Microsoft's conversational system for speech recognition has achieved a 5.1 percent error rate, its best performance to date and at a level of parity with human transcribers. Next steps include deeper understanding of meaning.
Nope. But that won't stop people from talking about it. Graham Hancock, a reporter, is also a conspiracy theorist and “alternative historian.” It is in these latter roles that he has pursued most of his life work, promulgating the theory that long before the civilizations of ancient Babylonia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, a highly advanced race lived on our planet until it was decimated by a comet strike about 12,000 years ago. Moreover, their annihilation is no mere tragedy: it is a warning to modern humanity.
Even if you’re not that into heavy science, you’re probably familiar with Schrödinger’s cat, the thought experiment that allows us to consider quantum states in which more than one state is possible at once. The cat is in a box that is closed, and with it is a vial of poison, a hammer that can smash the vial, a geiger counter, and a trace amount of radioactive material. The radioactive material, however, is such a small amount that the geiger counter has only a 50 percent chance of detecting it. If it does, it will trigger the hammer’s smashing of the vial, and the cat will die.