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Signs of the Times for Tue, 28 Mar 2006

By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
27 March 2006
The line between living organisms and machines has just become a whole lot blurrier. European researchers have developed "neuro-chips" in which living brain cells and silicon circuits are coupled together.

The achievement could one day enable the creation of sophisticated neural prostheses to treat neurological disorders or the development of organic computers that crunch numbers using living neurons.

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Mar 27, 2006
Washington DC - NASA officials announced Monday that the agency has decided to reinstate the Dawn mission, a robotic exploration of two major asteroids that had been canceled earlier this month because of technical problems and cost overruns.

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Mar 28, 2006
Washington DC - A special celestial event to watch is coming up on Saturday evening, April 1, 2006, for anyone who lives in the eastern or central part of North America. That evening, if the sky is clear, you can watch the waxing Moon eclipse, or "occult," a number of stars in the Pleiades cluster in the western sky during and after dusk.

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By ADT Staff
Toshiba and MIT's Media Lab plan to launch the "GlobalMind" project, a large-scale knowledge database designed to promote advancements in the field of AI technology. Toshiba hopes to bring to computers an understanding of situations and feelings as experienced by their human users so that they can recognize, understand and respond to information in a real-life environment as people do.

GlobalMind will be an extension of the OpenMind database project, which the MIT Media lab initiated in 2000; to date, it has gathered about 800,000 facts through the contributions of some 20,000 people. The aim is to teach computers these facts, more like common sense, and provide them with the same understanding that humans experience daily.

"The GlobalMind project allows us to build on our relationship with Professor Minsky and the Media Lab to promote human-centric technology, one of our key R&D activities," said Dr. Mutsuhiro Arinobu, corporate VP and director of the Corporate Research & Development Center at Toshiba. "With GlobalMind, we hope to move significantly closer to realizing computers that understand the meaning of information and real-life situations, and to apply that to communication with people. This is one of the most crucial issues in AI."

GlobalMind is an important step in bringing the research and information of OpenMind to different languages and cultures. This is significant because, while some cultural phenomena are universal (eating when hungry, drinking when thirsty) other behaviors experience a great deal of variety, at least in expression, across different cultures. GlobalMind will extend OpenMind to more languages, including Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, French and Spanish, with the goal of gathering common-sense facts and information from as many cultures and languages as possible. 2006-03-28 22:24:10
TOKYO, March 28 (Xinhua) -- An earthquake measuring about 6.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit central Japan on Tuesday night, Japan Meteorological Agency reported.

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