Issue #59

In this issue – prosthetic hands, DARPA challenges to build an AI software security system, German robot makes sausages, Boston Dynamics takes a robot into the woods and, as always, AI, robots, virtual realities and more!


More Than A Human

Turn Yourself Into A Compass By Using This Device

North Sense is a small, 2.5 cm device coated with body-compatible silicone to avoid skin irritation which vibrates when it faces north. You put on your skin and basically you become a human compass.

Cryonics: Could We Really Bring People Back to Life?

Sci Show checks the feasibility of cryonics. You put a dying person in suspended animation until, possibly thousands of years from now, medical science is able to cure them… or their brain can be put in a sweet robot body. It’s an age-old sci-fi trope, but there are scientists out there working on making cryonics a reality!

Tomorrow’s Prosthetic Hand

“Recent breakthroughs in technology could mean a fully functional artificial hand may be on the horizon”, says Scientific American and then lists these breakthroughs – an artificial sense of touch, realistic 3D-printed hands and a better connection between the prosthesis and the body.

Welcome to the bionic future

Here’s a photo of a 10-year-old Tilly testing out the Open Bionics’ Deus Ex- inspired arm. She looks awesome.

Electronic ‘Tattoo’ Can Monitor Muscle Activity and Map Emotions

A new temporary “electronic tattoo” was developed by Tel Aviv University to measure the activity of muscle and nerve cells, possibly revolutionizing medicine, rehabilitation, and even business and marketing research. One major application of the new electrode is the mapping of emotion by monitoring facial expressions through electric signals received from facial muscles. Check the photos in the article, they look like from a cyberpunk story.

Artificial Intelligence

IBM Watson – Full Q&A at Oxford Union

Oxford Union invites famous people to give a speech and then take part in a debate. This time, they invited David Cole from IBM to talk with Watson, IBM’s AI system.

On the importance of democratizing Artificial Intelligence

Wise words found on Keras’ blog. Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world and it can change it for good or for bad. Democratizing AI is the best way, maybe the only way, to make sure that the future we are creating will be a good one.

The Problem of AI Consciousness

Another article about AI and consciousness, but with a quite interesting conclusion: “Indeed, future AIs, should they ever wax philosophical, may pose a “problem of carbon-based consciousness” about us, asking if biological, carbon-based beings have the right substrate for experience. After all, how could AI ever be certain that we are conscious?”

DARPA wants to create autonomous, Agent Smith-like security software

DARPA likes challenging people. In the recent one called Cyber Grand Challenge, the teams will have to build an autonomous security software, which will be then challenged by human hackers. The challenge will be taken on by seven teams, competing against each other for over $4 million in prizes.

Don’t Replace People. Augment Them.

An article from Tim O’Reilly on why we should not be afraid of robotic revolution, because the technology will enable us to do things we can’t even imagine now, thus creating new types of jobs.

Robotics

Watch A German Robot Grill Sausages To Perfection

Just German things.

In Future Wars, We’ll Have To Fool Robots

As battlefields of the future will have more and more robots on it, it will become even more important to know how to trick the machines. The recent Tesla’s fatal crash might give an insight what kind of tricks armies of the future can use to deceive the enemy’s robots.

Watch The Boston Dynamics Robot Take A Surreal Hike In The Woods

This is how Boston Dynamics’s trips into the woods look like. A walking robot, a bunch of guys and a golf cart with power supply for the robot.

This Cattle-Herding Robot Will Put Dogs Out of Work

Looks like even cattle-herding dogs can’t be safe during 4th Industrial Revolution.

Rings Gymnast Robot

Here’s a robot that can do some exercises with gymnastic rings.

A Summary Of Technology Advancing The Bio-inspired Robotics Revolution

Here’s a summary from a recent meetup about bio-inspired robotics, which took place in London. I’ve been there and I’ve learned a thing or two.

Biotechnology

Welcome to the CRISPR zoo

Nature takes a closer look at CRISPR and checks where can it be applied, from producing new kinds of medicine to making ‘hygienic’ bees, which obsessively clean their hives and remove sick and infested bee larvae, to bringing back the mammoths.

Virtual Worlds

Is Pokémon GO Really Augmented Reality?

Scientific American asks Ken Perlin, a computer science professor and founding director of the New York University Media Research Lab, the question, is Pokemon Go an augmented reality app? His answer – no, it is not.

Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality are the 4th Wave of Digital Technology

Everyone is looking now for the next big wave in computing. This article shows that that wave might have a form of virtual/augmented/mixed reality apps or systems.

Outro

Should Synths Be Given Human Rights? – Rethinking Fallout 4

Synths are synthetic humans existing in Fallout’s universe and become sentient. You don’t need to be a Fallout fan to understand the video. Quickly the discussion goes into consciousness and sentient machines, drawing the line between human and human-like machine or granting synths human rights.

Meet the People Pretending to Be Chatbots

If you interacted with a chatbot recently, you might have talked to an actual human, not AI. And this article is about these people who are pretending to be robot pretending to be a human.

Fizz Buzz in Tensorflow

Here’s something fun for all of you who know TensorFlow and know how to write an AI system. I don’t know if it was real or it is just a joke, but this article shows how to overcomplicate a simple Fizz Buzz problem by using neural network.

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