Issue #168

This week – OpenAI faces the best players in Dota 2 championships; a drone saves swimmers in Spain; Kalashnikov showcases a mech robot; and more news and articles on transhumanism, artificial intelligence, robotics and biotech!


More than a human

Developing bionics: How IBM is adapting mind-control for accessibility

IBM Research recently developed an end-to-end proof-of-concept for a method of controlling an off-the-shelf robotic arm with a brain-computer interface built using a take-home EEG monitor. To accomplish this, the researchers developed AI to interpret the data from the EEG monitor as commands for the robotic arm.

 

Some People Worry if Rejuvenation is Available they May be Forced to Use it

It is possible that in the future people who reject the rejuvenation due to various reasons might be discriminated or forced to use these therapies. It is an interesting ethical question to ponder on which we might have to answer soon.

 

Robotic Exoskeleton Helps People With Neurological Disorders

This robotic exoskeleton helps people get their mobility back. Harmony, the robotic exoskeleton, can assist individuals who have had strokes or spinal injuries.

 

Transhumanism around the world

 

Artificial Intelligence

Elon Musk’s OpenAI ‘Dota’ Team Is About to Face Off at a $11M Tournament

OpenAI is joining “International” Dota 2 championships with their OpenAI Five team of AI agents. OpenAI is coming fresh from winning a match against a semi-professional team in San Francisco earlier this month. As I am writing this issue, OpenAI has lost its first match. Will see how the other games will play out.

 

Safety-first AI for autonomous data centre cooling and industrial control

DeepMind’s AI found a job in Google. In 2016, DeepMind developed an AI-powered recommendation system to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s data centres. Now, they have taken the system to the next level: instead of human-implemented recommendations, the AI system is directly controlling data centre cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of data centre operators. Result – more efficient data centres and less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

 

DeepMind Has A Superhuman Level Quake 3 AI Team

Two Minute Papers, a YouTube channel explaining AI research papers, explains how DeepMind trained AI bots to play Quake 3 better than humans. The video strikes a good balance between depth and accessibility of the explanation.

 

Robotics

Fusion: A Collaborative Robotic Telepresence Parasite That Lives on Your Back

At Keio University in Japan, roboticists have developed a new kind of telepresence robot that’s designed to (as literally as possible) allow you to remotely inhabit the body of someone else in order to assist them with manipulation tasks. It has to be an interesting experience for both the operator and the operated.

 

Nigeria set to use drones to tackle growing problem of livestock theft

Nigeria’s Osun State is set to use drones in its bid to address the growing problem of livestock theft and attacks in the region. Added to the use of drones, the state has also built a call center and has announced an SMS shortcode which people in Osun State, especially farmers, can use to track the movement of live stocks in the surrounding areas.

 

Rolling robots could be coming to Dallas sidewalks

Dallas might become yet another US city which allows delivery robots in the city. Dallas officials are considering whether to green-light a pilot of autonomous delivery devices. The robots, which are powered by an electric battery, could deliver groceries, takeout, medicine or other items to customers’ doorsteps. If it gets the City Council’s blessing at a meeting later this month, the rolling robots could be deployed as early as November.

 

Robotic hand with fast response time

Here is a pretty cool robotic hand presented at this years Tokyo Maker Fair.

 

General Drones’ Auxdron Lifeguard UAV Rescues Swimmer in Spain

This is the second case of a lifeguard drone saving people. This story is a good example of drones used in an emergency to save lives.

 

Talking to an android: Meet ERICA

A research team from Kyoto University, Osaka University, and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute, or ATR, has significantly upgraded the interaction system for conversational android ERICA, giving her even greater dialogue skills.

 

China shows off automated doctors, teachers and combat stars

China is heavily investing in robotics. At the recent World Robot Conference in Beijing, Chinese engineers and companies offered a glimpse of an automated future.

 

Ridicule for Russia’s newest robot, Igorek

Russian company Kalashnikov released a mockup of a combat robot which looks like a mech. The internet being the internet, took things in their own hands.

 

Biotechnology

If We Made Life in a Lab, Would We Understand It Differently?

Thanks to the advances in synthetic biology, creating new forms of life is not science fiction anymore. We are getting better at creating organisms that did not evolve but were created in a lab. These creations will challenge our definition of life. Are those creatures alive? Or are they just a “technological artifact”?