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TEDxLausanne - Jürgen Schmidhuber - When creative machines overtake man

www.tedxlausanne.org - Machine intelligence is improving rapidly, to the point that the scientist of the future may not even be human! In fact, in more and more fields, learning machines are already outperforming humans. Artificial intelligence expert Jürgen Schmidhuber isn't able to predict the future accurately, but he explains how machines are getting creative, why 40'000 years of Homo sapiens-dominated history are about to end soon, and how we can try to make the best of what lies ahead. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear swims underwater in the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, Canada, on October 31. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.

David R Arnott writes

According to a Reuters report on October 28, a Canadian senator has launched a campaign to replace the industrious beaver with the indomitable polar bear as her country's national emblem.

Describing the beaver as "a dentally defective rat," Conservative politician Nicole Eaton told the Senate that beavers wreak havoc on the dock at her waterfront cottage every summer.

"A country's symbols are not constant and can change over time," she said. "The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity is perfect for the part."

The polar bears at St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in Quebec certainly seemed to be living up to their billing as they played up for the cameras on Monday.

Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear jumps into the water at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.

Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear shakes off water from its body at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.

 

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The scope of humankind’s relationship with nature is the subject of a new exhibition by photographers Inka Lindergård and Niclas Holmström, on display from Nov. 5 to Dec. 17 at the Swedish Photography Gallery in Berlin. The exhibition is comprised of two series that share the same concept of human observation.

For the first series, Watching Humans Watching, the Stockholm-based duo spent the last four years capturing the dynamic between humans and nature by taking an objective approach to their subjects, much like the way landscape photographers document wild animals. Lindergård and Holmström had no interaction with the people they photographed. Each picture explores man’s disconnected relationship with nature, as if there were a wall between them and the environment. The images show people standing back, distant from the land, with some viewing nature through binoculars.

The other series, SAGA, which was developed shortly after Watching Humans Watching, deviates from pure observation and explores the natural world as mythic, foreign place from a first-person perspective. Each picture captures the artists’ imagination of nature as make-believe wilderness, which they say was stirred by stories of the supernatural wild. “[The photographs] can be seen as small building stones: sets, scenes, props and characters from an unwritten story,” say Lindergård and Holmström. “A mood board for anyone creating a fairytale.”

Together, the projects seek to present a full exploration of the relationship between people and nature. While Watching Humans Watching aims to show the physical act of human observation, SAGA offers the artists’ perspective on what is it that humans actually see and imagine when they watch nature.

Watching Humans Watching and SAGA will also be published together in a book by Kehrer Verlag later this year.

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Junaid Chundrigar made Sheeped Away in 7 months at the Utrecht School of the Arts, in the Netherlands. It’s the tale of a farmer who just wants to keep his beloved sheep safe from a giant UFO, without waking his judgemental wife. Chundrigar also posted a quickie making of reel here.

Cartoon Brew: Leading the Animation Conversation |
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Daniel Lieberman - Brains, Brawn & the evolution of the Human Body

TEDxBermuda - April 23rd, 2011 Havard Professor, Daniel Lieberman discusses how to many, a massive brain is the quintessential human trait, but humans are also superlative endurance athletes compared to other mammals, especially in the ability to run long distances in the heat. In fact, the evolution of endurance made possible the evolution of large brains, and is so fundamental to our species' biology that vigorous endurance exercise is necessary for physical and mental health.
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