Issue #327

This week - Jeff Bezos funds a longevity company; new mini-CRISPR; Intel to launch robotaxis in Germany next year; the future of health and fitness; and more!

More Than A Human

Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Funded by Jeff Bezos and Yuri Miller (who made his fortune on Facebook and and founded Breakthrough Prizes), Altos Labs is a new player on the longevity scene. The company is well funded, with offices in the US, UK and Japan and it is actively hiring and attracting leaders and top researchers in anti-ageing research. Looking at researchers involved in the Altos, it seems the company will be pursuing biological reprogramming technology, a way to rejuvenate cells in the lab that some scientists think could be extended to revitalize entire animal bodies, ultimately prolonging human life.

Would you wear clothes made of synthetic muscle fibers?

Imagine an Iron Man-like exosuit but instead of metal, it is made from fabric and could be tougher than kevlar. Thanks to this research exploring how to make synthetic muscle fibres using bacteria, this vision becomes possible. This technology can have an impact on soft robotics and biomedical engineering, tissue engineering and more.

FutureMan: The Future of Health and Fitness 2021-2150 (12:09)

Adam Sinicki aka The Bioneer shares his vision of the future of health and fitness for the next 100 years. It's fascinating to see how emerging health and fitness practices could impact how we live sooner than we thought - from new ways of training to improved sensors and body tracking to the impact of VR/AR on training to even changes in our homes and where and how we live.

Artificial Intelligence

How OpenAI Sold its Soul for $1 Billion

OpenAI was a very different kind of AI lab. It started as a non-profit company whose primary concern was to ensure that artificial general intelligence would be created safely and would benefit all humanity evenly. But as time has gone on, the company started to move away from its original mission, culminating in abandoning the "non-profit" part and partnering with Microsoft. There was also the controversy around GPT-2 and GPT-3 releases and recent copyright violating code-generating AI, as this article points out.

Greedy AI Agents Learn to Cooperate

In this article, Somdeb Majumdar from Intel describes his research into reinforced learning where teams of AI agents work together to figure out what is the best way to solve the problem at hand.

► AI in Your Graphics Card: How DLSS Works (15:29)

AI and Games explains how does Deep Learning Super Sampling (or DLSS) work - NVidia's practical application of machine learning upscaling algorithms trained to allow weaker hardware to render high-resolution games with smooth framerate.

Only Humans, Not AI Machines, Get a U.S. Patent, Judge Says

A computer using artificial intelligence can’t be listed as an inventor on patents because only a human can be an inventor under U.S. law, a federal judge ruled in the first American decision that’s part of a global debate over how to handle computer-created innovation.


Intel’s Mobileye will launch a robotaxi service in Germany in 2022

Mobileye, Intet's self-driving car company, announced it will be offering robotaxi services in Munich starting in 2022. The taxi service will be operated in partnership with German rental car company Sixt and Moovit. The service will initially begin as "early rider testing" and it won’t shift from testing to fully commercial operations until it has received approval from German regulators.

When Robot Eyes Gaze Back at Humans, Something Changes in Our Brain And Behavior

This experiment showed that our brains do not distinct if the person looking at us is alive or not - we still feel their gaze bearing down upon us. It is also yet another experiment showing how we involuntarily apply human-like characteristics to humanoid robots.


Gene Therapies Are Almost Here, But Healthcare Isn’t Ready for Sky-High Prices

More and more diseases are getting a cure based on gene therapy. The problem is these therapies are extremely expensive, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per patient. Although this article focuses on the US healthcare, the same observation could be applied in other healthcare systems - with how expensive these therapies are, healthcare systems may not be able to afford them. This article highlights the problem and looks at some possible options to lower the price tag.

New Mini-CRISPR Systems Could Dramatically Expand the Scope of Gene Therapy

Three research papers published last week show that a family of tiny Cas proteins derived from archaea are small enough to fit in small, non-pathogenic viruses and can edit human DNA. These breakthroughs could provide a significant boost to CRISPR-based therapies and make them more efficient.

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