This week - EU plans to regulate AI; a humanoid robot from Xiaomi; first fully autonomous commercial robotaxis in China; humanised yeast; and more!
More Than A Human
Researchers have created a cornea implant made from pig skin protein that can make the treatment more affordable and accessible. A pilot trial of 20 people who were either blind or close to losing their sight from advanced keratoconus yielded positive results - all 14 of the participants who had been blind before the operation had their vision restored, with three of them achieving perfect 20/20 vision.
Here is the story and mission of Buck Institute - the first independent research centre in the US focused exclusively on ageing, where scientists mostly work on extending healthspan (the time we are healthy).
As neural networks grow bigger and become more complex, they require more energy to run. Asianometry explains the efforts to solve this problem by turning to silicon photonics - an emerging technology that replaces electrons with light for computing.
Politicians in the European Union are now planning to introduce the first comprehensive global template for regulating AI. That legislation, known as the Artificial Intelligence Act, will have consequences beyond EU borders, and like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, will apply to any institution that serves EU customers. EU officials hope that with extra oversight and restrictions on the type of AI models that can be used, the rules will curb the kind of machine-based discrimination that could influence life-altering decisions such as whether you can afford a home or a student loan.
Meta launched a new chatbot named BlenderBot and let people interact with it. The bot was trained on material found on the internet and the results vary from funny to interesting to concerning, as you might expect from an AI trained on data from the internet.
Xiaomi unveiled CyberOne - their humanoid robot. According to Xiaomi, CyberOne "is capable of perceiving 3D space, as well as recognizing individuals, gestures, and expressions, allowing it to not only see but to process its environment". It can also detect human emotions. "CyberOne is able to detect happiness, and even comfort the user in times of sadness", says the company.
Baidu has become the first and only company to offer fully driverless robotaxi services to the public in China, without human drivers in the car. The new permits will also allow Baidu to put fully driverless robotaxis on open roads in Chongqing and Wuhan during the daytime.
Robots have been making their way into kitchens in the US as the technology becomes cheaper and finding workers becomes harder. "I believe that if anyone wanted to, they could go see a robot working in a restaurant in 2024, 2025", says Jake Brewer, chief strategy officer at Miso Robotics, one of the main companies building restaurant robots.
Amazon presents Proteus - the company's first fully autonomous mobile robot designed to move large carts around Amazon's warehouses. The robot can work alongside humans and does not need to be confined to a restricted area.
Scientists have found a way to inject human genes into baker’s yeast. The research will help recreate human metabolic pathways in yeasts to be then used in medical studies.