Issue #320

This week - OpenAI disbands its robotics team; DeepMind puts entire human proteome online; how the latest neuroscience research can help create AGI; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

Towards the end of deep learning and the beginning of AGI

Javier Ideami explains in this article how the volume of neurons, cortical columns in our neocortex and movement help us better understand how our brains work and therefore help us build more flexible and resilient artificial neural networks.

Voice clone of Anthony Bourdain prompts synthetic media ethics questions

The creators of “Roadrunner,” a documentary about the deceased celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, trained an AI to generate a copy of Bourdain's voice and use it to read one of his emails. This has sparked some ethical questions about synthetic media which this interview sheds light on.

Dynascore’s AI Music Engine Writes Tracks to Match Your Videos

In need of some cool music for your latest YouTube video? There is an AI now that will do just that.

AI-Generated Language Is Beginning to Pollute Scientific Literature

Researchers from France and Russia have published a study indicating that the use of AI-driven probabilistic text generators such as GPT-3 are introducing ‘tortured language’ into scientific journals. Some of the flagged papers seem to use GPT-3-like algorithms to bolster the English skills of the papers’ authors but some seem to be completely generated by AI.

Robotics

OpenAI disbands its robotics research team

Robotics is hard and OpenAI is another company to learn that lesson. OpenAI dabbled into robotics with a robotic arm solving Rubik's Cube but did not decide to pursue the research further. Instead, the company decided to focus on other, more profitable, projects, like GPT-3 and its applications.

Mini Pupper: Boston Dynamics Spot in the Palm

Mini Pupper is a project for all who want to play with Boston Dynamics Spot but don't have spare $75k to get one. Designed at Stamford, Mini Putter aims to be a "robot dog for education at an acceptable price". And it is open source so if you want you can go on and build one yourself.

Getting dressed with help from robots

Researchers from MIT trained a robotic arm to safely put a jacket on a human. The robot had to plan its motion with a human to make sure no one gets hurt. Researchers hope their work could potentially prove to be a powerful tool in expanding assistance for those with disabilities or limited mobility.

Dancing with Robots

One might think that teaching robots how to dance is a silly idea not worth pursuing. This article, however, argues that teaching robots how to dance and the emerging field of choreorobotics can help robots interact safely with and around humans.

Biotechnology

DeepMind puts the entire human proteome online, as folded by AlphaFold

The AlphaFold Protein Structure Database is a collaboration between DeepMind, the European Bioinformatics Institute and others, and consists of hundreds of thousands of protein sequences with their structures predicted by AlphaFold — and the plan is to add millions more to create a “protein almanac of the world.”

How Designer DNA Is Changing Medicine

Gene therapies based on the latest gene-editing techniques are revolutionising medicine. This article mainly focuses on applying those techniques to sickle cell disease but the same methods can be used to cure other genetic diseases.

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