Issue #85

Facebook and mind reading. Moral machine. A philosophical thought that will doom you. AI that learns how to make AI. The problems of drone industry and more!


More than a human

The coming Age of Human Augmentation | Hannes Sjoblad

Hannes Sjoblad is a co-founder of the Sweden-based biohacker network Bionyfiken. As a bodyhacker, he does not step back from experimenting with technology with his own body, and his vision is of a future where the human body has radically different capabilities than it does today.

 

San Francisco biohackers are wearing implants made for diabetes in the pursuit of ‘human enhancement’

In San Francisco, biohackers are using implants designed for diabetes to monitor their sugar level in blood to monitor themselves and to see how different diets, supplements or habits affect their bodies.

 

Facebook has a mysterious team working on tech that sounds a lot like mind reading

Some time ago Mark Zuckerberg was painting a vision of future where people will communicate by sharing pure thoughts (via Facebook, of course). By looking at recent open positions at Facebook’s DARPA-like lab you can conclude he was serious.

 

Marla’s Amazing Christmas Present – A New Arm

It’s always good to see how open source technologies and 3d printing come together to make a child smile.

 

Artificial Intelligence

The Moral Machine

Imagine you are a self-driving car and your breaks suddenly broke. You cannot stop and you have a choice – hit a wall and kill everyone in the car or hit a group of pedestrians and kill all of them. This is a problem known in philosophy as the trolley problem and it becomes more and more important as we are closer to have self-driving cars on our streets. MIT created a simple quiz that puts you in a self-driving car’s place and asks you thought moral questions to explore human perspective on machine ethics.

 

AI Software Learns to Make AI Software

AI researchers from Google, DeepMind, OpenAI, MIT and other institutions are making AIs that designs other AIs. In the article, you can find links to research papers published by these groups. I need to go through them, it sounds exciting.

 

IBM Chief: Computers Will Soon be Smarter Than Humans

Rob High, IBM Watson’s vice president chief technology officer, says that because we are flooded by more and more data (some estimate 2.5 exabytes of data bombard us every day) we need smarter and smarter machine to cope with this huge pile of information that is too big to handle by one person or even a group of people.

 

Deepstack AI has beaten professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em

We can now add poker to the list of games in which computers are better than professional human players.

 

AI Pioneer Wants to Build the Renaissance Machine of the Future

Juergen Schmidhuber, one of the fathers of modern AI, is working on a machine that can learn anything with his small startup named Nnaisense. His goal is to build a cross-disciplinary AI system and he hopes that as his system gains more and more knowledge, learning new things should come easier.

 

The Google Brain team — Looking Back on 2016

Google Brain team looks back on 2016 and list all the things they have done, what papers they published, their progress in using AI in robotics, natural language processing and translation, healthcare, and involvement in AI community.

 

The Humans Working Behind the AI Curtain

This isn’t a story about AI researchers. It’s about unnamed people who manually check flagged content or recommendations and manually assign labels for AI to train.

 

Robotics

Artificial fingertip that ‘feels’ wins international robotics competition

TacTip – an open-source 3D-printed fingertip that can ‘feel’ in a similar way to the human sense of touch has won an international Soft Robotics competition for its contribution to soft robotics research.

 

Parrot struggling, Lily fails and Google closes Titan Project as drone industry disunites

Many drone manufacturers are struggling and some of them are even going out from the marketplace. The reason is that the drone marketplace for consumers is getting to a saturation point which not many companies will survive. To survive, the drone companies are now focusing on a more professional part of the market, like construction, surveying, mapping, etc.

 

In Davos, the Police Will Disarm Your Drone in a Heartbeat

During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, police will be equipped with a “gun” that jams communication between the drone and the pilot to stop would-be terror threats and the paparazzi.

 

This Soft Robot Hugs Your Heart To Help Keep It Pumping

Researchers from Harvard created a soft robot made from silicon which wraps around a heart and makes it beat by contracting and expanding. The initial tests on pigs look promising.

 

Meet China’s Sharp Sword, A Stealth Drone That Can Likely Carry 2 Tons Of Bombs

The Chinese showed their newest stealth drone Sharp Sword, or Lijian in Mandarin Chinese. It the first non-NATO stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle.

 

Biotechnology

Do We Need an International Body to Regulate Genetic Engineering?

Genetic engineering is causing a lot of ethical problems and here you have another one. Nature does not follow human borders. If you unleash genetically modified organisms in one place they can spread around the world quite easily. And then you encounter human borders and laws. Genetic engineering can be prohibited in one country, but allowed in another. Who should be charged with deciding which science to unleash upon the world?

 

Five big mysteries about CRISPR’s origins

CRISPR is a relatively new and powerful gene-editing technology. But we still don’t know everything about it. Where did it come from? How do organisms use it without self-destructing? And what else can it do?

 

Synthetic Future: Revolutionary Center Will 3D-Print Human Tissues and Organs

At the present moment, rarely do the research institutes themselves specialize in 3D bioprinting. Instead, there is a separation between those doing the work and those using the fruits of this labor. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT), in partnership with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, has announced that they will establish a ‘biofabrication institute’ that will scan, model, and 3d-print patient-specific tissues in one building.

 

Other

The Most Terrifying Thought Experiment of All Time

Reading this article may commit you to an eternity of suffering and torment, so you’ve been warned!

 

Can A Robot Sin? How Artificial Intelligence Is Challenging Christian Ethics

The concept of a thinking machine puts a wrench into our moral systems and gives ethicists and philosophers headaches.  Here, for example, is a take on this problem from a Christian perspective.