Space Telescope Uncovers Massive Galaxies Near Cosmic Dawn Galaxy
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Galaxy Astronomers have discovered what appear to be massive galaxies 600 million years after the Big Bang, implying that the early universe may have had a stellar fast-track that produced these “monsters.”
While the new James Webb Space Telescope has discovered even older galaxies, dating back to within 300 million years of the universe’s birth, scientists are taken aback by the size and maturity of these six apparent mega-galaxies. They published their findings on Wednesday.
Ivo Labbe of Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology and his colleagues expected to find small baby galaxies this close to the universe’s beginning, not these whoppers.
“While most galaxies in this era are still small and only gradually growing larger Galaxy over time,” he explained in an email, “there are a few monsters that fast-track to maturity. It is unknown why this is the case or how this would work.”
Each of the six objects appears to be billions of times heavier than our sun. According to scientists, the total weight of all its stars in one of them could be 100 billion times greater than our sun. Their findings were published in the journal Nature.
Labbe states these galaxies are extremely compact, cramming in as many stars as our Milky Way in a relatively small slice of space.
Labbe and his colleagues initially doubted the findings, believing that galaxies as mature as the Milky Way couldn’t exist so early and still needed to be confirmed. The objects appeared so large and bright that some team members thought they had made a mistake.
the discovery that massive galaxy formation occurred extremely early
“We were completely taken aback, almost incredulous,” Labbe said.
Joel Leja of Pennsylvania State University, who participated in the study, refers to them as “universe breakers.”
“The discovery that massive galaxy formation occurred extremely early in the universe’s history challenges what many of us thought was settled science,” Leja said. “It turns out we found something so unexpected it creates problems for science. It calls into question the entire picture of early galaxy formation.”
These observations were among the first from the $10 billion Webb telescope launched just over a year ago. The Hubble Space Telescope is being replaced by NASA and the European Space Agency’s Webb Space Telescope, which is celebrating its 33rd anniversary of launch.
Unlike Hubble, the larger and more powerful Webb can peer through dust clouds with its infrared vision and discover previously unseen galaxies. Scientists hope to see the first stars and galaxies formed after the universe was created 13.8 billion years ago.
The researchers are still waiting for official confirmation through sensitive spectroscopy and are being cautious in calling these candidates massive galaxies for the time being Galaxy. According to Leja, some objects could be obscured by supermassive black holes rather than galaxies.
While some may turn out to be smaller than expected, “odds are good that at least some of them will turn out to be” galactic giants, according to Labbe. “We’ll find out in a year.”
Webb’s first lesson was to “let go of your expectations and be ready to be surprised,” he said.
SOURCE – (AP)
Lyft To Pick Up New CEO Amid Deepening Post-Pandemic Losses
Logan Green and John Zimmer, co-founders of Lyft, are stepping down to make room for a former Amazon executive as the ride-hailing service battles to recover from the pandemic while long-time rival Uber has been regaining pace.
According to the revised order released Monday, Green will stand down as Lyft’s CEO on April 17, and Zimmer will step down as the San Francisco company’s president at the end of June.
Green will be succeeded as CEO by David Risher, who helped turn Amazon into an e-commerce behemoth. Green will remain Lyft’s non-executive chairman, while Zimmer will become vice chairman after leaving management.
The reorganization comes roughly a month after Lyft announced a $588 million loss for the final three months of last year, more than doubling from the same period in 2021, and issued a bleak prediction for 2023. This exacerbated Lyft’s stock decline, which had dropped its shares below $10, a roughly 80% loss from their price at the end of 2019, only a few months before the announcement of a global epidemic halted demand for ride-hailing services.
The reorganization comes roughly a month after Lyft announced a $588 million loss.
While Uber’s ridership has returned to pre-pandemic levels, Lyft has failed to find a means to recover, leading its losses to rise and investors to flee the shares. Uber expanded its operations to include food delivery, a popular choice amid government lockdowns that kept people opening the Uber app.
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives called Lyft’s last six months a “train wreck” that necessitated a change in leadership. He stated that Risher had so much work ahead of him that Lyft would consider selling him. An acquisition would be less expensive than it would have been a few years ago, as Lyft’s current market valuation has dropped to $4 billion, down from around $14 billion at the end of 2019.
Risher said in a prepared statement that he was “gobsmacked” when asked about becoming Lyft’s CEO and that he is now “prepared to take this business to new levels of success.”
Risher was hired as Amazon’s 37th employee and proved so valuable to the Seattle company that when he departed, its founder, Jeff Bezos, issued a thank you statement thanking Risher for helping to develop a company that “is all about working hard, having fun, and making history.”
With consumers reducing their e-commerce purchases due to the epidemic, Amazon has announced 27,000 layoffs since late last year.
Risker founded Worldreader, a San Francisco organization that teaches young children to read.
Uber, also based in San Francisco, experienced a considerably more traumatic leadership transition in 2017 when its co-founder Travis Kalanick was forced out in a high-profile power struggle that was depicted last year in a Showtime TV series. Dara Khosrowshahi, the company’s new CEO, has been attempting to transform Uber into the transportation equivalent of Amazon.
