Issue #384

This week - Google's AI generates videos from text; neurons in lab play Pong; armed robodog dropped from a drone; and more!


Artificial Intelligence

Google’s newest AI generator creates HD video from text prompts

We've had AI-generated images and now we have AI-generated videos. Google's Imagen Video can generate short 1280×768 videos at 24 frames just from a text prompt. Google is not releasing Imagen Video to the public, saying that the AI can be used "to generate fake, hateful, explicit or harmful content" and until these concerns are resolved, Imagen's model and code will be closed to the public.

▶️ How AI Could Empower Any Business | Andrew Ng (11:16)

In this talk, Andrew Ng compares the rise of AI to the rise of literacy. Like literacy hundreds of years ago, AI is accessible only to a highly trained group of people working for large institutions. Andrew Ng shares a vision for democratizing access to AI, empowering any business to make decisions that will increase their profit and productivity.

Deepfaked Podcast Has Joe Rogan Interview Undead Steve Jobs

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

Robotics

China Pairs Armed Robot Dogs With Drones That Can Drop Them Anywhere

A video has been published on Weibo showing a drone dropping an armed robot dog on the ground.

Robots Are Helping Immunocompromised Kids ‘Go to School’

Gillian Okimoto shares her experience of attending classes as a robot. She couldn't go to school and be with her friends once she was diagnosed with rare bone cancer. However, the hospital she was in had a telepresence robot and allowed Gilian to use it. So, for over a year, she was a robot. She also compares attending classes with a robot to remote learning and, in her own words, the robot "was light-years ahead of Zoom or Google Meet".

Typos and shutdowns: robot ‘gives evidence’ to Lords committee

“Ai-Da”, described by its creator, Aiden Meller, as “the world’s first ultra-realistic robot artist”, appeared in front of the House of Lords communications and digital committee as part of its inquiry into the future of the creative industries in the UK. According to The Guardian, the meeting did not go smoothly. Ai-Da read typos from its pre-written script, struggled to hear questions, and needed to be rebooted halfway through the session.

Biotechnology

Lab-grown brain cells play video game Pong

Researchers have grown neurons in a lab and taught them to play Pong. Writing in the journal Neuron, Dr Brett Kagan, of the company Cortical Labs, claims to have created the first ''sentient'' lab-grown brain in a dish. Other experts describe the work as ''exciting'' but say calling the brain cells sentient is going too far.

Human Brains Are Hard to Study. He Grows Useful Substitutes.

Here is an interview with Sergiu Paşca - a researcher who grows little human brains to understand the causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases. He shares his journey into growing brains, how to transform skin cells into stem cells and then into neurons and how he uses them to study autism and other neurological diseases.

Are rats with human brain cells still just rats?

Some time ago, researchers successfully implanted human brain cells into rats' brains. Human cells were able to grow and integrate into rats' brains. A few months after they’d been implanted, the human cells made up around a sixth of the rats’ brains and appeared to have a role in controlling the animals’ behaviour. This invites the question: Are these animals still 100% rat?

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