1st July 2016

Issue #56

This week – AI beats expert pilot in a simulated combat, the future of 3D printed prosthesis, the cutest robot ever, controlling robots with thoughts, killer robots, and more! I added a new section – Learning Corner. The goal of this section is to share with you the links to tutorials, papers and other resources to learn more in depth about AI, robotics or biotechnology. At the beginning, it might be skewed more towards AI and robotics, because I’m most familiar with these topics, but I’ll try to find and add more bio-related things. I hope you will find the new section useful. Now back to regular stuff.


More Than A Human

The future of 3D-printed prosthetics

Making a prosthesis used to be expensive and time-consuming, but thanks to 3D printing and easier access to 3D printers you can have a very good advanced prosthesis quicker and for a fraction of the price. And that’s not all. 3D scanning and body modeling technologies are entering the stage alongside with advances in AI, sensors, and material science. All of this will make future prosthesis even better.

Longevity Inc.

A conversation with Laura Deming on longevity research. Why people are against it, who’s working on and what’s their approach to cure death.

Paralyzed Woman Controls Robotic Arm With Thoughts

Cathy Hutchinson, paralysed for over 15 years, recently steered a robotic arm towards herself and was able to drink her morning coffee. Dr. Leigh Hochberg explains how a sensor implanted in Cathy’s brain ‘reads’ her thoughts and controls an external device.

The First Cyborg Olympics

Here’s an infographic explaining the upcoming cyborg olympics – Cybathlon, which are going to be held in Switzerland in October this year. I’d like to see the exoskeleton race.

Transhumanism’s a Fight for Equality

Although it is labeled using the same name, transhumanism takes different forms and shapes around the world. This article shows the differences between American and French transhumanism. It’s interesting to see how different cultural backgrounds affect this inherently global movement.

Artificial Intelligence

New artificial intelligence beats tactical experts in combat simulation

An AI developed by a University of Cincinnati doctoral graduate was recently assessed by subject-matter expert and retired United States Air Force Colonel Gene Lee – who holds extensive aerial combat experience as an instructor and Air Battle Manager with considerable fighter aircraft expertise – in a high- fidelity air combat simulator. Result – the AI won.

Open AI Ecosystem Portends a Personal Assistant for Everyone

Or how open AI (not the company) could unlock higher productivity and better health and happiness for millions of people.

Artificial Intelligence Has a ‘Sea of Dudes’ Problem

AI is not a magic. It’s a computer program highly depended on the data sets it had to learn from. Data sets chosen mostly by men, who might unintentionally add unwanted bias into the system, resulting in embarrassing and problematic issues, like a system classifying black people as gorillas.

Robotics

Toyota is Spending $1 Billion to Make Helper-Robots For the Elderly

Toyota is taking robotics seriously. And to prove how serious they are they invest $1 billion into Toyota Research Institute, where they try to make robots and AI more accessible and affordable.

Meet the Smartest, Cutest AI-Powered Robot You’ve Ever Seen

Meet Cozmo, a small robot that looks like Wall-E. It has a built-in AI to it can do some stuff on its own, like recognising its owner. And it’s super cute. I want one.

I, Snowbot

Edward Snowden’s body might be confined to Moscow, but the former NSA computer specialist has hacked a work-around: a robot. If he wants to make his physical presence felt in the United States, he can connect to a wheeled contraption called a BeamPro, a flat-screen monitor that stands atop a pair of legs, five- foot-two in all, with a camera that acts as a swiveling Cyclops eye.

Taking Killer Robots Seriously

Another voice in the killer robots discussion, this time from Hack A Day. Elliot Williams checks where United Nations stands on this issue, how it all looks like from legal perspective and how would AI impact autonomous lethal robots.

Rolls-Royce’s cargo ship of the future requires no onboard crew

We have autonomous cars and truck, and now we might get autonomous cargo ships. Rolls-Royce hopes to see the first ship by 2020, but there is still a lot of things to do.

Meet The World’s First Self-Driving Warship

The Sea Hunter was designed by the US military to hunt for enemy submarines.

A Silicon Valley Startup Is Building Pizza-making Robots

Zume Pizzeria, founded by one-time Zynga president Alex Garden, is trying to replace human chefs with robots. Right now they use two robots, but still have humans to do some tasks.

Infographic: The Future of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles

Flying drones took the public attention, but what about autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs)? They could be used in many ways, both civilian and military, unlocking an enormous amount of untapped potential.

Robot Roach Can Jump Up To Five Feet High

The JumpRoACH can leap a little more than five feet high, which is impressive for its about 2 ounce size. It uses a Dash Robotics body, which houses a DC motor, eight latex bands, and a diamond-shaped contraption that has two joints.

Biotechnology

The first gene therapy for children has just been approved in Europe

The world’s first gene therapy treatment for children has been given the green light by the European Commission. It’s called Strimvelis, and it treats severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID) – a rare disorder that can be fatal in a very short space of time for those affected.

The Rise Of Vertical Farms

Everything you need to know about vertical farms packed in an easy to digest infographic. How they look like, where are they better than conventional farms, what grows the best in a vertical farm and some examples of vertical farms.

Brain-jacked Locusts Could Be The Next Bomb Detectors

Here’s an idea – instead of building expensive microdrones to detect bombs, let’s take insects and turn them into cyborgs.

Outro

A headset that reads your brainwaves

This TED talks was recorded almost exactly 6 years ago, but I think it is still worth sharing. Tan Le shows computer interface reads its user’s brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-reaching applications.

Rogue robots ‘could be hard to stop’ & 3 others things we learned from Stephen Hawking on Larry King

Stephen Hawking is known for being a bit cautious when it comes to AI. Recently he had another opportunity to say his concerns about the militarization of AI and how AI can evolve faster than humans.

Dancing Nao robot

I went to a meetup about social robots. They have presented a pair of Nao robots. One of which started to dance. There was also a silent competition for attention between robots and resident cat. Robots won the first round, but the cat was able to come back and win the audience by being just a cat.

Learning Corner

Tutorial: Deep Reinforcement Learning

Here are some slides on deep reinforced learning by David Silver from DeepMind. All you need to know in a tl;dr version.

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