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tv   Click  BBC News  August 5, 2018 4:30am-5:01am BST

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these are the headlines: the venezuelan govenment says explosive drones were flown towards a military event attended by president maduro. shortly afterwards, the president broadcast to the nation to say he was well, and that neighbouring colombia's president was behind the attack. there has been no reponse so far from bogota. the former brazilian president, luiz lula da silva, has been nominated by his party to run in october's presidential elections, and that's despite serving a jail sentence for corruption. he's currently leading most opinion polls in brazil, but it's uncertain whether the electoral court will allow him to stand. the american first lady, melania trump, has come out in support of basketball star lebronjames, a day after the president questioned the nba player's intelligence on twitter. james had criticised mr trump, calling him "divisive". those are the main headlines. but now on bbc news,
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it's time for click. this week: do computers dream of electric puppies? can data prevent crop devastation? and will lara ever live down these shoes? planet earth is changing — daily. we humans are affecting its surface, its climate, its inhabitants. watching from ground level makes it difficult to make sense of it all, but these days we do have the data and we can crunch the numbers. and when it comes to understanding the really big issues,
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those that have effects on a truly global scale, visualising that data can turn millions of figures into something that everyone can understand. maps like these, created by carnegie mellon university's ea rthtime website, combine nasa satellite imagery with a wide range of datasets to produce visualisations of environmental and geopolitical events, from light pollution, to refugee movement, to the effects of coral bleaching on areas such as the great barrier reef. one particular area where modelling such as this can display the starkest impacts is flooding. you can see how important that extreme weather research that we looked at in miami is. raise the global temperature byjust two degrees and the sea engulfs the entire area. and this here is bangladesh, where rising water levels are putting many,
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many people at risk. in 2017, a third of the country was left underwater after monsoon rains, devastating crops and communities. but while technology can't prevent rainfall on this scale, it can make predictions to help those in remote communities to try and stay one step ahead of the weather. paul carter has been looking at how one insurance company has been using its knowledge of risk to help the farmers fight back against the rains. like farmers the world over, in bangladesh, they have to battle the elements. but in their case, severe flooding can be a regular occurrence. given the impact floods can have, weather information and advice on what farmers should do with their crops is disseminated to communities through phone voice messages. or via call centres, that farmers can ring in to. and for those who don't have phones or live in remote off—line areas,
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there are also weatherboards at district points where farmers can come to receive information. when floods destroyed this farmer's crops, it cost him about three months‘ wages. these initiatives were set up by the bangladeshi government and an international charity that helps communities find sustainable solutions through technology. and now, an app being piloted is taking things even further. the sesame app uses machine learning to combine historical knowledge of crop patterns with weather forecasts, so that farmers can make advanced decisions about when to prepare the land, plant and apply fertilisers. this farmer is being advised
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to apply a fungicide to protect the crops. although these measures can be a big help, poor communities are often unaware of how vulnerable they actually are to extreme weather, or what they can do to lower the risks. another platform being used by the charity is setting out to assess just this, measuring the strengths and weaknesses of communities like those in this district. using the frmt, or flood resilient management toolkit, representatives from the charity
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visit different communities to look at factors such as what crops are grown, weather patterns, what large buildings exist, and the flood prevention measures that are already in place. in all, the technology looks at 88 different indicators to come up with a very holistic picture of how an area can cope with bad weather. it's quite a departure from traditional outlooks, which mostly consider factors such as dams and reservoirs. the thinking behind this technology, though, comes from another country altogether, where flooding could also be an issue. 7,500 kilometres away, here in switzerland, a partnership between ibm and zurich insurance company has looked deeply into what makes for good flood resilience. in the last few decades, flash flooding has cost switzerland hundreds of millions of pounds.
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resilience for us is not just a new buzzword, like sustainability or something else. the big challenge of resilience is that you don't see it until the event has happened. so what we want to have is a set of strong indicators that tell you something about what might resilience look like if something happens and then how can we strengthen those indicators, so it's all about not being derailed and not falling into a poverty trap, despite that there are risks out there. the algorithm measures all the indicators and generates a numerical value on how resilient a population is. so this helps us use what we call engineering judgement, or expertjudgement, to start sorting and organising the data so you can come up with these numerical scores, and i think that's pretty unique approach that we have. technology has been pivotal, but it's also been kept simple so it can be used off—line. you need to work with simple devices, so you don't have the most expensive hardware either.
