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Tag Archives: MIT

Por que não fazer uma marca mutante, cujas variações são frutos de um algoritmo?


Mais uma experimentação foda do MIT.

Here’s a demo of the Junkyard Jumbotron, created by Rick Borovoy at MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media. It’s a cool app to allow you to gang up multiple screens (phones, tablets, flat panels), running any OS, and turn them into a single, joined display. It’s very clever: you arrange the screens as desired and then display a web-page with a QR code on each of them; snap a picture and send it back to the server and the server takes any image you feed it and splits it across the screens. No client-side software needed, apart from a browser.

Via Boing Boing

We have trouble controlling our consumer impulses, and there’s a gap between our decision and the consequences. This is magnified by the digitization of money. When we pull a product off the shelf, do we know what our bank account balance is, or whether we’re over budget for the month? Our existing senses are inadequate to warn us.

The Proverbial Wallet gives us that financial sense at the point of purchase by un-abstracting virtual assets. Tactile feedback reflecting our personal balances and transactions helps us develop a subconscious financial sense that guides responsible decisions. In addition to providing a visceral connection to our virtual money, tactile output keeps personal information private and ambient.

Via MIT Media Lab

E foda-se a Copa!

Uma lente de US$ 1 que, ligada a um smartphone qualquer, faz complexos exames de vista em menos de dois minutos – e sem a necessidade da presença de um médico especializado. Ao final do teste, um aplicativo mostra o seu problema na tela do celular.

Foi essa a invenção que garantiu ao estudante brasileiro Vitor Pamplona (foto) o segundo lugar no MIT Ideas, uma competição de ideias inovadoras para o serviço público. “Você consegue fazer o teste sozinho. Ele detecta miopia, hipermetropia e astigmatismo”, explica, em entrevista ao Link.

Cursando o doutorado em computação na Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Vitor Pamplona é desde outubro um dos pesquisadores visitantes do Media Lab do Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Um mês depois de sua chegada, começou o projeto da Netra (ou EyePhone, como a revista Fast Company apelidou a lente). A ideia era fabricar um equipamento oftalmológico com materiais acessíveis para todos.

Para desenvolvê-lo, ele contou com a ajuda de seu orientador, o professor Manuel de Oliveira, e também com sugestões de Ankit Mohan e Ramesh Raskar, acadêmicos do MIT. Já em janeiro deste ano, os primeiros testes já haviam sido finalizados e o projeto aceito para a Siggraph, a maior conferência do mundo de computação gráfica.

No programa usado com o equipamento, o usuário vê duas linhas: uma vermelha e uma verde. No atual protótipo, elas são projetadas em diferentes ângulos e a tarefa do paciente é movê-las, com os botões do smartphone, até que se sobreponham. Se o usuário possuir uma visão perfeita, as linhas já estarão sobrepostas e ele não precisará fazer nada. Em casos de miopia, astigmatismo ou hipermetropia, elas estarão separadas – e cabe ao software identificar o problema e quantos graus o óculos terá.

Do caralho, essa idéia merece muitos aplausos.

Via Gustavo Mini, que escreve um post melhor que o outro.

Framework interessante criada pelo Mike Arauz em cima de um paper do MIT sobre inteligência coletiva.

Tem um exemplo de apicação desta metodologia com um cliente da Undercurrent, empresa do Mike Arauz.

Refestele-se na cadeira e delicie-se com uma conversa entre Ray Kurzweil e David Gelernter acerca da  inteligência artificial.

Two of the sharpest minds in the computing arena spar gamely, but neither scores a knockdown in one of the oldest debates around: whether machines may someday achieve consciousness.

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Ray Kurzweil confidently states that artificial intelligence will, in the not distant future, “master human intelligence.” He cites the “exponential power of growth in technology” that will enable both a minute, detailed understanding of the human brain, and the capacity for building a machine that can at least simulate original thought. The “frontier” such a machine must cross is emotional intelligence—“being funny, expressing loving sentiment…” And when this occurs, says Kurzweil, it’s not entirely clear that the entity will have achieved consciousness, since we have no “consciousness detector” to determine if it is capable of subjective experiences.

Acknowledging that his position will prove unpopular, David Gelernter launches his attack: “We won’t even be able to build super-intelligent zombies unless we approach the problem right.” This means admitting that a continuum of cognitive styles exists among humans. As for building a conscious machine, he sees no possibility of one emerging from even the most sophisticated software. “Consciousness means the presence of mental states strictly private with no visible functions or consequences. A conscious entity can call on a thought or memory merely to feel happy, be inspired, soothed, feel anger…” Software programs, by definition, can be separated out, peeled away and run in a logically identical way on any computing platform. How could such a program spontaneously give rise to “a new node of consciousness?”

Kurzweil concedes the difficulty of defining consciousness, but does not want to wish away the concept, since it serves as the basis for our moral and ethical systems. He maintains his argument that reverse engineering of the human brain will enable machines that can act with a level of complexity, from which somehow consciousness will emerge.

