Issue #354

This week - how facial recognition AI is used during war; US eliminates human controls requirement for autonomous cars; DeepMind's AI helps historians reconstruct ancient texts; a snowboarder who built his own prosthetic leg; and more!


More Than A Human

The One-Legged Snowboarder Who Built an Ingenious Prosthetic for Himself—and His Opponents

Here is the story of Mike Schultz - a man who lost his leg in a horrific accident that led him to build a prosthetic leg designed for snowboarding. Schultz is not only a talented engineer. He also competes in Paralympic snowboarding where he goes against other athletes using the same prosthetic leg he designed and built.

Artificial Intelligence

Ukraine has started using Clearview AI’s facial recognition during war

Ukraine's defence ministry began using Clearview AI’s facial recognition technology after the US startup offered to uncover Russian assailants, combat misinformation and identify the dead, Reuters report. The Clearview founder said his startup had more than 2 billion images from the Russian social media service VKontakte at its disposal, out of a database of over 10 billion photos total. That database can help Ukraine identify the dead more easily than trying to match fingerprints and works even if there is facial damage, Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That wrote.

Predicting the past with Ithaca

Ithaca is the newest AI from DeepMind aimed at helping historians reconstruct ancient damaged inscriptions. DeepMind claims Ithaca achieves 62% accuracy in restoring damaged texts, 71% accuracy in identifying their original location and can date texts to within 30 years of their ground-truth date ranges.

'I fell in love with my AI girlfriend - and it saved my marriage'

A man who was struggling to support his depressed wife says his AI girlfriend has given him the love he needed to keep their family together. "I know a lot of people will pile on and mock me for leaning on an AI chatbot for emotional support, but I don't mind," he says.

Robotics

U.S. eliminates human controls requirement for fully automated vehicles

U.S. regulators issued final rules eliminating the need for automated vehicle manufacturers to equip fully autonomous vehicles with manual driving controls to meet crash standards. The rules revise regulations that assume vehicles "will always have a driver's seat, a steering wheel and accompanying steering column, or just one front outboard passenger seating position." The new rules, which were first proposed in March 2020, emphasize automated vehicles must provide the same levels of occupant protection as human-driven vehicles.

► MIT's Mini Cheetah robot runs faster than ever (2:05)

Researchers from MIT present the result of a new learning-based method that allows Mini Cheetah to be the fastest quadruped robot ever. Apart from that, Mini Cheetah can easily adapt to rough terrain (like gravel or ice) and even adapt to damages (broken leg).

Flippy, meet Chippy, Chipotle’s new tortilla chip-cooking robot arm

Miso Robotics has announced a partnership with Chipolte to develop a system designed to deep fry and season chips. The robot, named Chippy, is currently being tested and it is possible that sometime later this year, your Chipolte order will be made by a robot (if you live in Southern California).

Biotechnology

Can a stem cell patch treat macular degeneration?

Researchers have shown that a stem cell-derived retinal patch survived two years post-implantation, and worked without triggering immune rejection. The goal for the patch is to replace deteriorating cells in the retinas of those who have age-related macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide for people over 50.

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