Issue #93

Inside – on transhumanism and augmenting human body, bots learn to talk to each other in their own language, bionic ants, Stephen Hawking’s plan to prevent AIpocalypse, lab-grown chicken meat and more!


More than a human

Transhumanism Is the Next Step in Human Evolution

The era of human augmentation has begun, says Amal Graafstra, CEO and founder of Dangerous Things. We already improve our bodies and have devices connecting us to the internet in our pockets and it’s only a matter of time when these devices become smaller. So small, that they will be inside of our bodies. The idea of becoming a better human by the means of technology is getting more supporters around the world and it gives hope, but for some it invokes dystopian visions of the future.

 

Kurzweil Claims That the Singularity Will Happen by 2029

Will see, Mr Kurzweil, if you are right once again. In the interview at SXSW, where he expressed his new prediction, Kurzweil also speaks about augmenting human mind with AI and merging with machines to improve ourselves.

 

10 Human Body Modifications You Can Expect in the next Decade

What do you think, will the body modifications like these listed in the article above become as popular as tattoos or piercing? Will we see healthy people walking on the streets in exoskeletons, because it is the newest fashion trend?  Or implanting RFID chips just like we buy the newest smartphones today? Reply to this email or tweet @hplusweekly. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Bots Are Learning to Chat in Their Own Language

One scientist teaches bots to talk. But he does not teach them to speak human language. Instead, he lets bots to create their own language in which they communicate to accomplish a specific task. I’m not surprised with this idea. The AIs of the future might speak in their own language and only use human languages when they need to communicate with us. Or maybe it will teach AIs why having a language is a good idea.

 

Stephen Hawking Finally Revealed His Plan for Preventing an AI Apocalypse

Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest minds of our time, is known for his concerns about AI and the future of humanity. To save us from destruction, he proposed recently to create some form of a global government that could control the technology, making sure we won’t destroy ourselves.

 

The Neural Computing Revolution is Upon Us

Soon we might have a brain in our pockets thanks to neural chips – the biggest change in computer hardware ever. These new chips are designed to work perfectly with neural networks, allowing doing things in a small phone that now require access to a huge machine learning system. Additionally, the devices with neural chips will be more efficient when it comes to power consumption. Alongside with quantum computing, this will change how we compute in the future.

 

Is reliable artificial intelligence possible?

Another voice calling for opening AIs.  “We have to hold AI accountable, and the only way to do this is to verify it for biases and make sure there is no deliberate misinformation,” says Marcel Salathé. “This is not possible if the AI is privatised.”. For him, AI is defined by both the algorithm and the data, and as such, both should be publicly available.

 

Don’t fear superintelligent AI | Grady Booch

Grady Booch talks about how watching 2001: A Space Odyssey pushed him into eventually working on NASA’s Orion AI systems. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we’ll teach, not program, them to share our values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to consider how artificial intelligence will enhance human life.

 

Robotics

Robot Ants Wear Circuitry As Exoskeleton

Check the video in the article, where Festo shows how they designed and built these beautiful bionic ants.

 

Making autonomous car play, Intel offers $15B for Mobileye

Intel joins the self-driving cars club by acquiring Mobileye, an Israeli company which makes software that processes information from cameras and other car sensors to decide where the cars should steer, and has products on just about every automaker’s autonomous test fleet.

 

The race for autonomous cars is over. Silicon Valley lost.

Here is an interesting view on Silicon Valley and their self-driving cars dreams. The author argues that tech companies overestimate how hard it is to build a car and start to back out from the investments in building the autonomous car itself and start to focus on being a supplier of technology for the traditional car manufacturers.

 

Biotechnology

Memphis Meats Has Successfully Created Lab-grown Chicken

Kentucky Fried Stem Cells, only for $9000 per pound.

 

The quest to engineer entire organs in a lab

Here is an excerpt from The Body Builders book by Adam Piore about growing human organs in a lab. By the way, did you read this book? If so, is it worth the time?

 

Hacking DNA: All The Corporates Investing In Synthetic Biology Startups In One Timeline

A nice visualisation of global corporate equity investment in private synthetic biology startups from 2012-2017. You can see that over time the number of investments in synthetic biology startups increased.

 

Designer Chromosomes Point to New Synthetic Life-Forms

An international team of scientists is closing in on its goal of replacing all the genetic material in a yeast cell with designer DNA printed in a lab. The effort to endow baker’s yeast with artificial chromosomes signals a step toward what biologists say is technology for printing out improved, or entirely new, life-forms in the laboratory.