How the Artificial-intelligence Program Alphazero Mastered its Games 

A few weeks ago, a group of researchers from Google’s artificial-intelligence subsidiary, DeepMind, published a paper in the journal Science that described an A.I. for playing games. While their system is general-purpose enough to work for many two-person games, the researchers had adapted it specifically for Go, chess, and shogi (“Japanese chess”); it was given no knowledge beyond the rules of each game. At first it made random moves. Then it started learning through self-play.

Source: How the Artificial-intelligence Program Alphazero Mastered its Games | Portside

3D-printed robot hand plays the piano 

Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. And while the robot is no virtuoso, it demonstrates just how challenging it is to replicate all the abilities of a human hand, and how much complex movement can still be achieved through design.

Source: 3D-printed robot hand plays the piano — ScienceDaily

Stop the Coal Burglers

“If the mine is built, it would lead to the forced-displacement of up to 230, 000 people over the 36 year life cycle of the project. It will increase poverty, water pollution and will plunder 14,600 hectares of Bangladesh’s most fertile and productive agricultural land in the region, causing a crisis of food production. It will have a devastating impact on the people and the environment. In return Bangladesh govt would gain nothing but economic exploitation”, stated Dr Rumana Hashem of Phulbari Solidarity Group.

Source: Stop the Coal Burglers

Top 6 Human Evolution Discoveries of 2018 | PLOS SciComm

Here we are, once again, at the end of a calendar year filled with lots of exciting news in the field of human evolution. Last year, just as we were finalizing edits on the 2017 Top 5 Human Evolution Discoveries list, the remainder of the skeleton of a human ancestor known colloquially as “Little Foot” (belonging to the genus Australopithecus, the same genus, but different species, as the famed “Lucy” fossil) was finally revealed after 20 years of cleaning and excavation from its embedding rock. Amazingly, just as we are finishing the edits for this year’s installment of top human evolution discoveries, Little Foot is back in the news. As of the last week of November, full descriptions and analyses of the remainder of the fossils are now available (prior to undergoing peer-review) on the preprint server bioRxiv. Enjoy reading our Top 6 list for 2018! Why 6? These stories are too cool not to share.–JMO By Ella Beaudoin, BA, and Briana Pobiner, PhD, Human Origins Program,

Source: Top 6 Human Evolution Discoveries of 2018 | PLOS SciComm