mossadnik OP t1_ix95xax wrote

Submission Statement:

>By 2050, according to the UN, populations will be in decline in more than half Europe’s 52 countries, including Italy, Spain, Poland and Germany. In five – Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Ukraine – they are projected to fall by more than 20%.

>Over the next three decades, Latvia, having already shed nearly 30% of its population since 1990, is set to lose 23.5% more.

>One factor behind this dramatic decline is global. Across the industrialised world, fertility rates are plunging: two-thirds of the world’s population now live in countries with a birthrate below the 2.1 births per woman necessary for natural replacement.

>But crucially, like many of the former Soviet states, especially those that joined the EU with its right to work and live across the bloc, Latvia – present population just under 2m – has also suffered successive waves of emigration, as young people leave for more money abroad.


mossadnik OP t1_ivz6qbm wrote

Submission Statement:

>Without sleep, humans can become forgetful, hallucinate, and even experience various physical and psychological problems. But new research published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology suggests that future AIs could benefit from getting some sleep too.

>Artificial neural networks often reach some superhuman heights, but when it comes to sequential learning, or learning one new thing after another, they become, well, kind of like Finding Nemo’s Dory. Unlike humans and animals who have the ability to learn and apply knowledge continuously, while these systems can certainly achieve excellence in a new task, it’s at the expense of the performance of a previous task. Once properly trained, it's very difficult to teach them a completely new task and if you succeed in training the new task, you end up damaging the old memory.

>In the neuro world, such an activity is called “catastrophic forgetting.” It’s an issue that can only be solved with something called “consolidation of memory,” a process that helps transform recent short-term memories into long-term ones, often occurring during REM sleep. This reorganization of memory might actually play a large part in why we need to sleep at all, especially as if the process does stop working, or is interrupted in some way, serious mental deficits can occur.

>To some, the concept is promising. As sleep is said to spike learning by enabling the “spontaneous reactivation of previously learned memory patterns,” the study notes that neuroscience-inspired artificial intelligence could actually be the next big thing. Building on previous work in memory plasticity and sleep modeling, the team used a neural network model to simulate sensory processing and reinforcement learning in an animal’s brain, and then gave it two separate tasks to complete. In both tasks, the network learned how to discriminate between being punished and being rewarded—enough so that eventually, it could make decisions on its own.


mossadnik OP t1_ivp7fe2 wrote

Submission Statement:

>Experts are concerned about how fast 3D-printing technology is evolving, as several countries worldwide still do not have legal frameworks to prohibit or limit the creation of these weapons. “We are facing a serious threat if legal measures are not taken to control the production of printers and printing materials necessary for their use,” he said. “The software that allows for the production of these types of weapons should, as far as possible, be banned from the market,” he added, explaining that this could prove difficult because the weapons are often sold in parallel markets. It includes selling on the darknet and in closed forums that can be difficult for law enforcement to access.

>Although the production of 3D-printed weapons is currently limited to small arms and light weapons (SALW), it is expected that the capabilities of this technology and the quality of printing materials will evolve and lead to more powerful and sophisticated weapons. “There are already some impressions of weapons of a military nature with appreciable fire potential. The evolution of printing materials will impact the increasing sophistication and production of these weapons and the threat they represent,” the Interpol spokesperson added. Interpol urged “necessary measures” to stop the potential use of 3D-printed weapons for “illegal means.” “If this does not happen, it will be natural that the threat evolves towards producing increasingly sophisticated forms of 3D weapons that are more powerful and reliable, which poses increasing challenges to preventing and controlling their use in the future.”

>According to Interpol, “3D-printed weapons” can be categorized as fully 3D-printed firearms, hybrid 3D-printed guns and firearms whose frame is produced in 3D printing. “They can go from things like the Liberator, which is this single shot, entirely 3D-printed weapon that’s all plastic except for the firing pin and obviously the ammunition which might be able to shoot five to 10 times before it suffers a catastrophic failure, all the way to something called the FGC9, which, if built correctly, is essentially as lethal, as durable, as effective, and as accurate as a commercially purchased firearm.” Entirely 3D printed firearms are weapons on which all major components are printed, in some cases with only minor non-printed parts. These weapons have a “limited capacity of use due to the absence of metallic components and their fragile structure,” the international policing body told. Hybrid 3D Printed Firearms are weapons with printed elements used in conjunction with non-controllable metallic parts, such as springs and metallic tubes.

>3D-printed guns are illegal from the moment of creation because they lack serial numbers and are not submitted to any official test bench.


mossadnik OP t1_iv61thz wrote

Submission Statement:

>Studies have estimated that cooling accounts for about 15% of global energy consumption. That demand could be lowered with a window coating that could block the sun’s ultraviolet and near-infrared light — the parts of the solar spectrum that typically pass through glass to heat an enclosed room. Energy use could be reduced even further if the coating radiates heat from the window’s surface at a wavelength that passes through the atmosphere into outer space. However, it’s difficult to design materials that can meet these criteria simultaneously and can also transmit visible light, meaning they don’t interfere with the view. Eungkyu Lee, Tengfei Luo and colleagues set out to design a “transparent radiative cooler” (TRC) that could do just that.

>The team constructed computer models of TRCs consisting of alternating thin layers of common materials like silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, aluminum oxide or titanium dioxide on a glass base, topped with a film of polydimethylsiloxane. They optimized the type, order and combination of layers using an iterative approach guided by machine learning and quantum computing, which stores data using subatomic particles. This computing method carries out optimization faster and better than conventional computers because it can efficiently test all possible combinations in a fraction of a second. This produced a coating design that, when fabricated, beat the performance of conventionally designed TRCs in addition to one of the best commercial heat-reduction glasses on the market.

>In hot, dry cities, the researchers say, the optimized TRC could potentially reduce cooling energy consumption by 31% compared with conventional windows. They note their findings could be applied to other applications, since TRCs could also be used on car and truck windows. In addition, the group’s quantum computing-enabled optimization technique could be used to design other types of composite materials.