Issue #203

This week - how to live longer; OpenAI crushes humans in Dota 2; the challenges of robotic farmers; why extended intelligence is the future; and more!

More Than A Human

► Life-extension: What's The Longest We Can Live? (19:57)

Would you like to live forever? If the answer is "yes", then right now your best option is to live long enough for scientists to figure out how to cure ageing. This video gives some ideas on how to extend our lives with the technology we have access to right now.

Scientists Create Speech From Brain Signals

Researchers have created a brain-computer interface that some may say translates thoughts into speech. The system decodes the brain’s vocal intentions and translates them into mostly understandable speech, with no need to move a muscle, even those in the mouth. Researchers hope the system can be used to help locked-in patients communicate with the world again but I can also see how this technology can bring real-life telepathy.

► Max Tegmark - The Future of Humanity (30:18)

Here is Max Tegmark's lecture on the topic of humanity. Max focuses his talk on the current and future relationship with technology, focusing on our relationship with AI, how far can it go and how can we steer AI to the future where humanity flourishes.

Artificial Intelligence

Forget about artificial intelligence, extended intelligence is the future

"Instead of thinking about machine intelligence in terms of humans vs machines, we should consider the system that integrates humans and machines – not artificial intelligence but extended intelligence. Instead of trying to control or design or even understand systems, it is more important to design systems that participate as responsible, aware and robust elements of even more complex systems"

► Can We Teach AI to Evolve? (10:13)

This video from SciShow briefly explains different techniques used to "evolve" an artificial intelligence - from neural networks to reinforced learning - and what challenges lie ahead of researchers on their quest to create a general artificial intelligence.

OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot defeated 99.4% of players in public matches

OpenAI released their Dota 2 bot (which can beat Dota 2 pro players) into the wild for other players to play against or with it and it destroyed everyone with 99.4% win rate.

MuseNet by OpenAI

OpenAI released MuseNet - an AI system that generates 4-minutes long musical pieces with 10 different instruments. It can combine styles from country to Mozart to the Beatles. You can play with it here.


The Age of Robot Farmers

This article explains the challenges of building a robot that can pick strawberries and bringing robotics and automation to farming in general. It's a long-read article that not only addresses the technological challenges but the economy challenges too.

Laundroid company folds before its giant robot does

Laundroid, a Japanese company promising to bring sci-fi into reality and build a robot that does the laundry for us, is shutting down.

► Marc Raibert shows off a close-to-production Spot Mini (4:38)

Marc Raibert, the CEO of Boston Dynamics, shows the close-to-production version of Spot Mini and walks through what is new or improved compared to the prototypes. He also said he's not allowed to kick robots anymore.

How Squishy Robotics created a robot that can be safely dropped out of a helicopter

Squishy Robotics (wonderful name btw) is a startup building a robot that can survive a drop from about 200m. It does not have heavy armour, though. Through a complex web of cable-actuated rods, the robot can absorb the impact and change its shape to move. The company believes the robot will find its place with the first responders.

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