Issue #271

This week - AI writes an essay about human intelligence; MKBHD meets Spot; jet fighter pilot is taking an AI pilot; how roboticists work from home; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

Are Humans Intelligent? An AI Op-Ed

Someone asked GPT-3 this deep philosophical question and here is what AI has generated about it. But really, go and read this essay. It is hard to believe it was generated by a machine (although I'd like to know if GPT-3 generated it on the first try or was it cherry-picked).

AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All

Synthetic video and audio seemed pretty bad. Synthetic writing—ubiquitous and undetectable—will be far worse.

A British AI Tool to Predict Violent Crime Is Too Flawed to Use

A flagship artificial intelligence system designed to predict gun and knife violence in the UK before it happens had serious flaws that made it unusable, local police have admitted. The error led to large drops in accuracy, and the system was ultimately rejected by all of the experts reviewing it for ethical problems. 

A US Air Force pilot is taking on AI in a virtual dogfight — here’s how to watch it

Next week, DARPA will host the finals for AlphaDogfight contest. Eight teams will compete to check which AI pilot is the best of them and the final test will be a virtual dogfight with a human fighter jet pilot. The event will be streamed online. However, if you live outside the US, the registration deadline has already passed. If you are a US citizen, you have time to register till 17 August.

Robotics

► Dope Tech: Boston Dynamics Robot Dog (15:09)

MKBHD Marques Brownlee got to play with Spot Mini and in this video, he shares his thoughts and experiences from interacting with Boston Dynamics' robotic dog. Marques takes it for a walk around a parking lot, in the wild, up the stairs, and explains what Spot can do and how we can use it (I like his analogy of Spot being like a Mars rover but on Earth).

How Roboticists (and Robots) Have Been Working from Home

Here are some robotics engineers sharing how do they do their work from home. Those people have a really cool job.

Will COVID-19 spur new robot ‘friends’ and helpers?

“In general, I don’t think the public is very aware of what these [social] robots can do to improve our lives,” says Jeffrey Krichmar, professor at the University of California, Irvine. “There’s more education that needs to be done. I hope COVID-19 will be a wakeup call to our robotics community to spur new ideas.”

Closing Notes

Futures Podcast announced another event - a live conversation with David Eagleman - a neuroscientist who teaches brain plasticity at Stanford University and builds the next generation of neuroscience hardware. The event is on 2nd September and starts at 7:00 PM UK time (2:00 PM ET, 11:00 AM PST) and you reserve your virtual seat here.

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