Issue #273

This week - AI wins against human pilot in a simulated dogfight; meet Peter the Human Cyborg; Waymo started testing driverless trucks; the rise of living robots and brain-like computers; and more!

More Than A Human

Peter “the Human Cyborg” on his groundbreaking transformation: “I’m in uncharted territory – how cool is that?”

Peter Scott-Morgan's body was devastated by Motor Neurone Disease but thanks to the current technology and his determination, Peter is transforming himself into a cyborg. It is, as he put it, ‘the end of Peter 1.0 and the start of Peter 2.0'. 

Artificial Intelligence

AI Slays Top F-16 Pilot In DARPA Dogfight Simulation

Last week, DARPA was hosting the finals of their next challenge - AlphaDogfight - make an AI that can fly a fighter jet. Eight teams competed with each other to find out which one is the best amongst them to face one of the top US Air Force’s F-16 jet fighter pilot. Heron Systems AI pilot emerged victorious and then crushed human pilot 5:0 in a simulated dogfight.

Navy F/A-18 Squadron Commander's Take On AI Repeatedly Beating Real Pilot In Dogfight

Here is what an actual fighter pilot thinks about the recent AlphaDogfight competition and gives a bit more context about what was happening there. He also touches on three things that stood up for him - the aggressive gun employment by the AI; he AI’s efficient use of energy; and the AI’s ability to maintain high-performance turns.

A Dogfight Renews Concerns About AI's Lethal Potential

The US and other countries are rushing to embrace the technology before adversaries can, and some experts say it will be difficult to prevent nations from crossing the line to full autonomy. It may also prove challenging for AI researchers to balance the principles of open scientific research with potential military uses of their ideas and code.

New milestones in embodied AI

AI researchers from Facebook presented a work that aims to give intelligent robots the sense of hearing. Currently, most robots navigate using cameras and are, as researchers stated, "deaf". Their work explores what can be possible if robots could navigate using sound too, like moving towards the source of the sound.

GPT-3, Bloviator: OpenAI’s language generator has no idea what it’s talking about

Is GPT-3 an important step toward artificial general intelligence—the kind that would allow a machine to reason broadly in a manner similar to humans without having to train for every specific task it encounters, ask Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis, and their answer is no. Their main argument is that GPT-3 although it can produce human-like text or have commercial applications, it lacks comprehension and "it’s not a reliable interpreter of the world".

► Neuromorphic: Brainlike Computers (35:51)

This video explains the neuromorphic computing - the idea of creating true artificial brains based on how a human brain works. This is a very promising field of computing that can be the next leap in computing.


► Rise Of The Living Robots (18:55)

Joe Scott explores living robots - from soft robotics to bioinspired robots, like xenobots and DNA bots, and explains how they work and how we can use them. He also explores the idea of robots using food to get energy, not batteries. Which, when you put all of this together, gives a new meaning to "living robots".

Waymo Just Started Testing Its Driverless Trucks in Texas

With a new hub in Dallas, Waymo’s heavy-duty trucks took to the Texas roads this week to start the company’s road testing of its driverless fleet, which consists of 13 Peterbilt 18-wheelers complete with cameras, lidar, and on-board computers.

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