Month: May 2018

When Robots Get Bored and Invent Team Sports: A More Suitable Test than the Turing Test?

Increasingly, the Turing test—which is used to show that artificial intelligence has achieved human-level intelligence—is being regarded as an insufficient indicator of human-level intelligence. This essay extends arguments that embodied intelligence is required for human-level intelligence, and proposes a more suitable test for determining human-level intelligence: the invention of team sports by humanoid robots. The test is preferred because team sport activity is easily identified, uniquely human, and is suggested to emerge in basic, controllable conditions. To expect humanoid robots to self-organize, or invent, team sport as a function of human-level artificial intelligence, the following necessary conditions are proposed: humanoid robots must have the capacity to participate in cooperative-competitive interactions, instilled by algorithms for resource acquisition; they must possess or acquire sufficient stores of energetic resources that permit leisure time, thus reducing competition for scarce resources and increasing cooperative tendencies; and they must possess a heterogeneous range of energetic capacities. When present, these factors allow robot collectives to spontaneously invent team sport activities and thereby demonstrate one fundamental indicator of human-level intelligence.


When Robots Get Bored and Invent Team Sports: A More Suitable Test than the Turing Test?
Hugh Trenchard

Information 2018, 9(5), 118;


Will the New Ring Vaccination Stop the Spread of Ebola?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and news reports are describing the deployment of a new experimental vaccine for Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Originally 4,000 doses were sent to the country, and while the number is growing to 8,000 or more, there are still not enough to widely inoculate the city of Mbandaka with a population of over a million. Reports describe how the vaccine will be used in a "ring vaccination" technique. In ring vaccination, those who are most likely to be infected receive the vaccine. Currently this is being done by inoculating the known contacts of the sick and the contacts of the contacts, as well as healthcare workers. Prior experiments suggest that the vaccine can prevent the disease in those individuals.


Yaneer Bar-Yam, Will the new ring vaccination stop the spread of Ebola?, New England Complex Systems Institute (May 23, 2018).


Innovation, Economic Complexity and Economic Geography Workshop

The workshop aims to bring together experienced researchers with young scholars in the fields of Innovation, Economic Complexity and Economic Geography to understand knowledge accumulation and spillovers through products, people and places. Those interested in interdisciplinary research, especially bridging a gap between these topics are strongly encouraged to apply.  Complementary to the workshops provided there will also be young scholar presentations where the invited speakers will provide feedback in their respective relevant sessions. 


August 5-7, 2018
MIT Media Lab, E14 – 633
75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA