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November 2004

  • Early Language Acquisition: Cracking the Speech Code (Nature Review article) - Infants learn language with remarkable speed, but how they do it remains a mystery. New data show that infants use computational strategies to detect the statistical and prosodic patterns in language input, and that this leads to the discovery of phonemes and words.
  • The Single Neuron Theory of Consciousness (paper) - Steven Sevush of University of Miami School of Medicine takes this idea down to the level of individual neurons in a 2002 paper, The Single Neuron Theory of Consciousness, just released online. Sevush believes "a single brain at any given moment harbors many separate conscious minds, each one assumed to be associated with the activity of a different individual neuron". He suggests that because all these "conscious beings" that reside in a single brain have very similar experiences, it feels like a single "stream of consciousness" to us instead of a "chorus of minds".

October 2004

  • Combat robots wow crowds (New Scientist article - not so new but cool) - Humanoid robots go at each other in Japan.
  • Unusual pair team up on battle-ready robot (MSNBC article) - In a trailblazing pairing of robotics and tractor companies, iRobot and John Deere announced plans Monday to build a 9-foot-long semi-autonomous battlefield vehicle.
  • When Robots Rule the World (Wired article) - The adoption of domestic robots is predicted to have increased seven-fold by the year 2007 according to a report issued by the U.N. Economic Commission.
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