Issue #16

A program that learned how to drift, on enhancing human mental and physical capabilities, drones building bridges, how robots and humans can cooperate and more!


More Than Human

Humans With Amplified Intelligence Could Be More Powerful Than AI

With much of our attention focused the rise of advanced artificial intelligence, few consider the potential for radically amplified human intelligence (IA). In this interview, Michael Anissimov, a blogger at Accelerating Future and a co-organizer of the Singularity Summit, explains how we could enhance our brains using technology.

DARPA Tests Battery-Powered Exoskeletons on Real Soldiers

Currently, there are two industries interested in exoskeletons – medical and military. For the military, exoskeletons are a way for soldiers to carry more stuff or to walk longer distances without being overly tired. And here’s where DARPA is entering the stage as it is now testing a battery-powered exoskeleton designed to help soldiers carry heavy loads.

Encounters with the Posthuman

Early posthumans or humans who are augmenting themselves using technology, are already among us. With hypothetically more posthumans to come would they still be referred as humans? To answer this question, Sally Davies meet with Neil Harbisson and other cyborgs.

Peter Sloterdijk Says Man And Machine Will Fuse Into One Being

An interview with Peter Sloterdijk, who is considered as the most controversial philosopher in Germany, on how far we can or should go with bioengineering and human augmentation.

The coming transhuman era: Jason Sosa at TEDxGrandRapids

Jason Sosa explains in his TEDxTalk what is transhumanism, how the technological progress is getting faster and faster and how it will change our lives. Terrifying or exciting, depending on where do you stand on this issue.

Artificial Intelligence

Barbie with intelligence. Artificial intelligence.

Mattel is creating something that generations of a toy makers and children dreamt for a long time. A toy that can listen and respond to child’s voice. Today, with the power of current AI systems, this dream is becoming true.

Build-a-brain

Or, is consciousness an engineering problem? This article will conduct with you a thought experiment to see if we can construct an artificial brain, piece by hypothetical piece, and make it conscious.

Robotics

Drones build a rope bridge

Three little drones build a rope bridge from scratch. They started with nothing but a bunch of ropes and ended with a solid rope bridge which can hold a human. And they did it all by themselves. Very impressive.

These Robots Come to the Rescue after a Disaster | Robin Murphy | TED Talks

When disaster strikes, who’s first on the scene? More and more, it’s a robot. In her lab, Robin Murphy builds robots that fly, tunnel, swim and crawl through disaster scenes, helping firefighters and rescue workers save more lives safely — and help communities return to normal up to three years faster.

Robots take root on smaller dairy farms, upping production

Robots have taken up residence at some small- and medium-sized dairy farms across the US, providing reliable and more efficient labor and helping the businesses remain viable. Plus, farmers say, the milking technology makes for happier, more productive cows.

Robot revolution sweeps China’s factory floors

The years of cheap labor in Chinese factories are over. The rising costs of labor forces Chinese factory owners to use more and more robots to stay alive in competitive business environments. China is now going through its own automation revolution and soon in some places there will be factories without any humans involved in production.

Can robots make good teammates?

We often have a very polarized view of robots – either they serve us or we serve them. But maybe the future of human-machine interactions is in between. There are researchers who are exploring how robots can work with humans and collaborate to accomplish given task.

Video Of A Quadcopter Walking A Quadrupedal Robot

The folks at the Autonomous Systems Lab at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich in Switzerland have created the ultimate robot combo. Need a quadruped? You got one. Need a quadcopter? You got one. Need them both to bounce around like jolly friends? You got that too!

Autonomous Drifting using Machine Learning

That just looks awesome. Someone used the power of machine learning to teach an RC car to drift. Who knows, maybe the future autonomous car will be equipped with this functionality?

Ras Labs Is Testing Futuristic Muscle Material That Could Make Robots Feel More Human

Synthetics startup Ras Labs is working with the International Space Station to test “smart materials” that contract like living tissue. These “electroactive” materials can expand, contract and conform to our limbs just like human muscles when a current moves through them – and they could be used to make robots move and feel more human to the touch.

Robotic Limb System Learns From Its Mistakes

Speaking of prosthetics… researchers had come up with a robot limb which can learn what its user really wanted from its mistakes and by monitoring its user brain activity. “This new approach could be the source of a new generation of intelligent prostheses”, the researchers said.

The UK Is Working With NASA On A Tracking System For Low-flying Drones

The current drone revolution made the skies more crowded and sometimes more dangerous. And we still haven’t released the commercial drones yet. To tame the potential chaos in the skies, the UK government is working with NASA to develop a tracking system for low-flying drones, so that everyone would know who is where.

Hitachi Developing Dual-Armed Robot for Warehouse Picking

You might think that picking a package and putting it on a shelve is an easy task. Just locate the package, grab it and put where it should be. Easy, right? But not for robots and in more and more automated warehouses this skill is more and more needed. Hitachi recently presented a robot which is able to fill this gap.

Biotechnology

Organic ‘Computers’ Made Of DNA Could Process Data Inside Our Bodies

A short introduction into DNA computing. What is it? How does it work? What it might give us and where it is now?

Other

Why Futurism Has a Cultural Blindspot

I’m sharing this article to give you a slightly different point of view when it comes to predicting the future. The article is about how “we predicted cell phones, but not women in the workplace”. It’s about our biases and how we underestimate the impact of cultural changes and how we overestimate the impact the technology has.

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Peter Diamandis explains how robots and sensor will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will change this decade.

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