Issue #47

This week – the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, robot-monk, Dalek-like robots, racing drones controlled with thoughts, AI playground tool and more!


More Than A Human

First Gene Therapy Successful Against Human Aging

BioViva announced first successful gene therapy against aging. Elizabeth Parrish, CEO of Bioviva has become the first human being to be successfully rejuvenated by gene therapy, after her own company’s experimental therapies reversed 20 years of normal telomere shortening.

Bionic Symbiotics – Nigel Ackland

Nigel was employed as a precious metals smelter. Until he felt into an industrial blender and lost his arm. Now he has a bionic prosthesis and in his TED Talk he shares his story. I found it very moving, especially his journey from an edge of suicide to a new life, thanks to his bionic hand.

Meet the company offering a chance at immortality for $200,000

CNBC visits Alcor, a company that uses cryonics to freeze its client’s bodies or just brains in hope that in the future technology will be able to bring them back to life. The article explains what company does, how the technology looks like and even asks one of the Alcor’s client about her motives and hopes.

Artificial Intelligence

OpenAI Gym

OpenAI released a beta version of Gym, a toolkit for developing and comparing reinforcement learning algorithms. Looks promising. I can’t wait to try it out myself.

Interactive Neural Network Visualization Tool

Nice tool. You can tinker with neural networks right now in your browser with it and see how different setups with different values react to different inputs.

Tay the racist Twitter bot should make us fear human nature, not A.I.

The output of every computer system, even as complex and sophisticated as today’s AI systems, depends on the quality of input data. Tay.ai is a good example of this principle. But Tay.ai was something more. It was more like a mirror in which we, as a humanity, could see our own reflection. As we progress we might see even more these kinds of mirrors and it will be interesting to see what we would see.

Trust, love and fear: The seven stages of your future relationship with AI

How we see AI in seven stages. It starts with fear and fantasies. Then it goes through frustration and anger, acceptance, infatuation, trust, reliance and ends with love and fear (again).

Minecraft, ENHANCE! Neural Networks to Upscale & Stylize Pixel Art

Someone took Minecraft and made it look way better using neural networks. The neural network “knows” how a grass (or any other block) should look like and enhances the blocky Minecraft grass to look more realistic. Check the results, it looks good.

Artificial Intelligence Isn’t Just About Intelligence, but Manipulating Humanity

AlphaGo’s true accomplishment isn’t learning to play Go, but learning to play (and manipulate) us. This is a forewarning that heralds the future of artificial intelligence.

Computers That Crush Humans at Games Might Have Met Their Match: ‘StarCraft’

After defeating humans in Go, DeepMind looks for another game to beat. It might be StarCraft. But, to beat humans in this game, the AI has to learn how to lie.

Robotics

A Robot Monk Captivates China, Mixing Spirituality With Artificial Intelligence

Nowadays, even Buddhist monks can be replaced with robots.

University of Florida Holds First Drone Race Using Mind Control

This is so cool! Drone-racing just moved to a whole new level by combining with BCI technology, resulting in a drone race controlled solely by the mind.

China Debuts Anbot, The Police Robot

It looks like a Dalek from Dr. Who. It is designed to perform standard police patrolling and the robot can undertake riot control, by remotely firing its electroshock weapons (or by running over unruly protesters). Hopefully, it doesn’t have Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy program somewhere inside.

Look At This Disturbingly Happy Hospital Robot

Another Dalek-like robot. This time, it is a robot meant to be used in hospitals as a robot-nurse that whirs silently between hospital beds, smiles, and drops off medications and meals to patients. Yes, it is a Japanese invention.

Zero Zero’s Camera Drone Could Be a Robot Command Center in the Future

Startup Zero Zero Robotics showed this week their camera drone, the Hover Camera. It is a small drone with a camera able to follow and record you, even as you walk. Looks interesting and promising. Definitely, they are worth watching.

Google and Uber in coalition to promote self-driving cars

Google and Uber, along with Ford, Volvo and Lyft, are part of a coalition to push for a unified US legal code on self-driving cars as part of a broader lobbying drive to promote that technology.

Robots Are Getting Really Good at Running

Here are two videos from Georgia Institute of Technology, where they have a lab dedicated to built a bipedal robot that can walk and run just like humans.

Biotechnology

Microsoft is turning DNA into the ultimate storage device

Twist Bioscience, a company that specializes in making DNA as a data storage medium, announced a partnership with Microsoft. As they put in a press release, they “are now putting DNA data storage theory into practice”.

Outro

How to Think Exponentially and Better Predict the Future

A primer into exponential growth. What is it, how does it look like and why it is so important to understand exponential growth if you want to predict the future of technology.

How to Own a Mech

Did you ever want to have a mech? If so, this video tells you what you need to do to have one awesome mech in your garage.

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