Issue #143

This week – drones on the catwalk; Josiah Zayner regrets his stunts; China invests more in AI than US; lawyers vs AI – 0:1; and more!


More than a human

A Biohacker Regrets Publicly Injecting Himself With CRISPR

Josiah Zayner became a face of the biohacking movement. He got famous for his self-experiments and selling DIY CRISPR kits. In this interview with The Atlantic, he reflects on what he has unleashed and what is the role of biohackers in the world.

 

The Fable of the Dragon-Tyrant

By Nick Bostrom. It is a story about a dragon terrorising humanity and demanding daily tribute of thousands of people as a sacrifice. The dragon is a metaphor for death and actions of the humanity in the story reflect our relationship with death which is currently a passive acceptance but there are people right now who want to make death a ghost of the past. They want to kill the dragon.

 

Order Drinks With Your Mind

This guy built a mind-reading machine that makes drinks. He uses his mind to choose a drink he wants and then a barbot will prepare it.

 

This Guy Injected His Dick With Stem Cells to Try to Make It Bigger

It had to happen sooner or later.

 

Artificial Intelligence

China overtakes US in AI startup funding with a focus on facial recognition and chips

Technology analysts CB Insights reports that China has overtaken the US in the funding of AI startups. The country accounted for 48 percent of the world’s total AI startup funding in 2017, compared to 38 percent for the US.

 

An AI just beat top lawyers at their own game

Another AI vs humans contest and another victory for the machines. US top lawyers recently battled artificial intelligence in a competition to interpret contracts — and they lost. The human lawyers achieved, on average, an 85 percent accuracy rate, while the AI achieved 95 percent accuracy. The AI also completed the task in 26 seconds, while the human lawyers took 92 minutes on average. The AI also achieved 100 percent accuracy in one contract, on which the highest-scoring human lawyer scored only 97 percent. In short, the human lawyers were trounced.

 

How Artificial Intelligence Enables the Economics of Abundance

Here is a very interesting article by Carlos E. Perez on how AI is driving the next industrial revolution that changes the world and how we think about such concepts like scarcity and leads us towards the world of abundance.

 

How To Become A Centaur

The AI is often portrayed as an enemy. An alien. A threat. And in this battle us vs them, there can be only one winner. But some people propose another solution in which both sides win. It’s called Intelligence Augmentation and it proposes to use AI to help us be better.

 

Robotics

What Roboticists Are Learning From Early Generations of Lifelike Humanoid Robots

Basically, they have learned that making human-like robots is extremely hard. We humans are really good at identifying other humans. You just need one thing off and the whole illusion of speaking with a human breaks.

 

Dolce & Gabbana used drones to carry handbags down the runway instead of models

Who needs humans on the catwalk when you can have drones. It is 2018 after all.

 

Forget Ikea, MIT’s robotic carpenters help you create your own furniture

Meet AutoSaw – a project developed by engineers at MIT where carpentry robots cut a custom furniture for you to assemble. For now, the main purpose of the AutoSaw project is to reduce wood cutting-related injuries by having robots handle the actual cutting but who knows, maybe soon an army of robot carpenters will be making a new table for you.

 

Biotechnology

Inching closer to a DNA-based file system

Researchers from Microsoft and University of Washington added the concept of random access to files stored in DNA. While it is incredibly slow to store and retrieve data from DNA, we know that information can be pulled out of DNA that’s tens of thousands of years old. And there have been some impressive demonstrations of the approach, like an operating system being stored in DNA at a density of 215 Petabytes a gram.