Issue #62

In this issue – augmenting humans and Chinese eugenics explained. Bill Nye calls to stop worrying about AI-apocalypse. Demis Hassabis on who should control general AI. And as always something about AI, drones, robots (one of them is a tattoo artist), gene editing and more!

More Than A Human

New Insights On When Humanity Will Reach Singularity

In his new book, Robin Hanson posits that the Singularity will not come from the mimicking of consciousness and intelligence through artificial code, but by recreating a functionally similar brain computer and the development of the brain emulation concept. He expects emulations, or “ems” to develop first, and to be 1,000x faster than ours.

“Neural Dust” Could Enable a Fitbit for the Nervous System

A team at the University of California, Berkeley, has provided the first demonstration of what the researchers call “ultrasonic neural dust” to monitor neural activity in a live animal. The system uses ultrasound for both wireless communication and the device’s power source, eliminating both wires and batteries.

Neural Implants Could Let Hackers Hijack Your Brain

“Are we becoming robots, is that what the whole society’s going to become? And the pretty soon someone will hack the computer system that you hook up to and throw a little virus in your brain and then what? You lose your identity as a person.”

The Future of Human Augmentation

Maurice Conti explores a new partnership between technology, nature and humanity – the future of human augmentation. But he’s not focusing on brain implants or that kind of stuff. He’s more focused on human-robot collaboration system and systems that interact with humans to transform how we work.

What should We Be Worried About?

This article does a good job in explaining the Chinese eugenics. How it is based in Chinese culture, philosophy and society and how gene engineering to make better humans is just a little step for Chinese society, when for Western societies it is a big moral problem.

Artificial Intelligence

Bill Nye: Worrying about the Robo-pocalypse Is a First-World Problem

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, calms down the AI-fearmongers and gives a couple of arguments for a notion that worrying about AI-pocalypse is not worth the effort.

Who Should Control Our Thinking Machines?

Excellent interview with Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind. He answers the questions about artificial general intelligence, the future of AI and who should have control over such if we create it.

Maybe robots won’t kill us if they read ‘good’ books

How to stop robot killing us and cancel robo-pocalypse? Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in “Quixote“—a technique that teaches “value alignment” to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events, and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.

Will Humans or Bots Rule Cybersecurity? The Answer Is Yes

Wired reports how the recent DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge went. Cyber Grand Challenge was a contest to build an AI security bot and then test it in protecting the resources from the hackers. Very cyberpunk.

How AI Will Redefine Love

AI is disrupting everything today – medicine, finance, transportation. Everything. As AI becomes more and more intelligent and gains more “personality”, we might face a point when we would need to redefine how we understand basic relation, like love, to incorporate these new types of beings.

This neural network tries to tell if you’re being sarcastic online


All About IBM’s Watson [Infographic]

All you need to know about IBM’s Watson packed in easy to digest infographic.

What If Intelligent Machines Could Learn From Each Other?

This article envisions the world where intelligent sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices learn on their own and then share what they have learned with other devices, so that the whole system becomes better as a result.

Artificial Intelligences Are Writing Poetry For A New Online Literary Magazine

CuratedAI is a collection of machine generated creative writing that launched last week. The poems and prose come from multiple different artificial intelligence programs selected by human beings. If the Turing Test is a (debatably) subjective way to measure a machine’s passable humanity, then poetry is the subjective cheat sheet.


The jobs we’ll lose to machines — and the ones we won’t

In his TED Talks, Anthony Goldbloom from Kaggle touches the problem of robots taking more and more jobs. He explains what kind of jobs have a higher chance to be automated and which will be harder for machines to do.

Drones to Start Delivery of Medicine in Rural US

Zipline, the company that brought drone delivery to Rwanda, is now partnering with the US Government to deliver basic medical supplies to rural areas in the US.

This Bipedal Robot Can Walk Through Any Terrain

Its name is Marlo and walks really good.

Crafty Ideas to Make Drone Deliveries Work for Everybody

Everyone would like to have a delivery drone nowadays. European aviation powerhouse Airbus and US-based transportation crowdsourcing startup Local Motors discovered this world of innovation recently when they surveyed the results of their global competition to create a new generation of cargo drones. From 425 entries, Airbus and Local Motors engineers selected the 20 most viable for the judges’ consideration and then they have chosen the best design..

Robots Could Be Performing a Third of U.S. Surgeries by 2021

Robots are most commonly used in hospitals for aiding surgeons in performing operating room tasks. Top hospitals invest on robotic-assisted surgical systems with the goal of providing better and more cost-effective care.

Most robots dancing simultaneously – Guinness World Records

At the Qingdao Beer Festival in Shandong, China, 1,007 robots bopped and shimmied their way to a new world record for the Most robots dancing simultaneously.

World’s First Tattoo by Industrial Robot

I have seen a couple of tattoo robots before, but they were designed specifically for the job. But this robot wasn’t designed to be a tattoo artist. The robot is an off-the-shelf industrial robot programmed to make tattoos, showing how precise these robots can be.

MIT and DARPA Pack Lidar Sensor Onto Single Chip

This chip can make drones and robots more aware of their surroundings and cheaper as well.

Ambulance Drones Could Be Saving The World Soon

Imagine calling for help and instead of waiting 10 minutes for an ambulance a drone arrives in one minute with equipment needed to help you save someone’s life.

Robots Decorated The Entire Outside Of This Museum

Artistic weaving robots have decorated the outside of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. I’ve seen it, it looks cool.

Why Robots Need to be Able to Say ‘No’

You might think giving robots the ability to refuse orders may be a dangerous idea, but there are some situations when the order might harm the human giving the order. In these cases, the robot should be able to say ‘No’. It’s a hard problem to solve because it involves teaching the robots ethics, morality and a better understanding of the world.


Beyond CRISPR: A guide to the many other ways to edit a genome

CRISPR took gene engineering world by storm. But the technique is not without flaws and limitations. Researchers come up with other alternative techniques for gene editing that can be use instead of CRISPR, listed and briefly explained in this article from Nature.

US Agency Will Lift Ban On Funding For Hybrid Animal-human Embryos

The US National Institutes of Health, the government agency that is one of the largest single funding sources of biomedical research in America, is planning to lift a ban on funding on hybrid embryo research. The NIH still has a list of restrictions, including that this type of research cannot be done on other primates. And certain areas of research not prohibited could still face extensive scrutiny before approval.


IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons

IBM Research in Zurich has created the world’s first artificial nanoscale stochastic phase-change neurons. This breakthrough is particularly notable because the phase-change neurons are fashioned out of well-understood materials that can scale down to a few nanometres, and because they are capable of firing at high speed but with low energy requirements. Also important is the neurons’ stochasticity—that is, their ability to always produce slightly different, random results, like biological neurons.

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