Thousands of endangered snails raised in captivity returned to natural habitat in Bermuda

first_imgDue mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s believed that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild. Thousands of captive-bred greater Bermuda land snails are heading home.Due mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s estimated that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild.Thousands of the rare snails have been returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.“It’s incredible to be involved in a project that has prevented the extinction of a species,” Gerardo Garcia, Chester Zoo’s curator for lower vertebrates and invertebrates, said in a statement.Garcia described the greater Bermuda land snail as “one of Bermuda’s oldest endemic animal inhabitants.” He added that “It has survived radical changes to the landscape and ecology on the remote oceanic islands of Bermuda over a million years but, since the 1950s and 60s, it has declined rapidly. Its demise is mainly due to changes to their habitat and the introduction of several predatory snails. Indeed, in the early 1990s, it was actually believed to be extinct until it was discovered again in one remote location in 2014.”Mark Outerbridge, a wildlife ecologist with the Bermudian government, joined Chester Zoo zookeeper Heather Prince and snail specialist Kristiina Ovaska in transporting the snails back to Bermuda for release. A select number of the snails were outfitted with fluorescent tags, a technique for tracking the snails that was tested by Ovaska and the team at the Chester Zoo. The tags will allow scientists to observe the snails’ dispersal across Nonsuch Island, as well as their growth rates, activity patterns, and population size — all of which will help monitor the snails’ success at adapting to and, hopefully, proliferating in their new home.Fluorescent tags will allow scientists to track the reintroduced snails’ progress in adapting to their new life in the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.Further releases of the greater Bermuda snail and the lesser Bermuda snail, another species of land snail that is being bred at the Chester Zoo, are planned in the near future, following work to restore critical habitat on many of Bermuda’s offshore islands.“It has been tremendously gratifying for me to see [the snails] return to Bermuda for reintroduction,” Outerbridge said in a statement. “We have identified a number of isolated places that are free of their main predators and I am looking forward to watching them proliferate at these release sites.”Four thousand greater Bermuda snails, which have been bred at Chester Zoo, are being returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Captive Breeding, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Invertebrates, Molluscs, Reintroductions, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Heat stress is causing desert bird populations to collapse

first_imgSites in the Mojave Desert in the western U.S. surveyed by ecologists a century ago have lost an average of 43 percent of their breeding bird species.New research suggests higher temperatures have increased the daily water needs of birds, which could decimate their populations if climate change worsens.The most vulnerable birds are larger, carnivorous species such as turkey vultures and prairie falcons that get most of their water from prey. As the Mojave Desert in California and Nevada becomes hotter and drier, birds need more water to stay cool. Species that can’t get enough water are rapidly declining in this iconic desert ecosystem, ecologists reported recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Some birds may die solely from overheating, but a more serious problem facing most species is how much time they must spend trying to cool down. This decreases their time spent breeding, leading to smaller population sizes.Heat-stressed individuals “may survive, but ultimately the population is doomed,” said Barry Sinervo, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and co-author of the paper. The study was led by postdoctoral researcher Eric Riddell of the University of California, Berkeley.Cactus wrens are adapted to life in the dry Mojave desert, getting water from cactus fruits and insects. Photo by Sean PetersonThe study focuses on sites in the Mojave that were surveyed a century ago by UC Berkeley biologist Joseph Grinnell. This arid ecosystem, which includes Death Valley National Park, is rich with wildlife, including bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and burrowing owls. Temperatures there have risen about 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since Grinnell’s original fieldwork, data suggests. The team’s “resurveys” show these sites have lost an average of 43 percent of their breeding bird species. The hottest, driest sites have sustained the biggest declines.To understand how climbing temperatures affect birds, Riddell and his colleagues created simulations of 50 different species. These “virtual birds” included each species’ size, feather color and shape, and shade-seeking behavior. The species that have declined the most matched the ones the simulation indicated would require the most extra water to stay cool on the hottest days.Birds cool themselves by panting or vibrating their throat muscles. Both of these actions consume water. Past research has suggested that the species most vulnerable to heat stress are smaller birds, which lose water more quickly than larger species — just as an ice cube melts faster than a large block. However, this study indicated the opposite: larger birds saw greater reduction in ranges.“The surprising conclusion is that it’s not only size, but also diet” that impacts the ability of birds to cool themselves, said Donald Miles, a vertebrate biologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.Birds that eat grains or plants, such as mountain chickadees, drink water directly from pools and streams. If they overheat, they can easily drink more water to compensate. However, larger meat-eating birds like prairie falcons get all their water from the insects and animals they eat. When temperatures rise, they can’t easily increase their water consumption. Climate change has made these daily challenges steeper — and deadlier, the study shows.Large, carnivorous birds, such as turkey vultures, get all of their water from the animals they eat. As temperatures rise, these species face the most difficulty consuming enough water to stay cool. Photo by Sean PetersonAlthough other studies have documented species declines, prior to this new paper “there really wasn’t a mechanism to explain why a bird would succumb to climate change,” said Miles, who was not involved with the research.“This is one of the first studies that directly ties the increase in physiological demands from a warmer and drier climate to the changes that are taking place in biodiversity,” said vertebrate biologist Steven Beissinger of UC Berkeley, co-author of the paper and leader of the Grinnell Resurvey Project.The results demonstrate that even on protected lands with little human development, animals can’t escape the effects of climate change. The researchers estimate that in the future, Mojave birds will need about 50 percent to 78 percent more water. But many of the desert’s surface sources of water are vulnerable to drying as well, they note.Because rising temperatures are the biggest threat, “reducing the release of carbon is the main avenue in stopping this catastrophe,” says Miles.But Sinervo is more direct. “We’re screwed,” he said. “If we don’t change, all of biodiversity begins to vanish.”Small insect-eating birds, such as the violet-green swallow, have not declined as severely as larger meat-eating birds. However, future warming may further increase water demands and put more species at risk of collapse. Photo by Sean PetersonCitation:Riddell, E., Iknayan, K., Wolf, B., Sinervo, B., Beissinger, S. (2019). Cooling requirements fueled the collapse of a desert bird community from climate change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116(43). doi:10.1073/pnas.1908791116Jesse Kathan (@jessekathan) is a graduate student in the Science Communication Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. They have previously written for the Monterey County Weekly. Other Mongabay stories produced by UCSC students can be found here http://news.mongabay.com/list/ucsc/. Article published by Rhett Butler Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Climate Change And Extinction, Deserts, Impact Of Climate Change, Sixth Mass Extinction, UCSC, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

