Friday of the future: about how electric cars freeze in Russia, about testing quantum superiority and about the shortest day of the Earth

Greetings! Scientists and technologists are also people and also like to relax in the summer. This means that the share of scientific discoveries and

technological breakthroughs are inevitably declining, but there are still some things worth talking about. AI does not sleep and does not go on vacation, so this time there is a lot of news about machine intelligence.

Table of Contents

  • AI beat university math course
  • "Quantum Supremacy" is now verifiable
  • Single-core processor versus post-quantum encryption
  • "Alice" engaged in telephone fraud
  • Computers "Yandex" write music live
  • In Russia created a hybrid of a neural network and quantum computing
  • Microsoft moves to hydrogen fuel cells
  • Samsung supported self-repair
  • In Perm, they calculated how cold electric cars are in Russia
  • The shortest day in the history of the earth

AI beat university math course

Usually when we talk about what is artificialthe intellect has achieved some kind of yet another success, we immediately have to make a reservation - either its task was very highly specialized, or its capabilities so far correspond to the level of development, at best, of a schoolboy. It was this pattern that was noticed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The best AI models with the help of machine learning could solve the maximum problem from a school math textbook. The university course was too difficult for them. But as it turns out, it's all about learning. An AI trained only on textual examples could not pass the bar of 8% accuracy in high school math. Graph neural networks coped with university-level questions, but it took a week to train, which was not a satisfactory option. A completely different result was shown by the Codex model, built on OpenAI, after its training began with “fine tuning”. This setting consisted in the fact that neural networks showed examples of not only text, but also code, in fact, changing the task from “find the distance between two points” to “create a program that will find the difference between two points.”

Image from android-robot.com

The result exceeded all expectations.A properly trained neural network was able to easily analyze university programming textbooks and quickly find answers. To do this, the AI ​​converted the text into code and ran the code to get the answer to the question. As a result, the machine mind was able not only to solve problems, but also to generate new ones. At the same time, the control groups of MIT students could not tell which math questions were asked by human teachers and which were generated by the machine - they were equally correct and corresponded to the course. However, it is too early to say that the machine could already teach higher mathematics - Codex is not yet able to solve problems with a graphical component and high computational complexity. But a step in the direction of unloading teachers from part of the educational tasks, handing them over to AI, has already been made.

"Quantum Supremacy" is now verifiable

In the fall of 2019, representatives of Googlemade a statement about achieving the so-called "quantum supremacy". The reason was the message about the solution of the "unsolvable problem" to generate random numbers using the Sycamore computer, containing 53 superconducting qubits. Following immediately, two groups of Chinese scientists also announced that they had solved super-complex mathematical problems using similar computers, and therefore China can also be considered to have achieved "quantum superiority." However, a certain amount of cunning was always suspected in these statements - after all, it was possible to solve the problem only with the help of superconducting and photonic computers, it seems to be impossible to check the operation of which using conventional computer technology. But now the University of California at Berkeley has come up with a simple solution to the problem, one that makes it possible to demonstrate the achievement of "quantum supremacy" visually or to verify the claim with minimal effort.

Image from Nature website

The idea is based on the application of quantum physicsto cryptographic algorithms. To encrypt the data, so-called "secret functions with hard-to-detect teeth" are used - mathematical expressions that are supposedly impossible to reverse, and therefore access the encrypted information. However, for verification, they can be replaced by Bell's physical equations, which are the fundamental basis of quantum mechanics. The system created in this way sends to the quantum computer a set of data that corresponds to a cryptographic problem, but the result of its solution is easily verified by a conventional computer. As a result, one can clearly demonstrate the very fact of the quantum nature of computations.


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Single-core processor versus post-quantum encryption

Now let's talk about how "quantumsuperiority" in the data encryption system can generally be considered real. The post-quantum security algorithm SIKE, created to protect data from attacks carried out using quantum computers, has demonstrated its success as long as it was tried to be cracked by the most modern methods. However, against an old single-processor computer and mathematical tools developed many decades ago, he lasted only an hour. Considering that SIKE was supposed to protect against machine attacks that can break modern encryption systems literally on the fly, the result is stunning.

