Issue #346

This week - billionaires bet on cell rejuvenation startups; how AI conquered poker; first felony charges in a fatal crash involving Autopilot; a robot learns to walk in Swiss mountains; and more!


More Than A Human

Billionaires Bankroll Cell Rejuvenation Tech as the Latest Gambit to Slow Aging

Yamanaka factors, proteins that can reprogram a fully mature cell into an embryonic-like state (which earned Kyoto University researcher Shinya Yamanaka a share of the Nobel prize in 2012) are now one of the hottest things in the rejuvenation startups scene with billions of dollars in investment pouring into the field.

Elon Musk's brain implant company is inching toward human trials

Elon Musk's brain implant company Neuralink is now hiring a clinical trial director, an indication that the company's longstanding goal of implanting chips in human brains is coming closer.

Artificial Intelligence

How A.I. Conquered Poker

Interesting things are happening right now in the world of poker where a new wave of AI-based real-time game assist tools is causing the discussion of whether these tools are killing the game or revealing its true nature as a math problem.

Robotics

Felony charges are 1st in a fatal crash involving Autopilot

California prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on Autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in 2019. The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system. The criminal charges aren’t the first involving an automated driving system, but they are the first to involve a widely used driver technology.

Electronic skin as wireless human-machine interfaces for robotic VR

This paper describes a robot controlled by skin-integrated electronics worn by the operator. The authors of the paper describe how this electronic skin combined with VR headsets and humanoid robots can be used to prevent infectious disease spread and isolate medical staff from the patients while still providing medical care.

How robots learn to hike

ANYmal, a four-legged robot developed at ETH Zurich, has unlocked a new skill - hiking in the Swiss mountains. A new control approach enables the robot to move quickly and robustly over difficult terrain. Thanks to machine learning, the robot can combine its visual perception of the environment with its sense of touch for the first time.

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