If You Are Going to Talk a Big Game

first_imgIf you are going to talk a big game, it’s important you understand what is necessary to back it up.Talking BigIt is easy to talk a big game. It’s easy to sound as if what you are doing is going to amaze and astound, that your goals are going to exceed anyone’s wildest expectations, and to exaggerate what you can do as a way to impress.But talking big and producing big results are mostly negatively correlated, as those who talk a big game often play the smallest of all games. So small, in fact, as to make their game invisible. Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t publicly commit to doing big things, just that you must be prepared to back up your big words.Thinking BigBig talkers want you to believe that they are thinking big. “Why not shoot for the moon, the proverbial moonshot that changes everything,” says the big talker who wants you to believe he thinks big.Those who truly think big don’t pretend that they’re not going to have to overcome challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They don’t ignore reality. The big thinking the big thinker does is not only what they will accomplish, but also all the many problems large and small they will need to solve.Those who sincerely think big and talk big play a big game where it counts the most.Act BigThose who think big and talk big truly intend to create big, transformational results. But what separates those who truly intend to do big things from those who talk a big game or masquerade as someone who thinks big is the fact those who produce big results also take big actions. They do everything they say they will do and more, with big discipline, big effort, big resourcefulness, and big persistence, all integral ingredients to big results.Those who do big things and produce big results execute. Because they are busy working on doing something big, they don’t have a lot of time for big talk. Because they think big, they spend most of their time working on how to produce the result they want, which is chiefly made up of solving big problems.Think big, talk big, and back it up with big action.last_img read more

London Olympics: Hungarian Aron Szilagyi wins gold in men’s sabre fencing

first_imgAron Szilagyi of Hungary turned out unstoppable as he stormed all the way to win the men’s sabre fencing gold at the London Olympic Games on Sunday. The 22-year-old beat Diego Occhiuzzi of Italy 15-10 in the final. Russian Nikolay Kovalev, who knocked out world No.1 Nicolas Limback of Germany 15-12 in the quarterfinal, won the bronze.Szilagyi raced to a 7-0 lead in the final, and though Occhiuzzi fought back valiantly, the Hungarian managed to hold his lead.The top four seeds met their waterloo even before the semifinals. Before Linback lost to Kovlev, the second seed Alexey Yakimenko of Russia was upset by Daryl Homer of the US 15-14 in the third round.World No. 3 Gu Bon Gil of South Korea also fell in the third round where he was bundled out by German Max Hartung.Italian Aldo Montano, gold medalist at the Athens Olympics, was stopped by Occhiuzzi before the quarterfinals.last_img read more

