Issue #19

On uploading brains, Kurzweil’s prediction for 2030, AI talking to AI, drones, robots and more.


More Than Human

Will You Ever Be Able to Upload Your Brain?

Professor Kenneth D. Miller wrote an article for New York Times about where is now neuroscience when it comes to modeling human brain and tries to answer a question if we will be able to do so. And if we did, will it mean that we could upload our brains into a machine?

Ray Kurzweil’s Wildest Prediction: Nanobots Will Plug Our Brains Into the Web by the 2030s

Kurzweil does what he does the best, that is predicting the future. Recently he had predicted that in 2030 we will be able to connect our brains into the Internet using nanobots, which might make sci-fi stories become true.

Cyberpunk Yourself – Body Modification, Augmentation, And Grinders

An article from Hackaday on grinders, who are they, biohacking, human augmentation and the future of these things.

Open Bionics Creates Disney-Inspired Bionic Hands For Amputee Kids

This is so cool. Bionic hands startup Open Bionics now makes Iron Man and Elsa-themed hands and arms for the smallest of amputees – kids. Open Bionics hopes to get kids excited about their prosthetics with designs from Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars.

Prosthetic Limbs Could Have Artificial Skin That Really Feels

A team led by researchers at Stanford University has created artificial skin that is filled with carbon nanotubes, which can translate different amounts of pressure to a digital signal direct to mice’s neurons. In other words, they have created a prosthetic limb that can feel.

Artificial Intelligence

Nick Bostrom sets out threats from future technologies at UN meeting

Professor Nick Bostrom, the director of the Future of Humanity Institute, briefed political representatives from around the world on the national and international security risks posed by artificial intelligence and other future technologies at a UN event last week.

I made a computer pretend to be a computer that’s pretending to be a human. Here’s what happened.

One guy created a pair of programs using recurrent neural networks (RNN) and taught them to speak with each other. Results are quite interesting.

Eric Drexler – A Cambrian Explosion in Deep Learning

Eric Drexler, the father of nanotechnology, gave a talk at Free and Safe in Cyberspace conference in Brussels in September 2015 on artificial intelligence and how to create a secure AI.

Robotics

Should cars be fully driverless? No, says an engineer and historian

David Mindell, an MIT professor argues that the cars shouldn’t be fully driveless. To back his idea he uses examples from different industries, like aircrafts or space industry, where fully autonomous systems were promised multiple times, but still there has to be a human pilot.

The Rich and Their Robots Are About to Make Half the World’s Jobs Disappear

An article from Motherboard on how technology is making the rich richer and poor poorer.

Drones Could Plant 1 Billion Trees a Year

We have cut down a lot of trees. We have realized how wrong it was and now it’s time to fix the problem. But planting billions of trees is tedious. Thankfully, we have now drones to do it for us!

British Companies Build Jamming System To Take Down Drones

If you don’t like the neighbour’s drone flying around your property, then this drone jamming system might be the thing you are looking for.

Volvo, Google and Mercedes to Accept Responsibility in Self-Driving Car Collisions

When it comes to self-driving cars there was a long debate regarding the legal responsibility when something goes wrong. Many people were arguing why the manufacturer should be to blame, or the owner, or even the car itself. Now the discussion is over because some car producers decided to take responsibility for their self-driving cars collisions.

How Telerobotics Can Reshape Our Workspace

Telerobotics and telepresence are slowly leaving multi-billion dollars projects like controlling a Mars rover and are finding its way into our offices and workplaces. Soon, an iPad on a stick attached to a moving platform might be your colleague working from home or from another country.

The Next 10 Years Of Automation And What It Might Mean For The Job Market

The forthcoming robotic revolution will change the world as much as industrial revolution changed it in the 19th century. This article tries to give a prediction how the robotic revolution will affect job market without going into screaming “they took our jobs!”

A first step to a robot assembling an IKEA chair

Maybe soon we will a robot able to understand IKEA manual and assemble a furniture. For now, robots have learnt the first step in assembling furniture – pin insertion.

3D printed fingers and fiber optical sensors could make robotic hands more dexterous

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a three-fingered soft robotic hand with multiple 3D-printed fiber optic sensors, together with a new type of stretchable optical sensor. The robotic hand, supported by NASA, is able to detect forces of less than a tenth of a newton.

Bio-inspired robotic finger looks, feels and works like the real thing

Inspired by both nature and biology, a scientist from Florida Atlantic University has designed a novel robotic finger that looks and feels like the real thing using shape memory alloy (SMA), a 3D CAD model of a human finger, a 3D printer, and a unique thermal training technique.

Biotechnology

Where Could the First CRISPR Baby Be Born?

A look at the legal landscape suggests where human genome editing might be used in research or reproduction.

Gel scaffold paves way for 3D printing of biological organs

Researchers had created a special gel which acts as a scaffolding for 3D printed biological organs, allowing the cells to stay in place as the organ is being printed.

A Genomics Revolution: Evolution by Natural Selection to Evolution by Intelligent Direction

Peter Diamandis writes about the genomics revolution in three parts. First, how the cost of reading genome dropped by a couple orders of magnitude in just 10 years. Second, how CRISPR allows us to edit genes easier than ever before. And third, how we can build new organs. Combined all together these three small revolutions add to one big revolution able to transform not only the healthcare systems, but also our lives and societies.

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