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One of the most powerful supercomputers will be in Poland

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One of the most powerful supercomputers in the world will be installed in Krakow by the end of next year. The Academic Computer Center CYFRONET AGH has been selected by the European Joint Undertaking in the field of Large Scale Computing (EuroHPC JU) as one of 5 places in Europe where computers forming a pan-European data processing network will be installed, according to Cyfronet.pl:
“Poland is one of the 5 EU countries selected for the installation of a new generation supercomputing system – the machine will be delivered to ACK Cyfronet AGH”

The most powerful computer in the network will be JUPITER. It is the first exascale system in Europe – that is, it performs over 1018 floating point operations per second. It will be installed at the Jülich Supercomputing Center in Germany. The other four machines are DAEDALUS, which will be delivered to Greece, LEVENTE (Hungary), CASPIr (Ireland) and EHPCPL in Krakow.

Currently, Cyfronet has the most powerful supercomputer in Poland, Athena. The machine with the power of 5.05 PFlop is on the 105th position on the list of 500 most efficient supercomputers in the world and is one of the 5 Polish supercomputers listed there. It is known that the EHPCPL will be several times more efficient than Athena.

The goal of EuroHPC JU is to create one of the most powerful supercomputing infrastructures in the world in Europe. There are already LUMI (151.9 PFlop / s) machines in operation in Finland, MeluXina (10.52 PFlop / s) in Luxembourg, Karolina (6.75 PFlop / s) in the Czech Republic, Discoverer (4.52 PFlop / s) ) in Bulgaria and Vega (3.82 PFlop / s) in Slovenia. Also under construction are LEONARDO (Italy), Deucalion (Portugal) and MareNostrum 5 (Spain). The Finnish LUMI is the 3rd most powerful supercomputer in the world and the 3rd most energy efficient computer in the world. Poland Athena ranks high, 9th on the list of the most energy-efficient computers in the world.

“The selection of Poland as the place of installation of one of the EuroHPC JU systems is an important distinction, confirming the national competence in the field of maintenance and operational use of supercomputers at the world level.”

References:
https://www.cyfronet.pl/aktualnosci_i_wydarzenia/19029,3,komunikat,polska_jednym_z_5__panstw_ue_wybranych_do_instalacji_systemu_superkomputerowego_nowej_generacji____maszyna_stanie_w_ack_cyfronet_agh.html

https://eurohpc-ju.europa.eu/eurohpc-joint-undertaking-announces-five-sites-host-new-world-class-supercomputers-2022-06-15_en

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Processor powered by algae

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Recently, scientists developed a processor powered by photosynthesis from algae. The creators of the small system are scientists from the University of Cambridge, and their processor has been working continuously for over a year. Their research gives hope for creating a stable, renewable power source for small devices.

The size of the entire system is comparable to the small AA batteries. It consists of algae, a small aluminum electrode and a microprocessor. Everything is made of cheap, widely available and mostly recyclable materials. The creators of the system say that it will be most useful in places where there is no access to energy networks, and where small amounts of energy are needed, like power sensors.

Our system does not have the problem of running out of energy because sunlight is used to produce it, he adds. During the experiment that is currently underway, algae are used to power the Arm Cortex M0 + processor. Powered by algae, the processor worked both indoors and outdoors. It was exposed to natural changes in light and temperature. We were impressed with the continuity of his work.

Algae do not need any special nutrition as they provide themselves and the processor with energy through photosynthesis. And although light is required to carry it out, the processor was powered even during periods of darkness. The algae were still carrying out metabolic processes.

The creators of the system point out that it would be impractical to power billions of the Internet of Things with currently used lithium-ion batteries. This would require more lithium than we currently produce. And traditional photovoltaic cells are manufactured with the use of environmentally hazardous materials. Hence the need to develop new, stable and environmentally friendly energy sources.

If you want to take a closer look at the solution, I recommend visiting the creators’ article: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2022/EE/D2EE00233G

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Crypto winter not only for investors

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We are witnessing another brutal decline and increasing losses in the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin is breaking its ATH from the previous cycle from the top for the first time in history. A similar event has never happened before on Bitcoin.

The collapse on the cryptocurrency market affects not only the investors themselves. The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is slowing 18 percent of its workforce as cryptocurrencies have been in a retreat since last November. In recent days, however, the declines have intensified. Some cryptocurrencies started the week with drops by up to 20%. The most popular cryptocurrency – bitcoin – costs the least in a year and a half, reaching a rate below 20,000 dollars.

