Issue #352

This week - the case for analog computers for AI; too much bonding with robots can hurt teams; building neural networks with actual neurons; how drones disrupt modern warfare; and more!


More Than A Human

► Pattie Maes: Helping You Become the Person You Hope to Be (37:23)

MIT Media Lab professor Pattie Maes talks about her projects that help people with attention, cognition, memory, focus, and much more. Maes' projects aim to directly connect humans with technology and heavily uses AI, biosensors and neurotechnology to augment human experiences.

Artificial Intelligence

► We're Building Computers Wrong (21:41)

With neural networks becoming bigger and bigger and demanding more and more energy to work, we might be approaching the limit of digital computers for AI. One possible alternative to digital computers are analog computers and Veritasium explains briefly how they work and how they can compete with energy-hungry digital computers in AI tasks.

► Is OpenAI’s AI As Smart As A University Student? (9:29)

Researchers from OpenAI released a paper describing how one of their AI was trained to solve math problems. A couple of months later, researchers from MIT published their university math problem-solving AI. Károly Zsolnai-Fehér from One Minute Papers takes a closer look at those AIs and explains how they achieved such results.

Researchers Build Neural Networks With Actual Neurons

Everything in current-day AI research is based on artificial neural networks. But what would happen if we use biological neural networks? This is what Cortical Labs are doing. They are growing living neurons and connect them to electronic devices to perform calculations. Their recently published paper describes their attempts in creating synthetic biological intelligence.

Robotics

► How Armed Drones Disrupt Modern Warfare (14:52)

This video examines the usage of drones in the 2020 conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. For the first time, the world got to see a national army bring a fleet of armed drones to the battlefield. And the impact those drones have made was huge.

Too much bonding with robot workers can hurt teams

I've shared in many previous issues research praising the benefits of human-robot cooperation. The research described in this article looked at the negative repercussions for team relationships and performance and found that the emotional bonds people develop with robots in their work environments can be detrimental if workers become more attached to the robot than their colleagues.

Engineers create insect-inspired robots that can monitor hard-to-reach spots

Researchers have created tiny bug-inspired robots that can carry out tasks in hard-to-reach spaces and inhospitable environments. By cleverly combining the robot's geometry with the right materials, researchers were able to create small and fast-acting artificial muscles that could allow it to move or manipulate objects.

Biotechnology

Messenger RNA Therapies Are Finally Fulfilling Their Promise

Drew Weissman, one of the creators of mRNA vaccines, writes how in those 17 years since he helped create them, mRNA vaccines went from proof of concept to humanity's main defence against Covid-19 and how they can help create vaccines targeting cancers, food and environmental allergies, and autoimmune diseases.

Sonic advance: How sound waves could help regrow bones

Researchers have used sound waves to turn stem cells into bone cells, in a tissue engineering advance that could one day help patients regrow bone lost to cancer or degenerative disease.

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