Technology (category filter × )

Superhuman AI for multiplayer poker
  • New AI, called Pluribus, proven to be capable of defeating elite human professionals at six-player no-limit Texas hold’em poker.
  • This marks an important milestone for AI, as multiplayer poker has been a huge challenge for a long time.
  • Multiplayer games are very different from perfect-information, two-player, zero-sum games, and significantly more difficult.
  • But Pluribus shows that a carefully constructed self-play-with-search algorithm can produce superhuman strategies and win.
  • It does so in spite of theoretical limitations, in a large-scale, complex multiplayer imperfect-information setting--bringing AI a step closer to human capabilities.

Climate change: Water and green energy produced by a single device
  • New device combines photovoltaic solar panels with three stage membrane distillation to generate electricity and clean water at the same time.
  • Only up to 20% of heat that hits solars turns into energy - this device is the first to make use of the other 80%.
  • It produces 3x more water than conventional solar stills, and generates 9x more power than achieved in previous research.
  • Estimates show it could produce 10% of drinking water globally, but it will be tricky to commercialise, and probably useful only at small to medium scale.
  • Traditional ways of generating electricity consume huge amounts of water, just like producing water via desalination consumes huge amounts of energy.

Portland State study shows ways to reduce extreme heat in city neighborhoods
  • Trees, reflective materials and green roofs could be a solution to urban heat islands, as shown in new study from Portland State University.
  • The biggest differences could come from reflective materials and planting trees; green roofs require more studies.
  • Researchers used computer modeling to study potential temperature differences that could be made with eco-friendly development in various property types.
  • They also found that the opposite - like paving over places with trees - can increase temperatures by 25°F on summer days.
  • Urban heat islands are associated with higher pollution and negative health outcomes.

Experiments show dramatic increase in solar cell output
  • By figuring out how to split one high-energy photon into two electrons in a silicon solar cell, scientists increased the amount of power it can produce.
  • Theoretical maximum was increased from 29.1% to 35% by adding an excitonic material and a thin (8 ten-billionths of a meter) layer of hafnium oxynitride.
  • This concept has been around for decades, but it took years of work to turn it into an operational cell.
  • The coupling of excitonic materials and silicon was never done before.
  • More development is needed, but it’s a promising approach because instead of adding cells, this method relies on adding more current into one cell.

How you and your friends can play a video game together using only your minds
  • First attempt at brain-to-brain interface proves that cooperating to solve problems with thoughts is possible.
  • 5 groups of 3 participants, completely separated from each other, used sight and thought to cooperate in playing BrainNet - a simple Tetris-like game.
  • Participants wore electroencephalography caps connected to a large system built specifically for this purpose.
  • Study authors hope that this will pave the way for building advanced interfaces to enable brain collaboration for solving humanity’s toughest problems.
  • This, however, is only the first baby step.