1. Are Intelligent Machines a Threat to 'Human Exceptionalism'?
"Is it time to take seriously the prospect of artificial intelligence emulating human abilities?"
Yes, says Ray Kurzweil in his book How to Create a Mind, as does Matt Ridley in this recent Wall Street Journal article: "It would be foolish, not wise, to bet against the emulation of the human brain in silicon within a couple of decades."
However, acknowledging the sentience of a silicon brain, Wesley J. Smith argues in The National Review, constitutes a threat to our 'human exceptionalism.' Smith argues: "Let’s drop the meme pushed by transhumanists (not Ridley in this piece) that AI machines would be people too."
2. HIV Baby Cured:
Doctors successfully cured a baby was born with H.I.V. in Mississipi using an aggressive treatment involving antiretroviral drugs shortly after birth. If this treatment can cure other babies it could be used globally. Read more here.
3. You Can't Have It All and You Can't Work From Home
The Princeton University Professor and former State Department Official Anne-Marie Slaughter caused a stir last year with a controversial Atlantic article that argued women cannot "have it all." Now Slaughter has come to the defense of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer for her decision to ban telecommuting at the struggling company. Read it here.
4. The 'Nuclear Renaissance' That Never Happened in the U.S. May, In Fact, Never Happen
While Japan and Europe reacted to the Fukushima disaster with vigorous public debate, that was not so much the case in the U.S., with notable acceptions such as this thread on Big Think. Nonetheless, according to the latest installment in a report published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the market is speaking loudly on the subject of nuclear energy, indicating that new reactors represent "an extremely unattractive investment prospect."
Read more here.
5. Sign Us All Up For the Mediterranean Diet!
Do you like olive oil, nuts, fruit, vegetables, fish and moderate amounts of wine? The "energy-unrestricted" Mediterranean diet will not only make your stomach happy, it is also good for your heart. Read more here.
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Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.
- Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
- Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
- The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Three scientists publish a paper proving that Mercury, not Venus, is the closest planet to Earth.
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbor must be planet two or four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbor is... Mercury!
A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.
- Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
- Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
- The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
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