This week - can robots make us happier; how AI is accelerating battery development; open-source robotic leg; military cyber dogs; and more!
More Than A Human
Researchers from the University of Michigan have made this advanced robotic prosthetic leg fully open-source. On their website, you'll find everything you need to build one yourself - 3d files, manufacturing and assembly instructions, source code and all the numbers and graphs.
Many people associate Singularity - the point where AI surpasses human intelligence - with Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) or make a requirement for it to happen. This article, however, proposes that the Singularity can happen before AGI emerges. It argues that all is needed for Singularity is a natural selection environment for algorithms where AIs become better over time, no AGI required.
Only 9 companies - Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and IBM on the US side, and Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent on the Chinese side - have the biggest impact on AI right now. What could go wrong, asks Amy Webb in her newest book* which this article summarises.
What would happen if you throw an AI into a field where progress is slow because you run many trial-and-fail experiments? You can get two years of research done in just a month. Battery development is experiencing this right now and is producing breakthrough results.
John Danaher and his colleagues published a paper analysing how AI can disrupt legal norms and practices. As Danaher writes: "It's a long article, with lots of detail on debates in law and technology, but I think it contains a really important and interesting model for mapping out the different forms of AI-mediated disruption of the legal system. Furthermore, since the legal system is, in effect, just a system of norms and AI is just a type of technology, the model developed also helps us to understand how technology can disrupt any normative system.". The paper is available here.
When scientists faced the challenge of performing complex preparation protocol on thousands of fruit fly embryos, they turned to a robot that did all of that for them. It's a perfect example of how a clever use of robotics can accelerate research.
Tesla is going to release its ‘Full Self-Driving Beta’ to some customers who are “expert and careful drivers” next week, says CEO Elon Musk. He has been teasing the new core change to Autopilot, which should be able to interpret its environment in 4D instead of 2D after the update, and should result in a rapid improvement in performance and new features being released quicker.
The answer is yes - house robots can make us happier. But the study found two caveats. One - humans feel guilty when the robots are "human-like". And two - happiness is impeded if the use of autonomous products is perceived as an indication of laziness. The article also gives some advice on how to make sure the customer feels happy with their home robot - useful if you are building one.
Here is a good introduction to biocomputing - what it is, how we can use them to store information and compute, and how do they compare to classical and quantum computers.
US Army trials augmented reality goggles for dogs
US Army is turning combat dogs into cyber doggos. In this trial project, dogs are wearing augmented reality goggles, through which they can receive orders at a distance.
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