Issue #241

This week - biorobots made from stem cells; is another AI winter coming; worm's life extended by 500%; how to measure AI; and more!


More than a human

Paralyzed Man Runs Marathon In Robotic Exoskeleton

Adam Gorlitsky, who is paralyzed from the waist down, completed the Charleston Marathon in an exoskeleton after walking for 33 hours, 50 minutes, and 23 seconds straight, three hours faster than the previous record. “I want to challenge Simon [Kindleysides, the previous record holder] to a one-on-one exoskeleton race one day,” Gorlitsky said. “I’d love to go head to head with him on his home turf at the London Marathon.”

► What If We Could Grow Babies in Artificial Wombs? (5:21)

Artificial wombs, a pure sci-fi concept just a couple years ago, is getting closer to reality. This video explains where we are right now with artificial wombs and tries to answer the question of how would we benefit from artificial wombs and what would be the downsides.

Biotech Raises $85 Million To Develop Anti-Aging Technology

Epirium has raised $85 million to pursue the vision of slowing ageing and shows that anti-ageing research and technology is leaving the fringes of science and it's getting treated seriously.

Artificial Intelligence

Researchers: Are we on the cusp of an ‘AI winter’?

The discussion about the new AI Winter has been going on for some time in the AI community. There is no denying that AI made a huge step forward in the 2010s but now it feels the field reached a plateau and a new innovation is needed, some experts say, while others say the AI industry is very much still in the "wonder years".

Conversational AI Can Propel Social Stereotypes

This article explores the intersection of AI and social stereotypes by looking at how the voice of our AI assistants can reinforce those stereotypes and what can be done to avoid them.

► AIs Are Getting Too Smart - Time For A New "IQ Test” 🎓 (4:39)

With AI algorithms getting smarter and smarter, how do you compare them? Károly Zsolnai-Fehér from Two Minute Papers briefly explains SuperGLUE - an AI benchmark from DeepMind to answer exactly that question.

Can an AI be an inventor? Not yet.

If an AI creates something new, can it be named as an inventor and hold a patent? According to the UK and European patent offices, the answer is no. The US Patent and Trademark Office whenever an AI can be officially be named as an inventor.

AI’s key to true intelligence is learning how to forget

Here is an interesting idea - "the key for AI to function effectively is in creating a neural network that can process and learn to strategically forget data while keeping the concepts stored, just like a human, versus overwrite all the information it has acquired".

► "Artificial Humans" (6:39)

At CES, Samsung presented Neon - "the first artificial humans". If you expect androids from Blade Runner or Westworld, then you will be disappointed. Neons are AI assistants with human avatars, thanks to footage of real actors combined with deepfake technology.

Robotics

Reachy is an expressive, open-source robot

Revealed at this year's CES, Reachy is an open-source humanoid robot aimed to help companies get quicker into humanoid robotics. The price tag for the basic single-arm, no head version is $9000 but if you want to build one, Reachy's design is available on GitHub.

Biotechnology

Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

This is a big achievement and a step forward for biorobotics but what caught my eye was the method used to design the robot. Researchers used evolutionary algorithms to find the right design for this walking robot. That's the big innovation here - the ability to design and test the robot before you grow it can propel the field of biorobotics.

Scientists Extend Lifespan of Worms by 500 Percent

Researchers were able to extend the lifespan of a C. elegans by 5 times. It's like extending the human lifespan to 400 years. Of course, human biology is way different than C. elegans' but it is yet another example that you can extend lifespans of living creatures.

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