6th November 2015

Issue #22

Why does AI love so much Mario, motorcycle-riding robot, news about Facebook’s AI, tree dodging drone and more!


More Than A Human

This Guy Implanted His Bitcoin Wallet and Made a Payment With His Hand

Patric Lanhed was able to send bitcoins authorizing the transaction using implanted in his hand NFC chip. Either a glimpse of things to come or an extravagant experiment.

Organic Interfaces; or, How Human Beings Augment Their Digital Devices

There’s a lot talks about how technology can augment our lives. This article goes in the opposite way – it explores how humans augment their devices. Plus a long passage about Bond and his relation with technology.

Artificial Intelligence

Fear the Future – Skynet is Coming!

MatPat from Film Theory takes a look at the world in Terminator movies and checks how close we are to the vision of AI-driven apocalypse.

Toyota is Investing $1 Billion In Becoming an Artificial Intelligence Company

Toyota is taking AI research seriously. Very seriously. Well, they have to if they want to stay relevant in the future full of computers on the wheels.

Why Artificial Intelligence Researchers Love ‘Super Mario Bros.’

If you follow recent developments in artificial intelligence you might know at least one demonstration of such algorithms using Super Mario Bros. But why Mario and not any other game? What makes Mario so special for AI researchers? This article tries to answer these questions.

How Artificial Intelligence Will Give Birth To Itself

There’s a saying among futurists that a human-equivalent artificial intelligence will be our last invention. After that, AIs will be capable of designing virtually anything on their own — including themselves. Here’s how a recursively self-improving AI could transform itself into a superintelligent machine.

Facebook Aims Its AI at the Game No Computer Can Crack

Computers can beat humans in almost every game – chess, scrabble, Jeopardy. But there is one game in which humans are better than machines. This game is Go. Ambitious guys from Facebook are trying to change it and be the first to create a machine beating humans in Go.

Soon, Gmail’s AI Could Reply to Your Email for You

Google is working on the feature called Smart Reply – an AI will read your email, analyze it and then suggest a few (very brief) responses.

Facebook’s Artificial-Intelligence Software Gets a Dash More Common Sense

Engineers at Facebook had created an AI system that teaches itself some basic physics, like when a stack of block will fall. The hope is that by learning the basic physical principles AI systems better operate in real world.

Can computers be conscious?

The question of whether computers can be conscious has been in existence since the invention of modern computers. What does it mean to be conscious? How does conscious arise? Can computers be conscious?

What problems will AI solve in future? An old British gameshow can help explain

A riddle from an old British gameshow can tell us about what kind of problems will AI solve in the future.

If Your Robot Commits Murder, Should You Go To Prison?

This question is still an interesting thought experiment, but sooner or later we will have to find an answer for it. For example, when the first autonomous cars hit the road it is a matter of time when in an accident involving such car someone dies. Who’s going to be blamed then? Machine? Manufacturer? The owner? Or maybe no one?

Robotics

MIT Researcher Built A Drone That Dodges Trees At 30 Mph

A researcher at MIT designed this drone, which can recognize and avoid obstacles at speeds of 30 miles per hour (48km/h), without any human direction, as part of his PhD thesis. And it is open source!

Why Tesla’s Autopilot and Google’s car are entirely different animals

Is the Tesla’s Autopilot and Google’s self-driving car the same thing? Well, no, and this article explains why.

Farm Robot Learns What Weeds Look Like, Smashes Them

Bonirob, developed by Bosch’s Deepfield Robotics, is billed to eliminate some of the most tedious tasks in modern farming, plant breeding, and weeding. The autonomous robot is built to be a mobile plant lab, able to decide which strains of plant are most apt to survive insects and viruses and how much fertilizer they would need, and then smash any weeds with a ramming rod.

Motorcycle-riding Robot Has A Mission: To Surpass Humans

Yamaha had created a robot capable of riding a motorcycle and it looks so cool.

**Quadcopter Launches Scaneagle Drones From Its Belly, Catches Them In Mid-air **

Thus drone flies with other drone attached to its belly, deploys it and the catches it in mid-air. That’s on of the the closest thing we have right now to Helicarrier from Avengers.

