Issue #194

This week - OpenAI made a text generator so good it's considered too dangerous to release; the first female AI new anchor debuts in China; how we can improve deep learning; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

OpenAI built a text generator so good, it’s considered too dangerous to release

Researchers from OpenAI have created a text generator which apparently is so good at generating convincing text the company (which usually open sources its research) said it's too dangerous to release. The company is worried about the potential abuse of their work - systems like this one can be easily used to generate fake news, impersonating people or used to send spam.

China Launches World’s First AI Female News Anchor

After introducing Qiu Hao, the first AI news anchor in November 2018, the Chinese TV channel Xinhua is introducing Xin Xiaomeng - the first female news anchor. 

Facebook’s chief AI scientist: Deep learning may need a new programming language

Yann LeCun, Facebook AI Research director, threw a proposal for creating a new language specifically designed for deep learning. The advances in hardware for deep learning might require rethinking if a new, more efficient programming language tailored for deep learning is needed.

Homenum Revelio! AI will destroy sperm donor anonymity

From the series "let's apply AI to everything". This time - how the application of facial recognition algorithms to find who is whose dad threatens the privacy of sperm donors. On the plus side, AI and genetic testing can force sperm banks to change to offer a better service.

Giving Neural Nets an Innate Brain-Like Structure Could Bolster Deep Learning

Deep learning is loosely inspired by how the human brain works. The keyword is "loosely". As we are approaching limits of current deep learning methods, neuroscientists come to rescue. They argue that we’re just scratching the surface of how neuroscience can bolster deep learning and by applying what neuroscience has learned about neurons we can make better human-like AIs.

Robotics

FAA Updates Drone Rules for Everyone

FAA is updating rules for everyone who wants to fly a drone in the US. The latest changes include a requirement to display registration information externally and simplify rules around flying a drone in the night.

The British Military Is Working on Anti-Aircraft Drone Swarms

British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said the UK will fund research into developing swarm drone squadrons capable of confusing and overwhelming enemy air defences. 

Drones Just Shut Down Another Huge Airport

Dubai International Airport, one of the largest airports in the world, was shut down for about 30 minutes due to an unauthorised drone flying around the airport. Dubai International joins Gatwick, Heathrow and Newark airports on the list of airports disrupted by a drone in recent months. 

Laws can’t keep up with sex robots’ ethical and privacy issues

Sex robots are coming and once again the lawmakers need to catch up with the technology. How do we ensure sex robots are safe? How will intimacy with a sex robot affect the human brain? Would sex with a childlike robot be ethical? And what exactly is a sexbot anyway?

► Termites and Robots, Building Together

Here is 12-minutes long talk termites and robots - what we can learn from those insects and how we can apply these lessons to build a swarm of robots to build almost anything everywhere in the world and beyond.

Biotechnology

CRISPR Could Make You Immune to the Flu

As someone who is currently battling with a cold/flu, I welcome everything that can make the headache, sneezing and running nose go away with open arms. So far the CRISPR-based flu vaccine looks like it works for mice.

The Confounding Climate Science of Lab-Grown Meat

The lab-grown meat, also known as clean meat, is hailed as a more environmentally friendly way of producing meat - it does not produce methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Scientists from Oxford University decided to test this premise in long term. And by long term, they meant 1000 years. They have found out that in short term, lab-grown meat is producing fewer greenhouse gases but in long term, lab-grown meat produces more CO2 which lasts longer in the atmosphere than methane. Researchers assumed that in that 1000 years time frame we will still be burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. It is unlikely to happen so I think lab-grown meat will be a better option for the environment after all.

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