Issue #379

This week - robo-cockroaches; EU's AI Act could hamper open source efforts; a movie made with AI; biobanks; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

The Footage in This Sci-Fi Movie Project Comes From AI-Generated Images

In the age of AI-generated art, you don't need even need to shoot footage to make a film, as Fabian Stelzer has proven. All you need is Midjourney or DALL-E to generate the footage, deepfakes to make faces move and AI voice generator for dialogues.

The EU’s AI Act could have a chilling effect on open source efforts, experts warn

Proposed EU rules could limit the type of research that produces cutting-edge AI tools like GPT-3, experts warn in a new study. “This could further concentrate power over the future of AI in large technology companies and prevent research that is critical to the public’s understanding of AI,” Alex Engler, the analyst at Brookings who published the piece, wrote. “In the end, the [E.U.’s] attempt to regulate open-source could create a convoluted set of requirements that endangers open-source AI contributors, likely without improving use of general-purpose AI.”

The AI Researcher Giving Her Field Its Bitter Medicine

Here is an interview with Anima Anandkumar, a professor of computing at the California Institute of Technology and senior director of machine learning research at Nvidia, where she discusses such topics as making AI more flexible by using tensors instead of matrices and her idea of having sort of Hippocratic oath for AI research.

Robotics

Robo-bug: A rechargeable, remote-controllable cyborg cockroach

Researchers from Japan have created a tiny backpack that transforms cockroaches into robots. The backpack is equipped with a battery, an ultrathin solar panel and a wireless control module. All of that is then attached to a cockroach and you have a remote-controlled robo-bug.

Noodle-Like Robots Navigate Mazes Without Human or Computer Guidance

Robots are coming in all shapes and sizes these days. Like this twisted pasta-looking like robots that can navigate mazes without being controlled by a human or a computer. "These soft robots demonstrate a concept called ‘physical intelligence,’ meaning that structural design and smart materials are what allow the soft robot to navigate various situations, as opposed to computational intelligence," says Jie Yin, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of mechanical engineering

Biotechnology

Biobanks are on the Cusp of Translating Big Data Into New Medicine

The rise of biobanks around the world promised lots of cheap and plentiful human DNA for scientists to study. In this article, NEO.LIFE explores how biobanks have been doing in the last 20 years and the challenges they are facing today - from turning research projects into products or therapies to lack of diversity in their data.

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