Issue #316

This week - the quest to create brain-computer interfaces; the initiative to unify robots; rethinking biology as machine metaphor; an AI that turns brushstrokes into landscapes; and more!

More Than A Human

These companies hope to (literally) resurrect the dead

Extending human healthspan and therefore extending human life is not a pipe dream from the fringes of science anymore, as I try to show in this newsletter. Here is another example - The Methuselah Foundation, which goal is exactly that, partners with NASA on multiple challenges to help solve problems facing humanity in space and as an offshoot, help increase human healthspan. Plus they are investing in a number of companies that directly or not will help achieve the same result.

Can a $110 Million Helmet Unlock the Secrets of the Mind?

Bloomberg published a long piece about Bryan Johnson and his startup Kernel. Johnson, who made a fortune in online payment processing, has spent a lot of it building hardware meant to radically expand science’s understanding of the brain’s aging and effects on the body.

► Brain-Computer Interfaces (24:31)

Isaac Arthur takes on explaining what brain-computer interfaces are, how they work and where we are with them right now. Isaac explains the challenges ahead of BCIs (decoding brain signals, implanting devices into the brain, powering them, etc.), and lists possible solutions to them, applications of the technology and possible downsides.

Artificial Intelligence

Nvidia Canvas

Nvidia released Canvas - an AI-powered tool that transforms brushstrokes into photorealistic terrains. And it does it all in real time. You can add a new brushstroke and the AI will figure out if it is a cloud, a river or a mountain. Canvas runs only for WIndows and you need to have an Nvidia RTX card to run it.


Hyundai Motor Group Completes Acquisition of Boston Dynamics from SoftBank

It's done now - Boston Dynamics is a part of Hyundai. The Korean industrial giant paid $1.1 billion to get controlling interest in the company from SoftBank. We will see how will the third owner of Boston Dynamics deals with the company.

Robot 'rosetta stone' will unify the bots

A bunch of robotics companies teamed up to create MassRobotics Interoperability Standard which will allow robots from competing companies to interact seamlessly with each other.


Rethinking the Biology-as-Machine Metaphor

Describing biological systems as machines is unhelpful and can lead to oversimplification and misunderstanding of how these systems work, argues this article. It calls to rethink the metaphors we use to describe biology to beget wonder towards nature and not imply we already have the full schematics.

Voices of biotech leaders

Nature Biotechnology reached out to a selection of leaders representing a cross section of the biotech industry and asked them to contribute their visions of the future. 

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