Issue #356

This week - AI beats eight world champions in bridge; drones in Ukraine and lessons for other countries; the human genome sequence is finally complete; Honda's Asimo robot retires; and more!


More Than A Human

Cracking the Neural Code in Humans

Neuropixels are silicon electrode arrays capable of tracking the electrical activity of thousands of individual neurons simultaneously. Until now, their use has been limited to studies in rodents and monkeys. But that has changed as researchers published the results of using Neuropixels in humans. This will allow neuroscientists better understand neural dynamics by tracking how neurons fire in finer resolution.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence beats eight world champions at bridge

We can now add bridge to the list of games in which AI is better than human masters. NukkAI's AI, named NooK, has beaten not one but eight world champions. AI researcher Véronique Ventos, NukkAI’s co-founder, calls NooK a “new generation AI” because it explains its decisions as it goes along. “In bridge, you can’t play if you don’t explain,” she says.

NVIDIA’s Tiny New AI Transforms Photos Into Full 3D Scenes in Mere Seconds

Building on previous work, NVIDIA researchers showed how a small neural network trained on a few dozen images can render the pictured scene in full 3D. As a demo, the team transformed images of a model holding a Polaroid camera—an ode to Andy Warhol—into a 3D scene.

Yann LeCun on a vision to make AI systems learn and reason like animals and humans

In this post from Meta's AI lab, Yann LeCun, one of the pioneers of deep learning, proposes a new architecture to make AI learn better. The architecture consists of six modules, each specialising in different aspects of perception and responding to the world.

Robotics

Honda's Asimo robot to retire after 20-year career wowing public

Last week, Honda retired Asimo - their famous humanoid robot - ending its 20-year career of wowing the public with walking and dancing demonstrations at a showroom at the automaker's Tokyo headquarters.

► Drones in Ukraine - lessons for other countries (49:43)

From off-the-shelf quadrotors to genuine military machines, drones are changing the battlefield. This video does a good job explaining the usage of drones in the Russia-Ukraine war by both sides of the conflict, how their cost-effectiveness affects the battlefield and what lessons about military drones other countries should learn.

Can robotic hives help save the world’s bees?

Israeli startup Beewise created a box designed to serve as an automated apiary. The solar-powered enclosure monitors its beehives, offering climate control and automated harvesting. It’s designed to monitor for issues, including intrusive pets, while adjusting conditions inside to prevent swarming behaviours among its tenants.

Biotechnology

Completing the Human Genome Sequence (Again)

But we have already sequenced the human genome ages ago, right? Well, not quite. Human Genome Project produced "essentially complete" human DNA sequence. It was not complete. Until now. Scientists in the Telomere-to-Telomere consortium have now reported the first truly complete sequence of a human genome.

FDA Approves First CRISPR Cows For Beef

Earlier this month, the FDA approved genome-edited cattle for use in meat production. They were bred with climate change in mind, and they have extremely slick, short hair, which is said to help the animals cope with hot weather more effectively. The federal agency called the decision to introduce the beef cattle to be raised for meat “low risk” after determining that the intentional genomic alteration of the cattle does not cause any safety concerns. Pending a forthcoming safety review, the meat could land on shelves in as little as two years.

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