26th February 2016

Issue #38

Boston Dynamic shows the next generation of Atlas robot, making a cyborg from cockroaches, AI that makes a West End musical, a robot-salamander, HoloLens in space and on TED stage and more!


More Than A Human

Robotic Third Arm Turns Drummers Into Beat Machines

Because when you are a drummer sometimes you would need a third arm. A robotic third arm.

Cybathlon – A global Olympic-style competition to advance assistive & robotic technologies

In 21 countries across the globe, hundreds of people are preparing for Cybathlon 2016, where cutting edge robotic assistive technologies will help people with disabilities to compete in a series of races. Cybathlon 2016 is organised by ETH Zurich and will showcase six disciplines: BCI Race Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Bike Race Powered Arm Prosthesis Race Powered Leg Prosthesis Race Powered Exoskeleton Race Powered Wheelchair Race.

Artificial Intelligence

How computers wrote a new West End musical

Beyond the Fence is the first musical conceived and generated by a computer. Based on successful musicals like Les Miserables and Crazy For You , the AI generated a completely new musical. Right now the actors are preparing to perform the musical on stage.

Evolution to AI will be more radical than ape-to-human, says Nick Bostrom

At AAAI-16, AI guru and philosopher Nick Bostrom explored the broad landscape of machine intelligence and the questions we need to be asking about our future.

Where Artificial Intelligence Is Now and What’s Just Around the Corner

Peter Diamandis looks at artificial intelligence, explaining where the technology is right now, what were the most important breakthroughs in recent years and what should we expect to see in the near future.

David Eagleman: Can a Computer Simulate Consciousness?

Yes, conceivably. And if/when we achieve the levels of technology necessary for simulation, the universe will become our playground.

The Future Of Virtual Assistants Lies In Children’s Stories And Shoes

A story of two AI startups which are trying to make AI better by following different paths than the tech giants. One is teaching its system using stories and another is making an AI that can recommend you your new pair of shoes.

Robotics

Atlas, The Next Generation

Boston Dynamics had shown next generation of its Atlas humanoid robot. It walks better, can open the doors. When it falls it can pick itself up. And as every robot in Boston Dynamics, it is not being treated well by humans.

Robots Can Now Flawlessly Iron Clothes

Finally, a robot we were all waiting for!

What Is a Robot?

Regardless of definition, robots are among us, and they’re getting more dexterous and clever.

A Starfish-Killing, Artificially Intelligent Robot Is Set to Patrol the Great Barrier Reef

The killer robot we were all being warned of has become a reality. At least for the starfishes.

A robot that runs and swims like a salamander

Roboticist Auke Ijspeert designs biorobots, machines modeled after real animals that are capable of handling complex terrain and would appear at home in the pages of a sci-fi novel. The process of creating these robots leads to better automata that can be used for fieldwork, service, and search and rescue. But these robots don’t just mimic the natural world — they help us understand our own biology better, unlocking previously unknown secrets of the spinal cord.

Biotechnology

Make your own cyborg cockroach for under $30

A DIY evil scientist kit. Get a cockroach, an Arduino, connect both together and you have your own cyborg minion.

Virtual Worlds

Astronauts Start Using Hololens On Space Station

The astronauts started working with the Microsoft Hololens, an augmented reality headset that was sent up to the space station in December. The headset was used mostly as a help during complicated repairs.

Augmented reality looks to future where screens vanish

Speaking of HoloLens. Microsoft inventor Alex Kipman was joined by holograms at a renowned TED gathering as he gave a glimpse into a future where computer screens are relics.

IBM’s supercomputer will power an online, anime VR game

‘Sword Art Online: The Beginning’ goes into alpha testing next month with IBM Watson behind the scenes. Hopefully, the real game will not turn into Hunger Games like survival game.

The Near Future of VR and AR: What You Need to Know

In this 101 on VR and AR article, Peter Diamandis explains quickly what is VR and AR and briefly where both technologies are now. He shares the biggest breakthroughs in VR and AR in the last years and the most anticipated things to happen up to 2018.

Vrse Immerses 1,200 TED Attendees in Simultaneous VR Experience

On stage at TED 2016, Vrse founder Chris Milk conducted what the company is calling “the largest simultaneous virtual reality experience in history.” Using a dedicated app and Cardboard VR viewers handed out at the session, 1,200 attendees peer into the virtual world together.

Other Stuff

Japan Is Trying To Make Ghost in the Shell Real

The Ghost in the Shell Realize Project, which launched in 2014, tries to make the technologies seen in the manga and anime a reality.

Christianity Is Transhumanism

Micah Redding explains why Christianity is transhumanism. Interesting concept worth checking out.

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