Issue #341

This week - how Google designs chips with AI; human-like brain helps robot out of a maze; US rejects calls for regulating killer robots; and more!

Artificial Intelligence

► Google’s Chip Designing AI (13:17)

In this video, Asianometry explains how Google uses machine learning to tackle the problem of floorplanning - the problem of putting logic blocks on a chip in the most efficient way.


Toronto considers banning sidewalk robots

The Toronto City Council is considering banning mobile robots from sidewalks and bike paths. The provision was originally put forward by the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee. The committee voiced concerns about sidewalk robots being hazards for people with low mobility or vision as well as elderly people and children.

Human-like brain helps robot out of a maze

Researchers from the Netherlands and Germany showed a Lego robot that uses an organic polymer for its artificial brain. They tested the robot by making it learn to successfully get out of the maze. "Because of their organic nature, these smart devices can in principle be integrated with actual nerve cells. Say you lost your arm during an injury. Then you could potentially use these devices to link your body to a bionic hand," says Imke Krauhausen, principal author of the paper.

US rejects calls for regulating or banning ‘killer robots’

Do you remember Slaughterbots? A campaign against killer robots mentioned in Issue #339? The US has rejected calls for a binding agreement regulating or banning the use of “killer robots”, instead proposing a “code of conduct” at the United Nations.

Swallow the Micro-Robot

Richard Feynman marvelled at the prospect of figuring out how to “swallow the surgeon”—that is, how to make a tiny robot that could travel through blood vessels to carry out medical procedures where needed. Now, researchers are designing microscopic robots that may lead to a pill full of tiny machines. This article paints this vision of medicine and focuses on one aspect of such machines - how to you move them inside the human body?

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