Issue #299

This week - Spot gets an arm and gets armed; a roadmap to Human Body 2.0; is Google's AI research about to implode; and more!


More Than A Human

Human Body 2.0 Project

Human Body 2.0 Project is a website that tracks how close are we to create a fully augmented human body. Each body part has its own roadmap with a timeline, the current state of the technology and what challenges are ahead. Right now they only roadmaps for limbs, heart, lungs and vision are complete but there are more to come.

Artificial Intelligence

Is Google’s AI research about to implode?

Things don't look good at Google Brain, according to David Sumpter. The recent firing of Timnit Gebru and papers coming out of Google show that the tech giant, instead of nurturing some of their innovative researchers, decided to fire them and shut down projects they were working on.

Is there a more environmentally friendly way to train AI?

This article highlights the environmental impact of training modern AI systems. It takes a lot of energy to train those AIs and that energy needs to generate somehow. One study cited in this article claimed that training a single advanced language-processing AI produced the same amount of CO2 as five cars would produce over their lifetimes. And with more and more problems being solved with the help of AI, we might have to think about the environmental impact of those systems.

Artificial Intelligence-Worshipping Church Officially Shuts Down

Did you know there was an AI-worshipping church? It was founded by Anthony Levandowski, who is best known for stealing Waymo's trade secrets and bringing them to Uber, sentenced to jail and then pardoned by former US President Donald Trump.

Robotics

► Adam Savage Tests Boston Dynamics Spot's New Robot Arm (40:55)

Adam Savage shows how Spot's new arm works in real-life. In this video, we can see how to control the arm from the handheld remote, how to make Spot grab things or to open doors. And after that, Adam gives Spot a container and tasks it with cleaning the floor.

Boston Dynamics’ Robot Dog Is Now Armed—in the Name of Art

This Spot got armed... with a paintball gun.

Robot artist gets its first major exhibition — but is it truly creative?

A robot artist called Ai-Da will get its first major exhibition at London’s Design Museum this summer. Ai-Da's work is based on photos taken by cameras in the droid’s eyes. Algorithms then transform the images into a set of coordinates, which guide the robot’s drawing hand.

Biotechnology

The First Endangered American Animal Has Been Cloned

Black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann has become the first endangered American animal to be cloned. Elizabeth Ann won't be the first clone - there is a plan to breed more clones to help rebuild the black-footed ferrets' population. But for now, Elizabeth Ann and others will live at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center near Fort Collins, Colorado, and could be reintroduced into the wild as soon as 2025.

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