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Jun 3, 2021

China’s gigantic multi-modal AI is no one-trick pony

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, supercomputing

When Open AI’s GPT-3 model made its debut in May of 2020, its performance was widely considered to be the literal state of the art. Capable of generating text indiscernible from human-crafted prose, GPT-3 set a new standard in deep learning. But oh what a difference a year makes. Researchers from the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence announced on Tuesday the release of their own generative deep learning model, Wu Dao, a mammoth AI seemingly capable of doing everything GPT-3 can do, and more.

First off, Wu Dao is flat out enormous. It’s been trained on 1.75 trillion parameters (essentially, the model’s self-selected coefficients) which is a full ten times larger than the 175 billion GPT-3 was trained on and 150 billion parameters larger than Google’s Switch Transformers.

In order to train a model on this many parameters and do so quickly — Wu Dao 2.0 arrived just three months after version 1.0’s release in March — the BAAI researchers first developed an open-source learning system akin to Google’s Mixture of Experts, dubbed FastMoE. This system, which is operable on PyTorch, enabled the model to be trained both on clusters of supercomputers and conventional GPUs. This gave FastMoE more flexibility than Google’s system since FastMoE doesn’t require proprietary hardware like Google’s TPUs and can therefore run on off-the-shelf hardware — supercomputing clusters notwithstanding.

Jun 3, 2021

[Video] Inside Asia’s first underground seed vault

Posted by in categories: climatology, sustainability

But the above-ground structure of the Baekdu-daegan Seed Vault belies the true size of this sprawling underground structure.

The idea of building a Seed Vault in South Korea initially began with the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing in 2010. Officially launched in 2016 and designated a national security facility since 2019, the Baekdu-daegan Seed Vault’s main purpose is to secure biodiversity from threats such as natural disasters, climate change and war, to support sustainable life for human beings.

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Jun 3, 2021

85-Year-Old Marathoner Is So Fast That Even Scientists Marvel

Posted by in category: life extension

Ed Whitlock remains at the forefront among older athletes who have led scientists to reassess the possibilities of aging and performance.

Jun 3, 2021

Exchange Servers Targeted by ‘Epsilon Red’ Malware

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, encryption

REvil threat actors may be behind a set of PowerShell scripts developed for encryption and weaponized to exploit vulnerabilities in corporate networks, the ransom note suggests.

Threat actors have deployed new ransomware on the back of a set of PowerShell scripts developed for making encryption, exploiting flaws in unpatched Exchange Servers to attack the corporate network, according to recent research.

Researchers from security firm Sophos detected the new ransomware, called Epsilon Red, in an investigation of an attack on a U.S.-based company in the hospitality sector, Sophos Principal Researcher Andrew Brandt wrote in a report published online.

Jun 3, 2021

Scientists Say They’ve Finally Sequenced the Entire Human Genome. Yes, All of It

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, futurism

This is a technological triumph.

Twenty-one years ago, researchers announced the first “draft” of sequencing the complete human genome. It was a monumental achievement, but the sequence was still missing about 8 percent of the genome. Now, scientists working together around the world say they’ve finally filled in that reclusive 8 percent.

If their work holds up to peer review and it turns out they really did sequence and assemble the human genome in its entirety, gaps and all, it could change the future of medicine.

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Jun 3, 2021

NASA is going back to Venus after 30 years for an apocalyptic reason

Posted by in categories: climatology, space

Two missions will study the hellish planet to piece together its climate past, look for volcanoes, and see if it was ever habitable.

NASA Administrator and former astronaut Senator Bill Nelson announced today that the agency would be sending two missions to Venus. The two missions, called DAVINCI+ and VERITAS, will respectively study the planet’s atmosphere and geological history.

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Jun 3, 2021

NIH scientists say they may have found a promising new oral antiviral drug for Covid

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, health

Scientists may have found a promising new treatment for Covid-19 after an experimental oral antiviral drug demonstrated the ability to prevent the coronavirus from replicating, the National Institutes of Health said Thursday, citing a new study.

The drug, called TEMPOL, can reduce Covid-19 infections by impairing an enzyme the virus needs to make copies of itself once it’s inside human cells, which could potentially limit the severity of the disease, researchers at the NIH said. The drug was tested in an experiment of cell cultures with live viruses.

“We urgently need additional effective, accessible treatments for COVID-19,” Dr. Diana W. Bianchi, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, wrote in a statement. “An oral drug that prevents SARS-CoV-2 from replicating would be an important tool for reducing the severity of the disease.”

Jun 3, 2021

Multi-strain vaccine blocks COVID-19 in monkeys

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

“We began this work last spring with the understanding that, like all viruses, mutations would occur in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19,” said senior study author Barton F. Haynes, M.D., director of the DHVI. “The mRNA vaccines were already under development, so we were looking for ways to sustain their efficacy once those variants appeared.

This approach not only provided protection against SARS-CoV-2, but the antibodies induced by the vaccine also neutralised variants of concern that originated in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil. And the induced antibodies reacted with quite a large panel of coronaviruses.

Haynes’ team – whose work is published in Nature – built on earlier studies involving SARS, a respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-1. The original SARS virus emerged in November 2002, lasting until May 2004, with more than 8000 cases and 774 deaths, mostly in East Asia. The DHVI team found that a person infected with SARS developed antibodies capable of neutralising multiple coronaviruses, suggesting that a pan-coronavirus might be possible.

Jun 3, 2021

Engineers create a programmable fiber | MIT News

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, media & arts

Global Automobile Infotainment System Market 2020 Industry Research, Review, Growth, Segmentation, Key Players Analysis and Forecast to 2025.

MIT researchers have developed the first fiber with digital capabilities that is able to capture, store, analyze and derive activity after it has been sewn into a shirt.

Yoel Fink, professor of materials science and electrical engineering, lead researcher at the Electronics Research Laboratory and lead author of the study, says digital fibers expand the possibilities for fabrics to uncover the context of hidden patterns in the human body that could be used for monitoring physical performance, medical conclusions and early disease detection are used.

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Jun 3, 2021

Humans could live to 150, according to study

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The maximum lifespan for humans is between 120 and 150, according to a longitudinal analysis of blood markers, published in Nature.