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how easy is it to sell resilience as a concept? i think we need to move away from this, you know, what is my saving if i do this? to much more a point of trying to answer the question, what's the cost of doing nothing? back in bangladesh, for farmers in this area, the cost of floods has been very high. just how vulnerable the area is is being revealed by the researchers. waterlogging hampers people's livelihoods and leads to mass migration. by working together and making proper plans, it's hoped that the technology could help reduce the risks to their livelihoods when floods hit. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that facebook removed a number of accounts from facebook and instagram. the social network believes the accounts were involved in a coordinated campaign to influence the upcoming us mid—term elections. and a usjudge has blocked the online release of blueprints for 3d printed guns. the work of american self—confessed cryptoa narchist kodi wilson,
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the plans for nine different kinds of 3d printed firearms were uploaded after a legal battle with authorities. technology retailer dixons carphone has admitted the data breach last year was bigger than thought, as 10 million, rather than 1.2 million customers, may have had their personal information accessed. maisie williams has exchanged winterfell for the web, after lodging a new app called daisy, which helps young people break into the creative industries through a mix of online networking and tips from big name stars like ed sheeran. the less said about ed's turn in westeros though, the better. and finally, surveillance cameras may be getting a makeover. that's if german outfit skysense and a spanish tech firm have their way. turning indoor drones into roving security cameras. the system will be fully automated, seeking out security threats and removing camera blind spots,
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so beloved of hollywood heist movies. things aren't always as they seem and, this week, i've been getting my hands, eyes, ears and feet on some of the latest, more unusual gadgets. i'm about to put on some glasses to listen to some music. wow! that's amazing. it's not quite bright enough for sunglasses, don't really need the sunglasses right now, but that sound is incredible and i can hear the world around me, i can hear some roadworks but i can also hear some cars, so that feels nice and safe. the voxos sunglasses, which can also be made as prescription lens glasses, use bone—conduction technology to provide sound and their built—in microphone means you can make calls too. 0h, hi mum! great, as long as you don't mind looking like this. or you could use them
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with a mapping app for directions. hey, siri, take me to brick lane. but whilst they do the job they claim to well, would you pay £200 quid for these sunglasses? and there are plenty of other interesting headphones out there. and here i have a pair of headphones that are all about recording 3—d audio. now, the microphones are positioned here, so they will be taking in the sound just as your ears would be. the aim being to recreate sound exactly as you hear it. hooke audio allows you to wirelessly pick up your surroundings in by neural sound, as well as catch
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video via your phone or with a wired connection if you're using a gopro or dslr. whilst you may get the greatest benefit from these at something like a live music event, i've been putting them to the test in everyday situations. now here there is music playing, people making juices and coffee, a lot of sound around. i'm going to record it, but at the same time it also takes a video. so i took a video somewhere quieter to listen back. they're not the most comfortable headphones to wear, but the focus here is on the recording element. 0k, well that may not have the most exciting of things to be listening to the sound from, but it really does feel like you are there, you can hear things happening over there, over there. the 3—d element really, really is impressive. so we're sorted for sound. next up is this. what do you think it could be? it's a wearable keyboard and mouse, of course. what else? once you've synced it to a bluetooth device, you are going to be able to type byjust tapping your hands on any hard surface. but i have to warn you, it takes quite a lot of practice. tap can be worn on either hand, and aside from its entire preset
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of typing, you can add your own commands. but to get the hang of it, there's an app that gamifies is the process of learning. ok, i have only learned how to do ten letters of the alphabet and it is already getting confusing. but the game is quite addictive, i am enjoying learning, but in terms of this becoming a quick and easy way to type, i'm slightly dubious, i would have to invest a lot of time. it can also be used to control apps or games, unless you'd be interested in an idea to burn extra calories whilst gaming. hmm, i'm about to go on a vr treadmill, the concept is not new but the consumer version is. and i have been warned that it is very, very slippery. 0h, 0k. the fact i am playing a computer game really does make this game quite compelling. goodness. i'm trying not to hit the walls. i am so glad i can hold on! how fast do they want me to run?
