The Military's Artificial Intelligence

Miller-McCune reports that, "Using artificial intelligence and the graphics techniques behind 'Avatar,' a USC institute creates 'virtual humans' and interactive immersions that train American soldiers."

Miller-McCune reports that, "Using artificial intelligence and the graphics techniques behind 'Avatar,' a USC institute creates 'virtual humans' and interactive immersions that train American soldiers...Most of the institute’s funding comes from the Army; in bureaucratese, it’s a university-affiliated research center, and it has an annual budget in the low tens of millions of dollars and a staff of more than 100. The bulk of its training simulations are aimed at the skills soldiers will need, from training through deployment, and the services they will require on return. But the institute’s research has also spawned applications that seem likely to have civilian appeal, from a 'virtual patient' who helps doctors, psychological clinicians and social workers learn diagnostic skills to National Science Foundation-funded, twin-sister 'virtual museum guides' who answer questions for visitors to a Boston science museum."

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
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