Issue #246

This week - hacking prosthesis to control a synthesiser; the messy story behind OpenAI; how AlphaStar became a StarCraft II Grandmaster; and more!

More Than A Human

► Hacking my arm prosthesis to output CV so that it plugs into my synth (9:06)

Bertolt Meyer hacked his prosthetic arm to control a synthesiser using nothing but his thoughts. He shares in this video how he built the device and shows what he can do with it.

The Intimacy of Transhumanism

There’s a tendency to think that transhumanism is robotic, cold, impersonal, abstract, or distant, but the truth is that transforming ourselves with technology is a deeply intimate and immediate experience.

► Can We Live Forever? Nanomedicine and Nanobots (10:57)

This video explains how nanotechnology can change medicine, from nanomagnets, nanopores, nanoparticles and "buckey-bombs", all of which can dramatically change medicine and improve health and lifespan in the future.

Artificial Intelligence

The messy, secretive reality behind OpenAI’s bid to save the world

Founded in 2015, OpenAI's mission was to democratise AI and make sure that AI will be used for the betterment of humanity. But over time, fierce competitiveness and mounting pressure for ever more funding eroded its founding ideals of transparency, openness, and collaboration.

► How AlphaStar Became a StarCraft Grandmaster (19:25)

AlphaStar is DeepMind's AI agent that was the first-ever bot to win against a top human player in Starcraft II and later achieve Grandmaster level in the game. In this video, AI and Games walk through the story of how it all works.

Elon Musk says all advanced AI development should be regulated, including at Tesla

In response to a new MIT Technology Review profile of OpenAI, Elon Musk tweeted that “all org developing advance AI should be regulated, including Tesla.”. He also clarified that he believes advanced AI development should be regulated both by individual national governments as well as by international governing bodies, like the UN.


Why your new work colleague could be a robot

Many companies are working right now to bring robots from the factories into our offices and homes. They work on a future where everyone can afford a robot to automate repetitive tasks and free time and resources to do something else. Or to take all the jobs. Depends on who you are talking to.


Reproductive genome from the laboratory

Researchers from Max Planck Institute have created from scratch a system that can conserve and reproduce itself, just like living organisms. According to the researchers, this is an important step towards a continuously self-replicating system that mimics biological processes.

DNA Is Not a Blueprint

With the DNA tests being popular these days, some people believe that DNA defines everything about them - intelligence, fitness, even sexual preferences. But DNA is not a blueprint, as this article explains. It's more like a recipe and you cannot ignore the environment's impact on what a person (or any organism) becomes and behaves.


The future of personal implantables: opportunities in healthcare and beyond - London, UK, February 22

This London Futurists event features Anna Luisa Schaffgotsch, the Founder and CEO of Impli Limited. Anna will be sharing her vision for the future of implantables, and showcasing key market research.

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