Issue #342

This week - Covid passport implant; brain cells in a dish learned to play Pong; reprogramming human cells; the future of military fighter drones; and more!


More Than A Human

Swedish company offers a COVID pass that gets under the skin

Swedish company DSruptive offers subdermal implants that can work as Covid passports. "I have a chip implant in my arm and I have programmed the chip so that I have my COVID passport on the chip and the reason is that I always want to have it accessible and when I read my chip, I just swipe my phone on the chip and then I unlock and it opens up," said Hannes Sjoblad, managing director of DSruptive Subdermals.

Artificial Intelligence

Human brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong faster than an AI

Cortical Labs, a company that works on combining living neurons with electronic chips, showed how they trained hundreds of thousands of human brains cells in a dish to play Pong. And these neurons learned to play the game faster than an artificial neural network.

2021 was the year of monster AI models

MIT Technology Review looks back at 2021 in AI and concludes it was the year of massive AI models. It started with OpenAI's GPT-3 and then other companies and AI research centres published their own massive AIs. How big can they get, and at what cost, asks MIT Technology Review.

Promise of Analog AI Feeds Neural Net Hardware Pipeline

In pursuit of low-power AIs, researchers are looking into exotic materials to create a new generation of ultra-low powered AI. In doing so, interestingly, the new devices are becoming more and more analog than digital.

Robotics

► Robot Fighter Jets Are Here - Meet Boeing's Loyal Wingman Drone (17:30)

In this video, Found And Explained takes a closer look at the future of military aviation. A future where fighter pilots are working together with unmanned drones. The focus of this video is Boeing's Loyal Wingman drone but it is just one of many military drones that will change military aviation in the near future.

Biotechnology

Lab-Grown Embryo Research Is Poised to Transform Medicine

Recently, several researchers have found ways to join stem cells together into small 3D balls of cells, which facilitate the creation of tiny embryo-like structures. These lab-grown embryos can help scientists investigate specific problems, such as how the embryo implants into the uterus, how organs start to develop or how the embryo ensures that cells are in the right positions. And definitely will raise a lot of ethical questions.

This Startup Is Making—and Programming—Human Cells

bit.bio is a company from Cambridge, UK, which promises to revolutionise medical research by providing human cells derived from stem cells. These bespoke human cells then can be used in medical research and speed up the process of creating new drugs.

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