Issue #191

This week - a man that plans to live to 180; AlphaStar follow-ups; how Rwanda's delivery drone works; genetically modified eggs with the anti-cancer drug; and more!


More than a human

The Bulletproof Coffee Founder Has Spent $1 Million in His Quest to Live to 180

Men's Health (I've never thought I'd include them here) made an article about Dave Asprey - the founder of Bulletproof Coffee and biohacker who aims to live to 180. Inside you can find a bit of Asprey's background, his motivations and how he wants to be still alive in 2153.

Artificial Intelligence

► AlphaStar: The inside story

In this video, DeepMind takes us behind the scenes and shows a bit history behind AlphaStar, the company's AI agent that has recently beaten two StarCraft II pro-players.

► StarCraft 2: Google DeepMind AlphaStar (A.I.) vs Pro Gamer

If you want to see how the game between MaNa and AlphaStar looked like with some commentary and analysis what's going on in the game, here is a video for you.

We analyzed 16,625 papers to figure out where AI is headed next

Researchers from MIT Technology Review analysed every article posted to arXiv AI section from 1993 to November 2018 and they shared the result in this article. The analysis showed how the number of papers on AI grew over time but also showed the shifts in the way we build intelligent machines - from knowledge-based systems through support vector machines and neural networks to the recent rise of reinforced learning.

Robotics

► How Rwanda Built A Drone Delivery Service

Brian from Real Engineering Youtube Channel got a chance to look closely at Zipline's autonomous drones designed to deliver medical supplies in rural Africa. This video focuses on the engineering side of the business - how the drones are built and how they work. I'm impressed by how innovative Zipline drone delivery system is.

Increasing scepticism against robots

In Europe, people are more reserved regarding robots than they were five years ago. This is shown in a new study published by scientists from Linz and Würzburg. The scepticism about robots at the workplace has grown in particular. This may be due to the fact that the topic of job losses due to robotic systems has been increasingly discussed in the public, the researchers say.

Autonomous Drones Are Dropping Rat Poison Bombs on This Island

If you happened to be a rat living on Galapagos Island of Seymour Norte, then an era of killer robots has already started for you. To solve the problem of the invasive rat problem that threatens the delicate and unique ecosystem of the island, the government of Ecuador greenlit a project which uses drones to deliver rat poison to the island. The operation was marked as a success and the rats were almost entirely banished from the island. 

Britain's Gatwick Airport Is Experimenting With Robot Valets to Park Cars

This summer, Gatwick Airport in the UK will be testing for three months autonomous robots to park cars. The system will work by having people drive their cars into a little staging garage, they’ll arrange payment and tag the car with their name and flight information, and then be on their way. Plus, the robots have cute faces.

This Soft Robot Mimics Plant Tendrils To Creep and Climb

Using physical properties similar to those found in plants, researchers from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genoa, Italy have created a soft robot capable of creeping and climbing similar to the way plant vines do. 

MIT is teaching a robot to beat you at Jenga

So far, the robots dominance in games was limited to video games and games like chess or go, which can be easily ported to a computer. Thanks to the research at MIT, the robots are leaving virtual games and start to play physical games, like Jenga.

Biotechnology

New Model Warns About CRISPR Gene Drives in the Wild

Two new papers urge caution in using powerful genome-editing technology against invasive species. Models show that evolving resistance won't stop aggressive standard gene drives from spreading.

Genetically Modified Chickens Lay Eggs Containing Anti-Cancer Drug

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have genetically modified chickens to lay eggs boasting a significant amount of two proteins used to treat diseases including cancer in humans — and the process, they say, is far cheaper than current methods of protein production.

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