This is a case study that will probably be repeated for some time. Baby Einstein launched more than 20 years ago with the proposition that selected videos could propel children into advamced achievement. It was acquired by Disney in 2001. However, "Disney was forced to admit that the videos had no educational value and offered full refunds to parents who had bought them... The idea that a vaguely highbrow video can make a child smarter now sounds like a kind of old-timey tech utopianism, like the idea that social media would democratize the flow of information and unite people around the globe." Via Joanne Jacobs.Today: 74 Total: 74
It's not an actual worm brain, of course. It's simulated, based on the OpenWorm project that "mapped all the connections between the worm's 302 neurons and managed to simulate them in software." It also uses digital sensors in places of the worm's senses. I find the demonstration (there's a video) interesting conceptually. We know the worm doesn't have internal representations of concepts such as 'wall' or even 'space', yet it manages to navigate. This suggests that perceptual understanding is important in a way that conceptual understanding is not. Learning isn't about making meaning, it's about being able to observe and perceive. Full report.Today: 76 Total: 76
Systems from both Alibaba and Microsoft outscored humans on a a Stanford University reading and comprehension test. "Based on more than 500 Wikipedia articles, Stanford’s set of questions are designed to tease out whether machine-learning models can process large amounts of information before supplying precise answers to queries." Follow as well the discussion on Reddit for more scepticism and more speculation about the results.Today: 86 Total: 86
This interview with student teacher Sarah Lalonde gives us some insight into the current state of teacher development today. I found this interesting: "social media is not used as part of my Education program and I think it is very unfortunate. I had one, and only one teacher, speak about and incorporate Twitter in one of her courses and there was tons of pushback." This isn't really encouraging. But the rest of the interview - including her description of work in podcasting and media - give me more hope.Today: 76 Total: 76
Does music show that resonance without representation is a form of consciousness? "Human attempts at making sense of the world often involve representing, calculating and deliberating. This isn’t the kind of thing that typically goes on in the 55 Bar, nor is it necessarily happening in the Lutheran church just down the block, or on a muddy football pitch in a remote Irish village. But gathering to make music, play games or engage in religious worship are far from being mindless activities. And making sense of the world is not necessarily just a matter of representing it.Today: 106 Total: 106
Good technical description of the recent security flaws in compter chips explaining why we haven't seen the end of them. Out-of-order instructions (such as a speculative calculation) "introduce an exploitable side channel if their operation depends on a secret value." The impact is permanent. "Hardware optimizations can change the state of microarchitectural elements... Both industry and the scientific community so far accepted this as a necessary evil for efficient computing… Meltdown changes the situation entirely."Today: 105 Total: 105
According to this article, the company Digital Science has launched "a new product that includes a citation database, a research analytics suite, and streamlined article discovery and access." Called Dmensions, it is intended as direct competition for Elsevier's Scopus, as well as analytics suites such as Elsevier’s SciVal, Clarivate’s InCites and Essential Science Indicators, atop their citation databases. "Basic individual access, including powerful searches of the article database and links from it to grants and patents, is free and requires no registration. You will be able to try it here by the time this post goes live."Today: 129 Total: 129
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