Image from website Ars Technica

As it turned out, the state-of-the-art algorithm (itonly being tested for the development of a US Department of Commerce data protection system) has a vulnerability to the so-called "glue and divide" theorem, developed back in 1997. Supplementing it with a number of other developments not fresh from 2000 and building the "adaptive GPST attack" described in 2016, the researchers cracked SIKE using a vulnerability in the SIDH protocol. The problem with this protocol is the use of auxiliary points and a certain degree of secret isogeny. A check by independent scientists showed that this hack really does not require either the latest mathematical apparatus or a super-powerful computer. The selected single-core sample cannot even be called obsolete, but this was done solely for demonstrative purposes. Note that the US Department of Commerce has been searching for a new data protection system since 2017, and the SIKE algorithm was one of the four final and four additional options that remained by the end of 2021. But earlier, the Rainbow cryptographic signature system also dropped out of their number, although its hacking by an IBM specialist was not so impressive, and therefore did not raise the question of how successful post-quantum encryption is in general.

"Alice" engaged in telephone fraud

And in Russia, unscrupulous citizens meanwhiletrying to break the logic of respectable citizens, using their trust in robots. The company "Yandex" reported that now phone scammers use the voice of the voice assistant "Alice" in order to gain access to banking information. The algorithm is extremely simple. The subscriber receives a call from some phone number, where a familiar pleasant voice says: “Hi, I'm Alice!”. This is followed by a “tempting” offer to make money in a quick and easy way on the stock exchange or in another way. Of course, the ultimate goal of such a call is to obtain information for accessing the subscriber's bank card and there is no "Alice" on the other end of the wire. The real "Alice" really knows how to operate with phone calls, but no one legally makes any financial offers through the Yandex robot.

As shown by a quick investigation from the company"Yandex", the attackers did not get any access to the algorithms of a real voice assistant and there is no generation of sentences by a neural network in such a fraudulent call. Human-dictated phrases are used that only look like the original robot. Which, in general, is not surprising, given that so far the budget of such attackers is far from what is required to develop even a simple neural network. However, the method of deception clearly demonstrates how much we have become accustomed to the fact that a voice assistant can help us in a variety of areas.

Computers "Yandex" write music live

Yes, Alice is unable to call on her own, butcomputers have been able to write music for a very long time. So, Neuromusic from Yandex, which debuted this week, should not cause much surprise. Although the very approach to the formation of the generated musical stream is quite interesting. The main problem with computer-generated music is usually that, like any other music, it can be liked or disliked by a particular person. In most cases, the neural network cannot find out what kind of music people like in any way, but will only rely on general ideas about harmony and rhythm, which vary over a very wide range. But if the neural network is given information about the preferences of a particular person in music, it can try to adjust by choosing those chords, melodies and rhythms that attract live musicians in the works. This is exactly what Yandex.Music did by launching the Neuromusic project. Interestingly, such a replacement of an endless playlist with an endless melody should be trained right in the process - riffs are evaluated on the go by likes and dislikes, forcing artificial intelligence to change the nature of the sound.

In Russia created a hybrid of a neural network and quantum computing

Scientists of the Lobachevsky University, Research Institute of Nuclear Physics, Moscow State University. M.V.

Lomonosov and Moscow Technical University of Communications and Informatics

developed a hybrid of neural networks and quantumcomputing. The resulting quantum neural network can process large arrays of photo and video information, and is also capable of transmitting, receiving and processing ultra-weak signals in space research. This is the same technology that is used in quantum computers, and such a hybrid neural network based on superconductors works. The advantage over modern neural networks and computers is not only greater versatility, but also a tenfold increase in performance while reducing the amount of energy consumed and heat generated. In the Russian development, a superconducting neuron circuit was chosen, which is used by D-Wave systems in quantum simulators.

Image from the site "Search"

Microsoft moves to hydrogen fuel cells

As you know, Microsoft has taken overcommitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. It would seem that for a corporation whose main business is the creation of software, such a problem as a carbon footprint is not extremely acute, even if we take into account the production of devices. However, the trendy green theme makes us look for and find problems that need to be addressed if we are talking about the consumption of fossil fuels. Such consumers for Microsoft turned out to be data centers scattered around the world. And this is not at all about the need to figure out how “green” energy is supplied to them, but about diesel generators that ensure their uninterrupted operation.

