Issue #370

This week - AI training speed increased twofold; autonomous drones that inspect UK's power grid; growing plants in the dark; and more!

More Than A Human

An Implantable Ice Pack Tries to Relieve Pain without Opioids

An age-old advice to apply cold to pain has found a new application in this implantable ice pack that can be applied directly to a single nerve. Unlike other such devices, this new one is smaller and can dissolve in the body after a couple of weeks. The device has been successfully tested in rats and it might find use in treating people for postsurgical pain or some other forms of localized pain.

Artificial Intelligence

We’re Training AI Twice as Fast This Year as Last

According to the best measures we’ve got, a set of benchmarks called MLPerf, machine-learning systems can be trained nearly twice as quickly as they could last year.

BLOOM Is the Most Important AI Model of the Decade

There is a new large language model (LLM). Unlike models like GPT-3, Gopher or DALL-E, which all come from massive corporations, BLOOM is an LLM built by a group of AI researchers aimed to be fully open-source and to democratise access to LLM technology. "Open source and open science are the ultimate stages of technology. And we’re about to enter this new era for AI", writes Alberto Romano in this article.

Why business is booming for military AI startups

The war in Ukraine has added urgency to the drive to push more AI tools onto the battlefield. Those with the most to gain are startups such as Palantir, which are hoping to cash in as militaries race to update their arsenals with the latest technologies. But long-standing ethical concerns over the use of AI in warfare have become more urgent as the technology becomes more and more advanced, while the prospect of restrictions and regulations governing its use looks as remote as ever.

Generative Art Is Challenging What It Means to Be Human

AI challenges every area it enters. Art is no different. Artists who collaborate with machines are forcing new questions around intellectual property, process, and the value of art.


Autonomous Drones Could Soon Run the UK’s Energy Grid

Power transmission lines in the UK might soon be inspected by a swarm of autonomous drones. is working on such drones that can safely fly around pylons and take photos of them which then are sent to AI system for analysis.

Elements of Robotics

Elements of Robotics is a free entry-level robotics textbook and covers topics from sensors to motion to machine learning. It's a good starting point if you ever wanted to learn robotics.

Swarms of tiny robots could one day floss your teeth

Robotics researchers have found a way to automate another mundane task - brushing and flossing teeth. They have created microbots made from iron oxide nanoparticles that depending on the magnetic field can shapeshift into bristle-like structures that sweep away dental plaque or elongated strings that can slip between teeth like a length of floss.


New Artificial Photosynthesis Method Grows Food With No Sunshine

Researchers have found a way to grow plants in complete darkness by skipping the light-dependent part of the photosynthesis process and "feeding" the plants with the resources needed to complete the process. They tried their method on several varieties of plants and measured the differences in growth efficiency as compared to regular photosynthesis. Green algae grew four times more efficiently, while yeast saw an 18-fold improvement.

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