BotnetZombie writes: Wired has a story on two Cornell University researchers, that wrote a program equipped with the bare basics of mathematics and an appetite for number crunching and formula creation. This program was able to deduce the law of conservation of momentum as well as Newton's second law of motion. The program does this with a (very intelligently designed) genetic algorithm that evolves its answers until they fit the data. Initially a number of different guesses are tested against the dataset being worked on. Even if all the guesses are far off in the beginning, some are less so than others. The best ones are then selected for further breeding and mutations in a cycle that is repeated until good enough formulas have been found.
The scientists responsible are testing their program on other kinds of data, and claim that they're finding previously unknown patterns in human metabolism. Further applications could be to find patterns in weather, economics, and neurological data to name a few fields.
People in white coats are needed to make sense of the results for now, but surely the needed human behaviour can be patternized and automated in the not too distant future.
BotnetZombie writes: Wired has an article/gallery with very impressive images from the nanoworlds around us, and little stories for each picture. Besides giving an inspiring insight into the world of very little things, images of this kind can help scientists in many fields get a better handle on their subjects. No real need to RTFA, just look at the pretty pictures this time.
BotnetZombie writes: In a recent article, Wired tells the quite sad but very interesting stories of Chris McKinstry and Pushpinder Singh. Initially self educated, both had the idea to create huge fact databases that AI agents could feed off, hoping to eventually have something that could reason at a human level or better. McKinstry leveraged the dotcom era to grow his database, while Singh had the backing of MIT, where he eventually got his PhD and had been offered a position as a professor alongside his mentor, Marvin Minsky. Sadly, personal life was more troublesome for them and so the story ends in a tragic way.
To editors — I had a difficult time categorizing the story, feel free to do it differently.