This week - celebrity biohacker is under investigation; a four-legged robot pulls an airplane; ectogenesis can be possible in a decade; AI fakes Joe Rogen voice; Sam Altman's message to potential OpenAI investors; and more!
More than a human
An introduction to ectogenesis - a technique where pregnancy conducted outside the uterus. It does sound like science fiction but some successful experiments have been already made (the most famous is the baby lamb in a zip bag) and sooner or later, someone will make a new human being in a machine.
Do you want to replace your arms with robotic ones like Adam Jensen from Deus Ex series? Well, you need to wait a little bit for the technology to catch up to the videogame. In the meantime, here are some companies that actually sell prosthetic arm today. To get one, you'll need at least $13,000.
US Army is looking into the feasibility of exoskeletons in combat for some time now. Here is a list of seven projects whose aim is to improve soldiers performance on the battlefield. All of them are still in the trial phase and I don't think they will move to another phase anytime soon.
Josiah Zayner, the face of biohacking movement, posted on his Instagram account a letter he received from California Department of Consumer Affairs saying he is under investigation for practicing medicine without a license in California. Zayner denies these claims and writes he "never given anyone anything to inject or use, never sold any material meant to treat a disease and never claim to provide treatments or cures because I knew this day would come".
Here is an interview with Veljko Dubljević, an assistant professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, where he answers some questions about the ethical side of using neuroenhancements like drugs or brain zapping - who should have access to these technologies? Do they give some people an unfair advantage? How do we address concerns about side effects? And who is responsible for answering these questions?
As the governments across the globe try to tackle the rules for AI, tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google don't hesitate to spend a lot of money on advising and guiding those who make the rules.
OpenAI is in an interesting place right now. It is moving from non-profit towards for-profit model under the leadership of Sam Altman who publicly said the company has never made a profit and they have no idea how to generate profit. Still, he said that “[OpenAI] have made a soft promise to investors that, ‘Once we build a generally intelligent system, that basically we will ask it to figure out a way to make an investment return for you.'”
Robert Miles gets philosophical about AI Safety. An event that's very unlikely is still worth thinking about, if the consequences are big enough. What's the limit though? Do we have to devote all of our resources to any outcome that might give infinite payoffs, even if it seems basically impossible? Does the case for AI Safety rely on this kind of Pascal's Wager argument?
AI startup Dessa has created what is by far the most convincing voice clone we’ve ever heard — perfectly mimicking the sound of MMA-commentator-turned-podcaster Joe Rogan. Joe's response - "At this point I’ve long ago left enough content out there that they could basically have me saying anything they want, so my position is to shrug my shoulders and shake my head in awe, and just accept it. The future is gonna be really fucking weird, kids.”
Someone asked musician Nick Cave: "Considering human imagination the last piece of wilderness, do you think AI will ever be able to write a good song?". Nick answers the question saying yes, AI might make a better song that human songwriter, but it will be missing something - the sense of awe, the connection with another human being and the splendour of our limits.
San Francisco has become the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition by its government. It is a victory for privacy advocates but the ban applies only to the city's government, not private companies. It might, however, influence how private companies use or communicate the usage of facial recognition.
Over a month ago, Boston Dynamics showed how 10 SpotMinis robots pulled a truck. Here, we have one strong robot pulling a small airplane.
Out hunger for rare earth minerals is making people revisit old, abandoned mines. Many of them are flooded and are generally too dangerous for humans to examine - a perfect environment to use a robot.
"Humans aren’t great at predicting the consequences of technology". This article warns that without taking action and banning the autonomous weapons entirely, we might be putting ourselves on a path which consequences we cannot predict.
This guy is controlling two drones at the same time just by waving his hand and it looks awesome.
Young scientists working on CRISPR are leaving academia and fund companies to use and capitalize the technology. Here is a list of some of those young people that believe the future is in biotech.