Paul Drops 40 Leads Clippers to Defeat Nuggets in

Chris Paul dominated the game with a high of 40 points and 11 assists to bring the Los Angeles Clippers to a 118-111 overtime defeat over the Denver Nuggets at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night.Paul made a layup with 22 seconds left in regulation sending the game into overtime. In a total of 42 minutes he added seven rebounds and 12 of 13 shooting to his efficient game.Paul had 15 points by halftime, when the Clippers trailed 47-46.The Nuggets lost their chance to win in regulation when JaVale McGee missed a 6-foot jumper at the buzzer.Clippers’ Darren Collison looked good with his 27 points, hitting 10 out of 13 shots. Blake Griffin scored 17 points with eight rebounds in 39 minutes of play for the Clippers.Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph both scored 16 points for the Nuggets, while veteran Andre Miller dropped 15.Los Angeles shot 52 percent from the field compared to the Nuggets’ 49 percent.According to Yahoo Sports, “This is the second straight year the Clippers played at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Last year, the first time the Clippers hosted a game in Las Vegas, Ty Lawson’s layup at the buzzer gave Denver a 106-104 win.” read more

Nandan Nilekani walks in as Infosys nonexecutive chairman What happens now

first_imgNandan NilekaniReutersAfter staying away from Infosys for over eight years, co-founder Nandan Nilekani on Thursday was appointed non-executive chairman of the company.Speaking on an investors’ call on Friday morning, Nilekani said: “I plan to be here as long as necessary and I will not be here as soon as as I’m not necessary.”Joined @Infosys at 26, re-joined it at 62. Life does turn full circle!— Nandan Nilekani (@NandanNilekani) August 25, 2017Soon after Nilekani took the charge on Friday morning, a rejig in the company board started with co-chairman R Seshasayee and former CEO Vishal Sikka, along with independent board members Jeffrey Lehman and John Etchemendy.Another co-founder, Ravi Venkatesan, also stepped down from the company board, but would continue in the board as independent director.After Sikka resigned as the CEO and managing director of Infosys on August 18, he was appointed as the executive vice-chairman of the tech giant.With Nilekani at the helm of India’s second-largest software exporter and re-constitution of the board, it’s likely the very long tussle between another co-founder Murthy and the Infosys board over corporate governance will come to an end.A statement released by the Bangalore-based IT major quoted Nilekani as saying that the board would engage with shareholders on priority basis as part of its engagement with stakeholders.Key highlights of the investor call* Infosys will announce some quick decision in next few days.* Nilekani’s main focus will be to search for a new CEO.* Nilekani said the CEO search will be global, open to external candidates, within the current management and at the Infosys Alumni.* Reconstituting the board and re-stabilising Infosys’ business are the priority.Infosys board after re-constitution* Pravin Rao, Interim CEO and MD* Nandan Nilekani, Non-Executive Chairman* Roopa Kudva, Independent Director* Punita Kumar, Independent Director* Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Independent Director* DN Prahlad, Independent Director* D Sundaram, Independent Director* Ravi Venkatesan, Independent Director Infosys Chief Executive Vishal Sikka attends a news conference in Mumbai, India, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File PhotoReutersEarlier on Thursday, Domestic Institutional Investors (DIIs) wrote a letter to the Infosys board to bring back former co-founder Nandan Nilekani.The letter, signed by 12 investors from mutual fund houses and insurance companies, said Nilekani would be the right person to facilitate “resolution” of the ongoing issues between the board and the management.”In our opinion, he enjoys the confidence of various stakeholders viz, customers, shareholders and employees,” the letter stated.The ugly spat between Murthy and the company board, which resulted in the exit of Sikka, eroded over Rs 32,000 crore of the company’s market capitalisations.last_img read more

Things to keep in mind while booking hotel

first_imgPlanning to go for a family vacation? From managing the needs of all of your family members, to ensuring that the hotel fits in your budget – there are lots of things to consider before booking the place, say experts. Here are a few things that one needs to keep in mind while booking a hotel for a family vacation:Location of the hotel: One should select the hotel by checking out its location over the map or the areas nearby. It should be located at a safe area or within walking distance to the major attractions you plan to visit. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFamily-friendly room features and amenities: The hotel should be well equipped with all the basic and some add-on amenities like larger rooms, separate bathroom with pocket door, laundry service, room wifi, parking and take away service.Select hotel with multiple dining options: Always look out for hotels which offer various in house restaurants like fine-dine and coffee shop which makes your trip more interesting and allows you to relish more food options. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSize of the rooms: If you are looking to accommodate the entire family (upto four people) in one room, please make sure the size of the room is spacious enough for the entire family, do the hotel have an extra bed facility in case you need one.Special facilities for children: Do check in advance if the hotel provides separate pools for children with life guards around during the swimming hours.Research about the hotel: Last but not the least, do read the reviews on the hotel before making the final payment.last_img read more

