Issue #398

This week - Atlas shows more parkour skills; real-life mecha spider; Demis Hassabis urges caution; DARPA wants a cold-resistance drug; how to become a biohacker; and more!


More Than A Human

DARPA Wants to Develop a Drug to Make People Resistant to Extreme Cold

DARPA has founded research to find non-genetic drugs that can “temporarily enhance the human body’s resilience to extreme cold exposure.” The main aim is to enable soldiers to be comfortable in cold places for long periods of time but this research could help explorers better tolerate cold, or to treat hypothermia patients.

Artificial Intelligence

CNET Has Been Quietly Publishing AI-Written Articles for Months

With the rise of AI text generators, some people predicted that sooner or later we will see news articles generated by AIs. CNET is one of the news outlets that does it already at least since mid-November 2022.

DeepMind’s CEO Helped Take AI Mainstream. Now He’s Urging Caution

“When it comes to very powerful technologies—and obviously AI is going to be one of the most powerful ever—we need to be careful,” he says. “Not everybody is thinking about those things. It’s like experimentalists, many of whom don’t realize they’re holding dangerous material.” Worse still, Hassabis points out, we are the guinea pigs.

What an Endless Conversation with Werner Herzog Can Teach Us about AI

On the website Infinite Conversation, the German filmmaker Werner Herzog and the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek are having a public chat about anything and everything. But those are not real Herzog or Žižek. They are impersonated by AIs. Giacomo Miceli, the author of the website, made this as a warning and to raise awareness of the potential issue of using AI to generate misinformation.

Robotics

▶️ Atlas Gets a Grip (1:20)

Boston Dynamics is back with new Atlas video. In this video, Atlas shows off its parkour skills while delivering a bag of tools on a mock construction site. Boston Dynamics also published a behind-the-scenes video explaining how they taught Atlas to interact with objects.

Giant Chinese drone-carrying AI ship enters service as research vessel

The Zhuhaiyun is China’s first giant-AI controlled research drone carrier - that can navigate autonomously in open water or be operated by remote control, according to a report by state broadcaster CCTV. It can carry and operate dozens of unmanned aerial, surface and underwater vehicles simultaneously to monitor its surroundings and produce a data hub.

▶️ Real-life mecha spider (29:26)

Guys from Hacksmith had an idea to build a giant walking mecha spider and then they built one. This impressive machine started its life as 6 mini excavators and required a lot of work to make it walk, which Hacksmith's team diligently documented in this video.

Biotechnology

▶️ How Do You Become a Biohacker? (a guide) (31:32)

Have you ever wanted to be a biohacker but you don't know where to start? This podcast from Yanelab is just for you. It shares how to start your biohacking journey and what you have to learn or get (with links included).

These scientists used CRISPR to put an alligator gene into catfish

Researchers have created a catfish with some genes borrowed from alligators to make the fish more resilient to infections. Researchers claim the modification is safe for humans and could improve commercial production. But before you can enjoy a catfish with alligator genes, FDA needs to approve it.

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