Issue #288

This week - Hyundai to buy Boston Dynamics; mind-controlled beer pong; how to start a robot revolution; AI that makes pyjamas safe for work; and more!


More Than A Human

Mind-Controlled Beer Pong Gets Easier As You Drink

I love hackers and makers. Whatever crazy idea comes to their heads, they just do it. Like this mind-controlled beer pong. It's brilliant and beautiful.

Artificial Intelligence

Meet GPT-3. It Has Learned to Code (and Blog and Argue)

This article from The New York Times explains what GPT-3 is and what it is capable of doing right now - from impersonating everyone to writing convincing blog posts. It also points out the nasty side of training text-generating AI on data taken from the internet - sometimes what GPT-3 generates is sexist, biased or racist.

AI that makes pajamas safe for work

EmbodyMe is a Japanese company that deepfakes you in video calls. One of the use cases of their product is deepfaking you into a suit - perfect for those video calls when you just woke up and are in pyjamas.

Japan to fund AI matchmaking to boost birth rate

Japan plans to boost its tumbling birth rate by funding artificial intelligence matchmaking schemes to help residents find love. From next year it will subsidise local governments already running or starting projects that use AI to pair people up.

The US Government Will Pay Doctors to Use These AI Algorithms

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently said it would pay for use of two AI systems: one that can diagnose a complication of diabetes that causes blindness, and another that alerts a specialist when a brain scan suggests a patient has suffered a stroke. The decisions are notable for more than just Medicare and Medicaid patients—they could help drive much wider use of AI in health care.

Robotics

Hyundai to acquire Boston Dynamics for nearly $1B

Boston Dynamics has a new owner - Hyundai bought the company from Softbank for £921 million. Robotics has become a bigger focus for Hyundai recently so maybe this time Boston Dynamics will find a good home.

How to start a robot revolution

RedHat has published all 5 parts of their documentary about ROS (Robot Operating System) - from humble beginnings at Willow Garage to becoming an industrial standard that helped robotics become what it is now, both in academia and in industry.

The world's biggest drone debuts, and it weighs nearly 28 tons

Aevum revealed Ravn X - the biggest drone aircraft built so far. It is 25m (80ft) long with a wingspan of 18m (60ft). The aircraft is designed to drop a rocket in midair that launches small satellites into space without a launchpad in just 180 minutes.

Harvard and Sony built a tiny surgery robot inspired by origami

Inspired by origami, researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute and Sony have created a surgical robot that’s much smaller than many other such devices. The robot, named mini-RCM, is around the size of a tennis ball and weighs about the same as a penny and could one day assist surgeons delicate teleoperated procedures.

MIT Report: Robots Aren’t the Biggest Threat to the Future of Work—Policy Is

A report from MIT has found that technology in fact creates more new jobs than it replaces. The report acknowledges that while fears of an imminent jobs apocalypse have been over-hyped, the way technology has been deployed over recent decades has polarized the economy, with growth in both white-collar work and low-paid service work at the expense of middle-tier occupations like receptionists, clerks, and assembly-line workers.

Biotechnology

Harvard Scientists Claim to Reverse Mouse Aging at Cellular Level

A team of scientists has restored the eyesight of elderly mice by effectively reversing the process of aging at a molecular level. The cohort of Harvard Medical School researchers removed thousands of chemical markers that accumulate over time from the mice’s DNA, essentially resetting their cells to a younger state. Shortly thereafter, mice with age-related vision loss or nerve damage in their retinas regained their ability to see. Even more, the mice who lost eyesight due to nerve damage were able to sprout new nerves after the treatment — something mammals typically lose the ability to do very early in life.

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