This week – Google AI makes phone calls for you; is the future transhuman; Boston Dynamics robot gets some fresh air; extending lifespan of dogs before humans; and more!
More than a human
This article from The Guardian brings closer the ideas of transhumanism to a wider audience. “Ultimately, by merging man and machine, science will produce humans who have vastly increased intelligence, strength, and lifespans; a near embodiment of gods.”, the author writes.
A story of Open Bionics and its COO, Samantha Payne, from the beginning to the first prototype to building a community around 3D printed prosthetic arms to releasing a medical approved prosthetic arm and beyond.
Become Dr. Octopus, that’s what you do.
Having a chip implanted in a body is a terrifying thought for some people. The concerns about privacy and exploiting the data gathered by such devices tops the list. This article goes through them one by one and explains that it is not that terrifying as people might think.
At the recent Google I/O conference, Google AI team presented Duplex – an AI assistant that can make phone calls for you. In this blog post, they explain how the system works and show examples where an AI made a call to a restaurant and booked a table by talking to a real human.
Researchers have created a neural network that can generate completely new levels for Doom and Super Mario. The networks they have created can find use in game design in generating initial levels for human designers to adjust.
Apparently, Uber’s self-driving car that was involved in a fatal accident on March 18th this year “decided” to ignore the woman in front of it leading up to the crash. That is, it “saw” the woman, and made the decision “it didn’t need to react right away.” To remedy an overpowering number of “false positives” — hindrances in the road that pose no real threat, like a piece of cardboard — the threshold of Uber’s software was “tuned” so low, that even a grown woman with a bicycle did not trigger an immediate response.
It’s spring and Boston Dynamics released Atlas the humanoid robot to roam in the sun and get some fresh air.
Flying aircraft carriers that launch and recover fleets of small, inexpensive drones could soon be part of the U.S. military arsenal, as the Pentagon works with private technology partners to engineer that vision into reality. The program, code-named “Gremlins,” calls for the two companies to demonstrate the safe and reliable aerial launch and recovery of multiple unmanned aircraft.
This article comes from World Economic Forum website. It concludes with a statement that “a prohibition on the development and use of lethal autonomous weapons systems is not the simple solution it appears to be. ”
Japan’s quickly ageing workforce forces companies to look for robots to jump into spots left by retired human workers.
George Church, the world’s most influential synthetic biologist is behind a new company that plans to rejuvenate dogs using gene therapy. Rejuvenate Bio plans first to solve the problem of ageing in dogs and then move to humans. The company, which has carried out preliminary tests on beagles, claims it will make animals “younger” by adding new DNA instructions to their bodies
Researchers have created a new CRISPR platform named MAGESTIC or “multiplexed accurate genome editing with short, trackable, integrated cellular barcodes”. It makes CRISPR less like a blunt cutting tool and more like a word processor by enabling an efficient “search and replace” function for genetic material. Announced in a Nature Biotechnology paper, MAGESTIC also produced a sevenfold increase in cell survival during the editing process.
Dutch scientists have built “synthetic” embryos in their laboratory using mouse cells other than sperm and eggs. The stem cell breakthrough, described in Nature journal, is not for cloning people or animals, but about understanding why many pregnancies fail at an early stage – implantation. The embryos, made in a dish, attached to the womb lining of live female mice and grew for a few days.