Issue #86

Elon Musk tweets and makes promises. Kristen Steward co-authors AI research paper. The first human-pig chimera. How to hack human body. Soft robotics in space and exoskeletons. Making cyborg dragonflies and more!


More than a human

Elon Musk could soon share more on his plan to help humans keep up with AI

Some time ago, Elon Must stated that the only way humanity can compete with AIs is to develop a neural lace – a way of connecting the brain directly to the computers. This week he tweeted that maybe next month he will share how’s the project going.

 

Musk Is Preparing to Release “Brain Hacking Tech,” And He’s Not Alone

Elon Musk is not the only one who wants to create a direct link between the brain and the computer. Last year, Bryan Johnson announced a $100 million investment to put computers in our brains. I guess many more will soon follow in this race to hack human intelligence.

 

9 Crazy Body Hacks That Give You Superhuman Powers

Do you want to become a cyborg but you don’t know what the current technology has to offer? Here’s an article that lists 9 ways you can augment your body become more than a human, from hearing colors or wifi to implanting headphones.

 

The armband that controls an artificial hand

Guys from Biomechatronics Lab at Imperial College London show off their armband that can ‘listen’ to muscle movements in order to control an artificial hand.

 

Transhumanism: Should we use robotics to enhance humans?

TechRepublic spoke with James J. Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), to learn more about the history and significance of transhumanism to current conversations around AI. The talk was mostly focused on politics and how transhumanism fits into the general political landscape.

 

This Soft-shelled Exosuit Might Put Iron Man’s Duds To Shame

Looks like exoskeletons might not look like Iron Man’s armor at all. Instead of being made from metal or other rigid materials, they will look like high-tech workout gear.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Kristen Stewart co-authored a paper on style transfer and the AI community lost its mind

The AI community should read closely before they lose their minds. Kristen Stewart (famous for playing that girl from the Twilight movie series) co-authored a paper which showed how style transfer (a technique that involves using convolutional neural networks to artistically alter video in real time) can be applied in cinema. Her role in the project? She directed the short movie showing how to apply style transfer. Q.E.D.

 

Enhance! RAISR Sharp Images with Machine Learning

Google uses machine learning everywhere, from search to language translation. Now they showed how they use machine learning to reduce image sizes by making the AI to figure out how to make a good resolution image from a small resolution image.

 

Robotics

Elon Musk: We Will Have “Full Self-Driving Capabilities” in 3 to 6 Months

In a recent tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote that cars with full self-driving capabilities will arrive in the next three to six months. We will wait then.

 

Unexpected Consequences of Self-Driving Cars

A really interesting article looking at self-driving cars from a different perspective. Just like the creators of ARPANET didn’t know how they are going to change the world, the creators of self-driving cars are going to transform our lives beyond our imagination. But Rodney Brooks, the author of the article, is not focusing on the technical side of the technology. Instead, he focuses on how humans will use self-driving cars and what can come out of that.

 

DragonflEye Project Wants to Turn Insects Into Cyborg Drones

The R&D company Draper is developing an insect-control “backpack” with integrated energy, guidance, and navigation systems, shown here on a to-scale dragonfly model. They use a unique mix of miniaturized navigation, synthetic biology, and neurotechnology to make the dragonfly fly where they want it to fly. Right now it is an R&D project, but maybe a similar technology will be used to other insects better pollinators.

 

Softer Side Of Robots Is Future Of Space

Kari Love explains how soft robotics can be used to make a new generation of space suits. Also, it is a good introduction to the topic.

 

Biotechnology

The FDA Wants to Regulate Edited Animal Genes As Drugs

According to FDA’s new proposal, edited animal DNA changes the way bodies work, therefore it is a drug. Or, more formally, as though it were some new type of pharmaceutical. They do it to catch up with the recent advancements in the technology, but they can also make many people angry by the way.

 

Designer Babies Dilemma in Sharp Focus With Fast Moving Fertility Tech

New emerging technology called in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) could provide a way to create large numbers of both eggs and sperm in the lab, allowing couples to pick from a wider array of choices when it comes to choosing their offspring. Through that loophole, the concept of designer babies can squeeze in and become a reality, raising a lot of moral and ethical questions.

 

Computers Made of Genetic Material Will Revolutionize Our World

Researchers have been able to create tiny structures for conducting electricity by using DNA and gold plating. This new nanostructure could be the foundation of future electronics as soon as improvements are made on this breakthrough development.

 

First human-pig ‘chimera’ created in milestone study

For the first time ever, scientists created a human-pig chimera. They did it by putting human stem cells into a pig embryo. The embryos were allowed to develop to 28 days before they were removed. The research is a step forward towards growing human tissues inside pig’s body for transplantation, which should be easier to accept by the human body. It also raises a lot of ethical questions.

 

3D Printed Skin Leads the Way Toward Artificial Organs

Spanish scientists from Madrid have published research describing new hardware that’s capable of printing functional human skin. The device creates the individual layers of skin, such as the dermis and epidermis, one atop the other. It does that by depositing plasma containing skin cells into precise geometries that allow the cells to flourish.

 

Learning Corner

king – man + woman is queen; but why?

word2vec is a tool used in machine learning to create a space where similar words are grouped together. In this article, you can learn how it works and how word2vec is able to a female equivalent of a king is a queen (the famous king – man + woman = queen equation).