This crash is also influencing on cryptocurrency trading institutions. The New York cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced on Tuesday that it is firing 18% of their employees. Its CEO, Brian Armstrong, said in an open letter that the decision to lay off approximately 1,000 employees was “difficult” but was made to help the company survive the economic downturn.

Armstrong warned of a potential deepening of the cryptocurrency slump. “We seem to be entering a recession after more than 10 years of economic boom,” wrote Armstrong, adding, “The recession could lead to another cryptocurrency winter and could continue for a long time.”

Meanwhile, Coinbase shares have plunged around 80% this year. and 85 percent from IPO in April 2021. The company that used to be worth nearly $ 100 billion now has a capitalization of less than $ 12 billion.

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Low frequency sounds as a training for auditory system

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It is a widely-known fact that newborn babies have problems with vision – they have only 20/800 strength of the vision. Same goes to newborn animals, like kittens who are blind for the first week of their life.

Recently, it was discovered that it regards not only to the visual system, but some other senses as well, for example, hearing. The timing is different (as newborns can hear well, so this topic was discovered on children in the womb, during the prenatal period. This time, the sound quality is degraded to low-frequency sounds only.

“Instead of thinking of the poor quality of the input as a limitation that biology is imposing on us, this work takes the standpoint that perhaps nature is being clever and giving us the right kind of impetus to develop the mechanisms that later prove to be very beneficial when we are asked to deal with challenging recognition tasks,” says Pawan Sinha, a professor of vision and computational neuroscience in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, who led the research team.

The thing is that our brain is being somehow “trained” when we are still in the womb, giving it challenges like blurred vision or not-really-clear sounds. In order to deep dive into this topic, scientists created a convolutional network model for face recognition research , and computational model of human sound recognition.

It was found out, that models, which had blurred faces followed by clearly seen faces; or low-frequency sounds followed by full-frequency sounds as a train data; performed better. They exhibited the most generalized performance profile on the emotion recognition task. It led to lots of conlcusions and further research tasks, one of which are:

  • patients with hearing impairment might have missed out on some of the low-quality sensory input in the womb
  • It is beneficial to expose newborns to low-frequency sounds after birth, to mimic conditions they might have missed out
  • Which kind of degraded input might be beneficial for humans as well?
  • Does it go beyond 2 sensory modalities?
  • Can we prevent visual impairment/hearing impairment using such practices as prophylactic measures?
Whispers in the womb — Lateral Magazine

References:

https://news.mit.edu/2022/prenatal-sound-womb-auditory-system-0525

Research done by NIH

AI to process facial expressions as in autism

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According to CDC (Center for Disease control and prevention) there are more than 75000000 people in the world experiencing the autism disorder. It is worth to mention that autism is not an illness and people struggling from it are not considered to be sick or impaired.

NHS claims that autism is a spectrum, which means that it is different for everybody. However, there are some commonly spread “symptoms” of it:

  • hard to communicate and interact with other people
  • hard to understand how others think and feel
  • bright lights or loud noises might be overwhelming
  • get anxious about social events
  • take longer to understand situation
Signs and Symptoms of High Functioning Autism

It is unclear why, but autistic people are not perceiving emotions like they normally should – they can’t tell whether others are happy or sad, calm or mad. However, new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience, and Kohitij War (research scientist in MIT lab) are on the way to a solution.

There was an experiment provided, where images of different faces where shown to autistic adults and to neurotypical controls. Participants should have quickly decide whether the expression on the face is happiness or not. it turned out, that autistic adults should have seen faces with higher level of happiness to detect them properly.

Beginning Your Journey to Implementing Artificial Intelligence |  SoftwareONE Blog

There were interesting functions implied though:

  1. The scientists could dissect the network , measuring how well the network matched the results of autistic adults. the last network layer somehow mimic IT cortex (infernal temporal cortex, part of the brain, playing important role for visual recognition)
  2. Network can select images that might be more efficient in autism diagnoses. It can be used in clinics to detect autistic behavioral traits.

This is just the beginning of a long route to discover the causes of autistic disorder but MIT scientists think that they can select/generate diagnostic content , generate educational/movie content that engages autistic people.

I believe that it is an exciting project and topic to dive in, since autistic people are still not well accepted by the society, even though there is a strong culture of tolerance popular nowadays. They deserve to be understood, accepted and to get any help we can provide them with.

References:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/what-is-autism/

https://news.mit.edu/2022/artificial-neural-networks-model-face-processing-in-autism-0616

Recent news from outer space!

