Issue #318

This week - how AI wolfs and sheep caused a massive debate in China; AI designs its own chips; killer robots are here; Spot dances to BTS song; and more!


More Than A Human

How long can a person live? The 21st century may see a record-breaker

New research suggests that there is near 100% probability that the current record of maximum reported age at death (which is 122 years) will be broken by 2100 and that there is a big chance we will see people living up to 130 years.

Artificial Intelligence

► NVIDIA’s GANCraft AI (5:55)

Can you train an AI that takes Minecraft world and turns it into a photorealistic landscape? Yes, yes you can and Károly Zsolnai-Fehér from Two Minute Papers explains how it works. Also, congratulations to Károly for reaching 1 million subs on YouTube!

► The Next Generation of Chips: Built by AI (13:36)

Engineers are working on incorporating AI in chip design and Ian Cutress explains this topic in this video. Google has started to use AI in parts with its new Tensor Processing Unit, but now Synopsys is set to open its arms wide about new AI software built in directly to the tools that all chip designers use to make their processors.

A Global Smart-City Competition Highlights China’s Rise in AI

AI City Challenge aimed to spur the development of artificial intelligence for real-world scenarios like counting cars traveling through intersections or spotting accidents on road. In the beginning, American companies were leading the competition. This, however, started to change. LAst year Chinese companies started to lead in some categories and last week, Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Baidu swept the AI City Challenge, beating competitors from nearly 40 nations. Chinese companies or universities took first and second place in all five categories. Their solutions show how AI can be used to improve life in a city but some point out how they can be used for surveillance.

The AI Wolf That Preferred Suicide Over Eating Sheep

A simple game of wolves chasing sheep produced an unexpected behaviour that sparked off a culture and ethics debate in China. It is yet another example of how AI can optimise itself in a way we don't expect or want to.

Robotics

► Spot's On It (1:17)

I did not expect to see a bunch of Boston Dynamics' Spot robots dancing to BTS song and here they are.

Russian Yandex to launch delivery robots in US

Russian tech giant Yandex is planning to launch self-driving delivery robots on US college campuses later this year. In a statement, the Russian group said it would partner with US delivery giant Grubhub, which operates on 250 campuses, to deploy the self-driving rovers. The expansion is Yandex's latest foray abroad, after announcing in April plans to launch its rapid grocery delivery service in France later this year. It is also gearing up to start operations in London.

Killer Flying Robots Are Here. What Do We Do Now?

Combat drones are here. They are cheap, easy to use and can operate without input from a human. Those factors can render current military tactics and equipment irrelevant, as this article points out.

Israel Military Deploys High-Tech ‘Jaguar’ Robot To Patrol Gaza Border

Jaguar, a high-tech semi-autonomous unmanned combat ground vehicle developed by the Isreal military, has been seen patrolling the Israeli border.

Biotechnology

Rejuvenating Mouse Brains With Ketamine or Flickering Light

Ketamine and exposure to 60-hertz flickering light show promise as a potentially new, non-invasive therapy to help rejuvenate the aging brain which could help cure brain diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Events

Anticipating a sea-change in public attitude, with Dr Aubrey de Grey (July 17, 2021 04:00 PM UK time)

In this London Futurists webinar, Aubrey de Grey will be sharing his analysis of recent developments in the fast-moving field of biorejuvenation technology, offering suggestions regarding potential large changes in public attitudes, and answering audience questions.

The Future of Transhumanist Studies (July 31, 2021 04:00 PM UK time)

Natasha Vita-More will be sharing with London Futurists her new project, "Transhumanist Studies", why it is needed, the course material that's already available, the roadmap for new courses, and how people can become involved in this important project. She'll also be answering audience questions on the past, present, and future of transhumanism.

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