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i am going this way this time. testing all of this has been great fun, but it has just left me feeling like i would like to go outside for a normal run with just my normal pair of headphones. love the slip—slops, lara! and now we are popping back to mit in boston. i have come to the media lab containing floors and floors of experiments and research into to touch, taste, sight and sound. this place is full of really creative people, but behind this door are three guys that i try to make us all more creative by hacking our dreams. dreams are weird.
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mine are, at least. they are not really understood. but some think they can be useful in the waking world. it's not only the fact that you nap after thinking of a problem, but what you dream about during that nap drives problem—solving. really cool research showing that you have a ten times increase in the likelihood of solving a problem if you have a dream about that problem in a nap. the trick, though, is remembering what you've dreamed about. to do this, famously creative minds like salvador dali, nicola tesla and thomas edison all tried to wake themselves up once they entered this so—called "genius gap" between the conscious and the unconscious. they would do it by holding a steel ball or a spoon in their hand. when they dropped off, they dropped it, and it would bring them to. this is going to go on the inside, right in here.
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i am currently being fitted with the media lab‘s method, which involves a glove and talking robot. robot: you are falling asleep. what's happening here is we're taking these three bio—signals, your heart and your scan and your muscles, and we're looking for this state of sleep in between fully awake and fully asleep. what we're doing is, we are watching, watching, watching, and right as you descend into the next stage of sleep, we introduce a little audio from the robot. and that bit of audio knocks you, so you are not fully asleep. and then we see if whatever word we use will in fact enter the dream. by introducing the subject of your problem into your dream and then listening back to a recording of your so—called hypnogogic mumblings, you mayjust find that you hit on a creative solution. specifically because in that moment you are hyper—associative. your cognition is really elastic,
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it's really flexible. you don't have that same capacity to review and be critical of your thoughts, so you generate really weird, aberrant, divergent thoughts, things that come to you as dreams but which you can later use as creative insights. robot: you are falling asleep. if, that is, you can bear listening to the weird conversations that you end up having, like this recording of one experiment. robot: you are falling asleep. think of a fork. a fork. tell me, what are you thinking? in tests, the students found that people who used this method
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could think of more creative uses for objects and they wrote longer stories with more drawings. and, you know, something tells me that the sleep glove may have been used to come up with the concept for its own promo video. either that, or this is how adam likes to sleep most nights. and just before you take a nap to boost your creativity, here's a question we have asked their lot on this programme. can computers be creative? well, here are the winners of the recent $100,000 robot a rt contest. they have all been painted by a robot arm. and although this one is a copy
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of a well—known painting by cezanne, this one uses artificial intelligence to interpret an image, possibly the same way that a human artist would. and as computers learn more about the visual world, weird things start to happen. you have some artists who work with deep dream, hallucinatory aesthetic. then we have others who work with style transfer, which is about turning an image into something that looks like it has been made by monet or picasso. graphics company nvidia has previously used neural networks to absorb a bank of famous photos and then started growing its own nonexistent celebrities. now we have a new breed of artists, showing at places like the photographers gallery here in london. now, they are not photographers. they are not even posed photo cgi artists. they call themselves neurographers, and what they do is use two neural networks — one to create random images and one to curate them. you can think of the discriminator as a face expert.
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so then the generator tries again, gets rejected again. at 330, well, you don't see features yet, but i see faces. and 4000 tries later, a generator who has never seen a face before is pulling out features with faces. and these people don't exist. they are totally imagined. i'll let you guys decide for yourself if we're living in a world where machines now have an imagination. mario klingemann coined the term neurographer, and we caught up with him at bp3 prize for post—photography, which was presented at the photographers gallery. he isn't trying to create accurate human faces, but rather see if surprising and beautiful work can can be produced by ai. one of his neural networks has been trained on 19th—century portraiture, which can take a video of a real face and create something new from what it sees.
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i definitely see that many traditional artists are getting very fascinated with the potential of having that machine as a new source of inspiration for a new instruments to work with. as usual, i guess it will take quite a while until this becomes really a fully accepted element in contemporary art. not that the idea of creating and curating random images is all that new. it was something that francis bacon explained in a series of interviews with the bbc in the 1960s. if anything ever does work in my case, it works from that moment when consciously, i don't know what i'm doing. i often get that from people, saying that what i do reminds them of francis bacon.
