We have entered three digits!
In this issue, we have a video about cyborgs from Isaac Arthur, discussions about gene editing and designer babies, cryonics and brain-computer interfaces. Plus, AI and the theory of everything, Chinese battle mech to challenge US’ Megabot, CRISPR to cure HIV and more!
More than a human
What are cyborgs and how they differ from bionics, androids, and similar concepts, explained by Isaac Arthur. If you are not subscribed to his channel, please fix it. Isaac does a great job taking sci-fi concepts and explaining how possible they are using science.
Mike from PBS Idea Channel looks closely on genetic engineering, CRISPR and playing with the human genome. What lines we can cross and what will it mean for humanity? Mike excellently packs all the ethical concerns around human gene-editing and CRISPR in 15 minutes long video.
Or “How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids – and the Kids We Have”
Everyone is hacking the brain these days…
The quest for hacking the brain had begun and some people are already questioning the idea. Which is good. Before we allow to put something inside out brains it’s worth looking at pros and cons of the technology and think about everything that can go wrong before we start to use it.
One journalist decided to explore the concept of cryonics and body preservation after death. As she wrote: “I went into it a skeptic—and I still don’t think it’ll work. And yet I’m sold.”
If you are a maker this might be interesting. Google has made a free hardware kit that adds speech recognition to Raspberry Pi. This move, along with Alexa being available on Raspberry Pi, might result in a wave of everyday devices controlled by voice. “Toaster, make me a sandwich!”
Interesting point made by Demis Hassabis, the founder of DeepMind.
According to expert Ben Ross, human-level AI is something that we will see in our lifetime, and we’d better be prepared for it — because whether it will be a force of good or destruction is actually in our hands.
“Had artificial intelligence been named something less spooky, it might seem as prosaic as operations research or predictive analytics”, says Jerry Kaplan. That’s why the researchers coined the term “machine learning” to distance themselves from the term “artificial intelligence”.
The future is now!
Soon, there will be a new crew member on ISS. It won’t be a human. It will be a robot named Astrobee, floating around the space station and keeping eye on stuff.
Scientists have shown that HIV can be completely annihilated from the body using CRISPR. And with impressive effect. After just one treatment, scientists were able to show the technique had successfully removed all traces of the infection within mouse organs and tissue. The technique is still in early stages and needs to be improved, but we might be closer to a cure for cancer.