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Using Stories To Teach Human Values To Robots

General - February 13, 2016 - 12:10am

The rapid pace of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised fears about whether robots could act unethically or soon choose to harm humans. Some are calling for bans on robotics research; others are calling for more research to understand how AI might be constrained. But how can robots learn ethical behavior if there is no "user manual" for being human?

Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in "Quixote" -- to be unveiled at the AAAI-16 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 - 17, 2016). Quixote teaches "value alignment" to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.


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Categories: News

Using Stories To Teach Human Values To Robots

Science2.0 - February 13, 2016 - 12:10am

The rapid pace of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised fears about whether robots could act unethically or soon choose to harm humans. Some are calling for bans on robotics research; others are calling for more research to understand how AI might be constrained. But how can robots learn ethical behavior if there is no "user manual" for being human?

Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in "Quixote" -- to be unveiled at the AAAI-16 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 - 17, 2016). Quixote teaches "value alignment" to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.


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Categories: Science2.0

On Darwin's Birthday, Tomato Genetics Study Sheds Light On Plant Evolution

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 11:24pm

ANN ARBOR--On Charles Darwin's 207th birthday, a new study of evolution in a diverse group of wild tomatoes is shedding light on the importance of genetic variation in plants.

The work, reported today in the journal PLoS Biology, uses genome-wide sequencing to reveal details about the evolutionary mechanisms that drove genetic divergence in 13 species of wild tomatoes that share a recent common ancestor.

First author of the study is University of Michigan postdoctoral fellow James Pease, who conducted the work for his doctoral dissertation at Indiana University. The in-depth genetic analysis was led by IU's Leonie Moyle.


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Categories: Science2.0

On Darwin's Birthday, Tomato Genetics Study Sheds Light On Plant Evolution

General - February 12, 2016 - 11:24pm

ANN ARBOR--On Charles Darwin's 207th birthday, a new study of evolution in a diverse group of wild tomatoes is shedding light on the importance of genetic variation in plants.

The work, reported today in the journal PLoS Biology, uses genome-wide sequencing to reveal details about the evolutionary mechanisms that drove genetic divergence in 13 species of wild tomatoes that share a recent common ancestor.

First author of the study is University of Michigan postdoctoral fellow James Pease, who conducted the work for his doctoral dissertation at Indiana University. The in-depth genetic analysis was led by IU's Leonie Moyle.


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Categories: News

A New Form Of Frozen Water?

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 11:24pm

Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 12, 2016 -- Amid the season known for transforming Nebraska into an outdoor ice rink, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln-led research team has predicted a new molecular form of the slippery stuff that even Mother Nature has never borne.

The proposed ice, which the researchers describe in a Feb. 12, 2016 study in the journal Science Advances, would be about 25 percent less dense than a record-low form synthesized by a European team in 2014.

If the ice can be synthesized, it would become the 18th known crystalline form of water -- and the first discovered in the United States since before World War II.


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Categories: Science2.0

A New Form Of Frozen Water?

General - February 12, 2016 - 11:24pm

Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 12, 2016 -- Amid the season known for transforming Nebraska into an outdoor ice rink, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln-led research team has predicted a new molecular form of the slippery stuff that even Mother Nature has never borne.

The proposed ice, which the researchers describe in a Feb. 12, 2016 study in the journal Science Advances, would be about 25 percent less dense than a record-low form synthesized by a European team in 2014.

If the ice can be synthesized, it would become the 18th known crystalline form of water -- and the first discovered in the United States since before World War II.


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Categories: News

Natural Flavors Are More Radioactive Than Artificial Ones.

ACSH - February 12, 2016 - 8:53pm

It is a little known, and extremely unimportant fact that chemicals from plants are slightly radioactive, while chemicals from crude oil are not. This has no health consequences whatsoever, but the reason why is quite interesting. It is also the basis for carbon 14 dating. Continue reading →

The post Natural Flavors Are More Radioactive Than Artificial Ones. appeared first on American Council on Science and Health.

Categories: ACSH

36 Million Americans Cook In The Nude

General - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

A new survey finds that 15 percent of U.S. adults (that's about 36 million people) cook in the nude. Or at least have.

Meanwhile, 20 percent of Americans say someone who is a good cook turns them on the most while 19 percent are most turned on by a nice body. Good luck finding those two together. Gender roles no longer apply, 85 percent of Americans say both the man and woman do the cooking in a relationship, according to an online survey commissioned by HelloFresh, a meal kit delivery company. The sample was 1,007 adults, 18 to 70 years old, living in the continental U.S., and conducted by CARAVAN® Survey, January 14-17, 2016.


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Categories: News

36 Million Americans Cook In The Nude

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

A new survey finds that 15 percent of U.S. adults (that's about 36 million people) cook in the nude. Or at least have.

Meanwhile, 20 percent of Americans say someone who is a good cook turns them on the most while 19 percent are most turned on by a nice body. Good luck finding those two together. Gender roles no longer apply, 85 percent of Americans say both the man and woman do the cooking in a relationship, according to an online survey commissioned by HelloFresh, a meal kit delivery company. The sample was 1,007 adults, 18 to 70 years old, living in the continental U.S., and conducted by CARAVAN® Survey, January 14-17, 2016.


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Categories: Science2.0

Alliterative Product Promotions Pique Purchasers

General - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

New research shows that promotional messages that use alliteration - the phonetic overlap of the beginnings of words - hold a greater appeal for consumers than non-alliterative messages, even accounting for cost differences.