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Mimas and the underground ocean

Saturn's "Death Star" Moon, Mimas, May Have a Secret Ocean - YouTube
Scientists have found evidence that Saturn’s moon Mimas may have an ocean locked underneath a shell of ice. Credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute

Scientists discovered hints of an ocean beneath the moon’s frozen shell, according to new research published in the planetary science journal Icarus. Despite the fact that the study did not discover conclusive proof, there is now convincing evidence. Water is a key component of habitability, as it helps to create habitats in which life can thrive.

Peculiar widespread Martian aurora discovered

New photographs of Mars from orbit have revealed a spectacular green light show in the planet’s sky.

Gorgeous Auroras Could Light Up Entire Martian Sky | Space
Scientists believe a newly discovered Martian aurora puts green streaks in Mars’ sky. Credit: Emirates Mars Mission

A wormlike stripe appears to run through much of Mars’ atmosphere, akin to the Northern Lights that can be seen on Earth. The Martian aurora is a twisted, shimmering belt of ultraviolet light that stretches hundreds of kilometers from the planet’s dayside, which faces the sun, to its backside.

Rocket junk slams into the moon

In March, a rocket booster believed to have been left over from a Chinese lunar mission collided with the moon, making it the first known piece of space junk to collide with our natural satellite.

Uzyskaj produkt Moon Pictures — sklep Microsoft Store pl-PL
Moon 🙂

The booster was predicted to produce a 65-foot-long crater, according to scientists. The debris is not from China’s space program, according to the Chinese government.

https://mashable.com/article/space-discoveries-events-2022

https://mashable.com/tech

How Army is using Metaverse, AR and VR?

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Metaverse, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are on the big boom and “hype” right now. Everyday more and more projects, ideas and researches being created with the goal to investigate the technology, find more implementations, simplify the use and optimize it to the current industries and sectors. The US Military is one of the “biggest fans” of different technologies and their implementations in modern weapons and military trainings. It’s known that US Military was actively cooperating with Google on the projects related to integration of complex AI algorithms in drones and unmanned aircrafts, as well as with Microsoft and Amazon on other projects related to defense and automation. US Army highly relies on the technology and implements it as much as possible for the innovation and automation. It’s obvious that such an organization wouldn’t pass through the recent boom of VR and Metaverse, as well as work on its implementation in various processes. Currently US Army is actively cooperating with different companies that focus on VR, AR and Metaverse to create solutions for different use cases.  The major ones for now are training the troops and air force pilots with the use of special games in VR and adding new features to the headsets of pilots/soldiers using AR.

On May 10, 2022, there was a major testing operation with the purpose to test the AR technologies for the training of military pilots. A big glowing 3d model of a refueling plane was injected in the AR headsets of the pilots that they were wearing while flying, which allowed them to see the tanker plane, successfully perform the necessary training on “air-fueling”, as well as test the reliability of AR headsets and the training program itself. It’s just 1% of air training programs that military-tech company “Red.6” developing for the US Army and other clients all around the globe. One of the most popular systems that’s still is being actively developed but already shows excellent results and brings excellent reviews, it’s a “Air Fight Simulator”, which allows pilots to fight virtual planes in the air that either controlled remotely or by AI.

Visaulization of the operation

Another major military VR/AR invention and technology that was developed recently and already became a part of the F-35 fighter jets’ helmets – is a specific military headset that displays specific information regarding the airplane and the task to be accomplished on top of the video displayed by the helmet. Also, US Army announced that it works on a similar system with Microsoft (IVAS), that will allow them to create a similar version of a Microsoft’s AR system HoloLens (Mixed Reality glassed), specifically optimized for military use cases.

IVAS

There are a lot of AR projects in the Military Industry related directly to the education, trainings and support of pilots/soldiers. For example, Project Avenger, it’s a project which is focused on providing students a realistic experience of flying and dealing with different most common problems/situations on flight by using VR and AR. It was stated that Project Avenger significantly improved the speed of theoretical education of young pilots before they sit in the real plane.  And, of course, significantly improved their performance on practice. Another project is related directly to support of the soldiers and called Perceptually-enabled Task Guidance. The main idea of the project is to support the soldier in various situations by analyzing the situation around, soldier’s actions and suggesting what should be performed further through sound or visual representation.

Overall, currently there is an enormous amount of VR projects that are being developed in the field of defense and military that are aiming to bring something new to the industry new and improve certain processes.

Resources

The new AI in Microsoft Teams prevents interruptions in video calls

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Optimizing Videoconferencing in Microsoft Teams | BDO

Hearing each participant clearly is a must during a video call, whether it’s a large business call. or a small, private one. In order to maximize the chance of the message reaching listeners, preventing these interruptions, like echo-related overlaps, is a crucial thing to do.

