Issue #97

How close are we to melding mind and machine, AlphaGo’s new challenge, AI figures out to read sentiment on its own, drone delivery in Switzerland, Apple secretly works on biomedical device and more!


I put together the responses from the survey about what kind of human augmentations people would like to have if given the choice. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!

Here are the results: Human augmentations survey results


More than a human

Melding Mind and Machine: How Close Are We?

Elon Musk with Neuralink and Bryan Johnson with his Kernel started a new race in the tech world – a race to enhance human mind. But what’s the science behind this projects? Scientific American looks closely what current brain-computer interfaces can (and can’t) do.

 

Toyota shows robotic leg brace to help paralysed people walk

Toyota is introducing a wearable robotic leg brace designed to help partially paralyzed people walk. The Welwalk WW-1000 system is made up of a motorized mechanical frame that fits on a person’s leg from the knee down. The patients can practice walking wearing the robotic device on a special treadmill that can support their weight. According to Toyota, one hundred such systems will be rented to medical facilities in Japan later this year.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Google’s AlphaGo AI to take on world’s top Go player in May

Google is partnering with the China Go Association and the Chinese Government to host some of China’s top Go players and AI researchers from China and Google at a Future of Go Summit on May 23-27 designed to test the upper limits of its AI, as well as give human players a chance to study the unusual strategies AlphaGo has put into play in the age-old game.

 

AI Learns to Read Sentiment Without Being Trained to Do So

OpenAI researchers were surprised to discover that a neural network trained to predict the next character in texts from Amazon reviews taught itself to analyse sentiment.

 

How AI Is Like Electricity—and Why That Matters

Looks like in the future everything will be smart. Wired founding editor Kevin Kelly has suggested we re-frame the way we’re thinking about AI. Kelly argues that AI and smart devices soon will be just like electricity today – a ubiquitous utility.

 

Google’s Dueling Neural Networks Spar to Get Smarter, No Humans Required

The Wired shares the story of generative adversarial networks (GAN) – a new way to build AI systems, where one AI creates a thing while a second AI tries to figure out if that piece of work is real or fake. Because the second AI is working so hard to identify images as fake, the first learns to mimic the real in ways it couldn’t on its own. In the process, these two neural networks can push AI toward a day when computers declare independence from their human teachers.

 

A.I. Is Progressing Faster Than You Think!

Here’s another explanation what generative adversarial networks are in a form of video from ColdFusion. The video also gives you a good impression how AI is progressing faster and faster.

 

Robotics

The Swiss postal service is using autonomous drones to fly lab samples between two hospitals

The Swiss Post has started to fly drones to deliver laboratory samples between two hospitals in the city of Lugano, making an early example of drone delivery in a populated urban area.

 

Robots Aren’t Human. You Only Make Them So

Wired took seven robots and put them on a graph to show how creepy they are.

 

A Man Married a Robot He Built Himself

A Chinese engineer was unlucky in finding a girl of his dreams, so he built one and married it (she?).

 

Robots sorting system helps Chinese company finish at least 200,000 packages a day in the warehouse

This cool video shows how sorting robots are used to sort parcels in China.

 

The Crazy-Hard Technical Challenges of Robots Delivering Falafel

Marble, a robot delivery startup from SaFranciscoco, shows that making a robot bringing you food and navigating on the sidewalk is not that easy task.

 

U.S. Air Force and Lockheed demonstrate autonomous F-16 strike capabilities

Lockheed made an F-16 jet fighter, a plane that normally is piloted by a human, to fly by itself. The idea is to explore the potential of “manned/unmanned teaming,” in which a human pilot of an advanced vehicle like an F-35 can lead a fleet of autonomous support combat vehicles into battle, letting the human pilot focus their attention on higher-level command and control.

 

Biotechnology

Scientists Hacked a Cell’s DNA and Made a Biocomputer Out of It

Scientists took a human cell and directly hacked its genetic code and enhanced it with synthetic biocircuits that allowed it to obey over 100 sets of different logical operations, effectively transforming it into a biocomputer.

 

The FDA Is Moving From Animal Testing To “Organs-On-Chips”

The FDA has announced a new partnership with Emulate, a company that creates chips that function as human organs for testing purposes. The agency will begin by using the company’s liver chips, and eventually, the move could eliminate the need for animal testing altogether.

 

Apple has a secret team working on the holy grail for treating diabetes

Apple is secretly working on sensors to monitor blood sugar levels to help people with diabetes. If successful, it will not only help people suffering from diabetes, but also will make Apple Watch a more desirable piece of technology.