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Power of Words: The Story of Spiritual Form of Logging in the Solomon Islands

The people of Solomon islands practice curse magic which involved cursing and yelling at the tree in order to bring it down

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Solomon Islands
A village in Solomon Islands. Wikimedia
  • Solomon Islands is a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean
  • Culturally, the story of Solomon’s curse practice is both powerful and positive
  • While there is no validity of truth, the mythological moral of the story is important for a healthy life

June 24, 2017: There is an impactful story that exists in the Soloman Islands, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. In a village, some people use a spiritual form of logging.

The story goes that the villagers in order to bring down a tree that is otherwise too thick to cut down, practice a form of curse magic. The trees that are too big to be chopped down are cursed and yelled at powerfully. This practice continues for thirty days after which the tree surrenders and dies. The villagers believe it has worked for them every time.

ALSO READ: Significance of Touching Someone’s Feet in Hinduism

While there is no scientific validity to this story, it is, however, a remarkably thoughtful narration. It magically portrays the power of words, thought, and what some might consider aura and energy of the individual. This process of ‘yelling and felling’ is dangerously true in real life.

Buddha’s ‘You are what you think’ is the essence of the story of Solomon Islands. When the villagers curse, their whole intent to break the tree’s spirit is so strong that they successfully commit the murder. Psychologically, over the 30 days what the villagers keep repeating becomes their strong belief.

The story of Solomon Islands was first mentioned in Bruce H. Lipton’s ‘The Biology of Life’.

– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Researchers Teaching Artificial Intelligence to Connect Senses Like Vision and Touch

The new AI-based system can create realistic tactile signals from visual inputs

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Artificial intelligence, road infrastructure
The fully-automated system is based on AI-powered object detection to identify street signs in the freely available images. Pixabay

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can learn to see by touching and to feel by seeing.

While our sense of touch gives us capabilities to feel the physical world, our eyes help us understand the full picture of these tactile signals.

Robots, however, that have been programmed to see or feel can’t use these signals quite as interchangeably.

The new AI-based system can create realistic tactile signals from visual inputs, and predict which object and what part is being touched directly from those tactile inputs.

Teaching, Artificial Intelligence, Researchers
) A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI). Pixabay

In the future, this could help with a more harmonious relationship between vision and robotics, especially for object recognition, grasping, better scene understanding and helping with seamless human-robot integration in an assistive or manufacturing setting.

“By looking at the scene, our model can imagine the feeling of touching a flat surface or a sharp edge”, said Yunzhu Li, PhD student and lead author from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

“By blindly touching around, our model can predict the interaction with the environment purely from tactile feelings,” Li added.

The team used a KUKA robot arm with a special tactile sensor called GelSight, designed by another group at MIT.

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Using a simple web camera, the team recorded nearly 200 objects, such as tools, household products, fabrics, and more, being touched more than 12,000 times.

Breaking those 12,000 video clips down into static frames, the team compiled “VisGel,” a dataset of more than three million visual/tactile-paired images.

“Bringing these two senses (vision and touch) together could empower the robot and reduce the data we might need for tasks involving manipulating and grasping objects,” said Li.

The current dataset only has examples of interactions in a controlled environment.

Teaching, Artificial Intelligence, Researchers
While our sense of touch gives us capabilities to feel the physical world, our eyes help us understand the full picture of these tactile signals. Pixabay

The team hopes to improve this by collecting data in more unstructured areas, or by using a new MIT-designed tactile glove, to better increase the size and diversity of the dataset.

“This is the first method that can convincingly translate between visual and touch signals”, said Andrew Owens, a post-doc at the University of California at Berkeley.

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The team is set to present the findings next week at the “Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition” in Long Beach, California. (IANS)