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From Here To Singularity

"The time from here to Singularity depends sensitively on the particulars of what we humans do during the next decade (and even the next few years)."

Archive for Environment

Stanford’s model helicopters teach themselves to fly


Now this sounds to me like >narrow< ai, of a sort, but it is certainly generalizing, learning type behaviour. The helicopter monitors the activity of an expert helicopter pilot, and then, compensating for environmental differences (wind etc), performs the same maneuvers itself.

Stanford computer scientists have developed an artificial intelligence system that enables robotic helicopters to teach themselves to fly difficult stunts by watching other helicopters perform the same maneuvers.
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Study suggests correlation between happiness and (gahh!) going outside.

A study of Swedish vacationing and antidepressant use seems to suggest a correlation between inclement weather and antidepressant use. Sweden, being very far north, has excessively dark winters, and consequently a government mandate summer holidays to compensate.

Hartig and colleagues suggest that being stuck indoors on vacation can limit mental recuperation. On the other hand, when able to roam outdoors, we can exert ourselves at a favourite sport or simply linger in the park. Psychologically, beautiful scenery can distract us from our troubles, help us forget our normal stressful environments and reconnect us to nature.

Well, who knows what’s really going on, but the Swedish researchers found a negative correlation between SSRI prescriptions filled with the temperature in Sweden for the month of July, going over several years. Given that more and more of people’s time is spent doing less and less outside (and more and more time is spent staring at a computer monitor, like you are right now) what does this trend bode for our mental health?
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