Issue #238

This week - how "ethical AI" was created; self-driving DeLorean learns to drift; how to live forever; and more!


More than a human

► How to Live Forever with Dr. Aubrey de Grey (34:28)

Decoding Superhuman talks with Dr. Aubrey de Grey about Seven Pillars of ageing, the research that he's currently doing, his opinion on biological age, AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) and the different sources, the impact of growth hormone on biological age and how does one go from computer programming to curing ageing.

Robotic Exoskeletons, Like This One, Are Getting More Practical

When you imagine an exoskeleton, chances are it might look a bit like the Guardian XO from Sarcos Robotics. The XO is literally a robot you wear (or maybe, it wears you). The suit’s powered limbs sense your movements and match their position to yours with little latency to give you effortless superstrength and endurance—lifting 200 pounds will feel like 10.

► The Connectome: How Scientists Are Uploading Your Brain (17:56)

This video explains the efforts to map human brains - a step many say is necessary to achieve mind upload and digital immortality.

Artificial Intelligence

The Invention of “Ethical AI”

This article goes in-depth into revealing the ties between big tech and academia in the field of “ethical AI”. The author argues that ethical AI is aligned with the tech lobby’s agenda: to voluntarily or moderately adjust, rather than legally restrict, the deployment of controversial technologies, like using facial recognition by police or AI on the battlefield.

Game of Drones at NeurIPS 2019: Simulation-based drone-racing competition built on AirSim

Game of Drones is a competition run by Microsoft in which teams compete to create the best drone racing AIs. The finals are happening right now but if you want to check your AI training skills, the AirSim (the virtual environment where drones fly) is available for everyone to try out.

Robotics

Self-driving DeLorean learns how to drift

MARTY is what happens when the future meets the future. MARTY is all-electric self-driving DeLorean trained by researchers from Stanford to drive and drift like a human.

Robo-fish powered by battery ‘blood’

Researchers have created a robotic fish powered by a battery fluid that its developers dub ‘robot blood’. The roughly 40-centimetre soft robot doesn’t have solid batteries — instead it is propelled by a dual-function fluid that stores energy and moves the fish’s fins. The approach allows the machine to store more energy in a smaller space and operate for longer periods without the need for heavy and cumbersome battery packs.

Humanoid Robot Has Joints That Inspire

Indeed, this robot has some interestingly designed joints.

Human Reflexes Help MIT’s HERMES Rescue Robot Keep Its Footing

HERMES is a robot that you control. And by "you control" I mean you wear a suit that translates your movement into the robot's movement. The idea is to combine the robot's robustness with human reflexes and instincts and use this combination in rescue missions.

Biotechnology

The Year in Biology

Quanta Magazine lists some of the most interesting research that happened in 2019 in biology - from exploring the zone between life and death, charted the mind’s system for arranging ideas and memories and learned how life’s complexity emerged.

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