Artificial brain with billion connections

Google has done the unthinkable — the creation of an ‘artificial brain’ from 16,000 computer processors, with more than a billion connections.

The team led by Google’s Jeff Dean then fed it random images culled from 10 million YouTube videos — and let it ‘learn’ by itself.

Surprisingly, the machine focused in on cats. “We never told it during the training ‘this is a cat’,” said Dean. “It basically invented the concept of a cat.”

The revelation

“Contrary to what appears to be a widely-held intuition, our experimental results reveal that it is possible to train a face detector without having to label images as containing a face or not,” says the team.

“We also find that the same network is sensitive to other high-level concepts such as cat faces and human bodies.”

“Starting with these learned features, we trained our network to obtain 15.8 per cent accuracy in recognizing 20,000 object categories from Image Net, a leap of 70 per cent relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art,” it said,Daily Mail reports.

The ‘brain’ was a creation of the company’s ‘blue sky ideas’ lab, Google X, reportedly located in Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters — known as ‘the Googolplex.’

Engineers are free to work on projects such as connected fridges that order groceries when they run low — or even tableware that can connect to social networks.

Other Google engineers have reportedly researched ideas as far-out as elevators to space.

Blowfish12@2012 Author: Sudharsun. P. R.


A wearable robot helps disabled people walk

“It’s a nice feeling to be upright, to walk and to have people at eye level,” said a beaming Peter Kossmehl at the Potsdam Rehabilitation Centre in Germany. The 40-year-old from the German state of Brandenburg had just tried out a bionic exoskeleton — a wearable, battery-powered robot — that enables paraplegics to take a few steps again.

The rehab centre is one of the first facilities in Europe to test the robot, called Ekso and made by Ekso Bionics. The California-based company introduced Ekso in the fall of 2011. Now it is to be tested worldwide on paraplegics, stroke and multiple sclerosis patients and other people with lower-extremity paralysis or weakness.

“In Germany, only patients in Aachen have tested the robot Ekso so far — that was a few weeks ago,” said company spokesman Bastian Schink. After them, eight people in Potsdam strapped on and tried out the approximately 23-kilogram exoskeleton. With the help of sensors in its foot units, weight shifts are converted into steps.

“I’d like to give my patients the opportunity to stand erect again as soon as possible,” said Bettina Quentin, director of physiotherapy at the rehab center south of Berlin. But Quentin, like many experts, warns against excessive expectations.

“People who function well with their wheelchair will always be faster in them than with the exoskeleton,” said Jan Schwab, head of spinal cord injury research at the Charite University Hospital’s Department of Experimental Neurology in Berlin. “The psychological benefits of a patient standing upright shouldn’t be underestimated, though.” The reactions of the Potsdam patients appeared to confirm this. “I’m not walking by myself,” he remarked. “It’s only passive walking.” Kossmehl, too, thinks more development work is needed. “But it’s just the right aid for the rehab center,” he said.

In the view of Ruediger Rupp, director of the Department of Experimental Neurorehabilitation in the Paraplegiology Clinic at Heidelberg University Hospital, the robot is no substitute for a wheelchair, especially considering that it is not suitable for all patients.

There are about 60,000 paraplegics in Germany, “of whom fewer than 10 per cent are candidates (for the robot),” he said. “That’s a very select group.” Someone who can hardly move his or her torso, for example, would have great difficulties with the robot.

Blowfish12@2012 Author: Sudharsun. P. R.

Fact for the day: 30-06-2012

One million domain names are registered every month!!!
In a recent survey conducted by security specialist Symantec of the 100 most unsafe and malware infested web sites, 48 per cent of them feature adult content.
Bit torrents, depending on location, are estimated to consume 27 to 55 per cent of all internet bandwidth as of February 2009.
Domain registration was free until the National Science Foundation decided to change this on September 14th, 1995.
Employees at Google are encouraged to use 20 percent of their time working on their own projects. Google News, Orkut are both examples of projects that grew from this working model.
Someone is a victim of a cybercrime every 10 seconds, and it is on the rise.
The first software to be imported from Soviet Union to the US was Tetris, developed by Alexey Pazhitov in 1985.

Blowfish12@2012 Author: Sudharsun. P. R.