In "Alliteration Alters: Phonetic Overlap in Promotional Messages Influences Evaluations and Choice," to published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Retailing, Marketing Professors Derick F. Davis of the University of Miami's School of Business Administration; Rajesh Bagchi of the Pumplin College of Business at Virginia Tech; and Lauren G. Block of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College demonstrate that even alliterative promotional messages that are read, rather than heard, prompt purchasers to prefer them.


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Categories: News

Alliterative Product Promotions Pique Purchasers

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

New research shows that promotional messages that use alliteration - the phonetic overlap of the beginnings of words - hold a greater appeal for consumers than non-alliterative messages, even accounting for cost differences.

In "Alliteration Alters: Phonetic Overlap in Promotional Messages Influences Evaluations and Choice," to published in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Retailing, Marketing Professors Derick F. Davis of the University of Miami's School of Business Administration; Rajesh Bagchi of the Pumplin College of Business at Virginia Tech; and Lauren G. Block of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College demonstrate that even alliterative promotional messages that are read, rather than heard, prompt purchasers to prefer them.


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Categories: Science2.0

Study Finds Mechanism By Which Obesity Promotes Pancreatic And Breast Cancer

General - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of obesity to promote cancer progression. In their report published online in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the research team describes finding an association between obesity and an overabundance of a factor called PlGF (placental growth factor) and that PlGF's binding to its receptor VEGFR-1, which is expressed on immune cells within tumors, promotes tumor progression. Their findings in cellular and animal models, as well as in patient tumor samples, indicate that targeting the PlGF/ VEGFR-1 pathway may be particularly effective in obese patients.


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Categories: News

Study Finds Mechanism By Which Obesity Promotes Pancreatic And Breast Cancer

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 7:26pm

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of obesity to promote cancer progression. In their report published online in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the research team describes finding an association between obesity and an overabundance of a factor called PlGF (placental growth factor) and that PlGF's binding to its receptor VEGFR-1, which is expressed on immune cells within tumors, promotes tumor progression. Their findings in cellular and animal models, as well as in patient tumor samples, indicate that targeting the PlGF/ VEGFR-1 pathway may be particularly effective in obese patients.


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Categories: Science2.0

Bariatric Surgery Beneficial Even for Older People

ACSH - February 12, 2016 - 6:36pm

If someone has been obese for many years, would undergoing bariatric surgery still be helpful, allowing them to live longer? A new study shows that while middle-aged patients benefitted, "bypass surgery is protective against mortality even for older patients." Continue reading →

The post Bariatric Surgery Beneficial Even for Older People appeared first on American Council on Science and Health.

Categories: ACSH

Opiates No Better at Easing Knee Osteoarthritis Pain

ACSH - February 12, 2016 - 6:06pm

A systematic review of controlled clinical trials reveals that opioid analgesics are not superior to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, in treating the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis. Continue reading →

The post Opiates No Better at Easing Knee Osteoarthritis Pain appeared first on American Council on Science and Health.

Categories: ACSH

BRCA Tests Increasing for Younger Breast Cancer Patients

ACSH - February 12, 2016 - 5:22pm

In a study of younger women with breast cancer, more and more are deciding to get tested for the BRCA mutation, which they should be getting. Some of them decided not to get tested and just opt for mastectomy, but this is unnecessary in general. Continue reading →

The post BRCA Tests Increasing for Younger Breast Cancer Patients appeared first on American Council on Science and Health.

Categories: ACSH

EWG Verified: A New Way To Greenmail Food Companies

ACSH - February 12, 2016 - 5:00pm

Environmental Working Group will help you be a winner in the organic/natural food marketplace -- if you pay them. Continue reading →

The post EWG Verified: A New Way To Greenmail Food Companies appeared first on American Council on Science and Health.

Categories: ACSH

Put That In Your E-Cigarette And Vape It: Or Should You?

General - February 12, 2016 - 2:23pm

Smoking cigarettes dramatically increases a person's risk for a host of diseases. The nicotines is addiction but it's the hundred other chemicals in cigarette smoke that are toxic. 

Because e-cigarettes are simply diluted nicotine vapor, no cigarette smoke, they should be less harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies many liquid flavorings in e-cigarettes as "Generally Recognized as Safe," for oral consumption. Though it sounds like waffling, that is the default categorization. 


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Categories: News

Put That In Your E-Cigarette And Vape It: Or Should You?

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 2:23pm

Smoking cigarettes dramatically increases a person's risk for a host of diseases. The nicotines is addiction but it's the hundred other chemicals in cigarette smoke that are toxic. 

Because e-cigarettes are simply diluted nicotine vapor, no cigarette smoke, they should be less harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies many liquid flavorings in e-cigarettes as "Generally Recognized as Safe," for oral consumption. Though it sounds like waffling, that is the default categorization. 


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Categories: Science2.0

First Nationwide Survey Of Climate Change Education

Science2.0 - February 12, 2016 - 1:46pm

How is climate change being taught in American schools? Is it being taught at all? And how are teachers addressing climate change denial in their classrooms, schools, and school districts?

Until today's release of NCSE's comprehensive nationwide survey, no one knew. The survey, conducted in concert with the respected nonpartisan Penn State University Survey Research Center, grilled over 1500 middle and high school science teachers. The results may floor you.


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Categories: Science2.0