SOURCE – (AP)
Metaverse In Spotlight At MWC 3D Tech Fair Even As Doubts Arise
METAVERSE – air taxi, buckled my seat belt, and braced myself as the plane took off. Busan, South Korea’s futuristic cityscape, faded away, and a digital avatar with a message appeared on the windshield.
As a wave of motion sickness hit me, I couldn’t respond. When I put on the virtual reality goggles and sat in the seats that moved back and forth and side to side, it felt like I was flying and turning in the air. They also made me feel so sick that I had to close my eyes for the rest of the three-minute ride.
Then again, who doesn’t?
The air taxi mockup by South Korean company SK Telecom was one of the most eye-catching demonstrations at MWC, or Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest telecom industry trade show. At this week’s expo in Barcelona, tech companies and wireless carriers demonstrated advances in connecting people and businesses online, increasingly in new virtual reality worlds dubbed the metaverse.
Visitor Mark Varahona felt woozy after trying the flight experience, but he is still considering purchasing a virtual reality headset required to enter any immersive digital universe.
“I was considering purchasing it before coming here. “And maybe I’ll buy them now,” he said. “They appear to be quite nice.”
The metaverse exploded in popularity after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg declared it the next big thing for the internet in late 2021, renaming his social media empire and investing tens of billions of dollars in the concept.
The metaverse exploded in popularity.
He portrayed it as a 3D community where people can meet, work, and play, like trying on digital clothes, holding a virtual meeting, or taking an online trip.
However, as the initial excitement fades, concerns about the metaverse’s viability have emerged. According to NPD Research, sales of virtual reality headsets in the United States fell 2% in December compared to the previous year. Reality Labs, which makes Meta Quest headsets, posted an operating loss of $13.7 billion in 2022.
Meta has stated that it intends to employ 10,000 engineers in Europe to work on the metaverse. “Our expansion in Europe was always a long-term one planned over several years,” the company said when asked for an update. We will continue to support Europe.”
The “metaverse has not vanished,” according to Ben Wood, the principal analyst at CCS Insight. “However, there is much more skepticism about what role it will play, particularly in the consumer domain beyond the obvious areas like gaming.”
The difficulty in defining the metaverse has added to the skepticism. According to Tuong Nguyen, a Gartner analyst specializing in emerging technologies, it is not the same as virtual reality or its cousin, augmented reality.
“So, in the same way, that computers are related to the Internet, AR and VR are very closely related to the metaverse,” he explained. “Think of it as the evolution of the Internet, changing how we interact with the world.”
So, how should the flight simulator of SK Telecom be defined?
“Technically, it’s not metaverse, but kind of metaverse,” Ken Wohn, a company manager, explained.
At French wireless company Orange’s metaverse demonstration
Last year, South Korea’s largest telecom provider collaborated with Joby Aviation of California to develop an electric air taxi service for the country.
According to Wohn, air taxis could one day operate autonomously, using high-speed 5G wireless connections.
At French wireless company Orange’s metaverse demonstration, users were transported to a futuristic neon-hued technoscape with lightning bolts, giant robots, and a falcon carrying a green orb in its talons.
A dancing figure appeared, representing the movements of a real-life dancer wearing motion-capture gear. It was a stunning display, though it needed to be clarified what consumer purpose it served.
It demonstrates how new 5G networks will eliminate lag for metaverse users watching something far away, according to Miguel Angel Almonacid, Orange’s network strategy director for Spain.
Analysts believe the metaverse is better suited to practical purposes in the workplace.
“We’ll see traction first because the barriers aren’t as high,” Gartner’s Nguyen predicted. A worker, for example, could use augmented reality glasses to access diagnostics or an instruction manual.
La Frontera, a Spanish startup, uses the metaverse to provide virtual meetings with “realistic avatars,” according to Marta Ortiz, a business development executive who guided me through the company’s metaverse.
We began our journey on a beach with boulders, palm trees, and a light blue sea. Her avatar appeared as a head and shoulders, with disembodied hands hovering before her chest. We entered a conference room with a boardroom table, where I picked up 3D objects like a toy ray gun and a bottle of Champagne with handheld controllers.
The virtual world could also be useful for displaying products too large to transport easily
Training for risky, repetitive, or highly detailed procedures, such as surgery, is another example of a metaverse application.
The beach vanished, replaced by a burning overturned tanker truck. A fire extinguisher was suspended in midair. Ortiz instructed me to grab it with my virtual hand and spray it at the dying flames.
The virtual world could also be useful for displaying products too large to transport easily, such as private jets.
They may also be too small for humans.
The setting changed to a science-fiction setting, with crimson walls rising around us to represent the inside of a blood vessel. Blood cells in the shape of doughnuts floated by, followed by spiky orbs. The blood vessel’s wall collapsed, revealing pulsing white streaks on a blue background representing neurons in the brain.
La Frontera collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to “demonstrate how a drug works in the body at a cellular level,” according to Ortiz. It was a medicine used to treat multiple sclerosis, which attacks brain neurons.
