Issue #324

This week - Tesla is building a humanoid robot; Atlas shows new parkour skills; how AI landed a man in jail with scant evidence; how AI is being used in courts; programmable traps for viruses; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

How AI-powered tech landed man in jail with scant evidence

Associated Press shares a story of Michael William, a 65-year-old man sentenced last year to life in jail for killing a young man. A crime he did not commit. The evidence of his crime was provided by an AI system that detects gunshots and notifies the police force when and where it happens. But as AP shows in this article, these kinds of systems are not sufficient evidence and cannot be reliably used in courts as evidence.

Neuromorphic Computing: What Is It And Where Are We At?

This article describes what is neuromorphic computing, where are in terms of emulating brains (either in software or in hardware) and gives ideas on how to get into neuromorphic computing if you are interested in it.

Would you let a robot lawyer defend you?

AI is entering the court. From a chatbot helping with drafting legal letters to lawyers using AI systems to analyse huge amounts of documents in criminal cases to helping lawyers prepare and structure their cases, AI is finding its way into the legal world as a tool. Some even think that with AIs getting better at predicting outcomes court cases it might be even possible to offload some cases from human judges to machines.

Samsung Has Its Own AI-Designed Chip. Soon, Others Will Too

Samsung announced it has started using AI to design the chips used in their products. A spokesperson for Samsung confirms that the company is using AI software to design its Exynos chips. However, as Wired reports, the company did not confirm if the AI helped design chips used in Samsung's new phone Galaxy Z Fold3 or in the upcoming Google Pixel 6 (which is powered by Samsung's chip).

Robotics

Elon Musk says Tesla is working on humanoid robots

Tesla is joining the humanoid robot market with their Tesla Bot. The first prototype will be available sometime next year. Elon Musk said the robot is “intended to be friendly,” but that the company is designing the machine at a “mechanical level” so that “you can run away from it, and most likely overpower it.” It will be five feet, eight inches (172cm) tall, weigh 125 pounds (56kg), and have a screen for a face.

► Atlas | Partners in Parkour (1:05)

Boston Dynamics released another video in which two humanoid robots Atlas present their improved parkour skills.

► Maker's Muse - My new robot dog! XGO-Mini Review (10:45)

Angus from Maker's Muse got a chance to review XGO-Mini - a small educational robotic dog. It's interesting to see robotic dogs, which were just a couple of years ago only available to research companies and the military, finding their way into schools and into the hands of more and more people.

Robot police dog that scans homeless people sparks debate

After becoming available for purchase, Spot has found many applications. One of them was with police forces. After reports about Spot being used by the New York and Honolulu police emerged, many people started to question the usage of robots in policing calling it dehumanising while others defend their usage and see robots just like another tool.

Biotechnology

Programmable Trap Can Kill Viruses

Using computational genetic engineering, researchers at the Technical University of Munich say they have invented a method of killing any type of virus. The researchers say they have demonstrated their solution on previously incurable hepatitis-B viruses, and are next aiming at the coronavirus. The trap lures any virus inside, then caps it off so that it cannot infect or reproduce, but instead is destroyed by the body's own natural immunology mechanisms.

Degradable microrobots could help deliver cells within the body

A new class of microrobots could be used to deliver cell-based therapies exactly where they are needed. This new research describes a new method of creating such robots with improved mechanical strength and the ability to degrade within days or weeks.

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