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and i use this, well, kind of random influence. and also the part of throwing away is definitely part of the process, because in a few hours these models can produce hundreds, thousands of variations, and different images. currently i may be keeping 1% of what the model produces. the fact that many of these images are pleasing to look at does once again raise the question about what art is, and who or what is capable of producing it. in a recent book on artificial intelligence, new scientist argued that "if it is so easy to break down the style of some of the world's most original composers into computer code, that means some of the best human artists are more machinelike than we would like to think." robbie barratt is another ai artist known for his computer—generated landscapes, and as you enjoy them, you might ponder whether the question
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should no longer be, "are machines capable of creativity", but rather, "are some forms of creativity machinelike"? maybe this kind of religious appreciation of single pieces is something that will go away with this potential of the machines being able to produce more, and then the question is, yes, what do we appreciate then about them ? by the way, the music that you have been listening to while you've been watching this piece? well, no, it's not vivaldi. it was created by an artificial intelligence programmed by author, composer and scientist david cope. personally i thought it sounded brilliant, but i'm sure there are those watching who say that's because you have no taste, spence. fair enough. that's it for this week. and don't forget you can follow us on twitter and on facebook. thanks for watching, and we'll see you soon. hello.
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if you had the sunshine on saturday, there is more to come on sunday. like saturday, though, there will be more cloud once again across northern ireland and scotland and, at times, that could bring some showery rain, but for most, it is mainly dry and there will be a good deal of sunshine, as this area of high pressure continues to develop from the south—west. clear skies overnight for much of england and wales, will give way to sunshine by day. always more cloud though for scotland and northern ireland, with this front to the north—west actually bringing some rain later in the day — more on that in a moment. could just be some patchy rain fopr a time across the western side of scotland. the best of any breaks in the cloud
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the further east you are. some brighter sunny spells for northern ireland, even though there is a lot of cloud. but the lion's share of sunshine once again across england and wales. some fairweather cloud developing through the day. highs of 15 to 19 celsius for scotland. 21 for northern ireland. mid to high 20s celsius for much of england and wales, and getting close to 30 celsius for east anglia and south—east england. for many, it is a fine evening to come on sunday, with late spells of sunshine and clear skies overnight. but further north and west, i'm sure you can see, the cloud increasing, outbreaks of rain coming into scotland, northern ireland and slowly sinking its way south and eastwards. temperatures a little higher than they will have been on sunday night. 13 to 17 celsius the overnight low on monday morning. so this is how we start the new working week,
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holding on to high pressure. the heat and the sunshine across much of england and wales. further north and west that front really starting to make inroads, increasing the cloud and bringing further rain through monday morning across northern ireland and into scotland. behind that, you can see there is some fresher air trying to sink its way south—eastwards. but it is going to take its time to get across to much of england and wales, probably not until wednesday or thursday that we start to see a noticeable dip in temperature. for monday morning in a little bit more detail — further cloud and rain for northern ireland and scotland. some of that rain just perhaps getting into the far north of england through monday morning. but elsewhere, further south, it's going to stay dry and again,
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there will be plenty of sunshine. in fact, temperatures even higher again on monday, parts of east anglia and south—east england exceeding 30 celsius. notice the contrast as you head further north and west, the high teens to early 20 celsius so quite some contrast. that theme continues really for scotla nd, northern ireland, and the far north of england. it will be cooler here. there will be some showery rain at times through tuesday and wednesday but many places largely dry, particularly across northern england. head further south and east and, yes, we are hanging on to the sunshine but slowly you will start to see these temperatures starting to drop away. it stays dry but it will be turning cooler. bye— bye. welcome to bbc news — broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. these are our top stories: the venezuelan government says there's been an assassination attempt on president maduro, involving explosive drones at a military parade. shortly after the attack, mr maduro told the nation he was well, and that neighbouring colombia was behind the attack. nominated from a cell. brazil's former president — injailfor corruption — is chosen to make another run for the presidency.
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and lebron james gets the backing of the first lady, hours after the president makes insulting remarks about the us basketball star.
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