Future Tech: Featuring quantum gravity sensors to see underground & drones that can find their way home.
New ‘aging’ AI could have some interesting uses
From Fast Company:
Aging is a natural process inflicted on all of us humans. With AI, we can get a glimpse ahead of time of what the future holds for our wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.
A new machine learning paper shows how AI can take footage of someone and duplicate the video with the subject looking an age the researchers specify. The team behind the paper, from the University of Arkansas, Clemson University, Carnegie Mellon University and Concordia University in Canada, claim that this is one of the first methods to use AI to tackle aging in videos.
The system was trained on an expanded dataset of photos of showing individuals at different ages. Reinforcement learning, a technique that rewards an AI model for getting a task correct, comes into play by rewarding the system when the synthesized features, like wrinkles, appear similarly across consecutive video frames. Similar approaches power the “deepfake” technology that has raised alarms about the prospect of AI-powered video propaganda.
Could ‘quantum seeing’ transform our world?
From BBC News:
Imagine a world where you can find out exactly what lies under your feet, get advanced warning of volcanic eruptions, look around corners or into rooms and detect initial signs of multiple sclerosis. Welcome to quantum sensing, a technology that could transform our world.
At their heart, these sensors rely on the often-baffling behaviour of subatomic particles, where the classical assumptions of Newtonian physics cease to exist. “Quantum physics is said to be ‘spooky’, with particles being in two places at once, but it might be less spooky if you think of them as waves — and waves can be in several places at once,” says Prof Kai Bongs of Birmingham University.
Prof Bongs’ Birmingham team is part of a consortium of academics and businesses developing quantum gravity sensors or gravimeters that will be twice as sensitive and 10 times as fast as current equipment. This project, labelled Gravity Pioneer, could greatly simplify how engineers and surveyors plan and execute major construction projects.
The quest to create an autonomous drone that can ‘see’
From CBC News:
There is a drone, just north of Toronto, that can fly on its own — no human pilot required. It was built by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), who have been perfecting the technology for the past few years.
But they have an even more ambitious goal: to create a self-flying vehicle that can find its way home based solely on what its cameras can see, in the event that it can no longer locate itself using GPS.
What might be easy for some humans is not so easy for a self-flying drone. Tech giants, traditional aerospace companies and startups are all working on drones that can fly farther, faster and take on more responsibilities — all on their own and out of their minders’ sights.
The promise is that autonomous drones might be used to conduct detailed surveillance, provide temporary connectivity and communication, ferry passengers or even replace labour-intensive jobs such as window washing and building maintenance.
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