by the Roman empire. The volunteers are being led by Dr. Chris Smart. The team is surveying an area of about 4,000 km2 that has been broken down into 1,000 grids. Smith is quoted as saying,
    I knew we’d find some things but I didn’t think it would be so many. The types of sites are what you would expect in this region but it’s the number that is so surprising. Dozens of sites have been found already, but it will be hundreds by the time the volunteers are finished. We’re seeing a much greater density of population than we thought.
    As with, Build the Earth, here's another initiative that could make productive use of Steem's community feature. -h/t archaeology.org

  4. To Track Massive Locust Swarms, Officials Use Tool that Forecasts Smoke Plumes - Subtitle: The pests that have been laying waste to crops across Africa follow the winds, just like smoke - As a massive locust invasion spreads from Africa to the middle-east and Asia, America's NOAA is providing technical support to the United Nations (UN)'s effort to control the infestation, but the effort is being impeded by heavy rainfall and flash floods. NOAA's assistance includes the use of a modified and re-purposed tool that was first developed to track smoke plumes from volcanoes and wildfires. This tool operates primarily by tracking wind patterns, and it is believed to be effective because, like smoke plumes, locust swarms tend to be driven by the prevailing wind.

  5. Former U Maryland researcher faked data in seven papers, two Federal grants: ORI - Subtitle: A former veterinary scientist at the University of Maryland has been found guilty of misconduct, including fabrication of data, by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity (ORI). - Shin-Hee Kim had seven papers and two grant applications retracted, and agreed to three years of supervision on any federally funded research. In addition, one of Kim's coauthors, Siba Samal, also had four papers retracted. Another author, Peter Collins shared a byline on the two authors' retracted papers, but did not respond to a request for information about the overlap.


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