Commentary: Algorithms Are Only as Fair as Their Authors

Machine and human intelligences bring different strengths to the table. Researchers like me are working to understand how algorithms can complement human skills while at the same time minimizing the liabilities of relying on machine intelligence. As a machine learning expert, I predict there will soon be a new balance between human and machine intelligence, a shift that humanity hasn’t encountered before.

Such changes often elicit fear of the unknown, and in this case, one of the unknowns is how machines make decisions. This is especially so when it comes to fairness. Can machines be fair in a way that people understand?

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Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promise, Boosts Survival Rates by 30 Percent

  A new form of drug drastically improves survival rates of pre-menopausal women with the most common type of breast cancer, researchers said on Saturday, citing the results of an international clinical trial. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, showed…

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Study: Cell-for-Cell, a Human Body is 57 Percent Microbes and Other Non-Human Organisms

by Elizabeth Lee   New discoveries about what is inside the body are making scientists rethink what makes a person human and what makes people sick or healthy. Less than half of the cells in the body are human. The rest belong to microorganisms that affect the health, mood and whether…

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Trump Announces New Occupant for Lordstown Plant

  President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that he spoke with General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who said GM will sell the vacant Lordstown factory to Workhorse, an electric truck manufacturer. The president also mentioned that GM is going to invest $700 million into three separate locations in Ohio. Trump expressed his support…

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Scientists See Evidence of Underground Lake System on Mars

Scientists say images of craters taken by European and American space probes show there likely once was a planet-wide system of underground lakes on Mars. Data collected by NASA and ESA probes orbiting the red planet provide the first geological evidence for an ancient Martian groundwater system, according to a…

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Commentary: The Case for 5G and the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger

by Robert Romano   At the Feb. 13 hearing of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, the proposed merger of T-Mobile U.S., Inc. and Sprint Corporation was considered by members of Congress, with T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure testifying. By the far…

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NASA Makes Space History with Distant Fly-By

Just 33 minutes into the New Year, NASA’s New Horizons probe made space exploration history, flying by the most distant body ever visited by a spacecraft from earth. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which built and operates the spacecraft, said Tuesday it had “zipped past” the object known…

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World’s Most Popular Dinosaur Transforms at Chicago’s Field Museum

by Kane Farabaugh   You don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression, unless, of course, you’re one of the world’s most popular dinosaurs. “It’s a different profile, a much more impressive profile in many ways, a pretty scary large animal, as opposed to a lighter, swifter…

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New Research Pushes Back the Discovery of Cacao – the Basis of Chocolate – By More Than a Millennium

New research strengthens the case that people used the chocolate ingredient cacao in South America 5,400 years ago, underscoring the seed’s radical transformation into today’s Twix bars and M&M candies. Tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from an archaeological site in Ecuador, according to a study published Monday. That’s…

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Google, Microsoft, Facebook And Twitter Reveal ‘Data Transfer’ Partnership

Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft

by Eric Leiberman   Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook are teaming up to provide users with the capability of transferring data across platforms and services, the latter two social media giants announced Friday morning. After heightened concerns over data utilization (even exploitation and manipulation), companies appear to be trying to…

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Bill Gates Backs $30 Million Push for Early Alzheimer’s Diagnostics

Bill Gates

Reuters   Billionaire Bill Gates and Estée Lauder Cos chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder on Tuesday said they will award $30 million over three years to encourage development of new tests for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. For Microsoft co-founder Gates, launch of the Diagnostics Accelerator program follows an announcement in November of a…

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Dr. Bradford Smith, NASA’s ‘Tour Guide for Voyager,’ Missions Dies at 86

Bradford Smith c.1981

Bradford Smith, a NASA astronomer who acted as planetary tour guide to the public with his interpretations of stunning images beamed back from Voyager missions, has died. Smith’s wife, Diane McGregor, said he died Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, of complications from myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune…

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Robots Will Continue to ‘Take Jobs,’ and Humans Will Continue to Create More

robot automation

by Joseph Sunde   Given the breakneck pace of improvements in automation and artificial intelligence, fears about job loss and human obsolescence continue to consume the cultural imagination. The question looms: What is the future of human work in a technological age? Innovators such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates have done their share…

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Insecticide Ban, Not Global Warming, Is More Likely the Cause of Disease-Carrying Insect Outbreaks

exterminator

by James D. Agresti and Rachel McCutcheon   Politico claims that deadly insect-borne diseases are “on the rise” in the U.S. due to “warming global temperatures.” Although disease-carrying insect populations have increased greatly over the past several decades, there is no reliable evidence that climate change is the reason. Instead, the surge…

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President Trump Announces Next-Generation ‘Space Force’ as an Independent Service Branch

Donald Trump Space Force

Vowing to reclaim U.S. leadership in space, President Donald Trump announced Monday he is directing the Pentagon to create a new “Space Force” as an independent service branch aimed at ensuring American supremacy in space. Trump envisioned a bright future for the U.S. space program, pledging to revive the country’s…

