Issue #236

This week - human vs AI in drone racing; the future of nanotechnology; NVIDIA makes 3D birds from 2D images; and more!


More than a human

Here's the Pentagon's Terrifying Plan for Cyborg Supersoldiers

The U.S. military wants soldiers that have superhuman eyesight, controllable augmented muscles that turn untrained novices into expert killers, and more.

The Elderly in Japan are Using Exoskeletons to Delay Retirement

Older people in Japan are using exoskeletons to help them in their jobs and thus staying longer active in workplaces.

Artificial Intelligence

It's Coders Versus Human Pilots in This Drone Race

In this race, a human piloting a racing drone faces an AI controlling another racing drone. Gabriel Kocher aka Gab707 finished the circuit in 6 seconds while AI did the same in 12 seconds, so this time humans were victorious. But Delft University of Technology’s MavLab team (who programmed the drone) says it is just a matter of time when AI will fly drones better than any human.

► Who Invented A.I.? - The Pioneers of Our Future (18:46)

From Frank Rosenblatt and his perceptron to Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun, the fathers of deep neural networks, this video tells the story of how artificial intelligence came from the fringes of science to mainstream.

This Roleplaying AI Makes a Great Dungeon Master

Someone used a full-sized GPT-2 text generating algorithm from OpenAI (the same that OpenAI said is too dangerous to release to the public) to generate role-playing game scenarios. You can read the generated scenarios here. Sadly, none of the scenarios contains the phrase "roll for initiative!"

DeepMind’s Mustafa Suleyman joins Google AI

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, has confirmed in a tweet that he left DeepMind and will join Google AI team in January.

2D or Not 2D: NVIDIA Researchers Bring Images to Life with AI

AI researchers from NVIDIA presented at the annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), in Vancouver, DIB-R - a machine learning-based rendering framework that can create a 3D model out of a single 2D image.

Robotics

Walmart partners with self-driving startup Nuro to test autonomous grocery delivery in Houston

Walmart announced a new pilot program that will test autonomous grocery delivery in the Houston market starting next year. The retailer is partnering with autonomous vehicle company Nuro, a robotics company that uses driverless technology to deliver goods to customers.

Turkey is getting military drones armed with machine guns

New Scientists reports that the Turkish army will soon be equipped with drones with a machine gun.

Biotechnology

► The Future of Nanotechnology with Sonia Contera (2:00:49)

I've attended this event organised by London Futurists where Sonia Contera from Oxford University shared how physics changed biology and how the interconnection of both sciences plus advanced mathematics and computer science is bringing the dream of nanotechnology closer to reality.

A Harvard geneticist's goal: to protect humans from viruses, genetic diseases, and aging

Scott Pelley from CNBS' 60 Minutes interviews George Church, the pioneer in genetic engineering, and some of the people he works with. They discuss such topics as reversing ageing, bringing extinct animals back, eradicating all diseases and a dating app that matches people based on their DNA.

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