Memories For Snail

Biologists report they have transferred a memory from one marine snail to another, creating an artificial memory, by injecting RNA from one to another. This research could lead to new ways to treat traumatic memories with RNA — perhaps a traumatic memory could be altered — and perhaps new ways to restore lost memories. Jeff and Anthony wonder if this technique could be used to help them forget their awkward teenage phases.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Alchemical Intelligence

Ali Rahimi, a researcher in artificial intelligence (AI) at Google, took a swipe at his field last December—and received a 40-second ovation for it. Speaking at an AI conference, Rahimi charged that machine learning algorithms, in which computers learn through trial and error, have become a form of “alchemy.” Researchers, he said, do not know why some algorithms work and others don’t. Without deep understanding of the basic tools needed to build and train new algorithms, he says, researchers creating AIs resort to hearsay, like medieval alchemists. Jeff and Anthony are ready for the 24k gold robots.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Doggie Data Care

What can artificial intelligence learn from dogs? Quite a lot, say researchers from the University of Washington and Allen Institute for AI. They recently trained neural networks to interpret and predict the behavior of canines. Their results, they say, show that animals could provide a new source of training data for AI systems — including those used to control robots. Jeff and Anthony learn that you can teach a new bot an old dog’s tricks.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Supple Built Skin

Biomedicine just took another leap forward. University of Colorado Boulder scientists created so-called electronic skin—e-skin for short. The e-skin is a thin, semi-transparent material that can act like your skin through measuring temperature, pressure, humidity and air flow. The new material, which was detailed in a study published Friday in Science Advances, could make better prosthetics, improve the safety of robots in the future and aid development of other biomedical devices. Jeff and Anthony feel this story out.  More Details/Download MP3 →

Big Skittle Lies

Do gummy bears really come in different flavors, or do we just think they taste different because they are different colors? While closing your eyes, your accuracy in differentiating flavors majorly declines. This phenomenon is something that scientists are studying- and something big candy companies have counted on for years. Jeff and Anthony investigate to see just how deep the gummy worm hole really goes.  More Details/Download MP3 →