SOURCE – (AP)
AI Learns To Outsmart Humans In Video Games – And Real Life in 2023
Driving around a French village in Gran Turismo, you might notice a Corvette trying to catch your slipstream.
Skilled players of PlayStation’s realistic racing game prefer to use the draft of an opponent’s racecar to speed up and overtake them.
But this Corvette driver isn’t being guided by a human — it’s GT Sophy, a powerful artificial intelligence agent created by Sony.
Gran Turismo players have been competing against computer-generated racecars since the franchise’s inception in the 1990s; the new AI driver released last week on Gran Turismo 7 is smarter and faster because it was trained using the most advanced AI methods.
“Gran Turismo had a built-in AI from the start, but it has a very narrow performance band and isn’t very good,” said Sony AI’s chief operating officer Michael Spranger. “It’s extremely predictable. It no longer entices you once you’ve reached a certain level.”
But now, he says, “this AI is going to fight back.”
When you visit an artificial intelligence laboratory at a university or a company like Sony, Google, Meta, Microsoft, or ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, it’s not uncommon to see AI agents like Sophy racing cars, slinging angry birds at pigs, fighting epic interstellar battles, or assisting human gamers in creating new Minecraft worlds – all part of the job description for computer systems trying to learn how to get smarter in games.
it’s not uncommon to see AI agents like Sophy racing cars
However, in some cases, they also attempt to learn how to become smarter in the real world. A University of Cambridge researcher who created an AI agent to control Pokémon characters argued in a January paper that it could “inspire all sorts of applications that require team management under conditions of extreme uncertainty, such as managing a team of doctors, robots, or employees in an ever-changing environment, such as a pandemic-stricken region or a war zone.”
While this may sound like a child arguing for three more hours of Pokémon Violet, game research has been used to advance AI research — and train computers to solve complex problems — since the mid-20th century.
Initially, AI was used to test winning strategy games such as checkers and chess. A new field of study now focuses on performing open-ended tasks in complex worlds and interacting with humans rather than just beating them.
“Reality is like a super-complicated game,” said Nicholas Sarantinos, who co-wrote the Pokémon paper and recently turned down a doctoral offer at Oxford University to launch an AI company to assist corporate workplaces in forming more collaborative teams.
Tarantino created an algorithm to analyze a team of six Pokémon in the web-based Pokémon Showdown battle simulator, predicting how they would perform based on all of the possible battle scenarios ahead of them and their comparative strengths and weaknesses.
That real humans behave very differently than fictional video game creatures,
Microsoft, which owns the popular Minecraft game franchise and the Xbox game system, has given AI agents tasks ranging from avoiding lava to chopping trees and building furnaces. Researchers hope that some of their discoveries will eventually play a role in real-world technology, such as how to program a home robot to do certain chores.
While it “goes without saying” that real humans behave very differently than fictional video game creatures, “the core ideas can still be used,” Tarantino says. “If you use psychological tests, you can use this information to determine how well they can collaborate.”
Amy Hoover, an assistant professor of informatics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology who developed algorithms for the digital card game Hearthstone, stated that “there is a reason for studying games,” but it is not always obvious.
“People don’t always get that the point is about the optimization method rather than the game,” she explained.
According to Vanessa Volz, an AI researcher at the Danish startup Modl.ai, which builds AI systems for game development, games also provide a useful testbed for AI, including some real-world robotics or healthcare applications that are safer to try in a virtual world.
“It can get overhyped,” she adds.
“It’s unlikely that there will be one big breakthrough, and everything will be shifted to the real world,” Volz predicted.
Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020
Sony launched its own AI research division in 2020 with entertainment in mind, but it has nonetheless attracted broader academic interest. Its research paper introducing Sophy was featured on the cover of the prestigious science journal Nature last year, with the journal stating that it could have implications for other applications such as drones and self-driving vehicles.
Sophy’s technology is based on an algorithmic method known as reinforcement learning, which trains the system by rewarding it when it gets something right as it runs thousands of virtual races.
“The reward will tell you that you’re making progress. ‘This is good,’ or ‘You’ve gone off the rails. “Well, that’s not good,” I say. Spranger explained.
At tournaments, the world’s best Gran Turismo players continue to finish ahead of Sophy, but average players will find it difficult to beat — and can adjust difficulty settings depending on how much they want to be challenged.
PlayStation players can only race against Sophy on a limited number of circuits until March 31, so it can gather feedback and return to testing. According to Peter Wurman, director of Sony AI America and project lead on GT Sophy, training AI agents on 20 PlayStations takes about two weeks.
“It will take some more breakthroughs and time before we’re ready,” he said.
And getting it onto real-world streets or Formula One track? That could take a long time.
Autonomous vehicle companies use similar machine-learning techniques, but “they don’t hand over complete control of the car the way we can,” Wurman said. “In a simulated world, no one’s life is in danger. You know exactly what you’re going to see in the environment. There are no cars on the road or anything like that.”
SOURCE – (AP)
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