Those pesky godlike aliens

Plus: States of matter
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The Futurist is your daily tech, cosmic, and science (both weird or otherwise) newsletter with articles and content curated just for you.

In today's edition:

// Pink Floyd

// Godlike aliens

// AI’s night vision

// The Mars colony

New night vision tech lets AI see in pitch darkness like it’s broad daylight | Singularity Hub

“This month, a team from Purdue University tackled the low visibility problem head-on. Combining thermal imaging, physics, and machine learning, their technology allowed a visual AI system to see in the dark as if it were daylight.


At the core of the system are an infrared camera and AI, trained on a custom database of images to extract detailed information from given surroundings—essentially, teaching itself to map the world using heat signals. Unlike previous systems, the technology, called heat-assisted detection and ranging (HADAR), overcame a notorious stumbling block: the ‘ghosting effect,’ which usually causes smeared, ghost-like images hardly useful for navigation.”

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Boffins reckon Mars colony could survive with fewer than two dozen people | The Register

“A group of researchers from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, has concluded that a Mars colony could get by with just 22 colonists.


The data scientists – Edgar Arguello, Sam Carter, Cristina Grieg, Michael Hammer, Chris Prather, Clark Petri, and Anamaria Berea – describe their findings in a preprint paper titled ‘An Exploration of Mars Colonization with Agent-Based Modeling.’”

Harvard professor says godlike aliens may be creating universes in labs | The Byte

“This kind of statement is par for the course for Loeb. In fact, a recent New York Times article focused not on the astronomer himself, but on the way he's — ahem — alienated his peers with his headline-grabbing claims about what he believes are interstellar interlopers and crashed spaceships at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.”

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Neuroscientists re-create Pink Floyd song from listeners’ brain activity | Scientific American

“A new study analyzed data from 29 people who were already being monitored for epileptic seizures using postage-stamp-size arrays of electrodes that were placed directly on the surface of their brain. As the participants listened to Pink Floyd’s 1979 song ‘Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1,’ the electrodes captured the electrical activity of several brain regions attuned to musical elements such as tone, rhythm, harmony and lyrics. Employing machine learning, the researchers reconstructed garbled but distinctive audio of what the participants were hearing. The study results were published on Tuesday in PLOS Biology.”

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//Quiz: The four states of matter observable in everyday life are solid, liquid, gas, and... what?

The four states of matter observable in everyday life are solid, liquid, gas, and... what?

What’s the matter, don’t know it? (Oh, just joshing you, you probably do.)