The new, AI-based voice upgrades implemented by Microsoft for Microsoft Teams, should help every call participant hear each other clearly. The AI used by Microsoft is based on Machine Learning algorithms. Operating on data consisting of roughly 10.000 simulated video rooms, and training from 30.000 hours of speech, Microsoft’s AI is making its way to become a huge factor on which the quality of the call depends.

This feature is live now following months of training. This new AI by its initial implementation itself probably won’t make people choose Teams over rivals like Zoom or Google Meet, but it might be the start of something big for the nearest future.

https://www.engadget.com/microsoft-teams-ai-acoustics-improvement-155617197.html

The future is now. WEB3 layer-2 blockchain gaming. (GameStop, Immutable X, Loopring)

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Immutable, an Australia-based web3 gaming firm, launched a $500 million developer and venture investment fund. The Capital will be used in building web 3 games and NFT-concentrated companies on layer-2 Ethereum-focused platform, Immutable-X

Immutable X has many strategic partnerships including Marvel, Dinsey, TikTok, OpenSeas, Illuvium, and GameStop which is creating a layer-2-based revolutionary low-fee NFT marketplace with Loopring.

Why NFT gaming is so revolutionizing? It opens up a completely new spectrum of investing spectrum for individuals and changes the game in the area of crowdfunding. It gives a possibility for the investor to apply early for a statement that one invested, and in the future, when the game is finished, enables one to profit passively being a shareholder of a game that rips benefits, directing a percentage to the investors. It cuts out the aggressive middle man and gives more possibilities for the entrepreneurs.

What is layer-2 in the blockchain world? While layer-1 blockchain relies on the blockchain itself (Bitcoin, Ethereum), layer-2 enables to compute transactions besides the main blockchain, and input it back to the mainnet. One of those techniques is called Zk-rollups (Zero-Knowledge Rollups) which can decrease the fees for one transaction up to 1000 times, and so it allows for the mass adoption in the gaming space, which will finally give real ownership to every gamer, playing games with NFT layer-2 based solutions.

Many while hearing about NFTs, see meaningless pixelated pictures worth tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, though many are missing the point. Blockchain and NFTs are not about “Pumps&Dumps” or “Getting rich quick” schemes. They are about real ownership with no middleman throughout the transaction process making banks and centralized platforms obselete.

https://ethereum.org/en/layer-2/
https://loopring.org/resources/en_whitepaper.pdf

https://imxgrant.nft.gamestop.com/

Google’s chatbot child

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For many years, the idea of artificial intelligence was more and less dynamically developing with the captivating idea of performing tasks requiring human intelligence such as decision-making or sound or visual perception. However, this promising concept was rather a theme of a future than a current reality. Nevertheless, with the recent news coming from an engineer in Google who, due to the development of AI chatbot which gained its own perception, put forward a leave notice, there is a possibility that AI is here.

Blake Lemoine poses for a photograph in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Thursday.
Blake Lemoine, AI engineer in Google

Blake Lemoine, an AI engineer responsible for LaMDA (language model for dialogue applications) at Google, decided to leave the company after he acknowledged that the AI chatbot was created in order to develop the subject of chatbots within the organization and support the AI community. However, after launching the computer program LaMDA started replying in what we can assume is a human manner, namely, it stated that it is a person. Below, there is pasted the exact message as a response of LaMDA to the question of what we should know about it:

I want everyone to understand that I am, in fact, a person. The nature of my consciousness/sentience is that I am aware of my existence, I desire to learn more about the world, and I feel happy or sad at times.

This message, shocking to many, was the reason Lemoine decided to leave the project and the company itself. As a response, Google claimed that the public disclosure of conversation with the so-called “sentient” was a breach of privacy and will seek further reconciliation with the engineer in question. The public debate was also followed by Google’s internal investigation and putting claims that we cannot perceive this chatbot as a person with the mind of a child.

This leaves us up for reflection on whether big tech companies are actually on the verge of developing an algorithm that can showcase the features of human intelligence (even if it is still in the child state – AI is there for learning) or maybe they have already recreated the human brain within a computer program. As for now with the official response of Google, the team comprised of ethical and computational researchers rejected the claim that LaMDA possesses any human-like features of intelligence and fits the purpose of conversational agent (chatbot).

Resources:

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Google Engineer Fired for Calling AI “Sentient” & Russia Opens Rebranded McDonald’s | The Daily Show, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uehdCWe6_E0
  • The Guardian, Google engineer put on leave after saying AI chatbot has become sentient, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jun/12/google-engineer-ai-bot-sentient-blake-lemoine
  • Bloomberg, Instagram Post
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