A Subtle, Ghostly Glow.
China: Plan B.
Weekend Movie: “In the Mood for Love” (2000) - Following another week of unrest in China, I thought of this magnificent film from Hong-Kong director Wong Kar-wai. One of the most beautiful Asian movies of all time in my book, about the mystery of love and loss. A magnificent ballet of color, music and talent. The cinematography alone is worth seeing. Hope you like the color red!” — Laure Sudreau.
1. A new analysis of Hubble data has clinched it: There's too much light in the space around the Solar System. Not much extra light, to be sure. Just a subtle, ghostly glow, a faint excess that can't be accounted for in a census of all the light-emitting objects. All the stars and galaxies surrounding the Solar System – and zodiacal light, aka dust on the Solar System's plane – none of these can explain what astronomers are now calling "ghost light". After analyzing 200,000 Hubble images and taking thousands of measurements in a project called SKYSURF, an international collaboration is sure the excess light is real. (Sources: sciencealert.com, skysurf.asu.edu)
Creating solutions to unforeseen problems is second nature in human intelligence – a result of critical thinking informed by experience. The machine learning community has made tremendous progress in generating and understanding textual data, but advances in problem solving remain limited to relatively simple maths and programming problems, or else retrieving and copying existing solutions.
As part of DeepMind’s mission to solve intelligence, we created a system called AlphaCode that writes computer programs at a competitive level. AlphaCode achieved an estimated rank within the top 54% of participants in programming competitions by solving new problems that require a combination of critical thinking, logic, algorithms, coding, and natural language understanding.
Published on the cover of Science, our paper details AlphaCode, which uses transformer-based language models to generate code at an unprecedented scale, and then smartly filters to a small set of promising programs.
We validated our performance using competitions hosted on Codeforces, a popular platform which hosts regular competitions that attract tens of thousands of participants from around the world who come to test their coding skills. We selected for evaluation 10 recent contests, each newer than our training data. AlphaCode placed at about the level of the median competitor, marking the first time an AI code generation system has reached a competitive level of performance in programming competitions. (Sources: deepmind.com, science.org, codeforces.com)
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