Issue #247

This week - OpenAI performs surgery on a neural network; DARPA wants gamers' brainwaves to train military robots; Pentagon releases principles for AI in warfare; and more!

More than a human

The Government Wants to Use Your Brainwaves to Train Swarms of Military Robots

This sounds like it was taken straight from a cyberpunk story. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding a study that will use gamers' brain waves to teach hives of defence robots how to swarm together to complete missions.

Artificial Intelligence

► OpenAI Performs Surgery On A Neural Network to Play DOTA 2 (7:03)

Károly Zsolnai-Fehér describes OpenAI's efforts to create an AI agent playing DOTA2 better than any human and how the team at OpenAI avoided retraining the entire neural network (which takes at least 10 months) by using surgery - a technique that allows applying changes to an ongoing AI training process without starting the training from the beginning.

These Are the Pentagon’s New Ethics “Principles” for AI in Warfare

Pentagon announced the official adoption of a series of new principles for the ethical use of artificial intelligence in warfare. The new principles call for people to “exercise appropriate levels of judgment and care” when deploying and using AI systems, such as those that scan aerial imagery to look for targets. They also say decisions made by automated systems should be “traceable” and “governable,” which means “there has to be a way to disengage or deactivate” them if they are demonstrating unintended behavior


Subterranean Challenge Urban Circuit

Teams competing in DARPA Subterranean Challenge have just completed the second stage - the Urban Circuit, where the robots have to find their way in dark underground corridors. On DARPA's Youtube channel you can find the recaps and livestreams from each day of the challenge.

► Robotics Expert Breaks Down Robot Scenes From Film & TV (18:40)

Chris Atkeson, a professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, watches a variety of scenes featuring robots from movies and television and breaks down how accurate their depictions really are.

This Noodle-Fingered Robot Is a Friend to Jellyfish

By using a robot with soft arms, researchers can gently grab jellyfishes from the ocean and study. Comparing to a robot with metal claws, jellyfishes are less stressed on a molecular level when they are grabbed with a soft robot.


3D Printing of Body Parts Is Coming Fast—but Regulations Are Not Ready

Bioprinting is seen as one of the next big things in medicine. But as this article points out, the regulators are not ready for bioprinting. The example given here is a 3D printed heart - is it an organ, a product or a medical device? An answer to this question might decide how bioprinting will be deployed and used in hospitals.

► DNA Manipulation in Living Subjects (24:33)

Genetic Engineering and DNA alteration is an emerging technology with huge ramifications in the future, including potentially altering the DNA of adult humans, not just embryos or plants & animals. In this video, Isaac Arthur uncovers the potential of DNA manipulations.

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