Episode 411: Know Your Ions

This episode contains: Steven and Devon have been playing D&D. Ben’s son has discovered his love for the ocean. Devon is home alone and is dealing with a multi-week long ear infection. We discuss the Google researcher who was fired for claiming Google has achieved AI.


Robot Overlords: Robot dog learns to walk in one hour. Like a newborn animal, a four-legged robot stumbles around during its first walking attempts. But while a foal or a giraffe needs much longer to master walking, the robot learns to move forward fluently in just one hour. A computer program acts as the artificial presentation of the animal’s spinal cord, and learns to optimize the robot’s movement in a short time. The artificial neural network is not yet ideally adjusted at the beginning, but rapidly self-adjusts.


This Week in Space: The inner solar system spins much more slowly than it should. Now, scientists may know why. The researchers used computer models to simulate an accretion disk of 1,000 charged particles colliding with 40,000 neutral particles in magnetic and gravitational fields. They found that the interaction between the neutral atoms and a much smaller number of charged particles results in positively charged ions, or cations, spiraling inward and negatively charged particles, or electrons, moving outward toward the edge of the accretion disk. Meanwhile, the neutral particles lose angular momentum and spiral inward to the center.


Science-Fiction: We discuss For All Mankind, The Orville, Marvel Phase 5 and 6 reveals and Star Trek announcements at the San Diego Comic-Con and more!