Artificial Intelligence versus Clever Hans, the horse that could count

These are the latest articles and videos I found most interesting.

  1. Artificial Intelligence versus Clever Hans, the horse that could count
  2. Celebrating Voyager’s 40 Years in Space
  3. What Eclipses Have Done for Science
  4. Spectroscopy – Splitting the Starlight
  5. Three things Rosetta taught us about Comet 67P

Artificial Intelligence versus Clever Hans, the horse that could count

A very good explanation of technical limitations and capabilities of modern artificial intelligence. Ian explains why all modern AI classes of algorithms are susceptible to being easily deceived. He compares AI to Clever Hans, a horse that could count – or so people thought.

Video: Stanford University

Adversarial Examples and Adversarial Training by Ian Goodfellow, Staff Research Scientist, Google Brain

Ian Goodfellow discusses adversarial examples in deep learning. We discuss why deep networks and other machine learning models are susceptible to adversarial examples, and how adversarial examples can be used to attack machine learning systems. We discuss potential defenses against adversarial examples, and uses for adversarial examples for improving machine learning systems even without an explicit adversary.

Clever Hans (in German: der Kluge Hans) was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks.

Wikipedia link

After a formal investigation in 1907, psychologist Oskar Pfungst demonstrated that the horse was not actually performing these mental tasks, but was watching the reactions of his human observers. Pfungst discovered this artifact in the research methodology, wherein the horse was responding directly to involuntary cues in the body language of the human trainer, who had the faculties to solve each problem. The trainer was entirely unaware that he was providing such cues. In honour of Pfungst’s study, the anomalous artifact has since been referred to as the Clever Hans effect and has continued to be important knowledge in the observer-expectancy effect and later studies in animal cognition. Hans was studied by the famous German philosopher and psychologist Carl Stumpf in the early 20th century. Stumpf was observing the sensational phenomena of the horse, which also added to his impact on phenomenology.

Celebrating Voyager’s 40 Years

Celebrating Voyager’s 40 Years in Space with Ed Stone
Voyager at 40: Keep Reaching for the Stars

In the late summer of 1977, NASA launched the twin Voyager spacecraft. These remote ambassadors still beam messages back to Earth 40 years later, with data from their deep space travels. Voyager 1 is about 13 billion miles from Earth in interstellar space, and Voyager 2 is not far behind.

What Eclipses Have Done for Science

What Eclipses Have Done for Science: at The Royal Institution
Eclipse science: Discoveries in the Moon’s shadow

A total eclipse of the sun is an awe-inspiring sight, but throughout history it has also inspired scientific research. Studying eclipses has led to discoveries about the composition of the sun, the workings of our solar system and the physics of the universe itself.

Spectroscopy – Splitting the Starlight

Video: Max Planck Society

How do we know what stars are made of? Starlight contains millions of fingerprints – spectral lines, which are produced by chemical compounds in the form of molecules, atoms, which are present in the atmospheres of stars and planets. The films shows how scientists decode stellar light and determine the nature of the object: a planet, a star, or a distant galaxy.

Three things Rosetta taught us about Comet 67P


In 2014 the Rosetta Mission landed a probe on a comet – the first time this feat had been achieved. Rosetta has since revealed a whole load of fascinating facts about Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Here are three things we’ve discovered about the comet so far, as well as three mysteries we have yet to solve.

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