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Jim Davies

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    AI Is Already Making Moral Choices for Us. Now What?

    Delphi uses machine learning to tell us right from wrong—and much in between.

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    You Can Save More Animals by Donating $100 Than Going Vegan

    By now everybody’s heard about the terrible treatment that pigs and chickens get in factory farms. For many, the solution seems obvious: eat less meat. But let’s look at that solution in terms of how effective it is. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average American eats about 30 farm animals […]

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    Why AI Lags Behind the Human Brain in Computational Power

    It might be more accurate to think of many of the brain’s 10 billion neurons as being deep networks, with five to eight layers in each one.

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    Weird Dreams Train Our Brains to Be Better Learners

    For many of us over the last year and more, our waking experience has, you might say, lost a bit of its variety. We spend more time with the same people, in our homes, and go to fewer places. Our stimuli these days, in other words, aren’t very stimulating. Too much day-to-day routine, too much […]

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    Here’s Where Our Minds Sharpen in Old Age

    Fluid intelligence has several aspects, and aging affects them differently.

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    Why Your Sleeping Brain Replays New Rewarding Experiences

    It turned out that, yes, the participants’ brains revealed they were doing a kind of “neural replay” of the game they had been manipulated to win.Illustration by Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock During this Olympics, I’ve been rooting for Kelleigh Ryan, who is on the women’s foil team. She’s from Ottawa, where I live. Whenever she […]

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    New Evidence That Therapy Can Make You Happier

    What are the interventions that are supposed to make us happier? What doesn’t work? And if something does work, how much good does it do?Pixabay In “All Eyes on Me,” a song from his new Netflix special Inside, the musician-comedian Bo Burnham pauses to ask, “You want to hear a funny story?” He tells us […]

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    Do We Have Free Will? Maybe It Doesn’t Matter

    It’s hard to change people’s beliefs about free will. So, it can feel like a relief to realize that even when you can change people’s beliefs, it seems to make no moral difference anyway.Illustration by Triff / Shutterstock Belief is a special kind of human power. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist at the University of Notre […]

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    What If You Could Describe Your Dreams While Dreaming?

    The potential to hack our dreams opens a new frontier for mental research.

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    This Is How Your Brain Walks the Dog—a Dialogue

    Habits: You two were arguing, I just kept walking. Felt like the right thing to do.Photograph by evrymmnt / Shutterstock INT. HOME OFFICE—DAY BODY, a middle-aged woman, is working at a computer, trying to finish a plan for the household budget. Habits Oh! It’s time to walk the dog. BODY stops typing. Central Executive Uh, […]