Gelernter replies that believing this “seems a completely arbitrary claim. Anything might be true, but I don’t see what makes the claim plausible.” Ultimately, he says, Kurzweil must explain objectively and scientifically what consciousness is — “how it’s created and got there.” Kurzweil stakes his claim on our future capacity to model digitally the actions of billions of neurons and neurotransmitters, which in humans somehow give rise to consciousness. Gelernter believes such a machine might simulate mental states, but not actually pass muster as a conscious entity. Ultimately, he questions the desirability of building such computers: “We might reach the state some day when we prefer the company of a robot from Walmart to our next-door neighbor or roommates.”

Encontrei este debate no MIT World. Sim, o Massachusettes Institute of Technology disponiliza um vasto acervo de vídeos com aulas/palestras/conversas dos mais diversos e interessantes assuntos. E deixe de ser ingrato e agradeça ao Tim Berners-Lee por ter tornado tudo isso possível.

Texto foda do pessoal do MIT.

Arthur’s observation is consistent with a general principle sometimes called “Cringely’s Law,” after the pundit Robert X. Cringely, who proposed it. Cringely’s Law states that short-term adoption of new technologies never occurs as quickly as we expect, but their long-term impact is far greater than we realize.

One market-oriented way of thinking about the protracted adoption of new technologies is to understand that among the “missing pieces” of new domains are the modes of business that will sustain the constituent technologies. That is to say: the real economic value of new technologies is almost always imperfectly understood because the technologies’ markets do not yet exist.

…the first attempt to commercialize a technology almost never succeeds, but another organization will succeed where the original innovator failed. IBM, for example, first commercialized the personal computer, but Microsoft controlled the “platform” for its software and therefore benefited most. The best recent example, however, is in search. There were many search engines before Google–some of them, like AltaVista, possessing technology the equal of PageRank, Google’s algorithm for ranking the popularity of Web pages. But Google was first to see that the monetary value of search was in keyword advertising; that “missing bit” created the link economy and overturned media.

To commercialize a technology is to sow the seeds of its dissolution. IBM’s mainframes were succeeded by Microsoft’s software, which has been succeeded by Google’s keywords, which will be succeeded by something else. Nothing lasts forever, or even for very long.

“Nossa ignorância nos aproxima de outras áreas e nos torna mais ousados”

José Gomés-Marquez, eleito Humanitário de 2009 pela revista Technology Review, do MIT.

Via Tiago Dória

Graças ao Noah Brier, me deparei com um texto foda sobre o excesso de confiança. Leitura mais do que recomendada em tempos de crise financeira:

What do the following high-profile disasters have in common: World War I, Vietnam, the war in Iraq, the collapse of the banking system, and underpreparedness for natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina?

According to Dominic Johnson at the University of Edinburgh and his pal James Fowler at the University of California, San Diego, the answer is that they have all been blamed on the all-too-human condition of overconfidence.

The puzzle about overconfidence is its ubiquity. Many studies have shown that most people have an exaggerated sense of their own capabilities, an illusion that they have control over uncontrollable events and are invulnerable to risk. Most people, for example, believe they are above-average drivers, a statistical impossibility. We are all overconfident in one way or another.

Bem, até aí nenhuma novidade, como dizem por aí, “confiança é uma merda”. Mas o interessante é que psicólogos defendem que o excesso de confiaça é uma “boa estratégia evolutiva”, nas palavras do Noah:

By creating a mathematical model of the way overconfident individuals compete against ordinary individuals, they show that there is a clear advantage in overconfidence.

In fact, if the potential reward is at least twice as great as the cost of competing, then overconfidence is the best strategy. In fact, overconfidence is actually advantageous on average, because it boosts ambition, resolve, morale, and persistence. In other words, overconfidence is the best way to maximize benefits over costs when risks are uncertain.

Foda, foda, foda!

Três estudantes dos Estados Unidos criaram uma “câmera espacial” com um orçamento equivalente a US$ 150 (R$ 270), a fim de tirar fotos do planeta Terra remotamente. A façanha foi divulgada pelo site britânico Techradar nesta sexta-feira (18).

Os jovens do Instituto de Tecnologia de Massachusetts (MIT, na sigla em inglês) usaram um balão aerostático de hélio, utilizado em sistemas de fotografia aérea, uma caixa térmica de isopor e uma câmera compacta Canon A470.


Engenhoca pronta, eles a enviaram 28 mil metros acima, em direção ao céu, na estratosfera terrestre. Não é exatamente o Espaço, que, tecnicamente, começa a 100 km a partir da superfície terrestre. Mesmo assim, segundo o Techradar, é uma realização impressionante.

O voo, que foi batizado de Projeto Ícaro em alusão à mitologia grega, foi uma ideia dos estudantes Justin Lee, Oliver Yeh e Eric Newton. Após o retorno do equipamento à Terra, eles localizaram a câmera por meio de um GPS, instalado junto à engenhoca.

Da Folha de São Paulo.