Researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed an algorithm that can find predictive patterns in unfamiliar data and performs better than two-thirds of human teams.
Paul J. Zak: It is quiet and dark. The theater is hushed. James Bond skirts along the edge of a building as his enemy takes aim. Here in the audience, heart rates increase and palms sweat. I know this to be true because instead of enjoying the movie myself, I am measuring the brain activity of a dozen viewers. For me, excitement has a different source: I am watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.
The world of work is changing. In the coming years we won’t be working the same way as we have been over the past few years. Perhaps one of the most important underlying factors driving this change is the coming shift around who drives how work gets done.
If addictive behaviors rewire the brain, the challenge is to erase these patterns of behavior.
Addictive substances are known to rewire the brain, but addictive behaviors do as well, according to a new article published in the journal Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews. It’s not just what is consumed, but what is experienced that can make the brain crave the experience in the same manner it can be taught to crave a drug.
There are slow lanes, fast lanes, and bike lanes. And now, at least for a little while, there’s a lane for cellphone users.
Here’s what you might see on a typical week when users took part in a friendly competition to rank themselves against their friends and colleagues in weekly step counts.
When introducing a new product it is essentially an exercise in persuading people to change their behavior. Many companies try to tackle this challenge by making the functional benefits of the new seem so much more compelling than the old. But this approach rarely works. After all, how many of us as children enjoyed eating our vegetables just because our moms said they were better for us than dessert?
A Unify survey of knowledge workers recently found that 79% of the respondents reported working always or frequently in virtual teams, but only 44% found virtual communication as productive as face-to-face communication. The vast majority connected via email, phone, or conference calls even though 72% said video would make teamwork easier. Only 34% of people use video to collaborate with coworkers. And 43% feel confused and overwhelmed by the mishmash of collaboration technology at their disposal.
Apple wants to measure your mood through body sensors, user habits, and consumer data.
Apple wants to know more about its users–specifically how they are feeling, to be able to better serve ads. A patent application published Thursday by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office shows Apple is looking at the possibility of measuring users’ mood to better target content.
Women are more likely to form social alliances and then manage threats from outsiders through social exclusion.
In a lab at McMaster University in Ontario, researchers took 86 straight women and paired them off into groups of two—either with a friend or a stranger. There, a researcher told them they were about to take part in a study about female friendships. But they were soon interrupted by one of two women.
Changes in a dog’s behavior could clue us into problems in their owners’ lives.
Lassie’s barking may have saved many humans from a barn or forest fire, but Newcastle University researchers in England say that even more subtle changes in a dog’s behavior could clue us into problems in their owners’ lives–especially if those owners are older, isolated, and might eschew Fitbits and other wearable tracking devices themselves.
The big money has moved from developing psychiatric drugs to manipulating our brain networks.
Has the psychiatric drug age reached its peak? Mind-altering drugs have are being prescribed in record numbers but there are signs of a radically new approach to understanding and treating mental illnesses. A huge research effort is now devoted to altering the function of specific neural circuits by physical intervention in the brain and the focus is no longer on developing drugs.
Google Now has a near-magical ability to anticipate the information you’ll need throughout a day.
Social media sites already add a personal layer to our online experience. Next-generation web services now tapping the power of the cloud and massive data sets to bring us a new level of personalization in recommendations and behavioral predictions.