Issue #309

This week - AI that generates code; laser-equipped weed killing farming robot; how could we augment ourselves in the future; and more!


More than a human

► The Dress That Can Read Minds (3:08)

Pangolin is a 3d printed dress that can read its wearer's brainwaves and change its shape in reaction to their mental state.

► Biotech: Human Modification and Augmentation (33:52)

In the future biotechnology may allows us repair, modify, or augment humans, but how will this be done? What will these technologies look like and should we embrace them, asks and answers Issac Arthur.

Artificial Intelligence

Now for AI’s Latest Trick: Writing Computer Code

The purpose of programmers is to automate things. There are startups that are using GPT-3 to go one level higher and automate programming - just write in plain English what you want the program to do and AI will generate the code.

I asked GPT-3 for the question to “42”. I didn’t like its answer and neither will you.

Another episode of "let's give GPT-3 something to generate and see what happens". This time, it was the age-old question about life, the Universe and everything, and why 42. It was interesting to see what a text-generator, trained on a huge amount of human literature and philosophy, had to say.

Why A.I. Moonshots Miss

Instead of big and ambitious AI projects and moonshots (which this article lists alongside missed predictions) maybe we should look at how successful technologies generally begin - small and often overlooked applications and then expand to bigger and more important ones.

Robotics

Farming Robot Kills 100,000 Weeds per Hour With Lasers

Carbon Robotics has unveiled the third-generation of its Autonomous Weeder, a smart farming robot that identifies weeds and then destroys them with high-power lasers. The Autonomous Weeder kills weeds without harming soil or water, and it operates autonomously, eliminating the reliance on manual labourers - it can eliminate more than 100,000 weeds per hour and weed 15 to 20 acres of crops in one day.

► Disney Imagineers Develop Cutting-edge, Free-roaming Robotic Actor (1:15)

And that free-roaming robotic actor is small Groot and it is quite impressive.

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