Image from website The Verge

They should be retiring soonbeing replaced by hydrogen fuel cells. Microsoft has announced that it has successfully tested a fuel cell system that can provide uninterrupted power to a large data center for at least two days. In total, Microsoft has about 10 thousand such data centers, so, despite the extremely rare active use of generators, they account for 1% of the company's total emissions. The system was tested with a capacity of 250 kW, but the company plans to purchase more powerful fuel cells of 3 MW, which corresponds to a typical generator for the Azure data center. The company also plans to help develop other renewable energy sources. To do this, it is supposed to use their productivity to create hydrogen reserves at times of excess energy generation by wind or solar stations. Unlike lithium batteries, which have a fixed capacity and must always be 100% charged, hydrogen produced by electrolysis can be stored in excess, and during periods of insufficient generation, its reserves can be used to balance local power grids.


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Samsung supported self-repair

In the US, it has been around for a long timea movement for the right of each user to independently break and fix their smartphone. The mouthpiece of this movement is traditionally the iFixit website, which regularly publishes information about the maintainability of various devices and ways to disassemble them. The ultimate goal of the self-repair movement is to maintain the factory warranty on homemade devices, which seems unattainable. However, recently it became known that Samsung decided to support this movement. No, it is out of the question to keep the warranty on devices repaired at home. The Korean giant is ready to supply such craftsmen with spare parts and instructions for repairs. The project was launched in the USA just with the mentioned iFixit resource and allows you to get all the necessary materials to restore the functionality and appearance of a number of models.

Image from website The Verge

So far, the program includes only smartphones of the linesGalaxy S20 and S21, as well as Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus tablets. Moreover, not all components are available for order - only the screen, the rear panel and the connection / power connector. If the project takes off, then in the future the company will expand the range and available types of repairs. For now, just such a small list and prices "as for affiliated service centers." So the budget of the enterprise is under some question. For example, a screen for a Samsung Galaxy S20 will cost $200 plus free shipping for recycling. Another question that worries everyone about replacing the battery has not yet been answered. iFixit has published instructions on how to replace it, but does not sell the part itself, Samsung representatives also do not comment on the supply of this part.

In Perm, they calculated how cold electric cars are in Russia

Distribution of electric vehicles in Russia goesmuch slower than in the major developed countries. Usually the most important problem is called the underdevelopment of infrastructure, which is quite fair. In most cities, public charging is not found, and even where they are, their number and charge rate leave many questions. However, there is an important factor that cannot be corrected by any infrastructure. Most of the territories of the Russian Federation are located in climatic zones, where temperatures are below or near zero for most of the year. Lithium batteries used in electric vehicles do not like such temperatures, and external factors only add additional load on any car in the autumn-winter-spring period. The calculations were varied, but mostly done “on the knee”, but at the Perm Polytechnic Institute they conducted a full-fledged scientific study, and now we can say with all scientific validity about how “freeze” electric vehicles are in Russia.

Image from website naked Science

"Road conditions, recovery efficiencyenergy in the power plant, that is, when there is a partial return of the energy previously spent on the movement of the electric vehicle, the terrain, the ambient temperature, the driving mode - all these are essential indicators that affect the range of the electric car. This is due both to low efficiency at suboptimal temperatures, and to the use of an air conditioner or heater to maintain the optimum temperature in the car. At the same time, the reduction in range can be up to 40 percent on cold winter or hot summer days, ”the study says. If you are interested in the details, then you can take them in the materials of the scientific-practical conference “Chemistry. Ecology. Urbanistics". Or, just thinking about buying an electric car, you can deduct at least half from its power reserve, because in addition to objective factors, there is also the fact that the manufacturer tends to overestimate the real mileage on a single charge, choosing a testing system that is most suitable for his model.

The shortest day in the history of the earth

You hardly noticed, but the last Wednesday of June wasthe shortest environment of your life. In any case, from the moment people learned to keep track of time using atomic clocks, it was on June 29, 2022 that the shortest period was recorded for which our planet made a complete revolution around its axis. And she did it 1.59 milliseconds faster than the prescribed 24 hours (8,640,000 milliseconds). Of course, due to fluctuations, the exact number of milliseconds each day varies slightly, but usually we are talking about fractions of a millisecond. In the long term, our planet generally slows down, at least it should, according to current science, so being ahead of schedule by one and a half milliseconds is a significant event. Moreover, in 2020 the planet has already shown a similar result, ahead of the due date by 1.47 ms. In total, since the beginning of such observations, the excess of the 24-hour schedule has been recorded 28 times. There are several theories at once that explain such accelerations, but none of them is generally accepted. But if the acceleration trend continues, then in the future our days may become shorter, scientists will have to subtract a whole second from the readings of atomic clocks, which not only has never been done, but was not even supposed to be done.

Image from the Daily Mail website

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