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Scientists Have Created a ‘Flux Capacitor’ That Could Unlock New Dimensions to Communications, Quantum Computing

Flux Capacitor

by Thomas Stace   The technology that allowed Marty McFly to travel back in time in the 1985 movie Back to the Future was the mythical flux capacitor, designed by inventor Doc Brown. We’ve now developed our own kind of flux capacitor, as detailed recently in Physical Review Letters. While we can’t send…

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Malware Discovered Pre-Installed On Android Devices Including Chinese Company ZTE

Smartphones

by Kyle Perisic   An anti-virus company has discovered malware comes pre-installed on Android phones, including on ZTE phones — a Chinese phone company with ties to the Chinese government. “Thousands of users are affected” by the ad-related malware, or adware, according to Avast, the Czech anti-virus company, in its…

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Identity Politics Is Now Undermining Science

JPL Scientists

by Michael Liccione   The prestige of science in our culture is well-earned. That scientists discover truths (or at least serviceable approximations to truths) is undeniable. The evidence for that is how successfully scientific findings have been applied for centuries as technology, which has improved life greatly for countless people. Sound…

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Trump Issues Commercial Space Policy Directive on Eve of Anniversary of JFK’s Space Program Speech

by Ginny Montalbano   President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a space policy directive, calling for “updating and refocusing” those policies in a bid to promote innovation and modernize American commercial space policy. The White House said the move “reforms America’s commercial space regulatory framework, ensuring our place as a leader in space…

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Bredesen-Backed Company Silicon Ranch Has History of Ethics Issues

Bredesen Solar Ranch

If Tennessee voters send former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen to the U.S. Senate this fall then Bredesen will step down as chair Silicon Ranch, a company he founded that has ethics problems. Silicon Ranch Corporation helps finance the construction of solar arrays. According to the Tennessean, Silicon Ranch owns or…

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Inventors of Augmented Reality and Dental Polymers Among This Year’s Americans Honored by the National Inventors Hall of Fame

Inventors Hall of Fame

by Julie Taboh   Edison did it. Eastman did it. And so did Steve Jobs. They invented products that changed our lives. But for every well-known inventor there are many other, less recognizable individuals whose innovative products have greatly impacted our world. Fifteen of those trailblazing men and women —…

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Senators Introduce Bill Regulating Facebook, Google And Other Big Tech Companies That Collect Personal Data

by Eric Lieberman   Two senators from either side of the political aisle introduced legislation Tuesday that would force companies like Google and Facebook to further disclose what they are doing with people’s data. Known as the Social Media Privacy Protection and Consumer Right Act, the bill’s authors are Democratic Sen.…

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National Association of Scholars Calls on Government to End the Practice of Using ‘Secret Science’ for Regulatory Decisionmaking

by Printus LeBlanc   Every day, the federal government puts out new regulations, updates old ones, or eliminates them all together. This is done in the Federal Register and is published every morning. What most people don’t know is a great amount of the rules and regulations published in the Federal Register were…

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Six Cloud Types and the Weather They Forecast

by Hannah Christensen   Modern weather forecasts rely on complex computer simulators. These simulators use all the physics equations that describe the atmosphere, including the movement of air, the sun’s warmth, and the formation of clouds and rain. Incremental improvements in forecasts over time mean that modern five-day weather forecasts are as skillful…

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Revolutionary Nanoparticle Eye Drops Could Make Glasses Obsolete

Israeli researchers have developed and tested “nanodrops” that, when used in conjunction with laser therapy, improve both near- and far-sightedness. In time, eyesight will return to its previous state but the researchers say the procedure can be repeated every one to two months, meaning your glasses could soon be outdated.

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Study Suggests Link Between Ultra-Processed Foods and Cancer

Scientists suggested on Thursday a link between cancer and “ultra-processed” foods such as cookies, fizzy drinks and sugary cereals, though outside experts cautioned against reading too much into the study results. Researchers from France and Brazil used data from nearly 105,000 French adults who completed online questionnaires detailing their intake…

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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Launch Was a Joyful Success

Patience was in short supply during the leg-jiggling, finger-tapping, tension-filled hours before the launch of the Falcon Heavy, which would, if successful, become the most powerful operational rocket on the planet. From thousands of miles away viewers obsessively checked Twitter for live updates from the hundreds of reporters and thousands…

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The National Inventors Hall of Fame Inducts ‘Refrigeration,’ ‘DNA Synthesis,’ ‘Lycra,’ ‘OLEDs’ and 8 More

Inventors Hall of Fame

The first-down line that appears on television screens during football games, the tissue-typing test that matches organ donations with compatible recipients, and the OLEDs that light up the screen of the iPhone X—we take technologies like these for granted. This year, however, they’re getting a spotlight: These three innovations, along…

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