Issue #306

This week - first human trial of a wireless high-bandwidth BCI; a creation of part human, part monkey embryos; new legislation seeks to limit the use of AI in Europe; and more!


More Than A Human

Scientists Completed the First Human Trial of a Wireless High-Bandwidth Brain-Computer Interface

A team from Brown University has shown that a wireless brain-computer interface (BCI) can record brain signals with the same fidelity as a wired device. The study builds on a prototype wireless transmitter designed by Brown engineers in 2014. The system was designed to work with a wired brain-computer interface called BrainGate, also developed at Brown, which relies on two 96-electrode arrays implanted beneath the patient’s skull.

► The Effects of Longer Lifespans (28:14)

Soon, medical science may increase lifespan and longevity to the point of near-immortality, but what would be the effects of such technology on our civilization? Isaac Arthur looks at science fiction for ideas on how we could deal with longer lifespans and compares them to reality and research in rejuvenation.

Expert: New Neuralink Demo is Basically Tech From the Early 2000s

Some neurotech experts were not impressed by Neuralink's latest demo, saying underlying technology has been around for decades. However, the fact that the device is wireless and fully implanted is a big step forward.

Artificial Intelligence

Europe seeks to limit use of AI in society

The use of facial recognition for surveillance, or algorithms that manipulate human behaviour, will be banned under proposed EU regulations on artificial intelligence. The wide-ranging proposals, which were leaked ahead of their official publication, also promised tough new rules for what they deem high-risk AI. That includes algorithms used by the police and in recruitment. But experts said the rules were vague and contained loopholes.

Robotics

Domino's and Nuro Launch Autonomous Pizza Delivery with On-Road Robot

If you live in Houston and you order a pizza from Domino's in Woodland Heights, located at 3209 Houston Ave. you can choose to have your pizza delivered by Nuro's R2 robot. Nuro's R2 is the first completely autonomous delivery vehicle with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Digidog, a Robotic Dog Used by the Police, Stirs Privacy Concerns

The New York Police Department has been testing Digidog (aka Spot from Boston Dynamics), which it says can be deployed in dangerous situations and keep officers safer, but some fear it could become an aggressive surveillance tool.

Biotechnology

Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part Monkey

For the first time, scientists have created embryos that are a mix of human and monkey cells. The embryos were created in part to try to find new ways to produce organs for people who need transplants, said the international team of scientists who collaborated in the work. The researchers injected 25 cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells from humans — commonly called iPS cells — into embryos from macaque monkeys, which are much more closely genetically related to humans than are sheep and pigs. After one day, the researchers reported, they were able to detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos and were able study the embryos for up to 19 days.

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