Archive for the ‘humor’ category

Apr 29, 2023

Scientists: The Human Brain Has Odd Similarities to the Entire Universe

Posted by in categories: humor, robotics/AI, space

An astrophysicist and a neurosurgeon walked into a room.

It may sound like the start of a horrible joke, but what a group of Italian academics came up with is a truly galaxy brain take: the structures of the observable universe, they claim, are startlingly similar to the neural networks of the human brain.

In a recent research published in the journal Frontiers in Physics, University of Bologna astronomer Franco Vazza and University of Verona neurosurgeon Alberto Feletti reveal the unexpected similarities between the cosmic network of galaxies and the complex web of neurons in the human brain. According to the researchers, despite being nearly 27 orders of magnitude distant in scale, the human brain and the makeup of the cosmic web exhibit similar levels of complexity and self-organization.

Apr 8, 2023

Shadows, Spooks and Surveillance

Posted by in categories: humor, surveillance

All journalists who cover violence enjoy macabre humor. If not, they will go insane.

Mark Pedelty noted in his lauded anthropological study War Stories: The Culture of Foreign Correspondents that we can be a human being or a journalist, but not both.

The game card above reenforces Pedelty’s observation that “reporters were forced to normalize the abnormal and routinize the absurd.”

Mar 9, 2023

New AI Chatbot Deliberately Trained to Be as Stupid as Possible

Posted by in categories: humor, robotics/AI

Meet “2dumb2destroy,” a chatbot that is, refreshingly, too stupid to do humanity any harm beyond telling a bad joke or two.

Feb 12, 2023

Why everything eventually becomes a crab

Posted by in category: humor

Crabe-shape beings.

The joke—that everything will eventually look like a crab—comes from an actual truth. The crab shape has evolved so many times that scientists had to come up with a special term for it: carcinization.

While it’s probably not in the stars for humans to evolve into crabs, it is something that has happened multiple times in the crustacean family, where a creature may have started out looking like a lobster or a hermit crab and then eventually turning into the low, round, pinchy critters we all know and love. But before we dive into why this is, let’s first define the term “crab.”

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Feb 8, 2023

Optical Fibers Go Topological

Posted by in categories: computing, humor, mathematics, quantum physics

A new design for an optical fiber borrows concepts from topology to protect light from imperfections in the fiber’s light-guiding materials or from distortions in its cross section.

Using concepts from the mathematical field of topology, researchers at the University of Bath, UK, have designed an optical fiber that can robustly propagate light, even if there are variations in the properties of its light-guiding materials or in its overall geometry [1]. The team thinks that this newfound topological protection could enable advances in optical communication and photonic quantum computing.

The concept of topology is often explained using a joke about a donut and a coffee cup. A coffee cup made of rubber can be continuously twisted and stretched—no cuts need to be made—so that it takes on the shape of a donut. Even though the object’s outline changes under this transformation, its essence remains the same—it contains one hole. Thus, the quip goes, a topologist cannot tell the difference between the two things.

Jan 17, 2023

AI21 Labs Announces The Future Of Writing, Challenging OpenAI

Posted by in categories: humor, robotics/AI

Tel-Aviv-based AI21 Labs launched today Wordtune Spices, a writer-augmentation tool based on generative AI. Selecting from 12 different cues, writers can generate a range of textual options to add to and enhance sentences. Spices can also suggest statistics to strengthen an argument or sharpen a detail.

AI21 says Spices is not intended to replace writers but to function as a writing assistant, suggesting additional complete sentences that improve and enhance the text that is being written. It could help refine and enrich the main message of the text, bolster and enrich arguments, and add creative expressions such as a joke or inspirational quote.

AI21 is addressing the limitations of Large Language Models (LLM) by combining deep learning with old-fashioned AI.

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Nov 6, 2022

Empathizing With Humans — Scientists Have Created a Robot That Can Laugh With You

Posted by in categories: humor, robotics/AI

To foster empathy in conversation, scientists at Kyoto University developed a shared-laughter AI system that reacts properly to human laughter.

What makes something hilarious has baffled philosophers and scientists since at least the time of inquiring minds like Plato. The Greeks believed that feeling superior at others’ expense was the source of humor. Sigmund Freud, a German psychologist, thought humor was a means to let off pent-up energy. In order to make people laugh, US comedian Robin Williams tapped his anger at the absurd.

No one appears to be able to agree on the answer to the question, “What’s so funny?” So picture attempting to train a robot to laugh. But by creating an AI that gets its signals from a shared laughing system, a team of researchers at Kyoto University in Japan is trying to do that. The researchers describe their novel technique for creating a funny bone for the Japanese robot ‘Erica’ in the journal Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Aug 26, 2022

And you thought physicists can’t tell a joke!

Posted by in categories: humor, physics

Jul 17, 2022

AI Would Run the World Better Than Humans, Google Research Claims

Posted by in categories: economics, education, government, humor, information science, mathematics, robotics/AI

The bottomless bucket is Karl Marx’s utopian creed: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” In this idyllic world, everyone works for the good of society, with the fruits of their labor distributed freely — everyone taking what they need, and only what they need. We know how that worked out. When rewards are unrelated to effort, being a slacker is more appealing than being a worker. With more slackers than workers, not nearly enough is produced to satisfy everyone’s needs. A common joke in the Soviet Union was, “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.”

In addition to helping those who in the great lottery of life have drawn blanks, governments should adopt myriad policies that expand the economic pie, including education, infrastructure, and the enforcement of laws and contracts. Public safety, national defense, dealing with externalities are also important. There are many legitimate government activities and there are inevitably tradeoffs. Governing a country is completely different from playing a simple, rigged distribution game.

I love computers. I use them every day — not just for word processing but for mathematical calculations, statistical analyses, and Monte Carlo simulations that would literally take me several lifetimes to do by hand. Computers have benefited and entertained all of us. However, AI is nowhere near ready to rule the world because computer algorithms do not have the intelligence, wisdom, or commonsense required to make rational decisions.

Jul 17, 2022

Scathing study exposes Google’s harmful approach to AI development

Posted by in categories: humor, robotics/AI

It’s not that the particular labelers didn’t do a good job, it’s that they were given an impossible task.

There are no shortcuts to gleaning insight into human communications. We’re not stupid like machines are. We can incorporate our entire environment and lived history into the context of our communications and, through the tamest expression of our masterful grasp on semantic manipulation, turn nonsense into philosophy (shit happens) or turn a truly mundane statement into the punchline of an ageless joke (to get to the other side).

What these Google researchers have done is spent who knows how much time and money developing a crappy digital version of a Magic 8-Ball. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong, and there’s no way to be sure one way or another.

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