Issue #112

This week – Elon Musk vs the world; an immortality as a chatbot; UK to bring in drone registration; first human embryos edited in US; and more!

More than a human

A Son’s Race To Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality

This is a story of James Vlahos – a man who decided to immortalize his father by creating a chatbot. That’s not the first time I saw someone feeding a chatbot with transcripted conversations with someone who passed away and created a virtual version of that person. What do you think about this type of “immortality”? Is it acceptable?

Wisconsin Company to Implant Microchips in Employees

Yet another company encourages its employees to get an implant. I wonder if (or when) big companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook start experimenting with microchip implants.

Artificial Womb Technology: Who Benefits?

“Women, of course. It’s obvious”, some might say. Everyone can benefit from artificial wombs and making us free from the tyranny of biology, one might argue. Others argue that artificial wombs will make women “obsolete” and strip them of their role of “mothers”.

Neuroreality: The New Reality is Coming. And It’s a Brain Computer Interface.

Imagine a world that only exists in your mind. By combining virtual reality and brain-computer interfaces, you could experience everything or be whoever you want, and it would feel like a real thing.

Robotic Exoskeleton Adapts While It’s Worn

If the exoskeletons become an accessible reality, they would most likely not look like Tony Stark’s armour. Instead, they will be small, soft minimal machines, that learn how to help you optimize your movement and minimalize the energy used.

Artificial Intelligence

Russia Is Building an AI-Powered Missile That Can Think for Itself

Russia certainly isn’t the first nation to explore militarized AI. The US plans to incorporate AI into long-range anti-ship missile, and China is supposedly working on its own AI-powered weapons.

Elon Musk vs the world

We’ve got used to Elon Musk’s warnings against AI. But last week was different. Elon said to government officials that AI is the biggest threat to our civilisation and that AI should be regulated to avoid creating malicious superintelligence.

And then Mark Zuckerberg entered the stage with his Facebook Live video where he said he is optimistic when it comes to AI and calls AI fear mongers “irresponsible”. Elon responded with a tweet where he said Mark’s “understanding of the subject is limited”.

Which sparked a new wave of articles and opinions about AI and its impact on humanity.

Ignore Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg’s War Over Killer Robots, the Real Challenge Is Already Here

“As an AI insider, having built and shipped a lot of AI products, I don’t see a clear path for AI to surpass human-level intelligence. I think that job displacement is a huge problem, and the one that I wish we could focus on, rather than be distracted by these science fiction-ish, dystopian elements.”, says Andrew Ng, one of the top AI researchers. By the way, Andrew Ng once told that worrying killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation on Mars.

Artificial intelligence is not as smart as you (or Elon Musk) think

This article argues that the AI we know today are nothing more than a brute-force intelligences and don’t poses a human-like intelligence. It also points out that AI’s reputation suffers its depiction in movies and that the name – artificial intelligence – doesn’t help, too.

This famous roboticist doesn’t think Elon Musk understands AI

Rodney Brooks, the founding director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and the cofounder of both iRobot and Rethink Robotics, talks about robots, where Elon Musk makes a mistake and about regulating self-driving cars.

Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk Are Both Wrong About A.I.

This article also points out the problem of AI taking away jobs. It also tries to describe both sides of the problem, with Musk talking about true AI and Zuckerberg and academia thinking about the practical use of today’s AI.


UK to bring in drone registration

The UK government has announced plans to introduce drone registration and safety awareness courses for owners of the small unmanned aircraft. After US and UK, I expect to see more countries introducing drone registration and bringing an end to the wild west which the drones are right now.

Soft Robot Moves by Mimicking Plants

This robot looks amazing. It’s built with tough but flexible plastic tube, allowing it to enter spaces which are beyond reach for other robots.

When Will We See the First Robot That Is Indistinguishable From a Human?

Every year we are seeing progress in artificial intelligence and android technology, but when will we finally perfect the humanoid robot? Here’s a timeline for when you can expect to mistake a machine for a man.

Robots Learn to Speak Body Language

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University developed a body-tracking system that can track body movement, including hands and face, in real time. It uses computer vision and machine learning to process video frames, and can even keep track of multiple people simultaneously. This capability could ease human-robot interactions and pave the way for more interactive virtual and augmented reality as well as intuitive user interfaces.

Self-Driving Tech: Job Killers or Job Creators?

Self-driving cars are portraited in the media as one of the biggest threat to jobs right now. It’s true that self-driving cars will make many jobs obsolete. But at the same time, they can create new jobs or even industries we haven’t imagined yet.

India will ban driverless cars in order to protect jobs

In order to protect the jobs from automation, Indian transport and highways minister plans to ban self-driving cars in the country. Will India encourage other countries to do the same?


First Human Embryos Edited in US

The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland. The effort involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.

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