Infophile.ca blog is on hiatus spring / summer 2018. Apologies for the belated notice. Have a wonderful summer!
If you’re a history buff, you might not know much particle physics. But the two fields share more in common than you’d think. X-rays from a high-energy lab have revealed ancient Greek medical texts that had been stripped and covered with religious writing. READ MORE: Particle Accelerator Reveals Ancient Greek Medical Text Beneath Religious Psalms on Parchment | Gizmodo
SXSW: NRK’s dedicated tech team employs “open source” tactics to fight trolling. READ MORE: How a Norwegian comment section turned chaos into order—with a simple quiz | arstechnica
News spread Monday of a remarkable breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Microsoft and Chinese retailer Alibaba independently announced that they had made software that matched or outperformed humans on a reading-comprehension test devised at Stanford. Microsoft called it a “major milestone.” Media coverage amplified the claims, with Newsweek estimating “millions of jobs at risk.”
Those jobs seem safe for a while. Closer examination of the tech giants’ claims suggests their software hasn’t yet drawn level with humans, even within the narrow confines of the test used. READ MORE: AI Beat Humans at Reading! Maybe Not | WIRED
Even the cryptographers who cracked Nazi Enigma codes couldn’t read the Voynich, but Greg Kondrack of the University of Alberta may just have. READ: Edmonton computer scientist using artificial intelligence to decipher mysterious manuscript | National Post
The leaves are the remains of a severely scorched early book, or codex, written in southern Egypt some time between AD 400 and 600. In a basement laboratory of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, an X-ray scanner is pumping invisible beams into a clump of charred parchment leaves that looks as delicate as a long dead flower…READ MORE: Scientists are X-ray scanning an ancient biblical text that’s so old, they’re afraid to open it | National Post
Michael Cook, a 30-year-old senior research fellow at the University of Falmouth, has built an AI capable of imagining new video games from scratch. Cook calls the machine Angelina, a recursive acronym that stands for “A Novel Game-Evolving Labrat I’ve Named Angelina” (a joke that Cook says got old pretty quickly). Since its earliest form, in 2011, it has created hundreds of experimental video games, received acclaim in an international game-making competition, and had its work featured in a New York gallery exhibit. READ MORE: AI Is Dreaming Up New Kinds of Video Games | MIT Tech Review
That statement probably requires some explanation. Two researchers named Adam Hammond and Julian Brooke have spent the past few years developing software that analyzes literary databases. Their program can identify dozens of structural and stylistic details in huge chunks of text, and if you give them a collection of great stories—stories that maybe you wished you had written—they are able to identify all the details that those great stories have in common. READ MORE: What Happens When an Algorithm Helps Write Science Fiction | WIRED
STEVEN Soderbergh’s latest project—an interactive smartphone app called Mosaic…contains a 7-plus-hour miniseries about a mysterious death, but…viewers have some agency over what order they watch it in and which characters’ stories they follow. READ MORE: Steven Soderbergh’s New App Will Change How You Watch TV | WIRED
Images archived in digital libraries are either born digital or scans/photos of hard copy originals. This technology may be useful in enhancing images of historical photos and documents that are of low quality.
You know how in CSI, the cops always try to “enhance” a shot to zoom in and read (non-existent) details in photos? It’s amusing to the rest of us, but perhaps one day won’t be all that impossible, with artificial intelligence.
Researchers have been adopting neural networks and machine learning technologies to help computers fill in missing detail in photos.
Some consumer-ready websites are already making some of this magic accessible to you and me.