In this week's issue - OpenAI shifts from nonprofit to ‘capped-profit’ to attract capital; AI is entering art galleries; drones in all shapes and forms; someone at Valve is working on brain-computer interfaces; and more!
More Than A Human
At GDC 2019 later this month, Valve’s Principal Experimental Psychologist, Mike Ambinder will present the latest research pertaining to brain-computer interfaces—using signals from the brain as computer input. Ambinder says that BCI is still “speculative technology,” but could play an important role in the way players interact with the games of the future. Sounds interesting. GDC usually published the talks on YouTube so as soon I get it I'll share it with you.
OpenAI started as a non-profit company. This week, the company announced they are moving from non-profit to “capped-profit” company - they will cut returns from investments past a certain point. “There is no way of staying at the cutting edge of AI research, let alone building AGI, without us massively increasing our compute investment”, writes Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist at OpenAI. In an environment where big companies like Google or Amazon can put massive resources into AI research and lure the best scientist, Sutskever's statement makes sense. I just hope OpenAI will remain "open".
Are algorithms controlling us? According to Dionysios Demetis, yes. "The roles of information technology and humans have been reversed. In the past, we humans used technology as a tool. Now, technology has advanced to the point where it is using and even controlling us", he writes in this essay and warns about unforeseen consequences of leaving machines to decide about everything.
AI is entering art galleries. After an AI-generated painting was sold for $432,500 last year, some people want to cash in on the hype. As a side effect, they make other people ask what is art and can a machine create art.
In order to understand the impact of AI on our lives and to make a documentary about it, Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting challenged themselves to build a robot that will replace them as directors.
Here is a story of a guy who was studying cybersecurity when one day he was introduced to drone racing. The very next day he bought his own racing drone and venture on a journey to apply machine learning to racing drones. In November 2018, Neuroflight took to the sky for its maiden flight.
This story is a lesson on how not to use telepresence. A doctor in California told a patient he was going to die, using a robot with a video-link screen. News like that should not be handled via a robot.
BBC made a list of positive ways drones can be used. tl;dr - rescue, mapping, deliveries, reducing pesticides, conservation and... tracking sharks. I did not expect to see sharks on this list.
Some shepherds in New Zealand (where there are 6 times more sheep than humans) turn to drones to help them manage their massive herds. They use commercially available drones outfitted with speakers that blast the sounds of dogs barking.
The U.S. Air Force has released the first images of its latest combat drone, the XQ-58A Valkyrie from its 76-minute inaugural flight over Arizona. The Air Force released a short 15-second video of the first flight to show it off.