Scientists are studying your Twitter slang to help AI

Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.

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  • A group of mathematicians from the University of Vermont used Twitter to examine how young people intentionally stretch out words in text for digital communication.
  • Analyzing the language in roughly 100 billion tweets generated over eight years, the team developed two measurements to assess patterns in the tweets: balance and stretch.
  • The words people stretch are not arbitrary but rather have patterned distributions such as what part of the word is stretched or how much it stretches out.
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Why we must teach students to solve big problems

The future of education and work will rely on teaching students deeper problem-solving skills.

  • Asking kids 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' is a question that used to make sense, says Jaime Casap. But it not longer does; the nature of automation and artificial intelligence means future jobs are likely to shift and reform many times over.
  • Instead, educators should foster a culture of problem solving. Ask children: What problem do you want to solve? And what talents or passions do you have that can be the avenues by which you solve it?
  • "[T]he future of education starts on Monday and then Tuesday and then Wednesday and it's constant and consistent and it's always growing, always improving, and if we create that culture I think that would bring us a long way," Casap says.
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This AI tool measures social distancing. But is more surveillance worth the risk?

The system can even be designed to send alerts to employees when they've come too close to a coworker.

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  • Since the pandemic began, nations have been using technology in varying degrees to contain the outbreak.
  • This new tool is able to place moving people on a map and estimate the distance between them.
  • Some privacy advocates are raising concerns about private companies and governments installing surveillance technologies.
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Ask Sophia the Robot: Is AI an existential threat to humans?

Should humans fear artificial intelligence or welcome it into our lives?

  • Sophia the Robot of Hanson Robotics can mimic human facial expressions and humor, but is that just a cover? Should humans see AI as a threat? She, of course, says no.
  • New technologies are often scary, but ultimately they are just tools. Sophia says that it is the intent of the user that makes them dangerous.
  • The future of artificial intelligence and whether or not it will backfire on humanity is an ongoing debate that one smiling robot won't settle.

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An AI can read words in brain signals

Researchers at UCSF have trained an algorithm to parse meaning from neural activity.

Image source: ESB Professional/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Participants' neural activity is collected as they speak 50 sentences.
  • A machine-learning algorithm develops a prediction of what the collected data means.
  • The system's accuracy varies, but the results are promising.
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