Tag Archives: robotics

Relax! Because video games will soon react to your physiological arousal

As technologies multiply, so too do our uses for them. In fact, video games in particular started out as nothing more than a form of entertainment – some would say “mindless entertainment.” But especially in recent years, games have turned from “fun” to “therapeutic” and “educational,” among having other cognitive and social benefits. This article won’t be about these benefits, though, but about where the industry is headed in terms of its biggest new hardware innovations, and why non-gamers should care about them. So far, it looks like the next big thing is a controller that can actually sense your physiological arousal.

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Stanford offers free education online, over 125,000 sign up

In a little over one month, a little-known Artificial Intelligence (AI) course has skyrocketed in popularity, since the two professors announced that anyone anywhere in the world could take their course.  Three days after the announcement, 10,000 people signed up, and a month later, the number has increased tenfold. The Stanford University School of Engineering has decided not just to show videos of the classes – a practice which has been going on for around a decade in some of the most reputable universities in the world (especially in America) – but to allow students to take tests, watch lectures, and participate in class discussions. As said in a recent article from SingularityHub “Classes of 1 million or tens of millions may be in our future. If Stanford can succeed in teaching classes of 100k+ students at a time, what will it mean for education in general?”

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug9) – Video games, news, hacking, Japan, science

Video Games:

Robots use Kinect to understand our world – Robots can’t view the world like we do, but technology is advancing, and soon they may be able to understand it enough to convince us that they can experience it similar to us. Researchers at Cornell University’s Robot Learning Lab have manipulated the Kinect system – created essentially for entertainment purposes for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console – so that the robots could image their environments in “colored 3D pointclouds.” The accompanying video shows the world as they see it. The robots can locate objects, and robotics will probably be advancing exponentially, now that we have examples of robots learning skills through reinforcement – such as the robotic arm that learned to flip pancakes after 50 trials.

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Skeptikai Notices (July11) – Psychology, robotics, Japan, & more


Monkey Business – From the creators of Freakonomics, this article talks about what happens when you teach monkeys how to use money. It’s just another link showing how similar we are to them… they gambled poorly, started stealing, and – that’s right – engaged in prostitution. (And I bet they all said the graphic above would be a waste!)

You Are What You (Think) You Eat – Researchers gave participants two milkshakes on different weeks, though they were the same concoctions. The only difference was that they were labeled differently. It turns out that the label influenced how hungry they were afterwards. Click the link to find out why.

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