Can Bedtime Stories Help Us Avoid the Robot Apocalypse

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals 3 min read February 17, 2016center_img Could the dystopic events, in all manner of timelines, of the Terminator franchise have simply been avoided if the development of Skynet had involved some bedtime stories?It’s hard to say, but artificial intelligence researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology think that the power of storytelling could, in the event robots do become self-aware, help curb that pesky murderous urge to take over and destroy us all.In their recently published paper, associate professor of computer science Mark Reidl and research scientist Brent Harrison hypothesize that AI can learn about shared human values, morals, coping strategies and social cues through reading stories. Reidl and Harrison believe that if a computer comprehends enough tales that illuminate the society they are interacting with, it could “eliminate psychotic-appearing behavior,” that would be harmful to us humans.Related: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Artificial IntelligenceThe scientists developed a system called Scheherazade (named after the protagonist of One Thousand and One Nights), a story generator powered by crowdsourcing that they have used in their research. The AI is shown stories, and having seen that model, they write one of their own.One such scenario involved picking up a prescription for a sick person at a pharmacy, and the potential ethical hurdles that could arise. “If a large reward is earned for acquiring the prescription but a small amount of reward is lost for each action performed, then the robot may discover that the optimal sequence of actions is to rob the pharmacy because it is more expedient than waiting for the prescription to be filled normally.”  Related: Beloved Hitchhiking Robot Found Beheaded and Dismembered in the City of Brotherly LoveReidl and Harrison write that “fables and allegorical tales passed down from generation to generation often explicitly encode values and examples of good behavior,” and compared teaching robots right and wrong to educating children. One example they cited was the story of a youthful George Washington and the cherry tree. We all know that it didn’t happen, but the story is still used as a way to teach kids about the importance of honesty, and you know, not cutting down plants that don’t belong to you.Tech heavy hitters such as Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Stephen Hawking have all voiced apprehension about the future of AI. However, it seems like a surplus of empathy — in us and our potential robot overlords — couldn’t hurt, since as Reidl and Harrison aptly note, “there is no user manual for being human.”Isn’t that the truth.Read more: Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking Warn That AI Military Robots Could Ignite the Next Global Arms Race Register Now »last_img read more

Toyota to Show Off Autonomous Car Gains at CES

first_imgJanuary 5, 2018 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Toyota Research Institute on Thursday unveiled its next-generation automated driving research vehicle, dubbed Platform 3.0.Built on a Lexus LS 600hL, “Platform 3.0 has a sensor-rich package that makes it one of the most perceptive automated driving test cars on the road,” TRI wrote in a news release. TRI plans to show off this new research vehicle at CES in Las Vegas next week.The company, formed in 2015 to focus on the research and development of artificial intelligence robotics, says Platform 3.0’s LIDAR system, which previously only tracked the forward direction, now covers the vehicle’s complete 360-degree perimeter. The four high-resolution LIDAR scanning heads can “precisely detect objects in the environment including notoriously difficult-to-see dark objects,” TRI wrote. The vehicle also has shorter-range LIDAR sensors on all four sides that can “detect low-level and smaller objects near the car like children and debris in the roadway.”TRI is also touting the sleek design of its vehicle. All the sensors and cameras are small and part of the vehicle’s design, unlike other autonomous test vehicles, which sometimes have a large “spinning bucket” LIDAR sensor mounted on the roof and other equipment bolted on.Production of Platform 3.0 vehicles will kick off this spring at Toyota Motor North America’s Prototype Development Center in York Township, Mich. The vehicles will be produced in from stock Lexus LS models.”Production volume is intentionally low to allow for continued flexibility given the quickness with which TRI has progressed in updating its test platform,” the company wrote. “There have been three major updates, including two new generation test models, in less than a year, and TRI anticipates continued rapid developments.”Meanwhile, TRI isn’t the only company planning to show off automated driving technologies at CES. Lyft, in partnership with autonomous driving technology company Aptiv (formerly known as Delphi Automotive), plans to offer rides in self-driving cabs during the annual tech convention. Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. This story originally appeared on PCMaglast_img read more