Innovation

The NASA Twins

Scientists have published the results of the study of the NASA twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly in Science Magazine. The experiment studies the physiological, molecular and cognitive changes that can happen to a human during a prolonged space mission. Scott Kelly was in the International Space Station for one year while his twin Mark stayed on earth, which allowed scientists to compare the effects of the space mission between the two identical twins.

Facial Recognition System for $60

The New York Times ran an experiment using a public video stream from Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan. They collected publicly available photos of people that worked near the park and then ran one day's worth of footage from the public video stream through Amazon's commercial facial recognition service at the cost of approx $60. Over a nine hour period it detected 2,750 faces, including an 89% match of a college professor from his employer's website headshot.

The First Picture of a Black Hole

Scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope project released the first ever picture of a black hole this week! Using a data from an array of telescopes around the globe, the team combined the massive amounts of data to create the image of M87. Dr. Katie Bouman created the machine learning interferometry algorithm used to combine the data and produce the image of the event horizon.

Generative Aphex Twin

Alex Bainter has a good explainer post on Medium about how he used Markov Chains to generate a much longer version of Aphex Twin's aisatasana. Using a JSON representation of a MIDI file of the track, he built a Markov Chain system to generate over four million unique phrases which can play for over 451 days without repetition of a phrase. The result is available to listen to on generative.fm.

AI in Retail

Vogue Business has an interesting article about how traditional retailers are using AI to increase sales. Some are using AI to recommend custom store displays based on the profile and buying habits of their regular customers. Others are using AI to select first time customers to invite to special offer events in order to convert them to repeat customers.

Stephen Wolfram's Personal Infrastructure

Stephen Wolfram has published a fascinating long-read on his personal infrastructure. He details all the tech he uses in his everyday life and how he organises and categorises everything, most of which are processes which he has optimised over the last 30 years. It is inspiring how efficiently he organises everything, down to having labelled plastic envelopes of devices, tech and accessories for travelling, hotel stays, car hire trips etc.

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