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Apes show Human-like Cognitive Skills Watching ‘King Kong’ Videos, reveals Study

"Apes are incredibly intelligent, which isn't so surprising given that they are our closest relatives, but I think that a lot of people underestimate the cognitive abilities of animals in general," Krupenye said

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FILE - Research shows chimpanzees, as well as bonobos and orangutans, share human-like ability to recognize when someone else's beliefs are wrong.

October 7, 2016: Scientists using homemade videos featuring a person in a King Kong costume have documented a remarkable cognitive skill shared by chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans: the human-like ability to recognise when someone else’s beliefs are wrong.

The research demonstrated that these great apes, humankind’s closest living evolutionary cousins, possess a capability thought until now to have been the exclusive domain of people, the scientists said Thursday.

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As individual apes were shown videos featuring a human actor and a costumed ape-like King Kong character, researchers tracked their eye movements. In the video, the human watches King Kong hide an object in one of two boxes. When the person leaves, King Kong moves the object to a new location.

When the person returns to find the object, the apes looked intently at the original spot in anticipation of the person searching there. Even though the apes knew the object had been moved, they understood that the human thought it was still there, said study co-leader Fumihiro Kano, a comparative psychologist at Kyoto University in Japan.

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The ability to think about others’ thoughts and emotions is at the heart of so much of human social behaviour, including our unique forms of communication, cooperation and culture, said study co-leader Christopher Krupenye.

At the core of this ability is understanding that others’ actions are guided not necessarily by reality but by their beliefs about reality, even when false, added Krupenye, a comparative psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany who worked on the study, published in the journal Science, at Duke University.

Human children fully develop this understanding by around age 4 or 5.

“Apes are incredibly intelligent, which isn’t so surprising given that they are our closest relatives, but I think that a lot of people underestimate the cognitive abilities of animals in general,” Krupenye said.

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By studying these apes, researchers seek to learn which aspects of human psychology are unique to people and which are shared with other apes and, thus, likely were present in the common ancestor that lived some 13 to 18 million years ago before the split of the evolutionary lineage of humans and those other species, Krupenye added.

Previous research showed that apes can reason about others’ goals and intentions, know what others can see, and understand what others know based on what those others have seen, Krupenye said. (VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?