Chinese Walking Robot Sets Distance Record

The robot named Xingzhe No.1 has been walking for 54 hours, during which it had taken 360,000 steps, covering 83 miles (or 136 kilometers) in total.

The Breakfast Machine

A robot that makes a breakfast. At least it tries. It reminds me the Dummy robot from Iron Man movies.

Skype founders invent self-driving robot that can deliver groceries for £1

Amazon, Walmart and Google (more on them below) are trying to conquer the skies with their delivery drones. The founders of Skype took a different approach and built a self-driving robot that can deliver groceries for £1. They will start testing the robot in Greenwich, London, in 2016.

Google plans drone delivery service for 2017

Amazon is developing its drone delivery system for a while. Last week Wal-Mart announced that they want to have a drone delivery service too. Now, Google joins the party and plans to launch its fleet of drones in 2017.

The Future of Flying Robots

At his lab at the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar and his team have created autonomous aerial robots inspired by honeybees. Their latest breakthrough: Precision Farming, in which swarms of robots map, reconstruct and analyze every plant and piece of fruit in an orchard, providing vital information to farmers that can help improve yields and make water management smarter.

Life with robots: ‘What people enjoy most is avoiding social interaction’

Why do need robots (besides for doing things we don’t like to do)? According to Andra Keay, managing director of Silicon Valley Robotics, we need robots to spare us the need to talk to other humans.

Humans can empathize with robots

It is not clear how the human brain responds to robots in empathic situations. But, researchers have found the first neurophysiological evidence of humans’ ability to empathize with robots in perceived pain and highlighted the difference in human empathy toward other humans and robots.

Construction site robot adapts as tools drop, plans change

Here’s a brick-laying robot, which can adapt to unexpected situations, like when it drops the tools.

How to distinguish lifelike robots from humans

When you put humans in front of real people and Geminoids, close replicas of people that can operate remotely, they have problems telling which one is human and which is a robot. Does it mean we will soon need Voight-Kampff test and blade runners?

Autonomous shuttles in Switzerland

For the first time in Switzerland, autonomous shuttles could make the rounds of a city center. Researchers at EPFL, in association with the startup BestMile and the public bus operator PostBus, are working on how to integrate these vehicles into the public transport system.

The Uncanny Valley

The Uncanny Valley is a term used mostly in robotics for describing the relation between how much the robot looks like human to how creepy it is. If you aren’t familiar with the term, please read this article, because the next link is…

Into the uncanny valley: 80 robot faces ranked by creepiness

For me, every robot from 61 to 77 is more or less creepy.

Robotic worm for head surgery can cut around corners

NiLiBoRo is a robotic “worm”, which will help surgeons perform delicate head surgery. It can cut through bones and twist and crawl in order to avoid tissues or blood vessels.

Biotechnology

Biotech Company Plans To Use CRISPR On People In Next Two Years

Genome editing company Editas Medicine plans to use CRISPR to treat an inherited eye disease and intends to test its treatment on patients before 2017.

Cheap Fast Powerful Gene-Editing Will Soon Change the World

Some people see CRISPR as the next magical thing that promises “no hunger, no pollution, no disease”. Other are seeing a devil in disguise. CRISPR is cheap and powerful. And there are people who don’t want this power to be released.

Virtual Worlds

Augmented Reality: Believe The Hype (Cycle)

A brief history of augmented reality, where it is now and what’s holding it back.

Other

The Transhumanist Movement Is Having an Identity Crisis

Transhumanism is a big movement with many faces and many ways to go. And when many people with many different views on the same issue are trying to work together, sooner or later they will split. This article on Motherboard checks if this thing is happening with multinational Transhumanist Party.

Is that a human or machine driving? Mistaken identity can lead to tragedy

In the not-so-distant future world the machine will be nearly indistinguishable from human and vice versa. Although it sounds cool, it may also lead to some problems when a machine is mistaken for human and vice versa. That’s why the author of this article is proposing the Turing Red Flag law – a law to mark every machine acting like a human as a machine to avoid confusions.

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