Issue #50

This week – transhumanism and space exploration, AI lawyer, AI CEO, AI recreates Nobel-winning physics experiment, self-driving cars from Uber and ex-Googlers, drones, robots and more!


More Than A Human

Space exploration will spur transhumanism and mitigate existential risk

Zoltan Istvan argues why space exploration is tightly coupled with transhumanism.

Hyundai is Developing an Iron Man-like Robotic Exoskeleton

Hyundai has unveiled what is apparently a new robotic exoskeleton. In a blog post the company compares its “wearable robot” prototype to an Iron Man suit, saying it gives the wearer extra strength, allowing them to lift objects “hundreds of kilograms” in weight, but it can’t fly, doesn’t have repulsors and is blue, not red and gold.

What if we could live in the Matrix?

VR pioneer Cosmo Scharf paints a vision of our shared VR future, this technological lucid dreaming, as Cosmo describes it. He also tells how VR can become even more immersive thanks to advances in AI, nanotechnology and brain- computer interfaces (BCI). Eventually, we might end up with a real life Matrix.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificially Intelligent Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm

Ross, the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney, has its first official law firm. Baker & Hostetler announced that they will be employing Ross for its bankruptcy practice, currently comprised of almost 50 lawyers.

AI learns and recreates Nobel-winning physics experiment

Australian physicists have created an AI that can run and even improve a complex physics experiment with little oversight. The research could eventually allow human scientists to focus on high-level problems and research design, leaving the nuts and bolts to a robotic lab assistant.

Soon We Won’t Program Computers. We’ll Train Them Like Dogs

Current AI Renaissance forces us to question how we interact with machines. Instead of writing a program to solve a problem we might describe it by saying it to the machine and algorithms inside of it will generate an answer.

Inside Vicarious, the Secretive AI Startup Bringing Imagination to Computers

By reinventing the neural network, the company hopes to help computers make the leap from processing words and symbols to comprehending the real world.

One Genius’ Lonely Crusade to Teach a Computer Common Sense

Doug Lenat realized in the early 80s that computers lack common sense, so he decided to build a system that has it. Three decades and 15 million rules later, he hopes his common-sense engine is a new dawn for AI. The rest of the tech world doesn’t really agree with him.

Artificial Intelligence Declaration of Rights

This is how the declaration of right for an AI might look like if such AI would like to declare itself as a person. Or if we would like to declare an AI as a person. Nevertheless, interesting read and a food for thoughts.

Google Built Its Very Own Chips to Power Its AI Bots

Google joins AI race on another front by announcing a chip designed for deep learning networks. Google calls its chip the Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU, because it underpins TensorFlow, the software engine that drives its deep learning services.

This Company’s CEO is a Computer Program, and It Just Made $131 Million

Let’s add CEO to the list of jobs that can be done by a machine.

A ‘Brief’ History of Game AI Up To AlphaGo

This is the first part of ‘A Brief History of Game AI Up to AlphaGo’. Part 2 is here and part 3 is here. The story starts 1949 with Claude Shannon reflect about a computer that might be able to play chess and ends up with AlphaGo. Nice read if you are interested in the history of AI.

Robotics

Ex-Googlers’ self-driving kit for commercial trucks takes over on freeways

Otto is a company founded by four ex-Google employees, which develops a kit that can turn any truck into a self-driving truck. The idea isn’t to put human drivers out of work. Instead, Otto’s autonomous system augments their ability to cover long distances by kicking in only on freeways, which account for just 5 percent of all roads in the US.

Take A Look At Uber’s First Self-driving Car

It was a matter of time until Uber joined the self-driving gang.

The U.S. Military Wants a Robot That Can Fly Any Plane

The U.S. Air Force is looking to fund the development of a system that allows it to easily convert any of its manned aircraft into robot-piloted planes. And by robot-piloted they mean a real robot sitting in a cockpit looking at gauges and operating the plane like a human would do.

U.K. to Spur First Spaceport, Drones, Driverless Vehicles

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron plans a new transport law to spur everything from the country’s first spaceport to the production of drones, driverless cars and electric vehicles. I wonder how many of these promises will become reality.

The drone race is on

Drones are not a fad — they’re here for good. Consumer drones are on a rise and there are new drone startups showing up. Drones become mainstream.

Biotechnology

Scientists Talk Privately About Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

We are able to read DNA. The next step is to write DNA. DNA synthesis would open new possibilities and unlock the power of creating organisms with desired properties, but it would also raise many ethical questions. There was a closed-door meeting at Harvard Medical School in Boston discussing these topics.

Virtual Worlds

Virtual Reality Can Help Reduce Paranoia

Researchers from Oxford University show that patients who suffer from severe paranoia and persecutory delusions can be treated by subjecting them to simulated social situations using virtual reality.

AxonVR is Making a Haptic Exoskeleton Suit to Bring Your Body and Mind into VR

Promising a full-body haptic suit and an exoskeleton walking platform, AxonVR is the first company to tease an all-in-one solution that aims to deliver simulated pressure, hot and cold sensations, and the ability walk freely through the virtual world. The vision is bold and interesting, but there is still a long way before AxonVR will look like in the renders.

3D Print All The Things!

Carbon M1 Super Fast 3D Printer Demo

Guys from Tested visited Carbon, the makers of the M1 3D printer, which uses a new way to 3D print complex objects faster and with better fidelity than any 3D printer.

A Host of Soon-to-be-Expired Patents are Set to Revolutionize 3D Printing

Patents filed on many pre-existing 3D printing processes are about to expire. As this occurs, it will bring on a new era in 3D printing. Machinery and material costs will plummet, and the quality of prints will increase. For example, some companies might use expired patents for metal 3D printers to make them much cheaper and more accessible.

Outro

Super-Intelligence and the virtues of a “Hive Mind”

This article is not about AI. It’s not even a tech article. I share it with you to show that there is another intelligence out there – swarm intelligence. It’s in use in nature with remarkable results, ensuring the best result for the group in the long term. Researchers are exploring now how we can use the same approach to solve our own problems by creating human hive mind.

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